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Welcome to the David Victor Vector blog. This is blog that covers religious observances around the world international affairs and global business. This blog describes religious holidays for most major religions as well as raising issues dealing with globalization, international business ethics, cross-cultural business communication and political events affecting business in an integrated world economy. I look forward your discussion and commentary on these articles and subjects. Enjoy!

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Beltane

From sunset April 30 through sunset May 1 is the holiday of Beltane observed by practitioners of Wicca, Neo-Paganism, neo-Druidism and Celtic Revivalist faiths. 

This is a major holiday in these traditions. While most Wiccans and Neo-Pagans will still work or go to school, those asking to have time off for worship should be accommodated.    



Introduction

Beltane is the celebration of the start of summer. For many, it is a fertility festival of the land, of animals and of people. The holiday involves rites of cleansing and of celebration of the beginnings of the first buds and flowers.

Beltane predates Christianity by centuries, and is tied to rites of the masculine meeting the feminine. Thus the marriage of the May Queen or the Goddess with the May King, Green Man or Jack-in-the-Green.

Beltane is celebrated under several names. Beltane is the most common name in English, and is the name used within the Wiccan tradition and many English-speaking neo-Pagan traditions. In the Celtic Revivalist faiths, the holiday is known as Bealtaine (in Irish Gaelic) or Bealltainn (in Scots Gaelic).  In Wales the holiday is known as Calan Mai

In some Christian traditions, many of the Beltane/May Day rituals were given Christian overlays and adopted as practices to celebrate Whit Sunday (in England and Scotland) or Pentecost (notably in Germany, Austria).  For more on Pentecost, please see my post at

http://davidvictorvector.blogspot.com/2012/05/pentecost.html

Beltane is drawn from specifically Celtic traditions. In the rest of northern and central Europe, Beltane coincides with the celebrations of Walpurgis Night and May Day. Although Walpurgis Night is technically held to honor Saint Walpurga and May Day is not a religious holiday at all, both holidays various rites and practices (setting bonfires and erecting May Poles, for example) derive directly from pre-Christian Pagan rites. For more on Walpurgis Night and May Day, please see the accompanying post on this blog at:

http://davidvictorvector.blogspot.com/2013/05/walpurgis-night-and-may-day.html 

For some neo-Pagan traditions Walpurgis Night and May Day have religious significance.  For more on Walpurgis Night and May Day, please see:Other pre-Christian Pagan rites were syncretized into the May Day and Walpurgis Nacht traditions. These are explained below, and are covered in that blogpost.

Beltane Observance

Wiccans, neo-Pagans and neo-Druids celebrate Beltane as the beginning of summer. In many neo-Pagan traditions, Beltane is generally associated Beltane with the arrival of the masculine force. This makes Beltane the counterpart to the feminine force celebrated at Ostara. For more on Ostara, please see


Beltane marks the joining of the masculine with feminine. The feminine force in most (though not all) neo-Pagan traditions is called the May Queen. In Wicca, the feminine force remains the Goddess; although she may be called the May Queen at this time she is not a separate deity.  

The masculine force, by contrast, takes many forms depending on tradition. In modern Wicca, the masculine force is known as the Horned God.
 
Cernunnos
Pillar of the Boatman
Musee d'Orsay, Paris


 
In many Celtic Revivalist traditions, the masculine force is called Cernunnos, after the pre-Christian Celtic deity. Cernunnos, like the Wiccan Horned God, has either antlers or horns (often curled ram's horns). Cernunnos is the oldest recorded reification of the masculine force in Celtic history. Cernunnos appears with (his name written out) on the Pillar of the Boatman  dating sometime before 25 CE. The Pillar of the Boatman (now in the Musee du Cluny in Paris) originally stood in a shrine at Lutetia (modern-day Paris) in which Roman gods were mixed with the pre-Roman gods of Gaul, prominently
including Cernunnos.  

Additionally, the masculine force is directly intertwined with the medieval English tales of the Green Knight, known best in literature in the 14th Century masterpiece Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.  This same masculine force is also associated (and sometimes directly tied to) the mythical trickster of the forest called Puck and Robin Goodfellow.   In folk traditions in Great Britain and Ireland, the masculine force is often called Jack-in-the-Green. Since the 16th Century, many English towns regularly held Jack-in-the-Green festivities in honor of May Day. Though banned in the Victorian Era, the 20th Century has seen a revival of these festivities in many locations (as explained further on in this post).

That said, the most common name for the masculine force is the Green Man, but this is more of a term used in anthropology and art history than in religious practice. Below a bit farther in this post, I have posted a side note on the significance and widespread appearance of the Green Man. 

Altars

As with most Wiccan and neo-Pagan holidays, altars play a role in worship on Beltane.In many traditions, celebrations take place at altars in the woods as well as at the home.  

Beltane altar
Because Beltane is celebration of fertility, the altars for the holidays typically include symbols of fertility such as seeds and acorns. In particular, since Beltane is the time in which the masculine force arises to meet the feminine force of the May Queen or the Goddess, altar symbols often contain symbols of masculinity such as antlers and phallic references (such as a miniature maypole or smooth branches stuck vertically in a flowerpot.

Because Beltane celebrates the coming of spring and the emergence of new life, flowers are of particular importance on most altars. Many people decorate their homes and altars with potted early spring flowers such as jonquils and hyacinths. 

Going A-Maying
In many traditions, young people go a-Maying. This means that young people go into the woods to pick fresh flowers for bouquets. That, in turn, is also a traditional time for boys and girls to meet together in the woods to pick the flowers together. This is the subject of the Renaissance English poet Robert Herrick's well-known poem "Corinna's Going A-Maying":

There's not a budding boy or girl this day
But is got up, and gone to bring in May.
The association of courtship among couples who go a-Maying is particularly well caught in the poem's last stanza. I quote it here, though, not just because it is one of my favorite poems (which probably plays a part here!) but because Herrick captures the cyclical nature of not only the seasons but of the life cycle that resonates through Beltane/May Day celebrations. Those who go a-Maying are in the fertile prime of their life just as as Beltane/May Day represents the fertile prime of the year. Seasons of the year and seasons of one's life are all cyclical, and actions (courtship, in this case) should be come in their due season.
Robert Herrick
 Come, let us go while we are in our prime ;
And take the harmless folly of the time.
       We shall grow old apace, and die
       Before we know our liberty.
       Our life is short, and our days run
       As fast away as does the sun ;
And, as a vapour or a drop of rain
Once lost, can ne'er be found again,
       So when or you or I are made
       A fable, song, or fleeting shade,
       All love, all liking, all delight
       Lies drowned with us in endless night.
Then while time serves, and we are but decaying,

Come, my Corinna, come, let's go a-Maying.

It is important to note that Herrick himself was an Anglican priest with conservative Royalist beliefs -- clearly not a neo-Pagan. Nevertheless "Corinna's Going A-Maying" expresses the pagan worldview of the wheel of the seasons and the life cycle. 

Additionally, within Herrick's poetry is the pagan notion of carpe diem. This phrase itself by the pagan Roman poet Horace is often figuratively translated as "sieze the day" but actually means "pluck, pick or gather" (the literal translation of Latin verb carpō). This is literally what people do when they go a-Maying. 

Herrick's other much-anthologized poem "To The Virgins, To Make Much Of Time" contains the quintessential carpe diem lines:
Gather ye rosebuds while ye may,
Old Time is still a-flying;
And this same flower that smiles today,
Tomorrow will be dying.
The point of all of this literary discussion is to make the connection of the pre-Christian influence that was resurrected in the Renaissance (to which Herrick belonged). . It is significant that the Renaissance era consciously sought to revive Classical (i.e., pagan) art and literature. The carpe diem theme can be found in the poetry of many of Herrick's contemporaries such as Andrew Marvell's "To His Coy Mistress," John Suckling's "Why so pale and wan fond lover," Edmund Waller's "Go Lovely Rose" as well as in several of the poems of William Shakespeare.  In the Renaissance of the Classic and pre-Christian, pagan world views became part of English culture (though the same can be shown for overall Western culture) ever since. In many respects then, Renaissance literature and art gave a rebirth to the acceptability of pagan concepts. From this came the diminishing persecution of pagan thought (which never disappeared) and beginning of the open re-emergence of the neo-Pagan traditions.


Flowers and Floral Crowns

Beltane flower garland
The ostensible point of going a-Maying is the collection of flowers. The flowers themselves are used as decoration around the altars and house. 

Traditionally, Beltane is a time for wearing garlands of flowers in one's hair. While this is largely a female ornament, many men wear garlands as well, sometimes of flowers but often of leaves.
  

Bonfires
Beltane bonfire
Additionally, fires are lit often on hilltops but in some traditions within fields or woodland clearings. In neo-Pagan and Celtic Revivalist (and some Wiccan) traditions, the custom is to build a fire large enough to last the night and to spend the entire time gathered around it from the lighting of the fire until it goes out in the morning. 

Customarily, the fire is made from bundles of nine sacred woods tied together with ribbons. The nine sacred woods each have a symbolic meaning. These are listed here with their traditional associated meaning

  • Ash (wisdom and prophecy)
  • Alder (divination and spiritual decision-making)
  • Birch (fertility and creativity)
  • Hawthorn (business decisions and masculine force)
  • Holly (protective forces)
  • Oak (the most sacred tree in Druidism, but in all traditions for strength, fertility and fortune)
  • Rowan (personal power and success)
  • Willow (protection from natural disasters)
Each of these woods have a deity associated with them in Norse and Celtic paganism.

May Pole

Linked to the sacred woods of the bonfire is the May Pole. This is more evident perhaps in languages other than English. For example, in German the word is Maibaum -- literally May Tree. 

Maypole wrapped in ribbons
The May Pole, in addition to its tree worship origins,  is directly associated with the masculine force. The raising of the May Pole is a directly phallic symbol. The erection of the May Pole is then danced around by women who wrap it in symbols of the feminine (usually flowers and ribbons). This is symbolic of the joining of the masculine and feminine principles resulting in the season of fertility that Beltane celebrates. 

Some Beltane Recipes

Beltane is associated with two special drinks: May Wine and  Honey Drinks.

May Wine is simply made from chilled white wine with flowers and peeled stems of woodruff added to it. Some recipes also call for strawberry, lemon or orange slices to be added. The woodruff flowers at Beltane time and thus symbolizes the coming summer season.

Honey punch
Honey's arrival at Beltane time is the source of the honey drinks. The two most common honey drinks are Honey Punch and Mead. Honey punch is made from adding honey to boiling water, letting it cool then adding lemon juice and apricot nectar (vodka is optional).  Mead is honey wine. 

Honey is a staple in foods for Beltane for much the same reason. Common honey foods include Honey Wheat Bread, Honey Butter and simply adding honey drizzled on fruit or other foods. For recipes for Honey Wheat Bread and Honey Butter, please see Autumn Earthsong's "Beltane Recipes" at 


Beltane Festivals
Edinburgh's Beltane Fire Festival

The largest annual Beltane Festival anywhere is the annual Beltane Fire Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland. The annual event attracts tens of thousands of visitors. 

The Beltane Fire Festival is held on Carlton Hill where the Green Man lights the Neid Fire using a bow drill and thistle down. This fire is then used to light all of the many other fires and bonfires lit across the festival area.  

May Queen leading her White Women
Edinburgh Beltane Fire Festival
The Green Man joined by his Blue Men (skin painted in blue) accompanies the May Queen joined by her
White Women (skin painted white) in procession to heavily rhythmic drumming. Together they pass through the Fire Arch and give birth to the Red Men (skin painted red) who symbolizes chaos.  The Red Men pursue the White Women who rebuff them in a symbolic battle of chaos vs. order. After this, all of the characters assemble around the great Beltane bonfire. Here the pageant climaxes as described by the BBC's John Wilson as:

 The procession makes its way to a hollow near the bonfire where all the performers have gathered in a great circle. Overcome by the May Queen's beauty and spurred on by the energy of the Red Men, the Green Man touches the May Queen. For this trespass, the Queen's handmaidens strike him dead and ritually strip his winter foliage, the lifeless body raised up for all to see. The May Queen takes pity on the Green Man and breathes new life into him. http://news.bbc.co.uk/local/edinburghandeastscotland/hi/people_and_places/arts_and_culture/newsid_8292000/8292893.stm
 Once reborn, the May Queen and the newly-young and reincarnated Green Man approach the Bower to join together properly. This is then the signal for the Red Men to renew their pursuit of the White Women, who this time (usually) accept their advances.
The May Queen and the Green Man at the Bower
Edinburgh Beltane Fire Festival

Jack-in-the-Green Festivities

As mentioned earlier, there was a long British tradition of welcoming Jack-in-the-Green on May Day or Beltane. Since the 16th Century, many English towns regularly held Jack-in-the-Green festivities in honor of May Day. Though banned in the Victorian Era, the 20th Century has seen a revival of these festivities in many locations (as explained further on in this post).

Traditionally, men dressed in outfits of garlands and competed for the honor of most elaborate costume. The various Jack-in-the-Greens (and their attendant admirers) used the occasion for ribald humor, open flirtation and heavy drinking. During the Victorian era, authorities in many communities banned the practice, condemning the pagan roots as much as the drunkenness and sexual acting out. 

In the 20th Century, though, the ancient tradition of welcoming Jack-in-the-Green was revived in many locations throughout England. Nowhere is this more the case than in Hastings,  which holds a four-day Jack-in the Green Festival each year centered on the May Day bank holiday (and, in its own right, a Beltane holiday for some). After hundreds of years of annual celebration, the Hastings Jack-in-the-Green was officially banned in 1889. Once the Victorian Era ended, Jack-in-the-Green began to make modest
Hastings Jack-in-the-Green Grand Procession
reappearances there. In the 1980's, though, Mad Jack's Morris (the local Hastings Morris Dance troupe) formally began promoting a Jack-in-the-Green revival. Today, the Hastings Jack-in-the-Green Festival annually attracts tens of thousands of people. On the annual parade (held on May Day itself) an average of 1000 green painted and garland-costumed men (called Green Bogies) move in procession with the year's winning Jack-in-the-Green. The procession ends with the symbolic slaying of Jack-in-the-Green to release the generative power of summer. The Hastings Jack-in-the-Green Festival also includes a crowning of the May Queen, and many ceilidhs (traditional Celtic music gatherings) as well as modern musical performances.


Padstow's Obby Oss Festival

The city of Padstow in Cornwall has held an annual Obby Oss (local dialect for Hobby Horse) festival since 1803, although record of Beltane and May Day celebrations extend back to the pre-Christian era there. The townspeople begin singing the Night Song at 12:01 AM on May 1, and by morning deck out the town in flowers, garlands, flags and a May Pole. During the day, the song turns to the Day Song, and the town divides into two groups of supporters of two Osses (stylized horses) inside of which are each a team of men. These are the Old Oss and the Peace Oss (also called the Blue Ribbon Oss). Each Oss has its own stable from which it emerges and are paraded through the streets by specially assigned leaders (called "Teasers")
The Old Obby Oss, Padstown
who prod their respective Oss with special sticks. 

Each Oss proceeds through the town amid supporters playing drums and accordions. The Peace Oss emerges from his stable first with its followers dressed in blue and white sashes. The Old Oss emerges an hour later with its followers wearing red sashes. Women in both groups (and spectators merely watching) wear garlands of flowers in their hair..Both Osses are dressed in huge black capes out of which the men inside the Oss try to grab at passing women (who often approach the horse to tease or flirt with it). The Osses then meet at the May Pole where (often) they do a dance together.  

Other Cornwall towns have their own Obby Oss traditions. Among the most notable of these are those at Barnstaple and at Combe Martin. Farther afield -- in Oxfordshire, not Cornwall -- is the rather more recent Banbury Hobby Horse Festival.


Other May Day Celebrations of Pagan Origin
While no other cities have events approaching the size of that of Edinburgh's Beltane celebration, Hastings' Jack-in-the-Green Festival, or the Padstown Obby Oss Festival, cities with celebrations of pagan origin are widespread throughout the United Kingdom. Some of the most notable of these are listed here.

  • Beltane Buzz Festival, St. David's,West Wales, UK
  • Beltane Circle, Mesa, Arizona, USA
  • Beltane Festival, Gluckstadt, Mississippi, USA
  • Beltane Gathering at Turtle Hill, Darlington, Maryland, USA
  • Beltane Ritual and Celebration, Vancouver Island, Canada
  • Beltane Twilight Fire Circle, Windsor, Connecticut, USA
  • Beltainia, Tampa, Florida, USA
  • Beltania, Florence, Colorado, USA
  • Blue Ridge Beltane, Staunton, Virginia, USA
  • Brid's Closet Beltane Festival, Highland Mills, New York, USA
  • Celtic Scottish Beltane Festival, Hartville, Ohio, USA
  • Dolmen Grove Beltane, Dorset, UK 
  • Dragon Hills Retreat Beltane, Bowdon, Georgia, USA
  • Dathlu Calan Mai at Millennium Centre, Cardiff, Wales, UK
  • Lamplight Circle Community Beltane, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA
  • May Moon Beltane Festival, Newport News, Virginia, USA
  • May Day Beltane Festival, Glastonbury, Somerset, UK
  • Neo-Druidic Beltane Ritual Celebration, Encino, California, USA
  • New Braunfels Community Beltane, New Braunfels, Texas, USA
  • Newgrange Fire Festival, County Meath, Ireland 
  • Night of Magic Masque, Beavercreek, Ohio, USA
  • Open Beltane Ritual, Chertsey, Surrey, UK
  • Open Beltane Ritual, Everleigh,Wiltshire, UK
  • Paganfest Beltane, Barrie, Ontario, Canada
  • Sacred Living Group Beltane, Dorset, UK
  • Thornborough Henge Beltane, North Yorkshire, UK
  • Turning the Wheel Beltane Celebration, Canaan, New Hampshire, USA

A Bit More About the Green Man
In folk traditions not only in Great Britain and Ireland but also throughout northern and central Europe, the masculine force is known as the Green Man (in German, Grüne Mann; in Czech Zelený muž, in French Homme Vert).  The Green Man is depicted as having branches, vines and other vegetation growing from his face or coming out of his nostrils 

Green Man
Notre Dame, Paris
Of particular interest is the fact that the Roman Catholic Church allowed depictions of the Green Man without fully syncretizing him.  While the imagery of the Green Man long predates Christianity in northern Europe, Great Britain and Ireland, the early Church regularly allowed depictions of the Green Man in Church architecture. 

Traditonally, the Church would normally take a pre-existing pagan deity and sycretize it, meaning they would transform the pagan deity into a Catholic saint. This in no ways diminishes the authority and veneration of saints in the present form, but remains historically evident in dozens of instances nonetheless. In some cases, the Church had the saint become a force of control over the earlier pagan gods attributes. This relationship between the Greek god Dionysus and St. Denis. Thus, where Dionysus governed wine and ecstatic states, his sanctified incarnation of St. Denis became the patron saint of possessed people and provided protection against states of frenzy.  In some cases, the patron deity of a pre-Christian location became the patron saint of the post-Christianized city. This is seen in the way in which the Roman goddess Venus became St. Venera and (according to some) the hill-town of Aphrodisia on Malta (from her Greek name Aphrodite) became the Maltese city of Saint Venera.  In some cases, the transmutation became a direct parallel between the earlier diety and the Christian saint.   and the Celtic triple goddess Brigid was subsumed into St. Bridgit. 

What is unique about the Green Man, though, is that no attempt has been made to syncretize him into a Christian form. Instead, his cult was simply adopted directly without modification. As a result, the Green Man is a regular feature of many Gothic cathedrals and churches. 

The Green Man, 13th Century
Týnská School, Prague
The Czech Republic has among the earliest depictions of the Green Man into churches and church-related buildings (such as schools and monasteries), dating back to the 1200's. Depictions of the Green Man, though, are widespread throughout Europe. He can be found in Gothic church buildings not only in the Czech Republic but in many locations in Germany, the Netherlands, France, England and elsewhere.
 
The Blattmaske
of Bamberg Cathedral
Among the most famous of these is the early 13th Century Blattmaske of Bamberg Cathedral which supports the famous Bamberger Horseman (the first truly naturalistic sculpture to re-emerge in Europe since the end of the Classical era). Blattmaske means "leaf face" and shows the Green Man's face emerging from a large leaf. and mouth. 

Other notable depictions of the Green Man in famous German churches include those at Bremen Cathedral, the Marktkirche in Hamburg, Magdeburg Cathedral, Elisabethkirche in Marburg, Trier Cathedral, Kirche St. Kyprian in Heilbronn, Lukaskirche in Munich, and St. Mariakirche in Augsburg.


Green Man
Lincoln Cathedral
The United Kingdom also has the Green Man is abundance in its Church architecture, with dozens of  examples. Among the most notable are those in Abbey Dore (in Herfordshire), Wells Cathedral, Saint Andrew's Church in Cotton (Suffolk),  Bristol Cathedral, Norwich Cathedral, Winchester Cathedral, Llangwm Church (in Wales) St. Swithin's Church in Woodbury, St. Michael's Church in Horwood (Devon), Tewksbury Abbey (in Gloucestershire), the Templar Sancturary at Kilpeck, Lincoln Cathedral, St. Edmundsbury Cathedral, Exeter Cathedral and Canterbury Cathedral. 

In France, notable Green Man depictions can be found at Notre-Dame in Paris (which also has an image of the May Queen, both in the side chapel of the Treasury), Ste.-Chapelle in Paris, Chartres Cathedral, Rouen Cathedral and the Cathedral of Saint Peter in Poitiers. 

 Main Entrance of
Church of Our Lady
Halle, Belgium
In the Netherlands, too, he appears in dozens of churches including Pieters Church in Utrecht, St. Servaaskirche in Maastricht and Hierveld-Zuid Church. Some of the other better-known Green Man representations in European churches include Linköping Cathedral and Uppsala Cathedral in in Sweden; , in Spain at the Cloister of Santa Maria la Real de Nieval and the Duomo of Milan in Italy. 

Possibly the church with the most representations of the Green Man in one spot is that of the Marktkirche Unser Lieben Frauen in Halle, Belgium whose main entrance is decorated with literally hundreds of Green Men. 
.
While several works deal with the subject of the Green Man in Church architecture, one particularly fine work is Mike Harding's A Little Book of the Green Man. This is partially available on line on his blog The Mystery of the Green Man at

http://www.mikeharding.co.uk/greenman/

For depictions of the Green Man in church architecture across Europe, another site with a particularly large collections can be found at the website of Han Marie Stiekema at



Conclusion

As with all of my posts, this represents only my own personal understanding of the rites and celebrations here. This is particular important to note in this case since Beltane is followed by so many different traditions almost none of which, by intention, have a centralized set of rituals.

Please feel free to comment or add more information.

Blessed Beltane!


 Further Reading

Arfin, Ferne. "May Day Kicks Off the Lusty Monty of May: Come the Sun and the British Let Their Hair Down," About.com:  http://gouk.about.com/od/whatsoninmay/a/mayday.htm

Arfin, Ferne."May Day: The Jack-in-the-Green Festival," About.com: http://gouk.about.com/od/whatsoninmay/p/jack_in_the_gre.htm

Aubin, Christina. "Beltane -- Holiday Details and Ritual": http://www.witchvox.com/va/dt_va.html?a=usma&c=holidays&id=2765


Beltran, M.S. "Celebrating Beltane: A Ritual for Pagans, Wiccans and Witches": http://voices.yahoo.com/celebrating-beltane-ritual-pagans-wiccans-and-3174163.html

 
Grimassi, Raven (2001).  Beltane: Springtime Rituals, Lore and Celebration.Llewellyn Publications.

Harding, Mike. "Mystery of the Green Man"http://www.mikeharding.co.uk/greenman/web-links
 

Kynes, Sandra (2004). A Year of Ritual: Sabbats & Esbats for Solitaries & Covens.Llewellyn Publications.

Moonstone, Rowan, "Beltane: Its History and Modern Celebration in Wicca in America": http://www.sacred-texts.com/bos/bos032.htm
O'Gaea, Ashleen (2008). Seasons of Life: Beltane to Mabon, Career Press.

  
Rae Beth, "Beltane": Herbal Musings:  http://herbalmusings.com/beltane.htm 

Silverwind, Selene, "Beltane: A Fertility Festival": http://www.netplaces.com/paganism/blank/beltane-a-fertility-festival.htm
 
Varner, Gary R. The Green Man and the Church (2007), excerpts available on line at http://www.authorsden.com/visit/viewArticle.asp?id=15597

Wigington, Patti. "All About Beltane," About.com: http://paganwiccan.about.com/od/beltanemayday/a/AllAboutBeltane.htm

Wigington, Patti. "Nine Sacred Woods of the Bonfire," About.com: http://paganwiccan.about.com/od/spellworkfolkmagic/tp/The-Nine-Sacred-Woods-Of-The-Bonfire.htm



Wigington, Patti. "Setting Up Your Beltane Altar," About.com: http://paganwiccan.about.com/od/beltanemayday/p/BeltaneAltar.htm




Zell-Ravenheart, Oberon (2006), Creating Circles and Ceremonies: Rituals for All Seasons and Reasons. New Page Books.

  

Image Sources:

Cernunnos, Musee du Cluny, Paris: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Cernunnos.jpg
 
 





May Queen leading the White Women, Edinburgh Fire Festival: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Edinburgh_Beltane_Fire_Festival_2012_-_Procession.JPG


Hastings Jack-in-the-Green Grand Procession: Hastings Jack-in-the-Green Grand Procession


Green Man,Týnská School, Prague: http://kazil.home.xs4all.nl/greenman.html#Prague





Main Entrance of Church of Our Lady, Halle, Belgium: http://www.the-great-learning.com/pilgrim-network/benelux/greenman-halleb-en.htm