This is a ritual that I typically leave in the hands of the very capable High Priestess of the Circle I belong to. I will attend the ritual, while my child runs around with the other witchlets in her backyard.
This year, as I started to think about this post, I sat down and tried to figure out why. “Why don’t we celebrate together, as we do for most other sabbats?” I asked myself some questions:
- Do the themes of Beltane make it uncomfortable for me to talk to my kidlet about?
No, not really.
- Is the celebration that we attend not child friendly?
No, not really.
- Do we actually attend the scheduled Beltane festivities?
Sometimes. Ah… now we’re getting somewhere.
- What is typically going on, every year around Beltane?
Oh, yes. It’s typically still cold where we live, but it’s just started to get warmer. I don’t usually get the cleaning and huge home and life overhaul bug until I can open up the windows. Oh, yes. This is a busy bee time for me. I’m usually up to my ears in cleaning, paperwork, planning, and other things.
I’m embarrassed, because here I sit, trying to help everyone else observe the day with their children, I haven’t done it regularly.
I’m not ashamed, because, I think it’s O.K., I think that there is nothing wrong with not “doing it up” every year. While I want my child to know that having a spiritual practice is important, I would rather stress the every day, rather than only the “big holidays”. We bring spirituality into our daily lives through cleaning rituals, bedtime rituals, and many other small talks and meditations.
However, this year we will be celebrating with our family at home, in addition to with our Circle. I’ve come up with the following ritual just for the occasion, and I’d like to share it with you.
As always, fill it in with your family’s traditions and beliefs. Have fun with it and make it yours.
*Note: This ritual does call for the use of fire. Please use caution and always make sure that children are supervised around fire.
- Fire (fire pit, candle, whatever you have on hand. If you don’t feel comfortable with an actual flame, have your child draw a picture of a fire, or print out a photo).
- Flowers and greenery (for extra involvement of the kiddos, have them gather some from the garden or nearby woods).
- Music (have the family put together a playlist of songs that make them happy)
- Food (prepare a meal, or have the family help you to prepare a meal, of everyone’s favorites)
- Representations of everyone’s hobbies - or what they are passionate about
This ritual is to celebrate Beltane, a celebration of life, love, passion, and fertility*. I typically see Beltane as a huge celebration of love, so I have focused mostly on love. Expressly, love of life, love for each other, and love of activity.
Take some time before the ritual to give your family a brief explanation of what Beltane means to you. If you’d like to go around the table and talk about this, go ahead and do that now. This is also a good time to acknowledge the representation or the history of the fire.
I like to make sure that explanations happen before the ritual begins, so that everyone can ask questions, there can be discussions, and everyone understands what they are participating in.
- Place the meal on a table, preferably outside (if the weather allows), by your fire (either by the fire pit or with candles/images on the table).
- Set the table with your best dishes.
- Have your family decorate the table with the flowers and greenery.
- Start the family playlist, so that the music can be heard from where you will be conducting the ritual. Note: When it comes to group playlists, especially with siblings, I find that there is almost always a little bit of grumbling. Before the ritual, it might be a good idea to sit down with your family and set a “no complaining/grumbling policy” for the ritual.
- Have each family member put their hobby/passion representation at their place setting.
- Designate a “speaker” or “ritual leader”.
Begin the ritual as your tradition, energy level, and children’s attention spans allow.
Love of life -
Speaker: Beltane, among other things, is a celebration of the fire of life. *go around the table and dish everyone up with a bite of their favorite food.” Food is one of the pleasures of life. Take a bite of your favorite food and think about how amazing it is to be alive to enjoy this wonderful food. When you’re done, take a deep breath, feel the fresh air fill your lungs, and think about how amazing it is to be alive to enjoy breathing this fresh air.
Love for each other -
Speaker: Beltane is also a celebration of love. Let’s all hold hands, close our eyes, and think about how much love we have as a family. Take time to think about each member of our family and what you love about them. Once you’ve thought about everyone, send that love to each family member, and then out into the world.
Passion for activities-
Speaker: Beltane is also a celebration of passion. We all have passion for different things. At your place is a representation of what you’re passionate about. Take a moment to think about how you feel about the item at your place. *start with the person at your right, and give everyone a moment to talk about their passion*.
Speaker: *thank everyone for sharing* and close the ritual according your tradition and beliefs.
Then eat the delicious meal and dance to the happy music. The dancing is very important. :)
*In this ritual, when we talk about fertility, we are focusing on the creation of ideas and the fertility of the mind.
I hope you enjoy celebrating Beltane with your family.