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Beltane and the Singleton

Beltane is fast upon us – here in Suffolk, the hawthorn is in bloom already, and I have heard the first cuckoo of summer.  The oak leaves are just coming out, and the beech and ash are lagging behind, sluggish after their long sleep.  The garden is abloom, and the forest is filled with bluebells, their soft energy shimmering in the sunlight. It is, indeed, Beltane.

Beltane is a pagan festival that relates to fertility and sexuality.  It is a celebration of passion, of the fire within the blood and the rising sap within nature and in our own bodies.  Yet for the single woman, what does Beltane mean to her? To the pagan without a partner, they can often feel left out during this holiday, this celebration of sexuality, where it is often depicted as the Goddess and God coming together to create new life.  What of those women who have no significant other in their life at this time?

Beltane can be celebrated by the singleton as much as with a partner.  In Druidry, we take inspiration from the natural world around us, the gods and our ancestors.  We know that we are all connected, therefore we can never truly be alone.  We take this sense of connection and work with it in everything that we do. 

At this time of year, we can work with the energies of flowing, of fire and creativity.  We don’t have to just celebrate sex and the act of sexual union – that is only one facet of this festival.  It is a fire festival, and so we can take inspiration from the flames and work that into our own lives. 

Our Celtic ancestors used to drive the cattle between two bonfires, to purify them spiritually and physically. Fire is highly regarded as a spiritual purifier, but it also drives away along with the smoke fleas, ticks and other creatures that might be plaguing the cattle. The Celts were ever practical.

We can do the same, and use the energy of fire to re-energise our souls.  We can make sacred fires and light them as the ancients used to. We can light a candle and meditate before it at our altars.  We can stand in the full light of the sun, our greatest fire, and let its energy wash through us, reawakening our energy into the brilliance of summer.

Sometimes it is not always appropriate to celebrate sexuality. Our lives are unique, and we can honour ourselves as sexual beings without the need for another; we do not require any sort of validation from another person in this regard.  We can take the time to look over our past loves and see what worked for us and what didn’t.  We can use this time to take stock of our emotional wellbeing.  We can honour our selves for all that we are, strong in the notion that we are whole beings not beholden to anyone for our spiritual wellbeing and enlightenment.

We can take the time to bask in the masculine and feminine energies that flow through us, a wonderful double helix through our chakras, the serpent energy, of kundalini.  We can feel the fire of awen in our hearts and hear the songs of the ancestors on the wind.  We know that we can celebrate this holy festival with all that we are in a myriad of ways, for we are beautiful, imaginative people. 

Welcome Beltane. Welcome Summer.  Welcome light and life and the energy of the universe in our own soul. 


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  Joanna van der Hoeven is a Hedge Witch, Druid, and a best-selling author. She has been working in Pagan traditions for over 20 years. She is the Director of Druid College UK, helping to re-weave the connection to the land and teaching a modern interpretation of the ancient Celtic religion.  


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