The ancient festival of Beltane has always been special to me. As I child, I was caught by its magic when my grandfather first read me the story of ‘Borrobil‘, where two children walk between the Beltane fires and are whisked away into a land of myth, magic and the obligatory dragon.

For years afterwards, every time the number seventy-seven bus passed the conical hill on the way to town, we would talk about Beltane. I learned its legends and traditions, and more than any other of the festivals of the turning of the year, this one is close to my heart, rooted, as it is, in fond memories.

Over the years, I have celebrated Beltane in many ways and in many places. I have danced around a Maypole, weaving the ribbons in the pattern of life. Joined a spiral dance in the streets of Oxford.ย  Seen the Maypole rise beneath Glastonbury Tor and watched the red and white dragons take to the streets.

I have laughed with friends, given and received sprigs of lily of the valley as is the tradition in France and worn a wreath of May blossom. But perhaps the most magical May Days involved my sons. The first dawn my youngest son ever saw was a Beltane sunrise… and there was real Beltane magic when Nick and I walked up an ancient barrow together and he danced in the summer.


This year, I am not going to be quite so lucky.While many of my friends are gathering with the priestesses of Avalon or carrying Maypoles, I have, instead, an early start at work followed by a hospital appointment. And that’s okay.

Around my neck, I wear the red and white dragons. Beneath my feet, the earth is bursting with life as the first day of the ancient summer season is counted. The blackthorn hedges wear a wedding gown of white and the hawthorns bear the crown of May.

I wish you all blessings at Beltane.

About Sue Vincent

Sue Vincent is a Yorkshire-born writer and one of the Directors of The Silent Eye, a modern Mystery School. She writes alone and with Stuart France, exploring ancient myths, the mysterious landscape of Albion and the inner journey of the soul. Find out more at France and Vincent. She is owned by a small dog who also blogs. Follow her at and on Twitter @SCVincent. Find her books on Goodreads and follow her on Amazon worldwide to find out about new releases and offers. Email:
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55 Responses to Beltane…

  1. Kathness says:

    Looks fun! What country is this? I like festivities like this โค๏ธ

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Beltaneโ€ฆ – The Militant Negroโ„ข

  3. Pingback: Beltan – The Militant Negroโ„ข

  4. Blessed Beltane!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Reblogged this on Serendipity – Seeking Intelligent Life on Earth and commented:
    One of the great festivals which I would so much love to attend!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Adele Marie says:

    Beltaine blessings to you, Sue. xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  7. jenanita01 says:

    And countless blessings to you to, Sue… xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Very insightful and great photos ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Blessed Beltane Sue. ๐ŸŒผ

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Helen Jones says:

    Blessings to you too, Sue ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Helen Jones says:

    Reblogged this on Journey To Ambeth and commented:
    It is May 1st, or Beltane in the old calendar. Sue’s heartfelt post and wonderful photos seem like the perfect way to celebrate. Happy Beltane, all!

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Beltane blessings Sue โค

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Thanks for sharing your memories! A happy Beltane to you ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Lovely post, Sue. I can understand why Beltane is so special to you. My favorite photo is Nick dancing in the summer. I know you’ll celebrate wherever you are. Happy Beltane Blessings to you. โค


  15. Anne Copeland says:

    How lucky to have such rich festivals to celebrate, rituals that are full of meaning. We have the standard ones, but through the years, the memories have been clouded by commercialism, and so they seem to have lost their deeper meanings. I would love to celebrate something like this that had so much of a culture in it.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Widdershins says:

    Here comes the sun! ๐Ÿ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Cheers and blessings to you.
    My very old and very proper grandmother who tried to keep some of her British heritage and pass it on to us used to insist we gather flowers, wrap them in a paper doily, and tie them with ribbons to neighbor’s doors – she called it May Day. Back then the elementary bschool did have May Day celebrations with the oldest grade having a May pole and dance which was done after each grade level performed their assigned and well practice dances first. It was a big deal ( and hot in this climate) Sad the tradition has faded. My daughter’s early grades did have a May Pole.
    Cinco de Mayo just isn’t the same. That’s a commercial beer event mainly (with few knowing what it is about and is hardly recognized in Mexico anyway.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sue Vincent says:

      There are lots of lovely old May Day traditions and thankfully, many of them are still kept here, though most have been Christianised, even though their origins are much older than the ‘new’ religion ๐Ÿ˜‰

      Liked by 1 person

  18. dgkaye says:

    Happy Beltane blessings Sue. I hope your hospital appointment went well. โค


  19. Lyn Horner says:

    Sorry you can’t participate in the Beltane festivities this year, Sue. It looks like great fun.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. willowdot21 says:

    Thank you and I wish you the same, if s little belatedly.๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’œ

    Liked by 1 person

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