Practical Magic(k)

Practical Magic(k): What is Beltane and How Can it Be Celebrated?

In Wiccan/Pagan tradition May 1st is known as Beltane, a holiday which finds its origins among the Celtic peoples of Western Europe and the British Isles – in particular Ireland, Scotland and Wales.



The word “Beltane” translates to”bright” or “brilliant fire,” and refers to the bonfire lit by a presiding Druid in honor of the proto-Celtic god variously known as Bel, Beli, Balar, Balor or Belenus. It has been suggested that Bel is the Brythonic Celt equivalent to the Goidelic Celt god Cernunnos.

The spiritual significance of Beltane relates to the coming of spring, and the time of year when life is renewed, animals are born, crops begin to sprout, and people start to leave their houses again after having been cooped up during the darkness and cold of winter. Fertility and fire are often reflected as the magic which surrounds this new season. In certain traditions, the male energy of the god is believed to be at its most potent during this time as well.

According to AboutReligion.com, here are some other important/interesting facts and folklore relating to the holiday:

  • Like Samhain, the holiday of Beltane is a time when the veil between the worlds is thin. Some traditions believe that this is a good time to contact the spirits, or to interact with the Fae. Be careful, though — if you visit the Faerie Realm, don’t eat the food, our you’ll be trapped there, much like Thomas the Rhymer was!
  • Some Irish dairy farmers hang a garland of green boughs over their door at Beltane. This will bring them great milk production from their cows during the coming summer. Also, driving your cattle between two Beltane bonfires helps protect your livestock from disease.
  • The pious Puritans were outraged by the debauchery of Beltane celebrations. In fact, they madeMaypoles illegal the mid 1600’s, and tried to put a halt to the “greenwood marriages” that frequently took place on May Eve. One pastor wrote that if “tenne maiden went to set (celebrate) May, nine of them came home gotten with childe.
  • According to a legend in parts of Wales and England, women who are trying to conceive should go out on May Eve — the last night of April — and find a “birthing stone”, which is a large rock formation with a hole in the center. Walk through the hole, and you will conceive a child that night. If there is nothing like this near you, find a small stone with a hole in the center, and drive a branch of oak or other wood through the hole — place this charm under your bed to make you fertile
  • If you go out at sunrise on Beltane, take a bowl or jar to gather morning dew. Use the dew to wash your face, and you’re guaranteed a perfect complexion. You can also use the dew in ritual as consecrated water, particularly in rituals related to the moon or the goddess Diana or her counterpart, Artemis
  • In the Irish Book of Invasions, it was on Beltane that Patholan, the first settler, arrived on Ireland’s shores. May Day was also the date of the defeat of the Tuatha de Danaan by Amergin and the Milesians
  • Babies conceived at Beltane are considered a gift from the gods. They were sometimes referred to as “merry-begots”, because the mothers were impregnated during Beltane’s merrymaking.
  • In Cornwall, it’s traditional to decorate your door on May Day with boughs of hawthorn and sycamore
  • Eating a special oatcake called a bannock or a Beltane cake ensured Scottish farmers abundance of their crops for the year. The cakes were baked the night before, and roasted in embers on a stone.

Since it is believed that Beltane is a time when “the veil” between the living and the spirit world is thinnest, take today and use this to your advantage by harnessing and applying these energies to your spiritual power. You may want to consider practicing spiritual communication by the means of deep meditation or through a medium you feel most comfortable with. Creating an altar, and lighting incense made from “sacred woods” such as sandalwood, applewood, dogwood, poplar wood, juniper, cedar, or pine will help set the mood and create space so you may focus on the intentions of what you wish to manifest during the sunshine of spring and summer.

For an advanced metaphysical practitioner looking to really dial in to today’s energies, practicing your own sex magick ritual can be something which should yield incredible results… if used and understood properly.



The ritual below may be worth exploring today to celebrate and consecrate Beltane’s spirit…

  • Practicing Sex Magick

    First set a goal.
    What exactly do you want to achieve with your magick?
    Your goal can be any material attainment, like a new job, prosperity in business affairs, a pleasant house, whatever. Your goal can be the healing of yourself, another person, mother earth… Your intent can be improvement of an existing relationship or attraction of a new one. You may wish to (further) develop several qualities in yourself, or create an excellent artistic piece. You may wish to embrace the inner lover, and establish a stronger connection with your higher self. You may wish to charge an amulet, talisman, or magical tools, etc… Deeply desired wishes create the strongest magick!

  • Then create something that makes it possible to laser-like concentrate on your goal/intent during the ritual. – This can be a short affirmation. During the ritual you can repeat the whole affirmation. Another possibility is to reduce this affirmation to a word that covers its central idea; this will be your magical word. Examples: the affirmation “I am a successful business(wo)man” becomes “Success”. “I request the universe to send me the best possible lover, or partner” becomes “Lover” or “Partner”. The idea behind it is that your subconsciousness now knows your full intent, therefore it is sufficient to only repeat your magical word during the ritual.– This can be a visualization of the new created reality.
    It can be a drawing of what you want.
    It can be a symbolic representation of your desire, like a suitable tarot card, rune, sigil, astrological or other symbol.
    – In case you do the ritual for someone else it can be
    helpful to also have a photograph of the person.
    You can use a combination of the above.
  • Prepare your working space.
    Clean the space where the ritual will take place. Decorate it with candles, incense, flowers, gemstones or anything else you find appropriate. If you use symbols or other pictures make sure you can see them during the ritual. If you wish to play music, don’t forget to put it on the repeat-button. Close the door and lay the phone off the hook.
  • Clean your body.
    While bathing or showering you can visualize the water washing off all mental, emotional and physical dirt.
  • Relax for a while.
    Take some deep breaths or meditate a little.
    If you do magick with a partner you may want to sit opposite each other, hold hands and synchronize breathing or inhale while your partner exhales.
  • Do a banishment.
    It is very important to visualize a strong circle/globe of protection that keeps all unwanted spirits out, or do any other banishment you prefer, before you actually start the ritual.
  • Perform the ritual
    I know two ‘main routes’: one with emphasis on the affirmation/mantra/Word of Power, and one with emphasis on visualization.
  • If you choose to work with an affirmation: Arouse yourself and/or your partner by any sexual activity you wish to use until you almost reach orgasm. Meanwhile keep on repeating the affirmation or mantra; you can say it out loud or repeat it silently. When you are at the brink of orgasm back off by stopping all genital stimulation, stopping all pelvic movements and relax the muscles in the pelvic floor. Breathe deeply and concentrate even more on your mantra. After a while build up more excitement, backing off again just before the point-of-no-return. This way you build up a great amount of sexual magical energy and deep erotic sensations; you may reach a state of sexual trance. After several times coming close you wish to sweep all of your intent into the universe; let orgasm happen and – here comes the most important part – keep on affirming during orgasm with full mental concentration, call out loud your magical word(s) and don’t mind the neighbors! Take care: if you lose focus during orgasm, you will have had great sex but no magical ritual! Continue the ritual until both (or all) partners have reached orgasm.If you prefer working with a visualization: Start with visualizing very vividly the new reality; see yourself in the desired situation, feel your happiness about it, visualize it as bright and detailed as you can. If you work for somebody else, for instance in case of a healing, visualize their joy and enthusiasm in the new situation. When your visualization is complete to your idea, tell your mind that this is your focus, then mentally store it in your subconsciousness. Start making love with your partner or masturbating, no longer thinking about the visualization. At the brink of orgasm back off, recall your visualization and breathe your orgasmic energy in it. Continue the rhythm of arousal and backing off several times. Just before orgasm recall the visualization from your mind and breathe/channel your orgasm into it.

Some words about orgasm:
If you are a woman capable of having multiple orgasms (a series of orgasms quickly after one another), just enjoy, have them during the ritual and end with the final orgasm. If you are a man, here’s the good news that men can learn to have multiples too; by coming close then backing off just before the point-of-no-return several times men can experience all the feelings of an orgasm without having an ejaculation. Some men have a series of small orgasms, some men experience them as bigger orgasms. If you can do this, end the ritual with final orgasm/ejaculation. Not all men know that most women need clitoral stimulation to reach orgasm; although there are erotic areas in the vagina most women need the pressure of the pubic bone of their partner against the clitoris or stimulation by hand during intercourse to have orgasm.

It was not my intent to go deeper into this, but I saw a t.v.program about the female orgasm explaining that many men don’t know where to locate the clitoris. In fact the clitoris is a tiny size female penis; it also swells during arousal and it is designed especially for female pleasure. You will find it where the inner lips meet at the top, it looks like a small knob and it desires the same soft caresses with hand (make it moist with some vaginal fluids), tongue or sucking as the male head of the penis. Other not so well known female erotic zones are (but not as sensitive as the clitoris): 1) the G-spot, about 1.5 inches inside the vagina, on the front side, you’ll recognize it by the rougher texture than the rest of the vagina; when you stimulate this for a while first the woman often feels like urinating, but when she’s through this feeling this place will become very sensitive and enable her an orgasm with ejaculation 2) a spot more or less opposite the G-spot 3) the spot just above the opening of the urinary tube (just above the vagina).

After orgasm you may wish to confirm your magick with the words: “So mote it be” and to give thanks to God/the Goddess and your partner.

It is important to stay close the first minutes after intercourse with your genitals close together. There are two reasons for this:

  • When having sex your chakras open up and after orgasm you’re completely open with part of your energy swirling around you. You need some time to recollect it and get energized again. If one partner rushes away after orgasm you can feel very disappointed, lonely and exhausted because of this reason.
  • After sex magick the sexual fluids of man and woman are charged with their magical intent; they can etherically absorb this power for their well being and health through the vaginal walls and the head of the penis. It may be clear that when you use a condom it is very unwise to stay close together with your genitals. The charged sexual fluids can be used to charge an amulet or talisman by smearing some of it on them; in case your ritual was for gaining money you can smear it on a coin or paper money you had put on your altar; you can redraw the lines of a sigil for this ritual with it, mix the fluid with wine and drink it with your partner, etc. In sex magick the charged sexual fluids have become the sacred elixir of life, and are in no way dirty. If however you are carrying a sexual transmittable disease it is best to skip this part. When you are doing sex magick alone please know that your sexual fluids form a complete sacrament, although they now contain one polarity, not two.
  • End the ritual with a banishment.The heightened energy of your ritual may have attracted astral beings. Make sure to keep them at a distance by reconfirming your banishment, like for instance a visualized circle of protection.

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