The fires will be burning this weekend and next as people throughout the northern hemisphere celebrate the reawakening of the Earth with the fertility festival of Beltane.
May Day, dancing around a May Pole, jumping the fire, burning bonfires through the night, weaving floral wreaths to wear upon your head—all these traditions are revisited with the celebration of springtime fertility festival Beltane. While many celebrate May 1 as Beltane, the astronomical event actually takes place a few days later, marking the mid-point between the Vernal Equinox (first day of Spring) and the Summer Solstice. This year, Beltane falls on May 5, but many celebrate the weekend before or after for convenience.
My first May Day festival was celebrated when I was in kindergarten, attending P.S. 16 in the Bronx. And although I don’t have photographs of my dancing the May Pole, I do have pictures commemorating the event, which in itself is weird, as I have no other pictures of my time at P.S. 16. (I’m second from the right, back row.) I guess I was always destined to be Pagan, even as a young Catholic!
As an adult, I started celebrating the fertility festival of Beltane in 2005, after finding my Pagan tribe of like-minded like-spirited witches. Every Beltane since (well, prior to the pandemic) we’ve come together to celebrate warmer weather, the union of the God and Goddess, and life in general. We end up dancing the May Pole and drumming around the fire throughout the night.
In my most recent release, LIFE IS FOR LIVING, Barefoot Dan, a lovable down to earth bachelor, and Lilac Locks (Jayde, a divorcee who’d died her hair purple to celebrate her recently acquired freedom) had met previously at a Beltane celebration. Drumming around the fire led to a wild and amazing one night stand filled with passion.
LIFE IS FOR LIVING begins four years later, when the two run into one another at a café. Fate continues to cross their paths, and the two old flames have to decide whether it’s worth the risk of possibly being singed if they dare to rekindle the sparks.
LIFE IS FOR LIVING, Book 2 of the Earth and Sky series, provides a very realistic look at what it’s like to be a modern-day witch, without all the bells and whistles (and demons and mayhem) that Hollywood associates with the lifestyle.
You can meet Barefoot Dan in Book 1 of the Earth and Sky Series, LOVE IN THE FOREST, or pick up his very own story in LIFE IS FOR LIVING (Book 2 of the Earth and Sky Series) by heading over to www.amazon.com/author/janinagrey