May first, the gateway to the Merry Month of May, is a celebrated Sabbat called Beltane. Traditions for celebrating this wonderous day include putting up a Maypole, leaving May baskets on neighbors’ doors, especially those in need of comfort or in poor health, and feasting. Some traditions include Beltane fires, including walking cattle through the smoke or ashes to invoke fertility, and of course, May Day was the one day for going-a-Maying in the fields, taking any lover you wished, no holds barred.
Pagans worship the Sacred Union, or Heiros Gamos, of the Great Goddess and the Green Man, thus fertilizing Mother Earth for a fruitful harvest and an autumn bounty. Many maiden goddesses come into full bloom at Beltane, and they are especially honored at this time. Some of those goddesses are: Queen Isis, Aphrodite, Flora, Fauna, Artemis, Diana, Sheela-na-gig, Freya, Shakti, Xochiquetzal, and the list goes on! These goddesses represent some of the many facets of La Bona Dea, the good goddess.
Some of the gods worshipped during Beltane include Bel, Bacchus, and of course, the Green Man.
May first is also about commitment. Some may choose to marry and have a handfasting or make commitments to themselves.
The Feast of La Bona Dea takes place on May first. The holy day was once celebrated in Rome and only women could participate in secret and sacred rites. The women indulged in a hearty feast, and there was plenty of wine and dancing.
At the Iseum of La Bona Dea we partake in a re-commitment ceremony where we establish and re-establish vows to ourselves. This rite is performed somewhat like a marriage to self, and the purpose is to honor the Divine Feminine within. It serves as a reminder to follow your path, continuing to be present, and strengthening your authentic self.
Remember, always, who you ARE
Blessed Be, La Bona Dea xo