Beltane falls on May 1st this year.
And I’m not going to celebrate it today, so don’t expect to see any photos, DIYs, or celebrations from me. In the last year that I’ve practiced paganism, I have always tried to play by the books, celebrating the wheel of the year on all the dates it calls for. Each sabbat I’d write out extensive or rigid rituals to follow, making sure it looks exactly how everyone else is celebrating.
But this year, I decided to say screw it.
If you didn’t notice, I didn’t celebrate Ostara this year. While I find that the movements of the sun to be important, the solstices and equinoxes just don’t feel like a reason to celebrate. Is this because I have been raised Christian and, by attending my family’s Christian holidays, I feel like I’m already celebrating some of them, like Yule and Ostara?
Perhaps. Or maybe it just doesn’t feel natural to me.
I’m a very spontaneous, intuitive person. I eat intuitively. I sleep intuitively. I also try to heal my spirit intuitively. I have noticed within the last year that sabbats like Ostara, Litha, Mabon, and Yule are just not important to me (except for Mabon, which for some reason is one of my favorite sabbats).
But it really stems from Celtic Reconstructionism.
Back in 2014, while I was living in London, I discovered that my spirituality aligned very much with the ancient paganism that stemmed from that part of the world. (Ireland, to be exact.) I started heavily researching about Celtic paganism. I went to Stonehenge, I met Druids, and I collected weird old books from the small bookstores off Charing Cross Rd. I loved everything I found.
But once I got back to the States, something felt off. I was no longer living in that environment (well, as close to Ireland as I have ever lived), and I no longer felt the divinity of their gods and goddesses around me. I was alone, so to speak. I ultimately decided that I needed to connect with the spirits and deities around me, and to make a practice with the nature that is outside my door.
It’s been very hard, but I’m getting there.
My attempt to create a culture, practice, and connection to the nature and spirits around me is a long, difficult story in itself. However, it’s not why I’m not skipping Beltane today.
I’ve noticed that as I am trying to create a spirituality for myself, I am not going to obey the rules of a practice that isn’t mine. I am not Wiccan. I am not a British Traditional Witch. I am not a Celtic Reconstructionist. At most, I am an eclectic witch. I do practice witchcraft, and I do whatever feels right to me, but I decided a few months ago to not take any tradition, practice, or symbol from any other culture. Instead I want to create my own, so I need to create my own sabbats… My own Beltane.
Okay, okay. Pause. Wait. This is getting too complicated.
The reason I’m not celebrating Beltane today is because it doesn’t feel time yet, to me. I am going to wait until the middle of May, maybe even until the end. There is still too much cold and rain in the air here. Not enough flowers or sun.
While I would eventually love to create my own traditions and culture around my spirituality, it is definitely a process, and it will have to wait until I’m a little more experienced. And I admit, I do like the rigidness and dogma of Wiccan traditions, like the Wheel of the Year. But I think I’m going to continue skipping the sun-based sabbats, and only celebrating the other four sabbats when it feels right.
And don’t worry. I do plan on writing DIY articles or recipe ideas or tarot spreads for the sabbat in the next few weeks. I’m just not going to rush to celebrate Beltane today because that’s what I’m supposed to do.