Bealtaine: Practices and Rituals to Honor your Sensuality

Do you have a deep sense of desire? Have you hidden your sensuality on a shelf next to your fiery sexuality, untouched and chained by society’s demands and views? Now is the time to truly unleash these desires and let the flames of passion take you into a season of deep and intimate connection. This is the time of Bealtaine, a festival that has been celebrated for centuries and still to this day remains close to my heart.

What is Bealtaine?

First thing to note, Bealtaine has many spellings, which include: Beltane, Beltine, Belltaine, Beltaine, Beltene, Bealtuinn and Bhealtaine. None of these are incorrect, it’s just a matter of dialect, preference and background.

Bel Taine translates into ‘bright fire’.
Bealtaine is a fire festival. The word ‘Bealtaine’ originates from the Celtic God ‘Bel’ aka Belenus, meaning ‘the bright one’, and the Gaelic word ‘teine’ meaning fire. Together they make ‘Bright Fire’, or ‘Godly Fire’, and traditionally bonfires were lit to honor the Sun. These bonfires were used for sacred rituals that we’ll touch on in a minute.

Like Samhain, which lies directly opposite Bealtaine on the wheel of the year, this was seen as a time when the veil between worlds was at its thinnest. A time where we celebrate the marriage between the Gods and Goddesses, where we blossom into the rebirth of nature.

This Gaelic Mayday festival acts as a midway point between the Spring Equinox and the Summer Solstice where we allow ourselves to fully emerge in our passions, and desires and find comfort in our sexuality. You will notice nature is bursting with fertility and prompts us to fall in love with our bodies, intimately connecting with ourselves and others.

What would happen during this time?

History writes this festival as fiery and full of celebration. Our ancestors would light bonfires, dancing in the flames, smoke, and ashes of Bealtaine for three days. These elements were considered sacred and used in rituals where they would cleanse, purify and bring forth fertility by walking between the bonfires and jumping over the flames. This act would represent health, and wealth and bring forth abundance.

Couples would jump the flames as an act of commitment, an eternal pledge of their love. This was considered a deep and honoring ritual of love and passion. Young women would jump the flames to ignite their wombs. Cattle and other animals were driven through the smoke of these bonfires as a ritual of protection against disease, bringing forth fertility. These animals would go on to produce beautiful calves, cubs, and little ones in the coming months and provide the community with bounty and blessing.

The Maiden Goddess Maeve reached her fullness, bountiful with fertility and our ancestors would celebrate this – much like a celebration of a wedding with merry and joy. The fairies would come out to play alongside supernatural beings as the veils were thin and the merriment was to be relished in the unity of these realms.

They believed this time would indicate the continual abundance for the rest of the year and took every opportunity to grow the intimacy of the community during Bealtaine.

The Hawthorn and Rowen trees are the sacred trees of Bealtaine, they were placed around the homes of the community, on the structures and doors as a way to bring fertility and abundance to those who dwelled there. In my course, Priestess Awakening, I teach and invite you to practice rituals around these trees including dressing them with your deepest intentions and wishes.

Thousands of years ago, our ancestors believe that an outlet for emotions was not only necessary but sacred. Much like the time of Samhain, they became truly free during Bealtaine. They would look toward nature and replicate its beauty, as nature would heat up and the plants’ reproductive organs would be most visible. Bealtaine acts as a time for sacred reproduction – to marry, handfast, and pleasure themselves and each other, bringing newness into the world before the sunrays of summer touched the soil. Men and women would become one with nature and each other in all forms of mental, emotional, and physical intimacy.

By honoring their sexuality, sensuality, and truest hearts’ passion and desires, our ancestors would invite days of lovemaking, deepening intimacy and passion after a long, cold winter. Coming into full passion before the Summer Solstice, they would allow free sensual expression among the community. It was a time for everyone to flower, blossoming inwardly and honoring the sacredness of life.

Bealtaine is a period of freedom of choice, forests and dwellings were filled with magic and creativity. Rebirth, love, and lovemaking were welcomed into homes, hearts, and relationships — the people knew in this time they were eternal beings not just mortals piercing the veil. Unity means the death of the ego and the rebirth of the soul. As the mouth of the portal opened between worlds, they became most alive as they danced closer to death. It was a beautiful orgasmic moment of oneness, where everyone was committed to igniting the expression of beauty in all forms.

This is a time for the creational spirit to overflow your cup, where lovemaking, potentiality, and true acceptance are welcomed into your heart. The acceptance of what life has brought and what love has gifted, to love ourselves wholly and nurture ourselves within. Between the gray hairs, the curves of our bodies, the stretch marks, and the texture of our skin – we find the embers of beauty and power that lies within.

I invite you to envision people dancing around flames, loved ones freely expressing themselves through dance and play; feeling truly alive and connecting to the passionate intentionality of nature around them. Couples and pairs witness each other in full form, witnessing the divinity within each other, that deep sense of knowing within one another, and giving each other the permission to view the other in the soul’s looking glass of their fellow Eternals.

How can Bealtaine be celebrated now?

How can you embody this time of Bealtaine? Beloved, this is a time to fully immerse yourself in your freedom. Dive into the depths of your wild woman, step into your confidence, dance with your sensuality, and truly become one with nature and your community. You may even feel the pressure from society to suppress your sensuality or water it down to fit certain standards, but we’re not born to suppress, we’re born to thrive; existing together in the flow and beauty of our sensuality.

I invite you to open up to your desires, allow pleasure to enter each crevice, and naturally find ways to flow into your sensuality. If you are single, this is a time for self-pleasure and exploration. Dance in front of the mirror, reflecting on your beauty and grace as your hips flow to the rhythm your body creates. If you have a partner or partners, then allow for intimacy where you can appreciate each other’s bodies, minds, and souls. Deepen the connection with an exercise of gazing into each other’s eyes and holding hands. This is a divine time of intimacy and self-expression, I invite you to communicate openly about your desires and ideals.

Beloved, here are a few practical examples of how you can celebrate Bealtaine this year:

If you’re single:

  • Spend time with yourself, taking time out of your day to take note of your body, how your skin feels, and how your curves are framing a beautiful desire underneath.
  • Hold yourself, wrap your arms around your chest and take deep breaths, saying “I love you”.
  • Switch the lights off, light a candle and turn on music that inspires you to move.
  • Flow and move with what feels good to your body, listen to her.
  • Look at yourself in the mirror and truly appreciate your reflection.
  • Dance in front of the mirror, feeling the movement of your hips, being completely present in your body.
  • Honor your body’s needs through self-touch and exploration.
  • Adorn your body in what makes her feel good, dress up or down in what feels good to your skin, your soul, and body. Wear the expensive lingerie, the beautiful necklace, whatever you’ve saved for a special occasion- now is the time and YOU are the special occasion.
  • Chest/breast massaging will also allow you to become deeper connected with your sensual-self.
  • Take a warm bath, light candles, and allow yourself to cleanse your mind, body, and soul in the water.
  • Humming or chanting to activate the throat chakra which in turn will activate the sacral chakra.

If you’re in a partnership/relationship:

  • Be intentional about the time spent together.
  • Communicate about practices, games, and fun activities that you can do together.
  • Take a moment to appreciate the other person’s body and allow them to appreciate yours.
  • Make a point of taking time away from technology, fully in alignment with each other’s desires.
  • Dress to impress yourself, take full confidence in what you wear (or don’t), and fully emerge into your sensuality.
  • Take 5 minutes to just gaze into your partner’s eyes, feeling their intentions and energy fill up the room.
  • Plan a date around physical activity, even cooking together will increase the intimacy and is a beautiful form of foreplay.
  • Allow time for exploration, communicate playfully and allow yourself to open up to your partner on a deeper emotional, mental and physical level.
  • Switch the lights off, light a candle, and set your intentions for this time. You can dance together, listen to your favorite music and become fully present with each other.
  • Humming or chanting together to activate the throat chakra which in turn will activate the sacral chakra.

Bealtaine is a reminder to us, to hold hands with our desires, ignite our sexuality and give full permission to our passions without shame. You can maintain this energy and flow throughout the year without committing it only to these three days. Dance in the flames of Bealtaine Goddess, follow the flames to freedom, and blossom into this new season with your community.

Before You Go

Beloved, if you found this article enlightening, we’d appreciate you spreading the encouragement by sharing it with others.

Subscribe to the Priestess Awakening podcast for more wisdom, tips, and inspiration for personal development. Because you read this article, we recommend reading Discovering Our Inner Sovereignty



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