Happy May to all. Spring often brings about a sense of renewal in us. The trees, birds, and earth itself seem to be coming out of their long winter's sleep.
One of the rituals performed on May 1 is burning a fire for Beltane. Of course, this is also considered "May Day" and is known by other names as well. It is a ritual stemming from Old Gaelic tradition and is celebrated by many Wiccans, Pagans, and other spiritual groups. It is about renewal, protection, fertility,asking for abundance in crops, safety for our children and animals, etc. It is a fun holiday and can be simple, as ours was, or can be much more elaborate (next year, we hope!). In my opinion, you don't have to be any particular religion to benefit from this cleansing and protecting ritual!
Parran Matt and I did the ritual part as the High Priest and Priestess and Sister Bridget was the May Queen. It was simple but powerful with a ritual fire for Beltane. We said our parts and walked around the smoke of the fire to ask for protection and prosperity for ourselves and all those we know and love.
I had mentioned that if people saved their ashes, I would tell them how to use them and here I am to do that!
There are several ways to use these ashes. After reading the list, you might think of some creative ways of your own. I would love to hear them!
1. They are used are for protection. Putting the ashes around the ground of your home. It just takes a little bit. Sometimes they are used on one's body - just rubbing a little bit around your heart area if you are going into a dangerous or scary situation is said to help protect you. It can also be put around areas where you keep animals.
2. The ashes are used to encourage growth. People scatter them in the garden, potted plants, yards, and fields, anywhere that you want to encourage growth. This growth can also be in the form of luck, having enough food, providing for your family, etc.
3. They can also be used to encourage spiritual growth. A little bit can be put in a bath or even mixed in with some kind of oil and anoint yourself with the oil and ashes. If you are a Vodouisant, or like to use Spellmaker oils, you can definitely mix a few of these ashes in any of our oils that would be used to encourage growth of any kind.
4. If your fire was big enough that it left you coals, you can use those coals in magickal writings, veves, wards, drawings of magickal symbols, etc. Commonly, the coals used for writing would be used for petitions in love, life, luck, abundance... rarely is the word "money" used at this time. Mostly it is "abundance, plenitude, bounty" or some similar word.
5. Some people like to save a coal and put in a little bag and use it as a protection charm year round, returning it to the Beltane fire the next year. Then they get another coal from the new fire, and so forth and so on.
6. It isn't uncommon to even mix a little bit of the ash into a big glass of water and drink it. This is said to encourage protection from hexes, enemies, and illness. At one time, these ashes were used as medicine, put into wounds, etc. They are said to aid in fertility. Please use common sense if you are going to imbibe the ashes.
7. What are your ideas? If you bear in mind that these ashes are meant to cleanse, protect, and represent renewal, you might find some very creative ways to use them yourself!
So there are some ways to use your ashes! I also wanted to mention that one should not mix up this tradition with the Catholic tradition of getting ashes on your forehead on Ash Wednesday. That is about repentance and humilty. Actually, there are lots of ways that different ashes are used in spiritual rituals - might expand on this topic later!
Peace out, kiddos,
Mambo Samantha Corfield, www.spellmaker.com
P.S. Look for our mighty stag in the pictures! You can barely see him! LOL