In ancient times, the Celts built two huge bonfires in which to walk their cattle and other livestock in between in order to rid them of any fleas or other parasites. In other words, to "purify" them. We make our own balefires and, while walking in between them, we say a little Beltane blessing. We also "jump the cauldron" while making a special Beltane wish for the rest of the year.
The Maypole has long been a phallic symbol and one of the many ways in which we honor the God. Sometimes, although not this year, I get the chance to dance around a large, homemade maypole at Lady Sabrina Rhiannon's gathering. It is interesting to see how we usually manage to get the ribbons a bit tangled up in the process, but it is all in good fun.
(Taken at one of our O.P.E.N. Beltane celebrations in Reading, PA)
It is so important to remember that no matter how we choose to celebrate this sacred sabbat, the joy is in the honoring. Whether you are solitary or in the company of good friends, as always, "Have fun and enjoy!"