Beltane: Lighting the Fire of Union and Community

6:30 PM

In Tiffany Lazic excellent book, The Great Work, Self-Knowledge and Healing Through the Wheel of the Year, she reminds us that in ancient eras, May was the time for reigniting the fires of the community.

            “In Ireland, the bonfire lit by the Ard Ri (High King) at Tara signaled the lighting of bonfires across the land from which the family hearth fires would be lit. This practice, representing the interconnection of all in the community, stopped in 433 CE, when St. Patrick lit a fire at Slane Hill (ten miles from Tara) before the High King […] was able to light his. This action by St. Patrick, symbolically eclipsing the power of the High King, arguably turned the tide in cementing Christianity in Ireland.”

In today’s technological world of instant interconnectedness, it may be difficult to envision how winter isolated our ancestors. Imagine the importance of ancient fire festivals such as Beltane (May 1) that marked the beginning of a cycle of union and partnerships.

Lazic states:
            “…the beginning of May was a celebration of life through the interconnections with others. With an ability to travel once more, tribes and clans came together, forging bonds and negotiating contracts. Important economic and personal relationships were formed with the hope that they too would bear the fruit of success in the future.”
The Stone of Destiny
The Hill of Tara,
County Meath, Ireland
Photo: Ariella Moon

Perhaps St. Patrick targeted Beltane because of the festival’s overtones of passion and sexuality, as represented by the Maypole, a symbolic conjunction of male and female energies. Certainly he would have opposed the Hill of Tara, revered as the dwelling place of the gods and the entrance to the otherworld. Atop the hill stands a granite phallic-like pillar, the Stone of Destiny. Reportedly, the stone was a sacred object brought by the godlike race, the Tuatha Dé Danann. Legend has it that the stone roars when touched by the rightful king of Tara.

As the Wheel of the Year turns again on May 1, light a candle in honor of the ancient fires that reunited tribes and clans. Dance the Maypole. Perhaps reflect upon actions you can take to aid and connect with your community.


 “Miss Moon creates a magical world and a complex cast of characters that leap right off the page!” InD’tale Magazine, Crowned Heart for Excellence Review.

While you wait for book 2, THE VIKING MIST… Dive into the lives of Viviane, the Lady of the Lake, her handmaidens, and Merlin in THE AMBER ELIXIR, a Two Realms novella that leads into THE VIKING MIST.

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