Beltane is without doubt the sexiest of pagan High Holidays and it is anticipate greatly throughout the year. Witchy ones celebrate this holy night which falls on the last eve of April and it is traditional for celebrations to last all the night. This is a festival for feasting, singing, laughter and lovemaking. May Day, when the sun returns in the morning, revelers gather to erect a merrily beribboned Maypole to dance around, followed by picnicking and sensual siestas. The recipe below is befitting this special time of the year when love flows as freely as wine.
Honeyed mead is revered as the drink of choice for this sexiest of pagan holy days. It is an aphrodisiac and signals the ripeness of this day devoted to love and lust. This recipe is adapted from a medieval method.
A quart honey
1 packet of yeast
3 quarts distilled water
Herbs to flavor such as cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla according to your preference
Step 1 Mix the honey and water. Boil for five minutes. You can add the herbs to your liking but I prefer as tablespoon each of clove, nutmeg, cinnamon, and all-spice.
Step 2 Add a packet of yeast and mix. Put in a large container. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise and expand. Store the mix in a dark place and allow it to set for seven days, ideally at the beginning of a new moon phase.)
Step 3 Refrigerate for three days while the sediment settles at the bottom. Strain and store in a colored glass bottle, preferably green. You can drink it now but after 7 months, it has gained a full-bodies flavor. Always keep in a cool dark place.
1 quart honey
3 quarts distilled water
½ cup lemon juice
1 sliced lemon
1 half teaspoon nutmeg
1 pinch of salt
Boil all the mixed ingredients for five minutes and let cool. Bottle immediately in a colored glass jar. Keep this in the fridge to avoid fermentation and enjoy any festive occasion. This is a healthy and refreshing way to celebrate.
Hoof and Horn Rite
Ideally, you celebrate outdoors but if indoor-bound on Beltane Eve, pick a place with fireplace and have a roaring blaze so celebrants can wear comfy clothing and dance barefoot. Ask them to bring spring flowers and musical instruments, plenty of drums! Place pillows on the floor and serve an ambrosial spread of finger foods, honeyed mead, beer, spiced cider, wine and fruity teas. As you light circle incense, set out green, red and white candles, one for each participant. When it is time to call the circle, raise your arm and point to each direction, saying “To the East, To the North,” etc, then sing:
Hoof and horn, hoof and horn, tonight our spirits are reborn. (Repeat thrice)
Welcome, joy, to this home. Fill these friends with love and laughter. So mote it be.
Have each guest light a candle and speak to the subject of love with a toast of Beltane Brew. Drumming and dancing is the next part of the circle. This is truly an invocation of lust for life and will be a night to remember for all. Now rejoice!