Beltaine also known as May Day, is a celebration of the return of spring and the upcoming summer. Beltaine falls opposite on the Sabbat Wheel from Samhain. The author provides a wealth of information on celebrating an honoring this sabbat. The veil between the worlds is thinnest not just on Samhain but Beltaine as well. Within the pages are rituals, recipes, offerings celebrating spring.
The book begins with the history and meaning behind Beltaine and the light half of the year. These early chapters are primers for the rest of the book. The second primer is on Fairies and Helpful Spirits. She covers various types as well as how to make a plant spirit charm of your own. The last primer focuses on herbal preparation. This explains where to find the herbs, how to make a tea, salve, poultice, tincture and dosages etc.
Part Two is the extensive section of Herbs for Beltaine. Each one may include some history and information, uses, recipes, rituals and more. Included are full color images for identification. One thing I do like about this book is the author will put in sections of anything that need to be cautioned.
Some herbs may be poison if ingested so she goes to length to make sure these are noted when applicable.
The herbs are grouped together by intentions such as protection, purification, connecting to other realms or beings, courage, love, abundance and more. This is great to access as needed by what intentions you wish to focus on at that time.
In part three, the author covers traditions, rites, and foods of Beltaine. The book provides info on various traditional customs in other countries as well as recipes, and stories. There are also some great rituals and ceremonies to perform on Beltaine in step by step instructions. The last portion covers food for your Beltaine feast with recipes and ideas to celebrate.
This a great comprehensive book on all things Beltaine and inspiration for how you can honor and celebrate spring and the upcoming summer.
~review by Amber Barnes
Author: Ellen Evert Hopman
Destiny Books, April 7, 2020
pp. 376, $24.99