By Isabella @TheWandCarver
Happy Beltane everyone! And, whilst I’m at it, Happy May Day for tomorrow. It is the time of the year for the Wild Hunt, May poles, Morris Dancers, the May Queen and the Green Man…oh, there are many things to do and see, depending upon where you live. But what if you are not able to join in in the festivities for whatever reason? No worries, I’m there with you, in spirit anyway… we can always find ways to celebrate this very important sabbat.
Of course, most of us will adorn our altars with all the flowers and fauna that we can. It is a given in the witching world, isn’t it? But what else? Feasting is a wonderful thing to do whether you are with a large gathering of friends and or family or even alone. For the solitary witch or practising neo-pagan, it would be a lovely thing to prepare a perfect Beltane feast for just yourself. And why not? We should be as kind to ourselves as we would be to others, yes? Also, if you are unable to attend the many Festival of Fire gatherings where you live, why not have your own? Perhaps in a fire safe cauldron in your back garden you could set a few small pieces of wood alight and use the fire for purification ritual of your own. Walk round the fire thinking of what you wish to cleanse from your life and drop handwritten pieces of paper into the fire naming the things you want to be rid of which may be dragging you down. When you are finished, it would not be at all silly to break into dance around the fire! Enjoy yourself and be free of the things making you feel pessimistic and embrace a new future for yourself. It’s not unlike the New Year’s resolution in a way. Only, instead of writing a list you keep to tic off as you accomplish each resolution, you write down things you want rid of and burn them and then, when the joy of being free wells up inside you, dance in gratitude. I doubt you’ll be alone in doing so 😊
Other ways we can celebrate Beltane is in caring for Earth. Yes, I must mention this because I fear many of us may still be feeling a bit like the proverbial deer in the headlamps what with all the Climate Change news where one study says we have no time, and another says we have twenty years or so. Don’t take that as a Doomsday prophecy! I think what makes many of us throw up our hands and want to hide our heads in the sand is that there is a LOT of information being thrown at us and repeatedly. Breathe. You must understand that this is what it takes to get some people shifting toward doing what is right. What news folk don’t understand is, for every ten people who need to be prodded incessantly and that works for them, there are probably twenty more people whom are scared so badly they just want to hide. Again, breathe…. If you are the one whom is scared, just regroup a bit and stop reading so much. I know how scary it all is, I am and all. However, I’m not going to allow it to stop me in my tracks, nor should it stop you. What we need to do is to focus on what we can do. Obviously, we can’t all be a part of the Extinction Rebellion, or plant a trillion trees, or go to work in a factory making wind turbines. But there are many ways in which we can do our bit. If only one person in 8 billion did one thing, it will never amount to anything. But if one person does one thing and gets another person to do this thing and so on, it will amount to a great thing. What little things can we do?
- Contact your elected officials in your area. No matter which country you are in, if you elect your government officials such as MP’s in the UK or Senators in the US, you can and should write to them. Politely tell them what you hope them to achieve in the way of climate change. But don’t let it end with the one letter or email. Be persistent. You may be able to do an online search to find a bog-standard kind of letter to write if you’re not savvy at how to address these people. Don’t hesitate however to remind them that you did elect them, and they work for you and the many others who voted them into their office. You and others could just as easily not elect them in the next election!
- Recycling. Easier said than done, particularly when I read of so many places whom are dropping recycling because China doesn’t want their plastics anymore. I think this is in the US only for now, but it could happen to any country in time. Still, recycling is still one of the best ways we can honour Mother Earth, not just at Beltane but year-round. My first suggestion is to ring up or go online and find out exactly what is recyclable in your council or town or city. I should think most recycling agencies would have a list they can send to you or one online which you can print. Mind, it will vary between cities and countries. So, you find you can recycle certain plastics, aluminium, and certain paper products. What can you do about the rest? What about coloured plastics, crisp packets, automotive wastes, cigarette butts…yes, cigarette butts! Here we’re in huge luck. I recently found a company called Terracycle. Terracycle literally recycles everything! Even your old flip-flops! Light bulbs, bathroom waste like toothpaste tubes, coloured bottle caps, and the hated ciggy butts! It’s a most exciting thing, this! However, it does come at a price. You do have to pay to become a recycler with Terracycle and I am afraid to admit, your average family probably can’t afford to. However, if you are part of a charity or business which is keen on cleaning up and recycling, Terracycle might just be the ticket. It’s my estimation that in due time, the more people who use Terracycle the lower the price of recycling with them will become. Here are the links, in case you would like to check it out: Terracycle UK, Terracycle France and Terracycle US. I have just had an email from them and they say that there are other sites which do offer free recycling of some of the same things they recycle so I shall check those out and report at another time.
- Join a Climate Change group. No entry fees, no enforced participation in most. You can check these out passively in the beginning for a way to keep your finger on the pulse of what is being done in the world toward lowering the CO2 emissions which are causing much of the danger. You can find many groups on Facebook including ones such as Extinction Rebellion, Earth First!, and one I am going to head up which will be called Saving Gaia where I shall post relative news about Climate Change and recipes for homemade household cleaners which will not stress your budget but in fact will save you money along with other tips for helping our planet.
- Reduce your thermostat at home. What temperature can you live with, even if a bit chilly? Lowering your thermostat will help more than you know, not to mention, save you money. If your home has air con, setting the thermostat above what you can comfortably live with will also save money and be of less stress on the planet.
- Peg out your washing. Tumble dryers are great in a pinch [I no longer have one], but there is no better way to help the earth and your electric bill than by pegging out the wash!
- Assess how much you literally need to drive. If you can get to many places you shop, work, or simply go for fun, walk! I haven’t owned a car now for about 5 years and yes, it can be a bother at times, however, between the bus and an ex who doesn’t mind dragging me hither and yon for shopping, I do alright. At least it is one less car on the road! Mind, I do know that it is not always feasible to be without a vehicle but do try to think of ways not to drive if you can.
- Stop eating meat one day per week. A recent study shows that reducing meat intake by one day each week would cut 1.69 million tons of CO2, according to IFL Science.
- If you must have a vehicle, drive sensibly by not accelerating rapidly and braking suddenly. When you do drive aggressively it burns significantly more fuel than constant speeds and braking slowly. According to the Carbon Fund, drivers can save more than a ton of Co2 yearly by driving steadily and adhering to posted speed limits. Also, keeping your vehicle MOT’d and in good working order – properly inflated tyres can save between 400-700 pounds of CO2 annually.
- Back to your washing – washing at least two loads in cold water each week will cut down your energy use. If you do seven loads of wash each week in cold water only, you can reduce 218 pounds of C02 per year. Every little helps!
- Using compact fluorescent light bulbs is more energy efficient than their incandescent counterparts. Replacing just three incandescent bulbs with the compact fluorescent bubs could save approximately 300 pounds of CO2 per year… and money!
What better way to honour Mother Earth and celebrate Beltane than to commit to being part of the solution? I always love finding ways to be kinder to Earth but also helpful in saving money so I hope these will be of help to you as well. Maybe you already do these things and I say, “Well done, you!” But if you know someone whom is having a dilemma trying to decide what they can do to help the Climate Change cause, please feel free to share this blog. I do hope everyone has a fabulous Beltane and May Day. And don’t forget to care for our Mother!
Many thanks for reading my blog and I hope you’ve enjoyed. If you would like to leave a comment, I am always happy to answer back in a short period of time. Please do give a like and share via the social media buttons below. Warmest blessing to all whom wander this way. Happy Beltane! x