Thursday, June 25, 2015

(Belated) Beltane Altar 2015


First and foremost, I want to apologize for this altar being posted so incredibly late.  April and May are incredibly busy months for me as a caricature artist and I just barely found the time to post these pictures.

Because Beltane and May Day are a holiday of love, love-making and fertility, my altars for this holiday always feature white, representing masculine fertility, and red, representing feminine fertility.  However, I wanted to simplify my altar from last year.  As I started putting it together this year, it felt terribly cluttered and needed breathing room.

To combat this, I purchased new flowers that would tower over the sides of my altar rather than lay strewn about the table.  Of course, I tend to stick to silk flowers for altars.  I do have an abundant amount of flowers in my garden now but cutting them can damage some of the plants and seems like a waste.  I also have to think about my cats, who enjoy chewing on plants.  So many flowers are harmful to cats, so fake flowers are the perfect way to add representation to my altar yet combat poisoning a familiar.

Plus, in the dark light of the candles, you can barely tell they're fake!  The flowers I used this year are a combination of lilies for dedication, roses for romance, orchids for virility and red sword lily for sincerity in love.

The center of the altar, as usual, features a pillar candle decorated with ribbons.  This represents the May Pole, a prominent celebratory feature of Beltane complete with dancing.  The May Pole itself is a fertility symbol, and so its appropriate to include a representation of one on the May Day altar.

The center-most candle is a pillar decorated in red and purple stripes representing ribbon.  The purple brings out the hint of violet in the flowers and represents the spirituality involved in two people becoming one.

On the right, the altar is decorated in red, representing feminine fertility.  Included on this side is a chalice of red wine, representing femininity and blood.  I've also included a hibiscus flower for beauty and a red tealight candle to empower this portion.

On the left side of the altar is white decorations for masculine fertility.  It includes a polished ram's horn, which represents the same, and a lily for dedication.  A white votive candle completes it.

The front part of the altar offers two taper candles - one red and one white - on the appropriate sides, along with alternating red and white candles in the center representing the coming together of male and female.

In between the candles are sunstone and carnelian, both stones which represent the sun and hearken the coming of the longest day on the solstice.

I've also placed my wand, a masculine air symbol, in front to further push the theme of the coming solstice.

In our previous homes, we've always had a fire.  Unfortunately, that's not the case in our new Witchy Cottage.  However, we do have a space heater with a modern take on a fire that does just the trick - without the heat during the hot months!

Looking back at this year's Beltane altar nearly two months afterward, I have a greater appreciation of the simplicity than I did when I completed it.  Do I like it better than last year's altar?  I don't know.  I'll let you be the judge.


  1. Your house is so cozy! Come decorate mine pls.

    1. Aw, thank you so much! 99% thrift stores and 1% frugal shopping. I promise, you can do it too! :)

  2. I love the way you used the spiky things on the candle holder as a base for the may pole. So creative!


    1. I haven't been able to see that candle holder any other way since I got it. Thank you so much!