To the ancient Celts, May 1st was the ancient feast festival of Beltane—a day to welcome the season of Summer and all it symbolizes. Today, many know this day as May Day, and here we continue many of the ancient traditions.
This day marks the meeting place of Spring and Summer. Here fertility and vitality are the focus as new life and increased activity comes forth. It is a time to honor gifts, whether they are gifts from the earth, our own gifts, or gifts from others, and to express or share those gifts with friends, family, and even strangers. It is also a time to connect with ourselves and the world around us.
At the time of this cross-quarter holiday, let us take some time to incorporate some May Day rituals common to the season of Summer into our lives as a way to more deeply connect with ourselves and the world around us.
4 May Day Rituals to Welcome Summer
In this post, you will find 4 simple rituals you can incorporate into your May Day or Beltane celebrations, but these rituals aren’t limited to this day only. Oh, no! You can do these anytime you’d like this summer. These May Day rituals not only help you to center your mind on the gifts that the summer season offer, but they help you to take some time out of the busy day to focus your mind on something relaxing and enjoyable for a short period of time.
Beltane (May Day) Meditation
Meditating is the act of taking time to clear your mind of distractions and, instead, to simply be present in the moment, focusing your senses on the things around you. The act of meditation is a great way to connect more deeply with your environment and to feel more centered when needed. Read through the following steps a few times to familiarize yourself with it, and then find a time to do this May Day ritual sometime in the next few days.
Summer Meditation Ritual
- Find a quiet place outside or sit next to a window where you can see out.
- Take a few moments to focus on your breathing—slowly breathing in and out in a comfortable rhythmic pattern. It can be helpful to close your eyes to shut out all distractions.
- When your breathing is steady, keep your eyes closed and try to concentrate on what you hear around you. Can you hear the birds singing? Do you hear water trickling? Perhaps you hear the sound of cars in the distance or the rustle of grass and trees.
- What can you smell? Is it the scent of fresh air, cut grass, or nearby flowers? If you’re indoors, perhaps it’s the scent of a freshly cleaned home or even your own scent.
- Next, open your eyes. Sit calmly and continue to breathe slowly. What do you see? What colors and shapes do you notice around you? Is there anything that catches your attention? Perhaps there’s something you’ve never noticed before.
- As you begin to feel connected, express your gratitude for the gifts of nature surrounding you by saying a softly spoken prayer, poem, or song aloud.
- Finally, touch the palms of your hands or your bare feet to the ground and continue to breathe slowly for another minute or so before moving on to the rest of your day.
Attraction Bath Ritual
The season of Summer is all about attraction. Flowers bloom in vivid colors and give off sweet scents to attract insects as a means to pollinate and fertilize the world. Animals begin to mate and give birth as a means to repopulate the earth. We humans even focus on attraction as we seek out connections with others by sharing our gifts with one another.
One way to embrace attraction during the summer months, as well as provide a bit of self-care for ourselves, is through an attraction bath ritual, one of my favorite May Day rituals to help welcome in the summer season.
Attraction Bath Ritual
You will need:
- Bath salt blend (recipe below)
- Green candle
- Peaceful music
- To begin, turn on some soft, relaxing music, and light a green candle, which symbolizes abundance. Fill your bath with water set to a comfortable temperature for you, and add your bath salts to the water—slowly swirling the water as the tub fills, giving time for the salt to dissolve. As your hand swirls in the water, think about one thing you desire this summer. What do you want to attract over the next few months? This desire may be regarding health, finances, your love life, friends, travel, creativity, etc.
- When the tub is full, immerse yourself in the warm water. As you adjust to the water, think about what may be holding you back from attracting your desire. Perhaps you lack the skills to create at the level you wish. Maybe you feel stuck in your job. It could be that you are shy and unsure of yourself, making connecting with others difficult. No matter what it is, be brave, and name it.
- Now close your eyes, and focus on your breath for a moment. Breathe in and out slowly until your breathing becomes steady. Keeping your eyes closed, take a deep breath in, expanding your belly, and exhale it slowly. Repeat this three times to get a feel for deep breathing. Open your eyes and continue taking slow, deep breaths. As you inhale, draw the bathwater up and over your body. As you exhale, gently push the water away from you. As you repeat this, visualize the thing you want to attract flowing towards from you as you inhale and pull the water over yourself and visualize the blockages or obstacles standing in your way flowing away from you as you exhale and push the water away. Repeat this as many times as needed until it feels natural to you.
- Now close your eyes again, place your hands over your eyes, brow, and forehead region, and return to a regular, comfortable breathing pattern. Visualize in your mind that you already have what you’re trying to attract. What does that look like in your life? Dream of every detail, incorporating all your senses and fully allowing yourself to feel all the emotions that come with it.
- When finished, blow out your candle, drain your bath water, placing a small fine-mesh sieve over the bath drain to catch the botanicals, and turn off the music. Exit the bath being careful not to slip if the tub is oily. Pat yourself dry and apply some oil or body butter to your skin, saying some kind things about yourself while you’re at it. Dress and go about the rest of your day.
Abundance Bath Salt Blend
- 1/2 cup Epsom salts
- 1/2 cup pink Himalayan salt
- 3 tablespoons baking soda
- 2 tablespoons dried rose (Rosa spp.) petals
- 1 tablespoon dried basil (Ocimum basilicum) leaf
- 1-ounce sweet almond oil (or another oil of your choosing)
- Abundance essential oil blend (3 drops of sustainably-sourced frankincense (Boswellia spp.), 3 drops sweet orange (Citrus sinensis), 2 drops patchouli (Pogostemon cablin), 2 drops clary sage (Salvia sclarea) essential oils)
I like to purchase my herbs through Mountain Rose Herbs and my essential oils through Plant Therapy!
May Day Flower Crowns
Flower crowns are a great idea if you are looking for May Day rituals to make a summer occasion more festive and beautiful! Flower crowns are especially fitting for occasions where growth, harvest, love, and connection to nature are the focus. Create and wear them yourself or gather as a group before the celebration and make them together to encourage connection and community.
May Day Flower Crowns
You will need:
- A thin, hard headband
- Green florist’s tape
- Sprigs of greenery such as eucalyptus, fern, ivy, or willow, fresh or dried
- Sprigs of herbs and flowers, fresh or dried
- Begin by wrapping green florist’s tape around the headband.
- Next, create 6-8 small bundles of greenery and flowers, securing them together with the florist’s tape. If using dried plants, be careful not to crush or damage them. If using fresh plant materials, choose plants, flowers mainly, that will retain their form for several hours without wilting or browning.
- Lastly, arrange and tape the bundles around the headband, making sure they point upwards and outwards.
Relaxing Floral Tea Blending Ritual
What better way to end a summer day than with the meditative act of blending, making, and sipping on a bedtime tea—one of the most soothing of May Day rituals? The act of tea blending will not only relax you, but it will help you sleep more soundly as well. You can enjoy this tea both hot or cold, depending on what you prefer, 30-60 minutes before bed.
The goal of a tea ritual is to focus your mind on each task, so before you begin, clear some space in your kitchen to free you of any distraction.
Relaxing Floral Tea Blending Ritual
You will need:
- Relaxing, nourishing, supportive herbs, such as alfalfa (Medicago sativa) leaf, chamomile (Matricaria recuita) flower, cinnamon (Cinnamomum spp.) bark, damiana (Turnera diffusa) leaf, hawthorn (Crataegus spp.) berry, flower, or leaf, holy basil (Ocimum tenuiflorum) leaf, lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) leaf, linden (Tilia spp.) leaf, oat (Avena sativa) milky tops and straw, passionflower (Avena sativa) aerial parts, peppermint (Mentha x piperita) leaf, rosemary (Salvia rosmarinus) leaf, rose (Rosa spp.) petals, sage (Salvia officinalis) leaf, skullcap (Scutellaria lateriflora) aerial parts, spearmint (Mentha spicata) leaf, thyme (Thymus spp.) leaf, violet (Viola spp.) flower and leaf
- Ceramic mug
- Teapot or tea infuser
- Start by setting out your jars of herbs, a mug, a tea infuser or teapot, and a kettle.
- Fill the kettle with water and set it on the stove over high heat to come to a boil.
- While your water is heating, open the lid of your teapot or nestle your tea infuser in your mug. Be sure to mind your breath, breathing in and out slowly, and moving your body intentionally. There’s no need to rush here!
- Next, look at the color of each herb. Open the jar and smell it. Think about the properties it holds. Turn your awareness inward and think about what you’re body is telling you it needs. Allow this to guide you in your tea choice.
- You’ll want to use a total of 3 teaspoons of herbs in your tea. This amount will make a nice cup of bedtime tea. Let your intuition guide you as you choose one or more herbs to add to your teapot—adding a pinch of this or a pinch of that. The more you repeat this ritual, the better you will get to know the herbs in your blend as well as how they make you feel and how they taste together.
- Once your herbs are in the teapot or strainer, and your kettle has whistled, pour some water over the herbs. If you’re using a teapot, place the lid on the teapot. If you’re using a tea strainer, place a small plate over the mug and strainer to keep the steam from escaping. Let your tea steep for 3-5 minutes. While your tea is steeping, think about what this tea will offer you at this moment, whether it be relaxation, nourishment, or a flavorful treat.
- Once your tea has infused, pour it through a strainer (if your teapot doesn’t have one inside) and into a mug, or simply remove the tea strainer from your mug and set it aside. Allow the tea to cool, just a touch. Feel free to add a drizzle of honey or a splash of milk if you’d like.
- Find a quiet place to sit as you sip your tea, taking note of its flavor in your mouth and visualize its warmth and wellness benefits making their way down into your body.
- Finish by saying a prayer or giving a word of thanks for the gift of the herbs and the time to enjoy them through a cup of tea. And remember, gratitude for even the smallest blessings of life is healing in and of itself!
So there you have it—some lovely May Day rituals to incorporate into your days throughout the season of Summer. Enjoy!