Monday, April 21, 2008



Beltane or May Day occurs on May 1 and is the last of the three spring fertility festivals. It is a time when people, plants and animals prepare for the warm months ahead. Beltane is often celebrated with a May Pole in which ribbons of purple, yellow, pink, green and white are tied and wrapped around a pole. Traditionally, the ribbons were white and red to symbolize the God and Goddess and their union, however if you prefer the brighter more spring time colors can be used. Other traditions include jumping the Beltane fire and baking Beltane cakes as offerings to the God and Goddess. It is a festival of love, lust and fertility. Animals often associated with Beltane are goats, rabbits and honey bees. Decorate your home and altar with fresh flowers and greenery. Serve Beltane cakes, vanilla ice cream or marigold custard. Meade is a good drink for this festival.

Marigold Custard

Beltane Marigold Custard
Recipe by Scott Cunningham

2 cups milk
1 cup unsprayed marigold petals
1/4 tsp. salt
3 Tbsp. sugar
1 to 2-inch piece vanilla bean
3 egg yolks, slightly beaten
1/8 tsp. allspice
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. rose water
whipped cream
Using a clean mortar and pestle reserved for cooking purposes, pound marigold petals. Or, crush with a spoon. Mix the salt, sugar and spices together. Scald milk with the marigolds and the vanilla bean. Remove the vanilla bean and add the slightly beaten yolks and dry ingredients. Cook on low heat. When the mixture coats the spoon, add rose water and cool.
Top with whipped cream, garnish with fresh marigold petals.
{The above recipe for "Beltane Marigold Custard" is quoted directly from Scott Cunningham's book "Wicca: A Guide For The Solitary Practitioner", page 153, Llewellyn Publications, 1988/1990.)