A Meadful Beltuinn

Offerings of mead, nuts, fruit and bread

My Beltuinn eve was spent out of town by the sea with the European shaman-folk feasting, chanting, dancing, and drumming. Dressed all in white, we listened to mythical stories and learned dances and songs to be performed at the upcoming BC Shamanic Conference (which I’m off to this Monday for a week). We sat around the altar prepared as a feast table and dined with the ancestors sharing strawberries, freshly baked bread, chocolate, a luscious fig cake, and pomegranate mead.

We ate every last strawberry

The theme of the ceremony was to remember we are spirits, that we fell from the stars, that everything is magic and everything is a sacred spirit. A beautiful message of animism – to treat plants, animals, and the rest of nature on par with human life as well as teachers and keepers of wisdom.

Making blackcurrant mead

On the day of Beltuinn I made mead – blackcurrant mead. I’ve wanted to make it for a while but blackcurrants or juice are surprisingly hard to get a hold of and I couldn’t use Ribena due to the yeast-killing sulphate content. But I finally found pure blackcurrant syrup and juice. The yeast did not cooperate however. One trick to make it happy is to give the mead a bath. So into the bathtub filled with hot water went the primary fermentation bucket to create the moist, warm atmosphere that yeast loves so much.

Suffumigations to appease the bee and land spirits

I burned raw bee propolis and beat my bear hide drum to call and appease the spirits and my home filled with the smoky sweet scent of the resin. The second batch of yeast took and now I stir it every day and wait until the alcohol content is high enough to transfer it into the carboy.

Bear drum and bee propolis resin

I’m going to miss my ritual group’s annual Beltuin camp out due to the shamanic conference falling on the same weekend. It’s one of my favourite local rituals and in about its 22nd year and though I am sad about missing it, I’m looking forward to the conference and a week by the river surrounded by mountains. I’m going to miss saying farewell to my friend the May King and watch him die for a new king to take his place. I’m going to miss my friend the May Queen pass on her mantle to the new. I wish them both the best and many blessings upon whomever wins the challenges to become the new King and Queen of our group. The King is dead, long live the King! Hail the King! Hail the Queen!

Here are the posts about the past two Beltuinn’s my ritual group put on for your reading pleasure:

The Sacrifice

Beltuinn in the Wild Wood

Hope you all had a wonderful Beltuinn full of mirth, mischief, and hopefully mead!

Join the discussion 8 Comments

  • Daniel says:

    For a second I thought you had a “dreadful” Beltuinn! But it sounds like you had a lovely evening. That is indeed a beautiful message of animism. Thank you for the post, Sarah!

  • Steve Tanner says:

    “A beautiful message of animism – to treat plants, animals, and the rest of nature on par with human life as well as teachers and keepers of wisdom.”

    In all that you wrote, that line stood out the most.

  • Jasmine L Rupert says:

    Your mead must be pretty tasty! Wish I could get a grasp on making it! For Beltaine I had my own tiny celebration of enjoying a feast of fruits and jams and a night with my love. I didn’t go camping with the crew this year I normally go with on Beltaine, I wanted to see who the May Queen and May King would be. (I was May Queen last year! ^_^)

    Maybe I should learn how to make mead so I could incorporate it in my Sabbats. Especially for the Mead Moon that’ll be coming up soon!

    What does blackcurrant taste like anyway?

    Glad you have a wonderful time.

  • Soli says:

    Hail the mead! I’m doing a full celebration on Saturday. We shall see what that brings.


  • Oh your mead looks delicious and those strawberries – feel my fruit envy from here :).

    “remember we are spirits, that we fell from the stars, that everything is magic and everything is a sacred spirit” such a beautiful statement, and so true!

  • Kim says:

    lovely post. http://www.starrycave.com/2012/04/witches-truth.html
    a site i stumbled on looking for something else. thought you would enjoy it as well as some of the books listed on it.

  • rabidbadger73 says:

    I’m glad I’m not the only one who uses Patron bottles for my mead 😉

  • Melissa says:

    Beautiful post! I purchased your Bee Propolis resin a while back, and used it in my Spring rites this year in honor of Persephone. It was an amazing outdoor rite, and the resin smelled divine while it was burning. A portion of it was included in offerings, too. A curious bumble bee buzzed around the circle, too, the entire time – it was a most magical rite.