Pagans celebrate new season at Beltane

The May Queen is crowned. and calleth her bridegroom. After years of struggles to keep the Beltane Fire Festival on top of Calton Hill in Edinburgh, Beltane celebrations took once again place under offical restrictions, such as time restriction to 1 am, no bottles, nor waxtorches nor loud drums or instruments and official entry fee of £3-5 instead of donations. Netherteless at least 8500 witnessed and enjoyed the celebrations according to official ticket sales.
Beltane is celebrated in the Northern Hemisphere of the world in the night between April 30th and May 1st. In the Southern Hemisphere it is celebrated between October 31st and November 1st, according to the seasonal cycle, also called "The Wheel of the Year", and the longest day of te year, Midsummer, centred on the night of 21st/22nd of June in the northern atmosphere, or the night between 20th/21st of December in the Southern Hemispere. There are 8 festivals durig the year, four of them known by their Celtic names, the other four beig related to the solar cycle. For the Northern Hemisphere, the "Wheel of the Year" looks as such: Beltane April 30/May 1st Midsummer June 21/22 Lughnasadh/Lammas August 1/2nd Autumn Equinox September 20/21 Samhain October 31/November 1st Yule/Winter Solstice December 20/21 Imbolc February 1/2 Spring Equinox March 20/21 Pagan beliefs 1. Polytheism The Gods are many. 2. Pantheism The Divine is everywhere, in everyone of us and nature. 3. Goddess and God The Divine is beyond the limitations of gender, represented both in female and male. 4. Pagan Ethic: "If it harms none, do what you will." Thereby Tolerance is an important aspect of Paganism. In contrast to Paganism, many monotheistic religions tend to support authoritarian political regimes that practise racism, sexism and oppression of anyone who dissents. As paganism values nature, pagans are opposed to place profit motives above all else and many pagans are involved in environmental groups, vegetarian, peace and anti-nuclear campaigning or grassroots community action. The belief, that the Divine has manifested itself in differet ways at different times to suit different people, make religious wars over the name of Gods a "Delusion of Rightness" and consequently senseless in pagan beliefs. __________ For pictures and reports of this years Beltane celebration see also: http://indymedia.org.uk/en/2005/05/310775.html To read up on the Beltane controversy in 2003 : - With Beltane Fire Festival's Demise on Calton Hill, What has the Festival lost? http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2003/03/57505.html - Beltane festival cancelled: http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/regions/scotland/2003/03/57559.html , - Reclaim the Hill for Beltane: http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2003/04/65810.html - Calton Hill blocked off by police to prevent Mayday celebration: https://www1.indymedia.org.uk/en/2003/06/273295.html - Edinburgh Beltane ban was a shame: http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2003/05/66387.html
view from Carlton Hill

Related

http://www.beltane.org/

Comments

Re: Pagans celebrate new season at Beltane

By Anonymous

I don't understand why indymedia, supposedly a activists tool, is wasting time on a article with a bunch of middle-class poseurs indulging in typical meaningless tomfoolery.

Re: Pagans celebrate new season at Beltane

By Anonymous

Though the Beltane festival as such is not a protest activity it still seems important to mention it on Indymedia. Because: 1. it is very unique, it is only celebrated in Edinburgh in this way 2. somebody made a whole lot of effort and did very nice pictures worth showing off 3. the history of struggle to keep Beltane on Calton Hill - against the Councils repressive and restricted policy, which was mainly due to the complaints of a few (apparantly quite high profile and privilegded people living on the hill) against the Beltane Fire Society 4. the history of the commercialisation of the Beltane Festival enforced by the Edinburgh Council - fixed entry prices instead of donations, fire brigade, ambulance and police servicing enforced - it is worth rememberig how it was before 5. also to highlight and educate a little bit by the article some of the pagan festivals and beliefs, and the connections of enviromentalism, anti-capitalism, gender equality, and tolerace in general against the usual preconceptions and prejudices 6. agree that the Beltane Fire Festival seems to be though more a spectacle than a pagan celebration, however, because of its history, uniqueness and struggle against the authorities it seems to be worth a feature and also to show that prejudices and repression by other religions can also be softened up and eridicated by combining art, theatre and show rather than confrontation or inner emigration.

Re: Pagans celebrate new season at Beltane

By Peter Ravenscroft

Holy smoke!

Re: Pagans celebrate new season at Beltane

By Anonymous

beltane is a pathetic council fundraiser 8500 people at £3-£5 each, at least £24000. a large chunk of which goes to the coucil, and the police. the beltane organisers are happy to compromise, finishing at 1am etc etc. imagine if a real pagan were to visit, he/she would piss themselves at the nonsense of it. advice: downscale, relocate, make it amazing and accessible, do not compromise your ideals (they already have).. i predict that in five years, this will be a proper business, just another crummy tourist attraction, like everything else... get some imagination you hippy losers!

Re: Pagans celebrate new season at Beltane

By Veronica!

why isn't it pagan? because it's a little bit mainstream? because it isn't elitist? you need to re-read your "paganism for dummies" and "how to be a fundamentalist hippy with minimum effort".

Beltane is fundamentally about having fun and bringing in the light half of the year... so... um... LIGHTEN UP! HAVE FUN!