I’m not sure why but I’m particularly looking forward to Beltane this year. Normally it’s a bittersweet sabbat for me as it also happens to be my birthday and I struggle against getting older. That’s a topic for another blog post though. This year I’m really looking forward to it and I think it’s because my Witchlings are really psyched about it this year. Normally our Beltane activities take a backseat to my birthday because we have my non-pagan family over, which makes it kind of hard to celebrate.
This year things will be different because the Witchlings want a bigger Beltane celebration. I think this is partly because I do what is basically a home Sunday school for them and our topic lately has been the eight sabbats. For their age group (three and six) I focus more on the faery aspect than the fertility aspect but I do delicately include both. When I talk about fertility with them we discuss the fertile earth and growing things. I do not take the view expressed in the book Celebrating the Great Mother A Handbook of Earth Honoring Activities for Parents and Children. In fact I don’t recommend the book at all. I’ve seen it recommended all over the web, which is why I bought it. I can’t tell you how disappointed I was to find that the Beltane section revolved around sex. Now I believe in having open dialogues with children but my children at three and six are not ready to discuss sex and until they are I’m not going to push the topic on them. If you feel as I do then I recommend the book Circle Round Raising Children in Goddess Traditions. The explanation of Beltane given there suits the way I discuss things with my children much more eloquently. As part of celebrating the fertility of Beltane we’ll be making a trip to the greenhouse and picking something to bring home and plant.
We’ve also talked about different kinds of fae that they may see and if the weather is good we’ll go to the park for them to do some faery watching. Every year we leave an offering for the fae, in years past it’s been an offering of milk in the garden. This year our six-year-old wants to make my birthday cake and leave some of it for the faeries. I’m glad he’s getting involved and wanting to enrich our traditions. There aren’t many GOOD books on the fae; the best one I can recommend for you to share with your children is The Faery Garden by Beatrice Phillpotts. It is intended for adults but there are stories about faeries you can share with your children and instructions for planting your own faery garden which children love being involved in.