In the British Isles, Beltane is an ancient festival celebrated on the first day of May to mark the beginning of summer. It is a time of great joy and revelry, as people gather to dance around the bonfires, make offerings to encourage growth and celebrate the fertility of the land. It is also a mystical night when we are reminded of the magic and mystery of the natural world.
According to Langtree legend, there was a Beltane nature sprite who lived deep, in the heart of the forest. Nature sprite creatures of antiquity were part of the natural environment; they were the embodiment of nature and they reflected the season in which they each thrived best. The Beltane sprite was an optimistic but mischievous and playful spirit who loved nothing more than to dance in the moonlight, rustle joyfully among leaves of the trees in the forest and sing with the birds.
One Beltane eve, as the people of the village were preparing for their celebrations, the Beltane sprite could not resist an overwhelming urge to join in the human folk’s festivities. So they ventured out of the forest and made their way to the village square, where the bonfire blazed bright and the music and laughter filled the air. As they danced and frolicked with the revellers, the Beltane nature sprite felt a deep connection, not only to the earth and sun and moon they were celebrating but also to the people. The sprite knew that they had found joy in celebrating with the humans, and that they wanted to be a part of the human world forever.
So the Beltane nature sprite made a pact with the earth, promising to protect and nurture the land in exchange for the gift of human contact. And thus, the Beltane nature sprite, a guardian of the forests and fields who would forever be a part of the turning of the seasons could also cross from the forest’s otherworldly realm to frolic with human folk on the eve of the 1st of May.
Now, on each Beltane eve, the Beltane nature sprite emerges from the depths of the forest to dance with the humans once more. So if you should feel their presence, perhaps in the rustling of the leaves, look carefully, be friendly and the Beltane nature sprite may come and play with you.