Sunday, April 30, 2017

Beltane Flower Magic





In ancient times, Beltane festivals celebrated the Celtic sun god, Belenus, and heralded the start of the Celtic summer and growing season. Beltane (“bright fire”) is a time to celebrate renewal, fertility, and growth. In the past, the festivals incorporated the protection of herds, crops, and villagers.

Beltane symbols include the maypole, Green Man, May Queen, bonfires, The Lovers tarot card, May baskets, and May wreaths. Since the celebration marks the emergence of life after winter’s harshness, let us focus on three flowers associated with the festival, their symbolism, and their magical properties.

Hawthorn
Folk names: Whitethorn, Fairy Bush, Hagthorn, May Bush, Mayflower.
Gender: Masculine.
Planet: Mars.
Element: Fire.

The blossoming of the hawthorn tree marked the start of Belenus’s festival. Flowering hawthorn sprigs, which symbolize protection and fertility, would adorn the maypole. (Although conversely, hawthorn leaves placed under a mattress were thought to promote chastity.) In Britain, hawthorn, along with ash and oak, is considered sacred to fairies.



Cowslip
Folk names: Arthritica, Fairy Cup, Key Flower, Our Lady’s Keys.
Gender: Feminine.
Planet Venus.
Element: Water.

Beltane celebrates youthful fertility, and cowslip was believed to restore or preserve youth. Holding a bunch of cowslip flowers would help you find hidden treasure. But tossing a ball of cowslip flowers into the air while naming a profession, would act as a divination ritual. Whichever profession was shouted when the ball of flowers fell apart would indicate one’s future career.


Elecampane
Folk names: Elf Dock, Elfwort, Horseheal.
Gender: Masculine.
Planet: Mercury.
Element: Air.

Elecampane is associated with fairies, but when worn or sewn into a pink sachet, it attracts love. Elecampane can also be carried for magical protection.

Love, protection, renewal, and fertility are themes woven like maypole ribbons into every aspect of modern and ancient Beltane festivities. 

For more Beltane photos, please visit http://www.pinterest.com/ariellamoon

For an excellent overview of Beltane, I recommend, Jhenah Telyndru's "Beltane: Portal of Transformation"



Don't have a maypole to dance around? You can experience a medieval Beltane festival by reading The Beltane Escape, only $2.99 as an ebook on Kindle, Barnes and Noble, and itunes. Also available in paperback. 

Coming soon: The Amber Elixir, a Two Realms Novella, and The Viking Mist, Book 2, The Two Realms Trilogy.

Reviews for The Beltane Escape
“Ms. Moon creates a magical world and a complex cast of characters that leap right off the page!” InD’tale Magazine, Crowned Heart for Excellence review.

“…a fast-paced adventure that is equal parts Harry Potter, Game of Thrones (a PG version) and Alice in Wonderland.” An iTunes Reader

“Moon really takes fantasy stories to the next level and I’d recommend this to anyone that enjoys them.” Haley, A Page Unbound book reviews.

“I want the second one, I want more of everything. More Fenella, more Wizards, more Fae, more half-Viking hotties…just more of everything! If this novel has any foreshadowing of how the rest of the series is going to be, I can’t wait!” Jessica, Taking It One Book at a Time


Blurb

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Lady Fenella, Thaness of Thorburn, has no idea her fate is shackled to a powerful sorceress. She believes Merlin and the Lady of the Lake are myths, Gran’s warnings about Fairy are superstition, and Fairy was invented to make children behave. But a spell cast forward to sixteenth century Scotland finds Fenella and leads to her being branded, stolen, and betrothed. Traumatized and separated from her clan, the Highland heiress finds an unexpected ally in her kidnapper’s son. But their fragile romance is tested when the Lady of the Lake lures Fenella’s cousin into Fairy. Fenella has seconds to decide. Should she remain with Edward, or should she dive into Fairy to rescue her beloved cousin, endangering her clan, and abandoning Edward to his ruthless father?


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Thursday, April 13, 2017

RONE Nominee!

Exciting News!

The Beltane Escape has been nominated for the illustrious RONE Award in the YA: Paranormal/Fantasy/Sci-Fi category!
Public voting will be May 22-28. 

When the time comes, I will let you know how/where to cast your vote. In the meantime...Happy Dance and Happy Reading!

~Love and light, Ariella


Friday, April 7, 2017

I Love Mystical Portals!

ElfhameElfhame by Anthea Sharp
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Elfhame is the first book I have read by Anthea Sharp, but it won't be the last! Wonderful world-building, believable and sympathetic characters, and strong goals propel this magical story. Elfhame is a fast read - almost too fast. I wish more time had been spent building the bond between Mara and Bran. Many secondary characters beg to have their stories written as well. I look forward to reading Hawthorne, the next book in this series.


View all my reviews