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Royal baby born during the Pagan festival of Beltane

In one of the many odd coincidences associated so often with the family who have ruled over Britain for a thousand years, the royal baby was born during the Pagan festival of Beltane.

A happy couple announce the arrival of their second bouncing baby. But this is not just any couple and this is not just any baby. Prince William himself was born on midsummer’s day, the summer solstice June 21, 1982 and Prince George was born on July 22 2013 – on a super moon when the moon is at its closest to the earth.

Here are three things you may not know about what Beltane is associated with.

Celtic History

Beltane, also spelled Beltine or Beltaine, comes from the Celtic word meaning “fires of Bel,” in reference to the Celtic sun deity. The Celts celebrated the coming summer with rituals that honored fertility and open pasturing. Historical accounts describe the custom of driving cattle between two bonfires, in a ritual that was believed to magically protect the cattle from disease before they were led into summer pastures. This custom was still observed in Ireland until the 19th century.

The holiday continues to be prominently celebrated in Scotland as well, and remains an important part of both countries’ folk traditions. Edinburgh’s annual Beltane Fire Festival is one of the world’s most famous Beltane celebrations and draws people from around the world for festivities which, while not religious, are meant to recall the ancient traditions of the country.

Importance of Fire

Fire is one of the most significant motifs in the Beltane celebration because of its traditional association with purification and revitalization. As a result, Beltane rituals have historically incorporated bonfires, over which people would jump in the belief that it would bring good fortune and fertility.

Today, many modern pagans continue the tradition of building these bonfires since fire is a significant symbol of community bonding, according to paganism expert Patti Wigington. “[The fire] is a place where the entire community gathers around — a place of music and magic and dancing and lovemaking,” she wrote.

Common Rituals

Along with building bonfires, modern-day pagan observances of Beltane also include dancing around a maypole with ribbons tied to it. The ceremonial folk dance performed around a pole hung with ribbons is not exclusively associated with Beltane and is also a common folk practice across Europe on May 1.

Beltane also is a time for planting and cultivating greens, to honor the holiday’s celebration of fertility. Certain trees have distinct associations with Beltane, including ash, oak and hawthorn.

Some also use the holiday as an opportunity for small, thoughtful gestures toward those in need of healing or care. Preparing baskets of fresh flowers for elderly or shut-in neighbors is one way some pagans choose to incorporate the theme of fertility in support of their community on the holiday.

Some believe the royals across Europe are associated with far darker forces and connections have been made between the British Royal family crests and the Anti-Christ and the End of Days, the prophesies spoken of in the Bible’s Book of Revelations. Read here for more.

Simon Ludgate
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