Beltane is nearly upon us, my dears (it arrives on May 1st)! The world is blooming. Spring is reaching hopefully for the summer months. In older celebrations, this was often a time to perform spells for healthy livestock, to embrace the joyful raucousness of the season, and of course to perform a Maypole dance. But how is a modern spoonie to celebrate this holiday that is associated with high energy activities?
Well, first and foremost, I encourage you to find lower-spoon versions of any Beltane activities you want to try. Dancing, for example, is associated with Beltane. Maybe an elaborate Maypole dance or a full night of dancing isn’t in the cards for you. But could you go to a dance with partners/friends and dance in a chair, or pace yourself and only dance every third or fourth song? Beltane is also often celebrated through ritual sex or sex magic. If that’s your vibe, how might you save up energy for a spicy encounter (with a partner, partners, or solo) and how might you rest/recover afterwards? You get the idea.
For this post, though, I wanted to focus on the idea of home protection. As I was reading Melanie Marquis’ Beltane: Rituals, Recipes & Lore for May Day (from Llewellyn’s Sabbat Essentials series, which I highly recommend) I was reminded that spring is often a time for cleaning out our homes, which pairs nicely with a home protection spell or ritual. I love this idea, but I want to hone it a bit for those of us that are disabled and/or neurodivergent. Doing a huge cleaning project can be overwhelming mentally and physically. I personally need to set small, achievable goals for myself and force myself to rest in between tasks when I’m cleaning/tidying. Same with big, involved home blessing/protection spells. Plus, sometimes spoonies don’t have an entire house to work with. If we live with caregivers, especially those who might be less than supportive of our witchy workings, we may not be able to move through the whole house with candles or incense.
So instead of working with the house as a whole, this is a cleansing and protecting spell intended for your nest. By “nest,” I mean whatever area in your home you use to crash, unwind, recuperate, etc. Maybe it’s your bed. Maybe it’s your spot on the couch. Maybe it’s the bathtub where you soak after a long day. It could even be more of a shifting space, like the wheelchair that helps you navigate the world, or the car where you can sing loudly as you drive. The space itself is completely up to you–just choose a place where you spend a fair amount of time and where you can best be yourself. Your messy self, your recovering self, your unmasked self, etc.
This spell has two parts: cleansing, and protecting. Let’s dive in!
YOU WILL NEED:
- Your space of choice. Ideally, perform this spell at a time when you can be alone there.
- Something to represent each of the four elements. You can absolutely use witchy tools like crystals and candles here, but you can also grab items you already have on hand. Here’s a few suggestions for each.
- FIRE: A candle (flame or battery-powered), incense, a flashlight, a warm beverage
- AIR: A feather, bells or chimes, a handheld fan, a hair dryer
- WATER: A vessel filled with water (bonus points if it’s moon water!), a seashell, a lotion or topical medicine, a favorite mug or glass
- EARTH: A crystal (I particularly suggest black tourmaline or onyx for protection energy), a vessel of sand or dirt, a pair of shoes or slippers, a handful of coins
YOU COULD USE:
- Any cleaning supplies you need to tidy up your space (trash bags, clorox wipes, a feather duster, a vacuum, etc.) If you’re so inclined, you could use a besom or ritual broom as part of your tidying!
- A tool for directing energy–this could be a wand or a crystal point if you have one, or it could be a spoon or pen
- Settle yourself in the space you’ve chosen. Ground and center yourself however feels most comfortable for you. You might spend a few moments in quiet meditation, focusing on your breath. You might repeat a mantra. You might say a prayer to a patron deity or ask an ancestor for their blessing. Whatever gets you in the headspace for spellcasting.
- Take a moment to outline the perimeter of your space. If it’s a larger area and you’re comfortable moving, you might walk/wheel the perimeter. If it’s a smaller area, or you prefer not to move around, you can trace the outline with your finger or a tool like a wand, crystal point, spoon, etc. Or you can simply imagine/visualize a circle of light or a protective bubble expanding out from your heart and growing until it surrounds the entirety of your space.
- Spend a few minutes tidying up your space. This can be as low-effort or in-depth as you prefer (and as you have the energy for). It could be as simple as straightening out the tchotchkes and knickknacks on your shelves, or emptying your bedside trash can. It could be as involved as taking everything down to dust, vacuuming, cleaning out your car, etc. Consider your energy, pain, and focus levels, but also consider what kind of tidying will make the biggest impact on the feel of the space for you. Maybe the shelf by your favorite chair is cluttered, but you like it that way and what will make the space feel cleansed to you is to arrange your books in alphabetical order. That’s the right activity for you!
- Once you’re satisfied with your tidying, return to a comfortable resting position. Say aloud or silently, “As spring clears the way for summer, I clear the way for this space to better serve its purpose.”
- Now you’re going to use your four element-associated items to reinforce and protect the space. For each element, you will pick up your item (or hold your hands near it and focus on it, if holding it aloft won’t work for you) and either move it around your space in a circle, circle it over your lap, or hold it and imagine its energy moving around your space. Let the order in which you invoke the elements come to you intuitively. Whichever tool/representational object calls to you first, start there. The order I’ve listed them here is but one option of many.
- Circling the space with your representation of fire, say aloud or silently, “Element of fire, warm this space like an inviting hearth. If I need to be angry or inspired here, light the spark within me. Burn away the judgment of the outside world when I am here.”
- Circling the space with your representation of air, say aloud or silently, “Element of air, buoy my thoughts as I dream in this space. If I am frozen, tug at me like a friendly breeze until I can fly again. Let this be the eye of my hurricane where I may rest away from the storm.”
- Circling the space with your representation of water, say aloud or silently, “Element of water, flow through my heart freely when I wash ashore here. Whether I need to mourn or celebrate, help my feelings ebb and flow like the tide. Protect this island so I may refresh myself here.”
- Circling the space with your representation of earth, say aloud or silently, “Element of earth, ground me like a flower blossoming from fertile soil. Help me find my roots when I need focus or centering. Let this space be a sacred clearing in the forest where I am safe in the company of the trees.”
- If you’re able to keep your element representations/tools somewhere in or near your space, arrange them however you please. If that isn’t possible, know that the elements’ energy remains even once you take the tools you used to channel them away.
- Thank the elements for their assistance, then take down the circle around your space however you please (moving around the perimeter or pointing to its edges in the opposite direction, or imagining your protective bubble shrinking back into your heart). As you do this, say aloud or silently, “Though I take down the circle, this edge of protection remains, holding me safe whenever I enter.”
If time allows, I recommend finishing the spell by spending some quality time in your space. Snuggle into bed with a favorite book. Watch a favorite movie from the comfort of your armchair. Drive to a favorite store and belt to your favorite songs as you go. Bask in the cozy, protected space that you have created.
On an unrelated note, I was recently invited to appear on the podcast The Witching Hour with Eron Mazza! You can listen to the episode here. I had a great time talking about tarot, witchery, and accessibility with Eron. And it’s always awesome connecting with a fellow they/them!