This Beltane was the first High Day that I did not celebrate with formal, ADF style, ritual. This is because I was on holiday in Norway over the May Bank Holiday weekend.
However, getting close to nature by sailing on the fjords and hiking in the woods and alpine meadows, which were starting to bloom with spring flowers, certainly felt more down-to-earth authentically “Pagan” than saying scripted words at my Home Shrine.
On Beltane day itself, I found myself in a small village in the hills by a fjord called Flam. I sat on the pebble beach by the water’s edge and did a simple “Two Powers” meditation, feeling the land beneath me, the waters around me and the sky above me. The sense of connection and energy felt doing this exercise out in the wild, in one of the most beautiful natural locations on earth, was definitely more powerful than doing it at home, and made me think a lot more about doing meditation and/or ritual outdoors much more in my daily life.
In modern Norse Paganism, the corresponding festival to Beltane (sometimes called Walpurgisnacht), is often seen as sacred to Freya, and as I was in Norway (and on Friday, Freya’s day), I drank a toast of lovely local craft beer to Freya in a brew-house built in the style of a Viking hall.
The rest of the day was spent in the company of my lovely other half, hiking, getting a train up to the snow-covered mountains, and generally enjoying being away. I bought a small Thor statue who now lives on my Home Shrine, although I am not a devotee of the Norse hearth culture, he is a nice reminder of a fantastic trip away, and a country that still seems deeply in touch with its pre-Christian Pagan heritage.