Discovering Beltane Spirit Animals and Their Spiritual Meanings

Beltane is an ancient pagan celebration that marks the beginning of summer and is still celebrated today. It is a time to celebrate fertility, joy, and abundance. It also has deep spiritual significance that connects to our natural world and animals.

Bruce Clifton/Sonia Parker

4/30/20232 min read

Bull Spirit Animal against watercolour background
Bull Spirit Animal against watercolour background

Beltane is an ancient Celtic festival that marks the transition from spring to summer. Celebrated between the spring equinox and summer solstice, this celebration of fertility is a time of great magic and power.

With the birthing of new stock over, it is time to free the animals to the meadows and pastures. A time to celebrate the arrival of Spring in all its glory. Beltane is the first fire festival of the year, traditionally the half-way point between Spring Equinox and Summer Solstice. A central bonfire would be lit with the rising of the moon on Beltane Eve and from this fire other would be lit within the community.

Hawthorn petals are better known today as confetti, the Druids reverence to when Ash, Oak and Thorn come together signifies Beltane and the woods to be burned in these fires. The collection of ‘confetti’, ‘cups’ and ‘cones’ and the stripping of the dead wood from the trees, thus allowing and encouraging them to grow, also providing the wood for the fires.

Hawthorn and Ash burn hot, whilst Oak provides sustenance to these fires. The Ram, (Aries) and the Bull, (Taurus) it is no coincidence that the April and May moon respectively point to the stars.
The White Ram and Bull as leaders of the flock or herd would lead the animals between the fires to cleanse them of parasites, bugs and fleas from the winter in their enclosures. The dancing and waving of flags, ensuring the animals stayed on track and were driven slowly between the fires so the smoke could do its work.
When Ash, Oak and Thorn come together it is the opening to a new world metaphorically a gateway to the spirit world, or land of the fae and earth tied elementals.

Freya, Brigid, Druantia arrived and encouraged the energies at the Spring Equinox, bringing new life to the Earth, plants and trees. Beltane is a time for the animals, to now be free and to enjoy the pleasures, peace and harmony that Beltane festivals celebrate.

The Robin chicks have left the nest inside the Hawthorn, leading the way for other fledgelings. The Badger cubs are out of their set and seeking the comfort of Oak, the Stag, Deer and Fawns appearing from the Ash.
The domestic animals it will be the males that are released first, the Ram, the Bull, the Stallion, the Hog and the Cockerel each being given the chance to establish their territory and ensure the success of the family.