My first Beltane

Steven Turner joined Beltane Fire Society this year and was a member of Contact Point for Beltane 2012. Here, he shares his experience of joining the Society and taking part in the festival…

*Walks into the room*

Right, I’m here. At a meeting. What am I doing here? What have I got myself into? Am I sure I want to doing this? Do I have the time or the skill to do anything? Will people like me?

Fast forward to a few months after Beltane, and I can say, it was an amazing experience. I have made a lot of new friends and grown as a person all because of taking part and joining Beltane Fire Society.

I am going to presume that anyone reading this will have a basic idea of what Beltane Fire Society does, and if not, please read the website or email the Beltane Fire Society ( with questions. I know they will be happy to help or answer any queries you have!

After only doing research online and having a read around the Beltane Fire Society website, I decided to take the plunge and join a group. I thought I may have had an idea of what I had let myself in for over the next coming months, but nothing could have prepared me for actually happened.

After walking to the first meeting and feeling welcomed into a group of strangers, then to the months we worked together as a group, working on our costumes and various other projects (baking cakes for meetings, to group workshops), I can quite happily count the people I have met along my Beltane journey as some of the nicest and friendliest people I have ever met.

I learned new skills and revived old ones I hadn’t used for years (its not often you apologise to your friends for the giant paper mache phoenix head lying on your living room floor) and enabled me to form closer ties with people inside and outside my social circle (the knitting club I set up at work, so I could finish parts of my costume for example).

All our hard work then cumulated on Beltane night, when the Neid fire was lit and it began. The evening passed in a mystical, powerful, loud and colourful blur, as no doubt you will be able to see from all the pictures on the website and the internet in general. It was an amazing evening and the feelings of everyone could be seen and felt, throughout the whole experience.

Of course, this Beltane being my first, and certainly not my last, I felt the evening was one of the most powerful and amazing things I have taken part of in my life so far.

Beltane couldn’t happen without the time and expertise of so many people out there, most, if not all, of them volunteering their spare time to do this every year!

If you have managed to get to the end of my ramblings, here have a cookie. Hopefully we will see you are the next meeting? Go on, imagine what it is you will gain!

Photos by Ellen Duffy.

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