For Broom Closet Witches: Beltane: A Broom Closet Witch’s Celebration

by Claire du Nord

Blessed Be, and Beltane Blessings! Welcome back to the seventeenth article in our “For Broom Closet Witches” series. Claire du Nord here, a High Priestess in the Temple of Witchcraft tradition.

I had high hopes that I could keep my Yule Tannenbaum until Beltane so that it could be the Maypole for my Beltane celebration, but alas – it had to be disposed of. It had started to grow some mysterious, but nevertheless cool-looking (in my opinion, anyway) lichen-like mossy stuff on it. And because the annual apartment inspection, which usually happens sometime in May, was conducted a month early this year, I had to say “Goodbye” to the Tannenbaum, as I was sure when I got the 48-hour notice to enter the apartment, that the apartment manager would not appreciate the Tannenbaum the way I did. So, instead, my staff became the “Maypole” of sorts, and even without any Beltane drinking, dancing and “frolicking”, one thing sort of led to another as I wrote this article…

Once upon a time, there was a 3-bedroom brick home on a 3.5-acre plot of land which became a little Hobby Farm. There were chickens, guinea hens, turkeys, rabbits, goats and sheep! It was all part of a Homeschooling adventure, meant to provide my son with a rich life experience in self-sufficiency and living close to Nature. We hatched out chicks in an incubator, as well as let the hens go “broody”. We always provided fresh hay and special types of feed for everyone who lived there. In the picture below are “Baby” (in the foreground) and “Valentine” (in the background). They were extremely mischievous and loved to break through the fence just to get to the acorns under the oak tree on the other side.

We loved them, nonetheless. And they did provide us with some nice wool. At the beginning of each summer, they would get shorn (get a haircut). I would send the fleece to be washed and “combed” at a wool processing company, and they would send it back to me in the form of “roving”. I then spun the wool into yarn, using what is called a “Drop Spindle”, (or a mini-Maypole???), as well as a Spinning Wheel. Here is a bag of roving, with the drop spindle, ready to begin to spin:

And here is the drop spindle, after a bit of spinning. It is used to spin and store the yarn until enough has been spun to form a “Skein”.

And here are two “skeins” of yarn, after spinning, which can then be wound into balls, if preferred. The next stage in the process is to use the yarn to knit wool clothing. (This is a little bit of a simplification of the process, as one might also like to have an “Umbrella Swift”, a “Niddy-Noddy”, a “Nostepinne” and a “Ball Winder”, all of which can be used to help in the “Sheep to Yarn” process.)

Here is my Spinning Wheel, a stool to sit on while spinning, and a big bag of roving to the right:

For my Beltane table, I chose a white tablecloth with a rose pattern to match the roses in the vase. I also added two burgundy-colored candles and a jar with some dried rose petals inside. I decided to make it a “Tea Party”, with my rose tea pot, rose cup and rose tea bag holder. I served a goat cheese log sprinkled with dried mint flakes and olive oil drizzled on top with crackers. There was also a green pepper and radish platter.

And here is my Beltane table:

I hope this article has been helpful, and until next time –

Merry Meet, Merry Part, and Merry Meet again!

Beltane Blessings,
Claire du Nord

Temple of Witchcraft