As we reach the celebration of Beltane, spring has peaked and we are heading into summer. The Earth is warming up and has an energy bursting with strength and fertility. The word Beltane is thought to originate from the Celtic god, Bal, meaning 'the bright one' and the Gaelic word 'teine,' which means fire. Together they create 'bright fire' or 'godly fire'. Traditionally, bonfires were lit at Beltane to honor both the Sun and Bel because they nurture emerging harvests and the beginnings of new life. At this point in the wheel of the year, the focus is on fertility, the creation of new life and on ensuring healthy livestock and strong crops throughout the coming year. Crop fertility is a strong theme at this Sabbat, and rituals to promote fertility and sexuality, life and unity are common. Beltane is also a popular time for handfastings, vows and commitments.