Beltane Caudle - Food and Drink

The Element Encyclopedia of Witchcraft: The Complete A-Z for the Entire Magical World - Judika Illes 2005

Beltane Caudle
Food and Drink

The word “caudle” is related to “cauldron” and describes a concoction traditionally made from blending eggs and grain with ale or wine, brewed in a cauldron. This blending of beverages and grains was once quite popular.

The Beltane Caudle was incorporated into a Scottish Highland ritual also involving Beltane cakes (see page 506). Sir Walter Scott described the traditional ritual: a square trench was cut into the ground, leaving the turf in the middle. A wood fire was built for the cauldron, which was filled with eggs, butter, oats, and milk. Copious quantities of beer and wine were added: each participant was expected to contribute his share. (The suggestion is made that much beer and wine were also enjoyed independently prior to and during ritual preparations.)

The ritual began by spilling some of the caudle on the ground as a libation. Individual Beltane cakes were distributed; the ensemble then made various invocations to protective and dangerous spirits (see page 507). Once the invocations were complete, the caudle was consumed. The remainder of the Beltane cakes might be consumed or incorporated into different rituals.

See ANIMALS: Corvids; CALENDAR: Beltane.