Botanical Anthology

Beltane Floral Incense

This blog post is a little something different: an excerpt from the spring edition of Botanical Anthology!

This plant centered digital publication is packed with seasonal crafts, recipes, foraging tips, articles, & more. Click here to learn more about the digital edition, or click here to check out the print edition.

Carrie Tuttle is an environmental educator, mom, and poet. She has been weaving magic into her home via kitchen and garden witchery for 30 years. She lives in Wyoming with her family, pets, and gardens.

Fires of Beltane Loose Floral Incense

By Carrie Tuttle

Beltane is a glorious celebration of fire. Translated roughly as bright fire, the day falls at the halfway point between the Spring Equinox and the Summer Solstice. Here we find a day associated with bonfires, feasting, and the fertility of the land beneath our feet. Beltane, or Mayday, is awash with flowers. In Gaelic lands, and in modern Paganism, it is celebrated with a flower wreathed Maypole, floral wreaths for the May Queen and celebrants, as well as decorating homes and sacred places and spaces with spring florals.

For many this is a time of year when spring begins its raucous state of growth; a riot of flowers, lengthening days, and getting our gardens underway. One practice to honor this day, and its connection to fire and growth, is through the crafting of ritual incense. The use of incense is common in ritual and dates back thousands of years to ancient Mesopotamia, where the burning of herbs and resins facilitated sacred communication with the gods. In addition, it is believed that the healing elements of herbs can be transferred through their burning as well, leading many to blend their own healing incense. 

Using a loose incense allows the crafter to use dried flowers and herbs in their whole form, without having to pulverize, mix and add a binder; required in the blending of stick and cone incense. It is a simple and quick way to craft incense, and involves only the herbs and a source of heat, such as a charcoal disc or electric incense burner.

The Beltane incense below was crafted with following herbs for their corresponding symbolism: 

Lavender: love, luck, grace, and connection to ones higher self

Apple or crabapple twigs: beauty, health, fertility, and harmony

Rose: romance, passion, rebirth, renewal

Jasmine : sensuality, positivity, connection to the divine

Mugwort: dreams, protection, self-love, magic

You may also add other herbs from your local environment, or from your gardens, as it enhances your connection to the land, and to your personal practice. Just be sure to look into their properties, as you don’t want to burn anything that could be toxic.

Blending these dried herbs together to burn is its own wild alchemy, because as you blend you put your intentions for this fiery holiday into work. You may imagine the correspondences as you blend each herb, or add your own magical intent. 


3 tbsp jasmine flower

2 tbsp lavender

2 tbsp mugwort

1 tbsp  roses 

1 tbsp  apple twigs, cut into ½ inch bits


Mix well, place in a jar and label. 

Burn over a charcoal disk or in your outdoor Beltane fire of choice. 


The batch makes approximately ½ cup  of the incense blend.

Increase the batch size to use in a bonfire or to give as gifts.

Recipes Tea

Spring Tea Recipe Ebook!

I am so proud to say that I’ve written a recipe ebook! It is available for purchase now in my Etsy shop, HERE.

The Spring Tea Booklet contains 20 tea recipes based on the season, nature, nature-based festivities, folklore, art, cozy aesthetics, and more! It also includes tips on tea-making and sourcing herbs and ingredients.

Lovingly created, written, photographed, and designed by folk herbalist Anna Reisz (me!!), this tea recipe booklet is a cozy and magical way to ground into the season. These recipes are approachable and perfect for anyone, from beginners to experienced tea blenders. Draw on the inspiration in these pages to create teas for self care, parties and special occasions, gifts, and more.

Recipes include:

Spring Full Moons (3 recipes)
Ace of Wands
Anne Shirley
Element: Air
Spring Equinox
Light Academia
Spring Forest
Intention: Creativity
Spring Zodiac Signs (3 recipes)
Beatrix Potter
Spring Dreams

I am grateful to anyone who considers taking a peek at this creation that I am proud of and considers purchasing a copy. This cozy herb thing is something I do because I love it, and I am so happy when others think it is pretty cool, too. Your support helps me continue to be able to do this—learning, creating, and sharing.


Lavender-Cardamom Blueberry Muffins

Happy Beltane! As mentioned in my previous post, this day marks the halfway point between the spring equinox and summer solstice. It traditionally involves a sweet, floral baked good, so I decided to create a new recipe!

I based this recipe on one from another website, but changed it up with herbs and spices; my version became Lavender-Cardamom Blueberry Muffins. Since lavender honey cakes are pretty traditional for Beltane, this is sort of a twist on that idea. My kids helped me bake these, and they really loved eating them, too!

Lavender-Cardamom Blueberry Muffins

PREP 10 min | COOK 20 min | TOTAL 30 min


•1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

•3/4 cup granulated sugar, plus 1 tablespoon for muffin tops

•1/4 teaspoon salt

•2 teaspoons baking powder

•1/2 to 1 tablespoon dried lavender, to taste

•1/4 teaspoon finely ground cardamom powder

•1/3 cup canola or vegetable oil

•1 large egg

•1/3 – 1/2 cup milk, dairy or oat

•1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

•6 to 8 ounces fresh or frozen blueberries (about 1 cup)



Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Line muffin tin with 8-10 paper liners, depending on your preferred muffin size.


• Whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, lavender, and cardamom in a large bowl.

• Add oil to a glass measuring cup that holds at least 1 cup. Add the egg, then fill the jug to the 1-cup line with milk (1/3 to 1/2 cup milk). Add vanilla and whisk to combine.

• Add milk mixture to the bowl with dry ingredients and use a wooden spoon to combine. Do not over-mix. (The muffin batter will be fairly thick. Fold in the blueberries.


• Fill the muffin cups with batter. (If making big-topped muffins, the batter will come to the tops of the paper liners). Sprinkle a little sugar on top of each muffin.

• Bake muffins 15 to 20 minutes or until tops are no longer wet and a toothpick inserted into the middle of a muffin comes out with crumbs, not wet batter. Transfer to a cooling rack.

wheel of the year

Celebrate Beltane!

Beltane is coming! For those who don’t know, Beltane is sometimes known as May Day, which is observed on May 1st. It marks the halfway point between the spring equinox and the summer solstice on the wheel of the year. Beltane is associated with flowers, abundance, fertility, bonfires, maypoles, gardening, trees, honey cakes, fruit, feasting, love, and the approach of summer. Sounds fun, no?

There are all sorts of ways to celebrate Beltane from a hygge herbologist approach! Below are a few of my favorite ideas. I’m sharing them in a maximalist / minimalist format in case you’re like me and tend to talk yourself out of things that you were excited about, but that end up sounding energy-draining when the time nears. That way you won’t be bummed with yourself for mixing the idea altogether. (That’s my approach, anyway!)

Max: Light a Bonfire / Min: Just burn a candle or incense

Bonfires are a very traditional part on Beltane, going back to the Celts. Your backyard fire pit would make the perfect Beltane bonfire. Or, if you are an apartment dweller or just not feeling the fire pit thing, light a floral candle or few to brighten the occasion!

Max: Bake honey + floral cookies or cakes / Min: Just make honey + floral fruit salad

Lavender or rose and citrus zest make perfect compliments to a honey cake or shortbread. Try one of the recipes from my Pinterest board! Or, if fruit salad is more your speed, go with a combo like berries, apples, and peaches, with honey, citrus zest, and herbs (fresh mint or lemon balm are excellent choices).

Max: Plant something new / Min: Just plan out your soon-to-be garden

I am planning to plant a couple of hardy herbs in containers as part of Beltane weekend (it’s still within the frost window here so I’m not doing everything yet). Whether or not that actually happens, though, I am definitely going to take some time to sketch out plans for the rest of my container garden. Use that Beltane creative energy to your advantage!

Max OR Min: Make Beltane tea

Minimalist or maximalist, herbal tea can be a tradition and ritual that makes for a special and fun way to mark each sabbat. I am sharing my recipe for a Beltane herbal tea blend, or you can create your own!

Beltane Tea recipe:

1 part Elderflower || 2 parts Chamomile 2 parts Lemon balm || 1 part Mint 1 part Green Rooibos (optional; could also replace with loose leaf green tea)

Note—steep with just-boiled water up to 10-15 minutes unless you add green tea, in which case you’ll want a little cooler water and shorter steep time, probably about 3-4 minutes max.

How are you planning to celebrate Beltane? Or do you have another seasonal celebration to mark the halfway point between spring and summer?