“Beltane is one of the four Celtic Fire festivals, and is probably the second most important festival next to Samhain. Beltane is primarily a sun festival and was performed during the day. The most important part of Beltane was the kindling of the fires. The Irish Celts would extinguish their fires the night before and would eat a cold meal to insure that all fires were out. Then they would attend the ceremony, returning with an ember to once more start their fires. The fire festival later evolved into the Celts driving their cattle through two fires to purify the herd. This was done to insure good health of the cattle for the coming year. Modern day pagans will jump over the Beltane fires, though very few actually know why they do so.”

“Beltane, in Irish, or Bealtuinn Scottish Gaelic. The original meaning is ‘Bel’s Fire’ which designates it as one of the major Fire Festivals. Bel is sometimes refered to as the God of ‘Light.’ He is also known as Beli or Belinus and may be traced to the Middle Eastern god Baal. Some Beltane customs are also very similar to the old Roman feast of flowers, the Floriala.”

A few days prior to Bealtine season, every flame was ordered extinguished, to be relighted on the first of May by holy fire drawn directly from the sun. Of fire-worship Toland observes:

“On May-day the Druids made prodigious fires on these cairns, which being every one in sight of some other could not but afford a glorious show over a whole nation. These fires were in honor of Beal, or Bealan, Latinized by the Roman writers into Belanus, by which name the Gauls and their colonies understood the sun, and therefore, to this hour, the first of May is, by the aboriginal Irish, called la Bealtine, or the day of Belan’s fires. May-day is likewise called la Bealtine by the Highlanders of Scotland, who are no contemptible part of the Celtic offspring. So it is with the Isle of Man: and in Armorica a priest is called Belee, or the servant of Bel, and the priesthood Belegieth.”

There’s two reasons why May 1st was chosen as the founding of the Order of the Illuminati. The first being that fire worship was central to the celebrations on that day. And likewise, fire-worship was to be the basis of the highest mysteries of the Illuminati. Weishaupt had written to his devoted disciple Zwack, that he is “warming up the old system of the Ghebers and Parsees …”


“The allegory in which the Mysteries and Higher Grades must be clothed is Fire Worship and the whole philosophy of Zoroaster or of the old Parsees who nowadays only remain in India; therefore in the further degrees the Order is called ‘Fire Worship’ (Feuerdienst), the ‘Fire Order,’ or the ‘Persian Order’ – that is, something magnificent beyond all expectation.”

The second reason for the founding date of May 1st relates to the fact that in communications between members of the Order, the word Illuminati was to be symbolized by a point within a circle: ☉. This has always represented the sun, probably before writing was even invented, and the Egyptians used it thousands of years ago as the Hieroglyphic symbol for the sun-god Ra. The May Day festivals were an enactment of both sun and fire worship; so May 1st—giving the overt symbolism of the Order—was a perfect day (symbolically) for the founding of the Illuminati. The connection between the point within a circle and May Day celebrations is also manifested by the practice surrounding the Maypole.