Beltane Deity Spotlight: Kokopelli

March 28, 2021
March 28, 2021 DesertJen


Pagans of the Wild Wasteland welcomes you.  Grab a beverage, sit back, read, and hopefully mark us as one of your favorite spots on the world “wild” web.    


Beltane is a month away and you may be looking for something new and original for celebrating the foremost fertility Sabbat on the wheel of the year.      

Modern depiction of Kokopelli

w:User:Booyabazooka; flipped by Beyond My Ken (talk) 00:47, 13 September 2010 (UTC), Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons


While searching for an “off the beaten path” deity to celebrate the Sabbat, I discovered Kokopelli.  Kokopelli is a fertility god originating from the American southwest indigenous tribes.  Kokopelli’s origins are believed to have begun with the Anasazi and he takes many forms among the tribes.  One thing they seem to agree on is his status as a fertility god.   

Fertility God 

As a fertility GodKokopelli was originally depicted with large and erect male genitalia.  Early Christian missionaries found this somewhat disturbing, thus the practice discontinued publicly.   

His fertility symbolism in the legends varies among the tribes.  In some, it is his traveling from village to village sharing his knowledge of agriculture.  He instructed tribes on how to plant maize, squash, and beans.  The songs Kokopelli played on the flute would bring the spring rains allowing the crops to flourish in the desert southwest. 

In others, he would wander from village to village seducing women.  He would leave animal hides and blankets in return for servicing his legendary sexual needs.  In other tribes, the women who were having fertility problems called to him and he either impregnated them or left a baby One legend has him detaching his large phallus from his body, setting it in the river to float down to the villages, seducing and impregnating local women. 

Kokopelli’s Flute 

It is clear in all the different tribes that Kokopelli is also known as a flute-playing wanderer with a bag of goodies on his back. 

As noted above, his flute would bring on spring rains to help the crops flourish.  His music was also said to bring to bloom the spring flowers that bring color to the desert, or in other legends, bring solutions to make dreams come true.  Also, his flute is believed to promote well-being through music, healing infertility and sickness to those in the villages he visited. 

Kokopelli’s Sack 

Native American lore considers the hump on Kokopelli’s back to represent a sack of goodies.  Depending on the tribe or specific legend, the bag contains babies to be left for the barren women in the village, songs he played on his flute, trinkets for trade, or seeds of corn. 

Kokopelli and Beltane 

After researching Kokopelli, it became readily apparent he would be an excellent fit for a Beltane ritual.  He is a fertility god, he is a healing god, and he is a god related to agriculture – all the things that Beltane is about. 

To use Kokopelli in your Beltane ritual, I would suggest Native American flute music in the background.  On the altar, corn, bean, and squash seeds would be appropriate as would early spring flowers. A dish of water from a spring rain would be a reminder of the transition from winter to spring.  For instance, performing a ritual of fertility, whether it be material or spiritual would, again, be appropriate. 

What God and/or Goddess will you be using during your Beltane ritual?  Let us know below in the comments.   


The Great Basin Crone, DesertJen, has been a practicing pagan for 20 years. She does not identify with any belief system, although she feels a strong calling to explore, investigate, and practice using her Celtic roots. She also practices Kitchen and Green witchery through her love of cooking and gardening, using herbs, plants, and anything that comes from the earth in her craft. She has many hobbies, which include creating through polymer clay and her Cricut. She also has the pleasure of nurturing and caring for her grandbaby while the baby’s parents are at work. Animals are extremely important to DesertJen, as she has an elderly lab, an old husky, and a young black Manx that is missing her tail (who keeps the old Crone on her toes!). DesertJen shares her life with her mother in the Nevada high desert of the Great Basin, where they love to watch the moon rise.

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