May 1st is the Celtic festival of Beltaine, the beginning of Summer.
Beltaine is one of those festival's everyone loves. It's all about re-birth and beauty, music and dance, nurturence and ecstasy , abundance and magic, fun and naughtiness, the ideal and the real. Masculine and Feminine Spirit come together in the Hieros Gamos (Sacred Marriage) so that life gets renewed again. During Beltaine's season, our sexuality becomes a sacred source of learning, of pleasure, of sensuality, of life, of creativity. And yet so many of us pass it by without participating in the celebration!
Rituals are always important, but even more so -
It's time to re-awaken your instincts! Go out and sense the winds of Spring, strong and potent in many places right now. Listen to the sounds and silences of birdsong, wind through new leaves, rain drumming on everything, ocean's murmurs and roars, river's leaping and tumbling and flowing! Everything in nature calls out to your body to come alive. Go out into Nature. You are awake.
This year I'm out in the western deserts instead of in Rhode Island for Beltaine. My visceral memories of Beltaine are of the chilly damp of early May, surprising sudden warmth, greens, colors returning – awakenings. So this year, I let myself see Beltaine from the desert's perspective - through canyons, rivers, stars and wildflowers.
In the week leading up to Beltaine, I spent time by two rivers, the Virgin River in Zion's canyons and the Colorado River. The River goddesses were out in force, singing and dancing, gliding and tumbling, one kicking up her heels and the other sparkling like translucent sapphires. Like Goldenberry, the River's daughter, there's a strength, a gentleness, and a beauty to the rivers at this time of year. The flowing watery energy of the rivers spoke to me of other aspects of Beltaine - breaking the forces of Winter, melting snows transformed to rushing water, wildflowers defiantly splashing colors over parched soil, winds roaring through the canyons – these strengths shape the energies of Beltaine. Sharp desire, beautiful strengths - all part of the mystery and magic of Beltaine as well.
The ancient Celts would light bonfires and dance around the Maypole, and perhaps chose a partner for the night to create sex magic to fertilize the fields. If this isn't part of your celebration plans, at least go out into the night and feel the new life that has returned once again. The dance of the Maypole is the weaving of the energies of life, male and female. Go out and feel the life moving through you, moving through the world. It's magical. And it's yours.
So take time today and through the new moon to connect to the Earth, to go out and be part of Earth's energy. Breathe it in (through all your senses), center it, and then breathe out that centeredness to re-balance the world toward growth – Beltaine's purpose. Earth's seasons are energetic shifts, and if we place ourselves in those energies consciously, we learn how to use them to sustain our life and those of others. Look to see how Gaia is coming alive again and value how She sustains us. Become Wise. The world needs us to be.
If you'd like to read a Beltaine story please check out:
The Balsamic moon is going to be in the skies until the new Moon on Monday, May 5th. It is the last phase of the moon's cycle before new moon. The time to let go, to finish the lesson and understand it – to gain wisdom. What have you learned since the last Full Moon? Do you know what you really value? Have your discovered your worthiness? Have you accessed your deepest desires? The balsamic moon travels through both Aries and Taurus, igniting the new fire and purpose again, giving you the wisdom to create what you really want.
This Spring is a crossroads for all of us. It's time to grow up and engage our energies for a more useful purpose than making money -personal security is enmeshed with a balanced world. This Earth Day, we were reminded that we have to change our way of living if we want our children to survive on Mother Earth. And we begin to do that simply by experiencing Her cycles. By getting in sync with Her energy so we can renew each other's energy. By getting balanced – body, mind & spirit – we can help balance the needs of both Earth and Humanity.