Beltane is Samhain’s opposite festival, where Samhain opens up the veils to allow the dead to rise and the darkness to descend, Beltane opens up the veils and allows the fey to rise and the light to ascend.
Beltane seems to be the one festival out of the eight on the wheel of the year that I easily miss or discount, at the beginning of May I am either processing the spring anxiety that can come and grab me, or I am just out and enjoying the changing weather and not truly aware of the shifting of the wheel.
The depth involved in Beltane has often alluded me just as the Taurean mysteries often do. Being a Scorpio Sun with a Taurus Moon, understanding both sides of these opposing energies is an important life lesson of mine. Since the dawning of my awareness of astrology and my personal astrological make-up, Scorpio has been the sign that I identified the easiest with, being my soul energy sign and such an intense one it is easy to understand why this would be, Taurus has easily been left as a secondary energy, one that I placed after Scorpio.
I get the depths in mystery, darkness, the underworld, my shadow, my unconscious, dreams and swirling oceans that never end which Scorpio and Samhian encompass. The depths of joy, merriment, romance, love, blossoming, celebration and light magic that Taurus and Beltane encompass have seemed a little too ‘nice’, too ‘sweet’ for such a heavy and intense person as I.
However, as my Goddess path unfolded before me I began to weary of having struggles and challenges be my catalyst for growth and transformation, I began to wonder if joy couldn’t be a touchstone for spiritual growth, I wanted joy to be my new touchstone for growth, I wanted to be so joyful that I was compelled to open even wider, to raise up in vibration even higher, if challenges could be a touchstone for spiritual growth, surely blessings actualized could be as well, couldn’t they?
That idea was my first inkling of what kinds of depths this Beltane day could offer me. The closest I have come to experiencing what I believe the essence of this day holds for us all is when I fell in love with my husband. I always expected falling in love to be a passionate, all encompassing, drink each other’s blood kind of obsessive merging for me. While we never drank each other’s blood, there definitely was that passion and obsession that I had imagined I would experience when I fell in love, but there was also sweetness, lightness, innocence and playfulness, aspects of myself that I hadn’t known since I was too young to remember clearly. Not only could I barely remember those aspects of myself, they were aspects that I had shut down at an early age, aspects that had made me feel vulnerable and unsafe in what was a cruel reality that I first arrived in. When I sat down on my first date with my husband, he and I had a moment where our eyes locked and no words came, we just held each other’s gaze and I felt the air element as my heart chakra burst open wide, in that moment I realized that I had never felt someone open my heart before, all of my previous romantic encounters had been of the second chakra variety. With my heart opening came an instant return to innocence and my husband and I enjoyed a good three years of the ‘honeymoon’ phase, sweetness and light filled our lives and sweetness and light is what I believe Beltane calls up and brings back to Earth each time the Wheel of the Year returns to the first of May.
I have felt far from sweetness and light as of yet, in fact I have felt very dark and heavy, dark and heavy in the way that I did before entering my conscious path. It did not feel like my natural state anymore, yet I could not find my way above water. After a year long pregnancy (one miscarriage followed by another pregnancy) fraught with complications, a traumatic birth, a newborn in the NICU for a week and then what felt like a crushing case of Postpartum Anxiety and a potentially colicky newborn all of the lights seemed to be going out for me. Like the Swamp of Sorrows from the Neverending Story I began to really sink into dread, remorse and hopelessness. I got lost in the past, how joyful I once was, how in love I once was, how free I once was, how much fun my first born and I once had, and down I went.
Finally I got serious about getting out of the swamp. I took the practical steps needed, visited a homeopath, reached out to my women and shared where I was at, called on my spiritual guides, told the doctor, started taking my vitamins and probiotics, started eating very healthy. I also did everything I could to support my emotional, mental and spiritual health. I prayed, meditated, did breath transmutation work, and became diligent about being in the now. I began to feel some relief and then this past week I started to pray that the Holy Spirit would enter my hormones and started to notice a huge shift, these were all hopeful steps in the right direction for me.
Suddenly this morning I woke up, the first one awake in the house, my baby was asleep beside me, my husband and three year old were cuddling asleep in the other room and I scanned my body to find that not only was there no anxiety or dread, there was energy and joy. I breathed it in, afraid to even admit it to myself at first, energy and joy was the last of a tiny list of intentions that I had written for myself during a surrender exercise I had read in the book Letting Go, the Pathway to Surrender, and here I was on Beltane morning waking up with energy and joy.
As I enjoyed a rain day with my husband home from work, snuggled my sleeping newborn throughout the day, took a nature walk and marvelled at the lushness that is life at this time of year with my three year old and celebrated the birth of my ever warm and loving Beltane birthday Mother I knew in a way I have never known before that there is depth in joy, there is necessity in joy, there is wisdom in joy, as deep and profound as any darkness I have surrendered to in my life.
I spent years as a young woman negating the light aspects of life, viewing it as frivolous and lacking in true meaning or purpose, I was scared of the light, unbeknownst to me I wasn’t strong enough to be open and vulnerable in the sweetness and light of life.
Thanks to the Creator for leading me to this path, the many years I have followed the Wheel of the Year has opened me up to the vibrational changes that happen as the wheel turns and Beltane caught me right at the perfect moment, when I was open and raw and desperate for sweetness and light to re-enter my experience.
Today is a new beginning for me, I am celebrating all of the life that has bloomed in my life, my house overflows with young, budding, innocence, two beautiful Maidens at home. New love is flourishing as my husband and I reconnect to our dreams and share our mutual dreams of the future with each other.
Today, on Beltane, I am reminded that an intention of joy serves not only me, but the entire world, I see that on the smiles that are reflected back to me when my three year old sees me light up rather than tense up, I see it in the relaxed muscles of my husband’s face as my daughter and I shout “thank you Mother Nature” out the window, thanking her for sending rain so that we can spend the day with him, rather than nag at him about the money we aren’t making that day. I feel it in the ease with which my newborn curls up in my arms and sleeps for hours on end as she goes through her growth spurt.
Beltane may be the most personally profound of days for me on the Wheel of the Year now, sweetness and light, energy and joy, my newest life intentions, intentions that I plan to see reflected back to me in a sweet and light new world as we continue to evolve as a community of souls. Beltane may just be exactly what our world needs now, it’s definitely what my world needed today.
To each and every one of you,
Merriest of Beltane’s Ever!
Grace Be With You,
Priestess of Grace,
Candise Soaring Butterfly
artist: Josephine Wall