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
This Spring Equinox night I am feeling full, blessed and excited, I could pinch myself, who is this person?
For years Spring was a season wrought with anxiety and depression for me, it was a cosmic mystery why this beautiful, bright, budding time of year brought so much misery and despair to light for me. Last Spring Equinox I wrote about the trials and tribulations of my Spring journeys for my Sage Woman blog, you can read it here: http://www.witchesandpagans.com/sagewoman-blogs/priestess-grove/the-spring-equinox-resurrection.html
The Spring Equinox Resurrection – PaganSquare …
The Spring Equinox is one of the four major cross quarters of the year. There are two Equinoxes and two Solstices and for people that follow the wheel of the year …
Over the past seven years the pain of Spring was lessening, until the most recent three years when I have joined the majority of others in celebrating, being excited and enjoying the return of the Maiden Goddess. As great as this progress is, at some level in my gut I would still get a twinge of old Spring trauma nagging at me.
Until this year! One of the many aspects that I love about having moved back to the small town that I grew up in, is the weather….to anyone that knows the weather here compared to the weather that I left I sound insane. Where I lived was temperate, rainy and pretty mild year round. Where I now live we have frigid Winters, lovely Spring’s, scorching Summer’s and absolutely stunning Autumn’s. What I love about this weather is, having gone through the Priestess training that I did and having returned to a climate that has such distinct seasons, I am flowing with the wheel of the year in such a tangible way.
From Imbolc until today I have felt the Spring energy slowly waking up within me. I feel rested, the Winter was a cave of family, warmth, rejuvenation and reflection, I am ready to re-enter the world now that Spring is here. I have energy, I have inspiration, I have openness and curiosity, my inner Maiden is alive and excited to take the reigns for this next cycle.
I have done so much intensive healing work around my inner Maiden, and now she is free and wild and living in a world that is so safe for her. Today my Maiden self has a husband, a strong masculine presence that honours all of my untamed and wild ways, she has a beautiful daughter to play with, a fun part time job to chat and goof around in. And she has a community of believers, My Maiden self has everything that she longed for when I was a little girl.
Recently I have been discussing parallel realities, time travel and butterfly effects with a close friend of mine. My entire spirit just breathes a deep breathe being able to share such mind bending topics, topics that the majority of the world think are insane when entertained as possibly occurring now, topics that feel more real to me than the 3D illusion we live in. As my friend Bliss and I shared about our experiences and the possibilities another part of my Maiden was healed, years ago the only people I knew who would talk to me about subjects like these were sly wolves preying on innocent wide eyed Maidens.
My Maiden has the benefit of knowing my Mother side, my magical Enchantress self and the little bit of wisdom that my Crone self has obtained throughout my lifetime. She is safe because of me and the Goddess, because together we have created a safe existence for her to be and this is oh so important because the world needs the Maiden Goddess.
We need the Maiden to bring her innocent believing spirit into actualization, we need her dreams, her desires, her passions and her conviction to make the world a beautiful, loving, exciting place to live. We need to create safety for our own inner Maiden and for all of the girls in the world that are living solely as Maidens right now without much knowledge of the other archetypes they carry within, other archetypes that will evolve as they continue their spin around the sun.
Tonight, I was blessed with a full ceremony, with the community I was calling in on the past Crone Moon, we set intentions and painted eggs to grow our intention into reality. Now that the ceremony has ended and I sit and bask in the afterglow of a wombspace filled with women and intention I feel that another intention is dawning, an intention to spend this next cycle of the wheel in my Maiden, honouring the Maiden expression of Goddess and working to continue to expand my consciousness so that this reality can continue it’s evolution towards a harmonious and nurturing environment for innocent, passionate Maiden spirit’s to exist.
What seeds are you watering into life tonight on this Spring Equinox?
Grace Be With You,
Priestess of Grace,
Candise Soaring Butterfly
artist of picture unknown to me