Fires, Flowers, Fertility & Frivolity

Life is a-bloom since our new zodiac year began at the Spring Equinox, (or Ostara from the old calendar) and today, is the celebration called Beltane—meaning bel-fire—ushering in the light half of the year, a time of fertility and abundance.

Beltane or May Day, the beginning of summer.

This celebration is opposite Samhain (Halloween, or the beginning of winter) and draws a line down the center of our great wheel of life—separating it into two halves—light and dark.  Two hemispheres. Equal. Balanced. Reciprocating in ways that create & expand time & space as we understand it.

The Celtic Wheel of Life

May Day brings new light and revolutionary fervor to realize our dreams.

May 1 (May Day or Beltane) is astrologically the cross-quarter point between the equinox last March as the Sun entered Aries and the coming solstice next month in June when the Sun enters Cancer. It is a cross-quarter cycle in the heavens halfway mark between an equinox and a solstice. It is energy of being at a halfway mark and about moving forward with appreciation of what has already harvested and what can be done in the near future.” ~Sandra Helton, PhD, Sandra’s Celestial Compass for the week of April 30, 2012

[May Day] has long been considered a “power point” of the zodiac, and is symbolized by the Bull, one of the tetramorph figures featured on the tarot cards, the World and the Wheel of Fortune. (The other three symbols are the Lion, the Eagle, and the Spirit.) Astrologers know these four figures as the symbols of the four “fixed” signs of the zodiac (Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, and Aquarius), and these naturally align with the four Great Sabbats of Witchcraft (Imbolc/Candlemas, Beltane, Lammas, & Sahmain). Christians have adopted the same iconography to represent the four Gospel writers.” Mike Nichols, Beltane – May Day: A Pagan Festival of Fertility

Beltane is one of the four great Fire Festivals in the fixed signs of Taurus, Leo, Scorpio and Aquarius. Celebrations include bonfires lit to honor the solar god Belos, rites of cleansing and purification, and rites to bring fertility to the land, to animals, and to the people. Now, everything gestated during the winter is born, desires are made manifest, the unconscious emerges into the light.” ~Mary Pat Lynch, Beltane! The Sun In Taurus

Beltane is a day to light bon fires, dance and hold revelry as the northern hemisphere moves toward the next season from spring to summer.” ~Sandra Helton, PhD, Sandra’s Celestial Compass for the week of April 30, 2012

Beltane is a celebration of life, love, beauty and abundance. It is an earth-centered holiday that is celebrated all over the world around May 1st—5th. The astrological date for Beltane is when the sun reaches 15 degrees Taurus, a power point in astrology, symbolic of one of the four portal times.” ~ Ingrid Jeffries, Beltane

Taurus loves to get down and dirty whether it’s into the sweet-smelling fertile soil or languishing with a lover. Beltane is a festival of pleasure and a time to remember your connection to the Earth. It’s a time to value your body and remember you are a product of creation and in turn you can create! The associations with sex at Beltane come from the idea of sympathetic magic. People would go off to the woods to make love to re-enact the bringing together of the Lord and Lady (The Sun and the Earth) which gives birth to summer and brings the promise of a bountiful harvest.” ~Leah Whitehorse, The Fires of the Bull

On May Eve, women dance with bells on their ankles and beat pots with wooden spoons to chase out shades of the old world. Such practices clear the way for the new world to be. May Day brings new light and revolutionary fervor to realize our dreams. In colonial America the Maypole became the Liberty Tree. Dancing clockwise around a Maypole or tree sets the soul free to realize destiny. A Muse Gate opens every 40 days, 9 each year. Whatever blocks creative flow comes before the Gate to be let go. This is a time to dissolve body tensions that hold outmoded ways of thinking and feeling. Breathe deeply, move freely, dance! Shed the old, open anew. Happy May Day!” ~Steve Nelson, Astrological Timing for Success May 20, 2012 – Moon Magic

You don’t have to practice Wicca to celebrate the Pagan festivals. It’s about awareness & energy. I made a commitment to myself this year to understand more deeply the traditions from the past—from the old calendar—and to understand where & why I celebrate my “holy days” (instead of mindlessly engaging in traditions taught to me, that I’ve always assumed where appropriate & right).

Starting today through Cinco de Mayo and the Scoprio Full Moon on Saturday, I will honor my own body & its connection to the cycles of the Great One through celebration & joy by creating our own Maypole in the backyard, gathering and placing fresh flowers at our homemade “altar,” smudging with sage and jumping over a few lit candles.

A Beltane Blessing

Oak and May,
On This Day,
Will both Heed
Those in Need.
Goddess Bright,
God of Sun,
Bless your Children
‘Till our days are done.

Today, and all summer long… Breathe deeply, move freely, dance!

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