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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That Day In The Garden

What I imagine the apple said to Eve on that day in the garden…

“Life will break you.

Nobody can protect you from that,

and living alone won’t either,

for solitude will also break you with its yearning.

You have to love.

You have to feel.

It is the reason you are here on earth.

You are here to risk your heart.

You are here to be swallowed up.

And when it happens that you are broken,

or betrayed, or left, or hurt, or death brushes near,

let yourself sit by an apple tree

and listen to the apples falling

all around you in heaps,

wasting their sweetness.

Tell yourself you tasted as many as you could.”

Eva Herzigova in El Jardín Secreto de Eva’ (Eva’s Secret Garden), El Pais Moda, March 2010. Original photo by Giampaolo Sgura.

Contributors

Toward The Rising Sun

May Ostara bring joy and easiness into your life.

May her fertility be passed over to you and may your dreams,
ideas, wishes, plans ripen and bear new fruits.

May the loveliness of spring open your heart and
may you understand the beauty of being and take it in.

Full of strength and new energy,
you shall walk into the brightness
of the awakening spring
and you shall leave the darkness
of the past time behind.

Let go all former burdens
and get rid of the ballast still hindering you.
Free and with new strength
your feet shall carry you
toward dawn.

May Ostara bless us all!

Ostara by Tricia Danby

 

My 2012: The Pooh Way

the tao of pooh by benjamin hoff

“When you wake up in the morning, Pooh,” asked Piglet, “what’s the first thing you say to yourself?”

“What’s for breakfast?!” said Pooh. “What do you say, Piglet?”

“I say, I wonder what’s going to happen exciting today?” said Piglet.

Pooh nodded thoughtfully. “It’s the same thing,” he said.

Back to my roots. Back to me.

It’s been over 17-years since my cousin, Layla, said, “Here… you’ll love this!” and handed me Benjamin Hoff’s The Tao of Pooh.

I was in Oregon. On sabbatical. During the long ending to my first marriage that lasted eight years.

I had returned to my roots. My home. Mostly because my family is there. In the Rogue Valley. And have been for most of my life. My mother’s life hop-skotched my brother & I back and forth between there and mostly, Hungtington Beach, California.

The first born of four grandchildren, my Aunt Val still calls me Pooh to this day.

So many things happened on that Sabbatical. On my About page, I talk about being introduced to Marianne Williamson while watching an Oprah show. That afternoon happened during this Sabbatical.

On this Sabbatical, many many books were read. I had my first & only out-of-body experience or something like it.

On this Sabbatical, I felt myself open. Even more strongly than I did right after my daughter was born.

Like a flower, looking back over those 17-or-so-years, I have & did. And continue to.

2011 has been the year of (re)alignment. To say the least.

This past fall, when I put my entire personal library of important books into donation boxes, this one was held out with the handful of others I’m visualizing will live onboard the boat.

Irony. Psychic ability. Either way, I had no clue in the very beginning of last year when I decided to write for 40 days about the topic of alignment, what rippling effects it would have on the rest of my year.

Live. Learn. Still loving. Definitely more deeply. More deliberately now. Thank you alignment & 2011.

This year, I’ll reach again. Taking my own medicine from Web Presence Essentials about Entrepreneurial Leadership.  I’m reaching more deeply inside. Reminding myself of the most important commitment. Holding no other or thing before it. Making this my idol of worship.

My joy. My love. My thriving life. Me.

Every season. Renewal. Rebirth. The eternal promise of nature. And so, my soul.

2012 begins with nurturing and strengthening my roots. The Pooh Way.

The Tao of Pooh by Benjamin Hoff

How To Finish

I’ve got two days to go. Two days until I press publish. Again. This time it’s different. This time, it’s birth & rebirth. More expansion, optimysm. A bigger baby.

Here’s something I’ve learned about myself in this process that I thought might be helpful for you but mostly, selfishly, I want to remind myself for when I do this again.

You’ve got to set a date.

Create a short-term goal. Or you’ll never do it.

Think about your life for a minute. All the times you’ve done something really big. There’s always been some kind of driving force… usually time (a deadline). The boss needs it next week. The client needs it tomorrow. Your kid needs it today!

To do something significant, for yourself—create a web presence, write an ebook—you must commit to it like an athlete commits to achieving Olympic greatness. You must play out your greatness, over and over in your head until eventually you find that you’ve begun living it.

This is not my epic by any means. No illusions of grandeur here. This is a mere sixty pages of sunshine. But it is a step in the direction of my epic. Which means it resonates, gyrates, shakes & shimmies with lots of good vibrations. That I can feel. This is the storytelling place I’ve been hangin’ out in.

Oh & also hanging out in the satisfaction. On the 24th. Oooooooooooo, Sweet Jesus, the satisfaction.

The other thing I remind myself about is… it’s not the content that’s most important. My heart & soul are on those pages. Which is important. To me. Trusting myself. The words. What I got to say. Period. I remind myself of these things each time I open up Word and finish another section.

To finish on the 24th is the win. What happens after the 24th is really none of my business.

The only thing—right here, right now, that matters—is the next step.

What’s left to write, polish & smooth?

Two days to go. And the storytelling continues… “I’m sitting so frickin’ pretty. I’m so so close. It’s nearly done!”

There’s no struggle here. There’s no crazy, “I got so much left to do…” beating myself up. Stressing out and asking my family to re-arrange their lives. Or putting Christmas on hold. They know what I’m doing and support it. But I’ve chosen not to make it a big stressful production out of it.

Instead, I’m basking in how good it feels now. And letting that jettison me right up to the finish line. Knowing full well, it’s never finished. And it won’t be on the 24th.

It’ll be perfect though. It’ll be just what it’s meant and supposed to be.

Like me. Like you. Exactly where we’re supposed to be, doing exactly what we’re supposed to be doing with exactly whom we are supposed to be doing it.

There is enough. Once you begin seeing that, you quickly realize just how much enough there is.

That no one owes anyone anything. And it’s really all up to you.


Dream On

If you’re in my inner circle, you know, what’s been going down with my sailboat plans.

Which is this… I don’t know shit.

Really.

And I am in the dark, as much as you.

All you need to know (and that I keep reminding myself) is that I have a dream. And I happen to believe that if I can think it, the means to create & fulfill it are freely available to help the dream take shape and become a physical reality.

The Death of a Dreamer

Steve Jobs. Here’s what I think when I think about him.

To do things differently. To stand outside one of your normal tribes. Whatever tribe you belong to at the moment. Just pick one.

Believing before we know all the facts. Believing whatever we need to believe, moment-by-moment, and then simply taking the next step.

Instead of worrying about step number 325.

Where, in your life, do you let step 325 take over? Going on auto-pilot from living your dream because you can’t figure out what you’re not supposed to know yet?

Trusting. First something. Anything. The great mystery. Ultimately though, learning it all pivots on trusting yourself.

To stop kicking your own ass. To start loving the living day lights outta life beginning the moment you open your eyes in the morning.

To fuck it up. And be ok with that.

Or give yourself the time you need to find your way back, however that looks.

To have a plan. A hope. An ideal. A dream. And completely let go of it.

Trusting the process of transformation. That that is your essential nature.

To laugh again. Because you’re realizing one more time that it never turns out the way you thought it would. Or plan it. Never.

What happens is usually better.

I’m dreaming.

I am a dreamer. Born to dream. And make manifest.

Which is the part I think we’re missing. Kinda lost in our peripheral vision. Until we’re reminded (thank you Steve) we’re here to do more than dream it.

It’s the life you create. It only starts with the dream. And then moment-by-moment, with some focus, and tender loving time & attention, we choose.

The next step.

You do what’s easy. What feels natural. Reminding yourself to say thank you to each step. Thank you to everything.

To need only ever look back at the past to bless it and say thank you to it.

I came to live my dream. Not just dream it.

Living the dream is taking Today’s next step. Maybe a couple or even a few. But mostly, just what’s next.

Living the dream is trusting that I know enough for today’s steps and I’m content in any uncertainty that’s left.

Living the dream is the practice of remembering who am I.

A creator.

A thinker. A be-er. An enjoyer.

A knower… that it’s all for me. Trusting.

There is no sailboat yet. There are many sailboats all around me though. And very soon, it will be the next step.

For today, the next step is to downsize. To be ready to go. To act in faith.

It’s trusting my heart. Trusting intuitively how it feels when I dream the dream. Trusting myself to pivot out of each uncomfortable moment.

To be patient with myself. And kind. In the process.

In about a week, I’m letting go of my accumulated possessions that make up my 3-bedroom condo in Orange County, California; consolidating, minimizing into a bedroom & a bathroom.

Since the universe is conspiring to help me achieve this dream, it turns out that my first ex-husband sits in a large empty home after being wiped out by his second wife (yes, it’s one of those stories).

So now most my living room, my daughter’s bedroom, my dining room and most of the kitchen stuff has a custodian. This makes me very happy.

Or, how I looked at my 8 boxes of books, CDs and DVDs that I no longer wanted and wished that they go someplace useful and then learn about the breast cancer book drive donation box that arrived in the lobby of my girlfriend’s office building this week.

Or, while finishing up this post, hopping up in a mad dash hearing the street sweeper outside, remembering that my car (usually in the garage which is cleared out as a moving staging area) is parked on the street! Opening the garage door, I see the street sweeper is stopped behind my parked car, with street sweeper police truck directly behind him and I think “Crap! I’m too late!” The street sweeper driver looks at me, nods and points to my car. And I run across the street in my jammies & slippers, hop in and take the miata for a spin around the block, counting my blessings and screaming “Yes!!” at the top of my lungs, “I can see you conspiring with me Universe. I can see you!!!” And avoiding a ticket.

So much more. Around every corner it seems. Right down to learning last night of Steve’s passing. Thinking the thoughts I thought about that. Watching the impact on my world. Watching how the word dream and dreamer are being elevated in the conversation.

Joining in on that conversation, sharing my dream, with you here on my blog. And taking Today’s next steps to align with it.

Loosely paraphrasing something I heard from Steve… or somewhere in my conspiring Universe…

If you died tonight, would you be happy about the things you accomplished today? About the items that make up your to-do list and what you checked off?

Yeah, that’s what contentment feels like. And, living your dream.