Sunday, May 1, 2016

Beltaine 2016

I love this image I found online because it is a Beltaine gathering and dance. My favorite part of it is the Beltaine fire ~ in the shape of a phoenix.

Beltaine is about the fertility of the land. An acknowledgement of the coming lushness. Gratitude for the cyclical blessing from the union of Mother Earth and Father Sky.

It's also about rebirth and resurrection. In Christian traditions, Easter is near to this time. Even closer in Orthodox traditions. In Judaism, it is near Passover, another celebration of release. A rebirth, renewal.

Every Spring, when Beltaine nears, I feel the pull of Oya's dance of renewal. I find myself tugged in the direction of the sea. Mama Ocean calls to me. A bonfire on the shore is a wonderful celebration of this call and this time.

This year in particular, I feel the surge of the Earth and Ocean. I feel the tug of the warming weather and Sun. As Beltaine approached, I found myself nearly tripping over a squirrel, sitting peacefully on the pavement in front of me. As I approached, unaware in my rush, it did not move until I was less than a foot away. Then only as far as under the bush beside the walk. Sitting, watching me, as though to say, Slow down and notice. Good thing I noticed. As I approached my car, a crow was sitting on the ground beside it. I slowed down as it turned its head from side to side, noticing me too. It remained next to my car until I was less than three feet from it. Then it hopped a few feet farther away, turned to watch me and chatter. I spoke back to it ~ of my gratitude for its presence and my honoring of our mutual awareness of each other. It bowed to me as I opened my car door and got in. Then it hopped on a rock and watched me depart. That noticing, that slowing down to breathe, is the expression of celebrating Beltaine for me.

How do you celebrate the coming of the next step of Spring? What do you feel as the weather warms and everything turns brighter green and colorful? How do you acknowledge the gifts of Earth and Sky?

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