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Beltane: Occupy Your Body
Tomorrow is the astrological Beltane, the exact midpoint between the Spring Equinox and the Summer Solstice. The cross-quarters always mark a liminal time — the midst of the shift from equinox to solstice, or solstice to equinox, always at 15 degrees of a sign in the fixed modality. In the Northern hemisphere at Beltane we are moving from spring to summer as the Sun is moving through the sign of Taurus, the Bull. The urgent, burgeoning Earth calls us to pay attention, to be here in the moment of creation, to walk in beauty, to revel in the birth of new life. There is deep pleasure to be found in the warmth of the returning sun, the scent of flowers and rich, enlivened soil carried on soft breezes, in watching as the spring rains transform the insubstantial mist of green around the trees into brilliant green leaves. Have you let yourself stop often to be fully present in your body – to truly enjoy this time?
Our bodies are ground zero for any incarnation within time and space, the ship for our journey. Each cell has its own unique consciousness, and the whole body hums in a symphony of consciousness, rather like the invisible, dancing organization of a beehive. Soul and spirit are hardwired into this miraculous creation, and, no matter what sort of ship you set out with from port, if you’re reading this, your ship floats — or flies. I often like to think of it in terms of some science fiction I’ve read, in which the spaceship itself is conscious and navigation happens through a kind of mind-meld with the ship’s captain. Each person’s greater individual consciousness connects and melds with the consciousness of an incarnate form for the purpose of living a single lifetime, then leaves that body behind at death.
The Uranus-Pluto square is teaching us about acceptance of death and change, but to truly experience the lessons of this time, we must occupy our bodies. As obvious as that sounds, few people do. Modern cultures, for the most part, teach us to shut down, to de-sensitize ourselves, to just make it through. The body is seen as something to be used, or even used up. But this approach never really works, because when we incarnated, we agreed to certain rules — one of them being that, when we screw up, the body gets to speak up. When we stuff our emotions, we stuff them in the body — and the body responds. When we deny pain, we deny the body — and the body responds. When we deny pleasure, we deny the body — and the body responds. The body also responds when we open to our emotions, work through our pain, allow pleasure its place in our lives. This intimate, undeniable relationship we each have with our bodies is the blessing, the gift of Beltane.
How long has it been since you carefully considered your beliefs about pleasure and the role it plays in your life? Not just the surface, intellectual beliefs, but those beliefs that are deeply rooted in your subconscious? Simply by virtue of being brought up in modern cultures, we have internalized negative messages about pleasure that may still influence us if we have not dug them out. Think of the aphorisms we heard growing up — and still hear: “business before pleasure”, “the devil finds work for idle hands”, “keep your nose to the grindstone”. Which ones did you absorb? What taboos around pleasure may still be subconscious drivers for you? One of the best ways to uncover and release subconscious beliefs is to listen to what the body is saying.
Paying attention to, learning to care for and honor your body, no matter what state of health it is in, will have a tremendous effect not only on your body, but on your mental awareness, your emotional states and on your personal resonance as well. Your personal resonance has a great deal to do with the people and experiences that you attract. Occupying your body — paying attention and not shutting down — is a necessity if you want to fully experience life and love on this Earth. You cannot truly love, you cannot deeply connect with another if you are shut down, armored, and in denial. Accepting our bodies just as they are is a prerequisite for learning to love ourselves, and a necessary step towards healing. Listening to our bodies, learning to understand and making sure they get what they need is love in action, for if we carry the energy of self-rejection, anger and denial, we cannot come into resonance with the energy of love.
When the Earth finally begins to heal from the destruction we have inflicted on the Web of Life, it will be because we have learned to invoke love, and the pleasure of loving, to radiate and multiply our love out into the world. Beltanetide is a time to nourish pleasure, to nurture love, and to fully engage with life here on Earth. We often think that sex is what gives meaning to Beltane, but sex simply encapsulates its underlying message — the need of life to reproduce itself, and the need – yes, need – of those who live to experience pleasure. Beltane’s message is simple: You’re here. You have a body. Learn to love your body, and learn to love your life. Change happens when we release our armor, and remember how to love.
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