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Living from the Place of Lover and Beloved---this is becoming my theme for Saturdays. Somehow, we manage to live our lives blind to the love that's here for us. Experience the shiftthat can heppen when you start showing up differentkly- and open yourself to actually sense what is being offered to you at every step, evvery breath- by none other than Gaia herself.
Today, acknowledge the deep surrender, eagerness and readiness Gaia brings to every step you make. Every touch of you excites her, and she's ready to experience it all. Honor her by being aware of this. Feel how it opens the love in you. From that place, your whole life will change. Start now.
May in Britain sees the hawthorn ( Crataegus Monogyna) in flower, frothing down the lanes in clouds of white tinged with the deepest pink. So important is the hawthorn that in our indigenous traditions, the festival of Beltane cannot happen until the full moon after it blossoms, highlighting its significance to the goddess of Beltane the lady of sovereignty who goes by many names in British and Irish lore. At Beltane the goddess marries the sun god Bel, or sometimes oak king, or jack in the green, to bring fertility to the earth, and this is a highly erotic tree, associated with female sexuality and life force. Known as the May tree, and the goddess tree, it is also the original Faery Thorn, marking places sacred to our Otherworldly kin. In Britain and Ireland there are many 'faery thorns' which are honoured as sacred magical places, and are protected even from roads and other development by their local villagers even to this day. Hawthorn blossom should never be taken inside the house lest the faeries wreak havoc on your home. However, the hawthorn is a powerfully magical tree to have as an ally and friend.
One of the greatest Celtic seers, Thomas the Rhymer, who lived in the early 13th century met the Queen of Elfland beneath a hawthorn tree, growing near his home in the Eildon hills in Scotland, revealing its nature as a marker between the worlds and a tree beloved to the faery queens, preserving its place in our traditional sacred faery lore....
Inside the circle of empty chairs I began to set up my altars on the floor. I have been invited to speak with The Sonoma County Pagan Network on how I live as both a Witch (very active in the Reclaiming Tradition) and a Christian (ordained as a minister and serving within the United Church of Christ).
In the East/Air, I lay a white cloth and on it an Icon of Sophia/Wisdom, who in the Judeo/Christian mythology was there “...before the beginning of the Earth...” Next to the Icon of Sophia I lay books full of wisdom that I have found fill my lungs with sacred breath and free my breathing of oppressive dogma. I lay books full of words that entered my mind and helped my thoughts and intellect fly and wonder, piqued my curiosity and spun webs of connections. I lay books like Rita Nakashima Brock and Rebecca Parker’s “Proverbs of Ashes” which gave me permission to remain Christian even though I do not subscribe to substitutionary atonement theology, and Cynthia Bourgeault’s “The Holy Trinity and the Law of Three” which helped me see the Christian Trinity as a fluid and dynamic dance of all genders and forms....
The 30 Days of May ecourse has come to an end and the month of May itself is drawing to a rainy and humid close for me here in the Midwest, but one of the lessons that lingers for me was identifying the call of the "May Queen" in my life this month.
I have been working on a lot of projects, many exciting and some stressful, and I was feeling tense, taut, stressed, unhappy, unsettled, depressed and discouraged. On one of these stressful days, The Judgmental Committee in my head not only decreed that I was a bad mother, but also a bad friend, wife, daughter, and overall person. I was feeling pulled between the needs of my older children, my baby, my work, and my business and ended up feeling as if I was not doing a good job with anything. And, then in response to the prompts from 30 Days of May, the May Queen delivered her message: Discernment. Much of life about wise discernment. I have a tendency to become dualistic in my thinking, either I DO IT or I QUIT IT FOREVER. At the same time, I am very harsh with myself at my perceived inability to “flow” and surrender.
The swirls and eddies of the rising tide pull us ever closer into the dizzying dance that is summer. Here in the British Isles, summer is when everything happens: festivals appear from May to September, weekend events and week-long retreats. It’s a busy time of year, when we ride the solar energies to the point of highest light. We feel our spirits rising with the sun, and let its rays illuminate our paths and nourish us body and soul.
It’s easy to get caught up in the frenzy. My schedule is packed until October, with pagan events, priestly duties and more. By the end of May I can already begin to feel a little burned out, and summer hasn’t even really gotten into its stride yet. What I have to do is look to nature for inspiration.
The growing tides of light can entice us to do more than we should, to overbook or overcommit ourselves. What we don’t want to happen is to have the summer solstice upon us and be too tired to celebrate it. We need to harness our energies, to pool our resources so that we can access those lush depths when the time is right.
Our agricultural ancestors welcomed this time of year: it was warm, and if they were lucky the crops were planted and growing well. Vigilance was still needed, yes, but at this point what will happen will happen. The hardest work was yet to come, during harvest season. So too do we need to see that at this time near the highest light we need to remember not to burn too brightly, or we will have nothing left when it is time to reap what we have sown.
Take some time out, time to regroup, time for stillness and reflection. Enjoy the present moment. Spend time alone with yourself to check in on how you are feeling, emotionally, physically, mentally. Have you over-committed? Are you doing too much? Really feel how you are in this present moment, and use that knowledge to help you find that balance point between motion and stillness. Ride the energies up to the solstice, yes, but ride them with care. Riding headlong and reckless can lead to you being unseated, and you might never get where you wish to go in such a manner.
The earth hums with the tides and times of life. At this time of year she is reaching upward, and so too can we reach upward to find our heavenly bliss. But we must keep our feet rooted in the ground, in order to feed our roots with that wonderful light and warmth streaming across the land. We can’t run on an open circuit; we need to be grounded. Deep relationship nourishes both parties.
Blessings of the summer to you all!