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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Beltane
Beltane... a rose by any other name would smell as sweet
The full moon in Taurus has come and gone, and wasn’t it lush? Last weekend I celebrated the festival commonly known as Beltane with my coven, and today I go to a wedding… ’tis the season for all things love and an interesting time for witches of all stripes as Halloween is a spectre making itself being felt with more an more presence in Australia despite it being a point on the calendar not traditionally observed. But I digress – I am here to ruminate about Beltane.
 
The full flowering of Spring is truly upon us. The native plants are humming with energy and to the Noongar people, the traditional custodians of this land, the season is known as Kambarang, the season of wildflowers. Fruits and nuts are collected. The first summer fruits make their blessed appearance, and while they do not always taste as lush as the last fruits, they are a delight to re-introduce to the table. The jarrah tree is in full flower and you can hear bees humming when you pass beneath the boughs. Beauty is everywhere.
  
 When considering this mood with the ‘flipped’ Southern Hemisphere Wheel, it is not entirely at odds with the fire festival of Beltane, which brings connotations of fertility and is often seen as a festival of love. It is high wedding season as the weather starts to warm and our cardigans are shed to bare our skin to the first careless sunburns of the season, and more time is spent outdoors underneath perfect blue skies. The birds and the bees are literally out and about making full use of the nectar and fruits that are making themselves available. Conversely, the land is also starting to brown and a dying off of the winter green can be felt. I used to dread summer at this time along with the drag of Christmas but I have made a Pinterest board to sweet talk myself into actually enjoying summer as so many seem to do.
 
 
 
Our coven’s celebration of Beltane does not usually subscribe to dancing around a May pole (I think we’ve given it a crack once or twice), but it is a lovely time to court creativity and resonate with the energy that can allow for flourishing of personal projects, preparing for the heat ahead, and celebrating the furling out of the self and sealing the connection of the working group. In my own (work in progress) rendition of the Wheel of the Year, I have called it ‘The Radiance’ but I have also seen it referred to as Flowering Earth and Rosemas in other Australian groups who have forgone the name of ‘Beltane’ for their seasonal Wheel.
 
  
beltane2014cOur altar was festooned with flowers and fruits.
  
 
beltane2014a
A lovely opportunity to charge objects with solar energy – which we were definitely feeling on that day!
  
 
beltane2014b
 
During ritual we used chants, drumming, rose petals and ribbons to raise a cone of power to charge our rite, which was dedicated to celebrating our collective energy and also blessing the land with cooling healing if it should need it in the warm months ahead.
  
 
beltane2014d
 
A basket of flowers from our gardens and a jug of water, ready for charging and blessing.
 
 Our feast included sparkling wine with hibiscus flowers, fresh salads, and berries dipped in raw chocolate mousse and chocolate hummus! Yum!
 
 
I hope you are experiencing a lovely season or simply a beautiful weekend.
 
This post originally appeared on my main blog over at The Chaos Witch.
 
 
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  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    Hock-deep in Samhain up here in the Northern Half, and with 10 inches of snow predicted for tomorrow, it's nice to be reminded tha

His-story. It's dark, and the air is chill--Summer is a'comin in--but not quite yet. You're standing in a circle around a tall, dark object. You can just make out its narrow limbs; arms and legs formed by tightly tied bundles of twigs and straw. Suddenly, flames blaze up. In the crackling firelight you can see the figure at the center of the circle--the Wicker Man.

The lighting of the Wicker Man is a very old tradition that we know little about. Of course, there's the obvious: a Wicker Man is a human figure made out of wicker, straw or twigs, but he's built hollow so that things can be put inside him. But how this tradition started is a bit of a mystery. The ancient people who first built them--the Celts--didn't write about their practices. The first person to actually record anything about Wicker Men was Julius Caesar, and the picture he painted wasn't pretty. He wrote that the Celts created huge, human-shaped wicker figures, and inside they would put small animals, grains and slaves (yes, people), to be burned inside as an offering to the gods.

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Mokosh and VelesGreen and gold. A smooth, warm, gentle leafy green of mid-spring. His joy. The clarity of his smile, the vigor of his hale body, arched as the vast vault of a wind-stirred forest canopy, so close to me, much closer than the sky.

                The tender brush of his skin.

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
The Fae and Our World

 

The host is riding from Knocknarea,

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I Couldn't Find my Black Lace Corset

...so I made a bright green underdress to go with my green ruanna and I constructed a fat new flower crown, too.  I'm the elder priestess at Mother Grove and the younger ones have given me a couple of public rituals with only a little bit to do and that has been a wonderful gift to me as my schedule gets complicated.

I was a smudger and Sabra anointed the revellers. We were in a new park this time--a really pretty one. The altar was set inside a ring of old trees, mostly oaks.  We had a good turnout with lots of familiar faces and several new ones, too.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Missing our baby

I just closed the books on April, and it was financially my most successful month ever in the entire history of me. Yes, of course, I'm ecstatic about that, and there are still a couple last minute people sending me their checks today, so May will start off with a huge boost. Money's great, and having a lot of it "is one less thing" to worry about like Forrest Gump said. But my happiness is fleeting, as our beloved furbaby Tiger died last week, early Thursday morning. This is what I posted on my Facebook page:

Please forgive me, but I won't be on FB today. I don't even know how I'm going to function. I've got leases to prepare and sign, and I have showings. At least those aren't scheduled until later tonight when I will be a little more "with it". I don't think I have anything scheduled tomorrow, and I'm going to keep it that way.

Tiger passed away suddenly just an hour ago. He's been in and out of the vet's office the past couple of months for that weird eye thing, going on different meds, and he seemed like his old self just last week. Even gave the vet the "what for" last week. Today though - he took a turn for the worst. Not eating. Hiding in corners. Panting. We knew it was his time. At least his last meal was the juice from a can of tuna - his absolute favorite.

He was going to be 14 in August. For a cat as sickly as he always was, that's a pretty good run. He's always been sick - since the day we got him from the inside leather jacket pocket of that crack head who stole him from his mother - eyes barely open. I had to feed him formula like an infant crooked in my arm, give him a damp wash cloth bath, teach him how to use the litter box and wipe his bottom. Just like a mother would for her human infant.

I'll never forget that tiny little head peeking out of that guy's pocket, begging us to take him home with that tiny mew. Even though I'm allergic to cats, we knew we had to at least try to help him, and luckily, he was young enough for me to adapt to his dander (if he had any yet). In fact, it's going to be very hard for me to have another cat because of my allergies. (Drug addicts: Please don't get any ideas.)

It's true what they say too: There's that one deep sigh and then... gone. At least I was lying next to him on the floor, stroking his fur and holding his paw. I'm thankful to have had that. It was quick.

We have him wrapped in a soft blanket with his favorite toys in his carrier, waiting to take him someplace for a proper cremation. (Yes, we have a plastic liner, too, and he's in the coolest room. And, we have the heat off.) I want to get him a Bast urn and place him prominently on the mantle. We're calling the vet first thing in the morning to find out what to do. His unconditional love all these years deserves that. I made good money this month with more still to come, and all of our bills are paid except plate registration renewal. It's the least I can do.

He may have been a mean son of a bitch to everyone else, but he was a gentle little baby to us. He even tried to defend our home when we were robbed, having found him locked in a bedroom. He got a good chunk out of them for sure. He has always had problems, and the last of his nine lives finally got used up. Some people say it's just a cat and do not understand. He was our baby, and I already miss him terribly.

Good bye, Sweet Face. Pretty Eyes. Handsome. Friendly. Mr. Magillicuddy. Tiger. And every other name we've ever given you. Mommy will always love you. Daddy, too. And Ryan misses you a great deal, too.

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Naked for Beltain

I’ve read it so many times in books and blogs – now is the season for making love out of doors, jumping naked over Bel fires and generally doing your Paganism in a carefree, unclad sort of way. It is warm enough to be barefoot outside, I grant you, but far, far too cold for nudity. A traditional British summer brings more rain than it does cavorting options. The naked dancing Pagans are either far tougher than me, or don’t actually do as much of the cavorting out of doors as they imply.

As a species we obviously didn’t start out wearing clothes, but have got into the habit over thousands of years. It’s allowed us to extend our habitat far beyond the balmy zones our hairless and not that blubbery bodies could otherwise tolerate. So the trouble with viewing nudity as natural, and thus desirable, is that you aren’t budgeting in what we’ve been doing for a long time purely because we can and do wrap up.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Lizann Bassham
    Lizann Bassham says #
    Thank you! Lovely and practical. I am one of those people who has gone barefoot enough to have "Hobbit soles" so I usually do mo
  • Christopher Blackwell
    Christopher Blackwell says #
    Much like here in Southern New Mexico. [Grin]
  • Travis Crockett
    Travis Crockett says #
    In Texas, the weather is typically warm enough for this, but the mesquite thorns and rattlesnakes make skyclad ritual a sort of "a
  • Sable Aradia
    Sable Aradia says #
    I like to try to get naked for Beltane if I can. But I live in Canada, so often I can't. I also light my candles with a Bic. I
  • Carol P. Christ
    Carol P. Christ says #
    If Gerald Gardner had not been a nudist, would nudism be part of contemporary paganism? I don't think we have to feel being nude

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