Spirit Message of the Moment – Look Beneath the Surface

THE DRAGONFAE DRYSTAN SPEAKS
“Don’t be distracted – see behind the act! All my artifice hides only the truth, which at the moment you do not wish to see. I am always telling you the truth: it is simply that you do not wish to hear. I hathe-mask-shop mark bryanve always shown you who I am: you simply choose not to see. The clues have been strewn about you…but you have decided not to notice their presence. I can draw people into actions that reveal their shadows; and for that they condemn me. But I have been their teacher, for they then know the whole of themselves, and thus have compassion for others.”

“Some have wanted me to be an angel, when i have never been of the heavens, and never claimed to be. I am illusions: but most of all, I am your illusion. Look beyond, take off my mask, and decide to acknowledge the truth about the circumstances which you find yourself within. And know that although you may say I have done you wrong, I have taught you to follow your guidance.”

ABOUT DRYSTAN
“This Dragonfae being is the bad boy, the cheat, the hustler, and the fool who charms his way into your world, and then lets you down in spectacular fashion. A Lord of the Court, he is political, charming, clever, majestic, and in many ways, a rogue. And the truth is: you always knew there was something dodgy about this situation, or this promise, because he is being so very truthfudrystanl when he said he has told you all along. So while he is manipulative and deceitful; strangely, he’s honest about it.”

“And there is a glamour here that is nearly irresistible. He is showbiz and glittering lies that cast a spell, then leave us without anything of substance. And yet, he does not leave us empty-handed, for there is a lesson here that once headed, need never be experienced again. And he need not be blamed either: for he is the fantasy that we all seek; the illusory nature of our desires.”

MESSAGE FOR YOU
“Use your judgement and place your own needs and desires first. Believe it when someone says they are not to be trusted, even when that is said not with words but with actions, or when there are too many contradictions. Enjoy the show, but do not live the act. Begin to explore your truths, your story, and begin to look beneath the surface.”

“This is the card of the person or being who makes no claims to virtue; their every word and deed reveals their intent. However, if you are drawn in by their charm or charisma, you may find yourself wishing and hoping they were indeed your hero (only in disguise!). It is likely when this card is present that you have persuaded yourself that someone will change, thmagician-hands-pulling-rabbit-out-of-top-hatat patterns will melt away and that what has gone wrong in the past has nothing to do with you. If you believe someone whose words are contradicted by their behavior and you choose to put your faith in one who has already let you down, you must acknowledge your own ability to put yourself in emotional and professional danger. “

“In order to move forward, contemplate appreciating the charmer for what they are, but refuse to be involved at a level where you are endangered. This card often indicates that you may have a tendency to fall in love with those who are unavailable; their glamour is attractive to you. This card draws attention to a desire to live artificially. There may be a belief of iconic glamour; the cult of the superstar or celebrity. Sometimes undercover dealings, sleight of hand and affairs come up when Drystan comes forward to speak with you. Look below the surface: don’t be deceived by appearances.”

Today’s guidance is from Oracle of the Dragonfae by Lucy Cavendish

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Spirit Message of the Moment – Are You Living As A Ghost?

GHOSTLANDS
“You can learn from the past and imagine a beautiful future, but you must live in the here-and-now. Whenever you set your sights too far ahead, you run the risk of losing your foo45086_454864761236937_1497985341_nting, for rarely do the present and future match up exactly on the Enchanted Map that is your life story.”

“The future has no substance right now; it is a place that has no grounding as of yet. You can’t live there, yet you can take measured steps toward a goal or dream. These steps are important now. The same goes for nostalgia. You can look into the past wistfully and remember beautiful moments or revisit lessons learned. However, you can’t live there, nor can you go back and change what was. Yesterday is gone forever. Live fully in the present. The ‘now’ is the most powerful place to put your attention. Its magic reaches out in every direction, further than the heart and soul can see.”

MESSAGE FOR YOU
“When the Ghostlands card appears, it could be a sign that you’re wandering in an emotional or intellectual place with no real substance. There is no point lo72851_474916215898458_100607442_nnging for that which has already gone (past you) or hasn’t happened yet. Perhaps you’ve created a fantasy of ‘the good old days’ or some elusive, utopian destination that lies somewhere in the future when this or that happens to make things better.”

“Live one day at a time. Each day is a new beginning filled with truth and beauty. Stay away from  the Ghostlands of past and future – avoid nostalgia and longing for something better. Find Joy in what is Present in your life today.”

Excerpts from The Enchanted Map Oracle Cards by Colette Baron-Reid

A Word From Spiritblogger
What a great reminder to be full present and enjoy living each day as it comes and being fully present in each moment as it happens. When your mind starts to revel in the past or worry about the future, you become a ghost in the present. Re-shift your thinking and focus on your breathing in the moment – to bring all your senses to the present. Remember the famous quote from Kung Fu Panda: 

“Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. But today is a Gift. That’s why they call it a present.”

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Spiritblogger’s Message of the Moment – Happy Heart Day 2013!

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Come Into The Garden Maud

Come into the garden, Maud,
For the black bat, Night, has flown,
Come into the garden, Maud,
I am here at the gate alone;
And the woodbine spices are wafted abroad,
And the musk of the roses blown.For a breeze of morning moves,
And the planet of Love is on high,
Beginning to faint in the light that she loves
On a bed of daffodil sky,
To faint in the light of the sun she loves,
To faint in his light, and to die.

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All night have the roses heard
The flute, violin, bassoon;
All night has the casement jessamine stirr’d
To the dancers dancing in tune:
Till a silence fell with the waking bird,
And a hush with the setting moon.

I said to the lily, “There is but one
With whom she has heart to be gay.
When will the dancers leave her alone?
She is weary of dance and play.”
Now half to the setting moon are gone,
And half to the rising day;
Low on the sand and loud on the stone
The last wheel echoes away.

I said to the rose, “The brief night goes
In babble and revel and wine.
O young lordlover, what sighs are those
For one that will never be thine?
But mine, but mine,” so I sware to the rose,
“For ever and ever, mine.”

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And the soul of the rose went into my blood,
As the music clash’d in the hall;
And long by the garden lake I stood,
For I heard your rivulet fall
From the lake to the meadow and on to the wood,
Our wood, that is dearer than all;

From the meadow your walks have left so sweet
That whenever a March-wind sighs
He sets the jewelprint of your feet
In violets blue as your eyes,
To the woody hollows in which we meet
And the valleys of Paradise.

64560_572678149415250_742256511_nThe slender acacia would not shake
One long milk-bloom on the tree;
The white lake-blossom fell into the lake,
As the pimpernel dozed on the lea;
But the rose was awake all night for your sake,
Knowing your promise to me;
The lilies and roses were all awake,
They sigh’d for the dawn and thee.

Queen rose of the rosebud garden of girls,
Come hither, the dances are done,
In gloss of satin and glimmer of pearls,
Queen lily and rose in one;
Shine out, little head, sunning over with curls,
To the flowers, and be their sun.

Black Magic Rose

There has fallen a splendid tear
From the passion-flower at the gate.
She is coming, my dove, my dear;
She is coming, my life, my fate;
The red rose cries, “She is near, she is near;”
And the white rose weeps, “She is late;”
The larkspur listens, “I hear, I hear;”
And the lily whispers, “I wait.”

She is coming, my own, my sweet;
Were it ever so airy a tread,
My heart would hear her and beat,
Were it earth in an earthy bed;
My dust would hear her and beat,
Had I lain for a century dead;
Would start and tremble under her feet,
And blossom in purple and red.

by Alfred Lord Tennyson

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Spirit Message of the Moment – A Winter Freeze

THE SEASON OF WINTER
“Winter is the perfect time for reflection, transition, and release. This card is asking you to take a moment to retreat inside to discover a truth about the matter at hand and d399242_398614763548194_1438693769_niscover what steps you need to take. Do not move into action at this time. It is time to draw your energies inward for introspection and reflection. Keep any plans or projects you are thinking about on the shelf.

Winter heralds the dying off of that which does not serve you. The leaves of a tree are shed in order to make room for spring’s buds. You, too, need this time to rest and release the old. With this release, you allow the new to bloom when the timing is right.

Incubate your plans, ideas, and energy until it’s the best moment to share them with others. Work with the crone sage aspect of yourself in order to impart wisdom, compassion, and truth. Enjoy a life review. Reflect back on your past to appreciate the lessons you’ve gained this year.”

Today’s guidance is from Doreen Virtue & Melissa Virtue: Angel Dreams: Oracle Cards

Spirit Message of the Moment – Celebrate Winter Solstice 2012

Hold a Family Yule Log Ceremony
“For people of nearly any religious background, the time of the winter solstice is a time when we gather with family and loved ones. For Pagans and Wiccans, it’s often celebrated as Yule, but there aFirebonfirere literally dozens of ways you can enjoy the season. If your family enjoys ritual, you can welcome back the sun at Yule with this simple winter ceremony. The first thing you’ll need is a Yule Log. If you make it a week or two in advance, you can enjoy it as a centerpiece prior to burning it in the ceremony. You’ll also need a fire, so if you can do this ritual outside, that’s even better. As the Yule Log burns, all members of the family (and friends) should surround it, forming a circle.

Here’s How:

  1. If you normally cast a circle, do so at this time. This first section is for the adults – if there is more than one grownup, they can take turns saying the lines, or say them together:

The Wheel has turned once more, and
the earth has gone to sleep.
The leaves are gone, the crops have returned to the ground.
On this darkest of nights, we celebrate the light.
Tomorrow, the sun will return,
its journey continuing as it always does.
Welcome back, warmth.
Welcome back, light.
Welcome back, life.

  1. The entire group now moves deosil – clockwise, or sunwise – around the fire. When each member has returned to his or her original position, it is time for the children to add their part. This section can be divided amongst the children, so that each gets a chance to speak.

Shadows go away, darkness is no more,
as the light of the sun comes back to us.
Warm the earth.
Warm the ground.
Warm the sky.
Warm our hearts.
Welcome back, sun.

  1. Finally, each member of the group should take a moment to tell the others one thing that they are thankful for about their family – things like “I am happy that Mom cooks us such wonderful food,” or “I’m proud of Alex because he helps people who need it.” When everyone has had a chance to speak, walk sunwise once more around the fire, and end the rite. If possible, save a bit of this year’s Yule log to add to the fire for next year’s ceremony.

chocolate yule-logFamily and Friends

Nothing says holiday celebration quite like getting together with the people you love. Learn about gifts, decorating, money-saving, and why it’s perfectly okay for Wiccans to have a big green tree full of lights!

Suggested Reading

By Patti Wigington

Wish Ritual for the New Year
Place a piece of holly bush on your altar for the Yule celebration, in keeping with Pagan traVariegated-Holly-Bush-821312dition. After the celebration, before dismissing the Quarters and taking down the Circle, write down a wish or wishes on pieces of parchment paper and tie them to the holly bush branches on your altar. You can write down as few or many wishes as you desire. However try to keep it simple. Bury the holly bush limb with your wishes attached to it during the next full moon, giving thanks to the Lord and Lady, to assure that your wishes will be realized during the coming year.

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Spirit Message of the Moment – A Lightness of Being

A SPECIAL MESSAGE FROM SPIRITBLOGGER
November is a great month for self-reflection, following Samhain, the Pagan New Year’s Eve, which often serves as a perfect time to set goals for the new year. When I think of November, I think of opportunities for both Thanks and Giving, which calls up thoughts and feelings about conscious gratitude, forgiveness, and release. By conscious I mean an active thought and present choice to think about these things and do.

To feel grateful today, we can shift our focus, and decide to appreciate things we already have and people in our lives. We can think about the life situations we choose to put ourselves in and people we surround ourselves with, review and acknowledge our work and spiritual contributions to the world, and build upon our generosity with family and friends. We can be thankful and thus continue to manifest personal change and abundance for our highest purpose and continued happiness.  I read recently, to help manifest gratitude and create a better and more meaningful life for ourselves, we should playfully imagine once a day that we’re already there and frequently speak in gratitude “as if” we’ve already arrived. The mere thought of change can be a great first step to making it real by your actions.

At times during our internal audit and inventory process, we may realize we have become emotionally stuck due to harboring anger, resentment, negativity, guilt, misgivings, sadness, and fear towards others. Then, in order to move forward, it becomes necessary to let it go, release, and possibly forgive. Facing these blocks head on allows us the opportunity to become a stronger person.

Other times, it’s learning to forgive ourselves for all of the things we should have, could have, and didn’t say or do, and instead focus upon what we can say and do, today. Removing these blocks can be a long and pain staking process or we can decide to simply let go, and focus on letting go to achieve our freedom of mind, and preserve our spirit, and heart. Remember, forgiveness isn’t meant to change the past; it’s an active opportunity to release our burdens and a choice we can make to help foster “a lightness of being” in our present, and to ensure a happy future.

Changing who we are isn’t an easy process, but it’s important to trust ourselves. It is said life will never give us more than we are capable of handling, with relentless opportunities to empower our spiritual self. So, if we are interested in evolving, growing, and expanding spiritually, mentally, and emotionally, it’s keen to remember life isn’t about finding ourselves, but instead about creating and recreating ourselves continuously over time.  I believe we are all capable of great internal and external change. Mahatma Gandhi said it best: “We must be the change we wish to see in the world”. To me, this means it’s important to develop self-awareness, embody positive change, and cultivate gracious qualities which allow you to act and live with gratitude and a forgiving nature.

In my search for advice on gratitude, I came across a great truth-telling post called Forgiveness and Gratitude by Pixie Allan I hope you find inspiring.  She reminds us to be thankful and discusses having an attitude of gratitude. I also wanted to share with you an excerpt I found interesting from an article called The Occult Meaning of Thanksgiving.

I wish Bright Blessings for your November introspection, manifesting your dreams, and living your best life for the new year!

~Angela (The Spiritblogger)

Click Here to read my blog post for practical tips on How to Achieve Gratitude

Forgiveness and Gratitude
“You have to really want to let go to be able to fully forgive your past.  People say they have ‘Let Go’ but you can probably bet your bottom dollar that 85% have not ‘Let Go’. The percentage is high, but it’s true to its number. Forgiveness may come in many colors but you can’t fake this emotion, because your heart can’t fake gratitude, it can’t fake forgiveness, it has to be 100% ready to release whatever it was, to stand in your own moment and say, ‘hey you know what, this was a crappy place I was in and I acted like a tool, can we forgive and rebuild’. It can’t be one-sided and it can’t be one person doing all the repair work.

With any relationship/friendship breakdown it always takes two people to have the meltdown and most of the time it’s a lack of understanding, throw in the ego and we are dancing round that camp fire burning our asses on the cinders!  You know I’m right! In all honesty, forgiveness is hard, you really have to want it, but on the flip side of that, surely you want to release the pain and anger that it sat somewhere deep inside of you?  Be grateful for the lessons you learned and take those lessons with you into the future ensuring that you don’t make the same mistake the next time, that’s truly how we know if we have learned all lesson…… it stops showing up!

To truly Let Go, be thankful, and move forward.  You deserve the best life possible and by holding on to negativity you are not allowing all those yummy goodies to come to you because, like I always say, like attracts like, if you’re putting out there that, ‘I always meet asshats’ then the universe will give you an abundance of asshats!  If you affirm ‘ I attract kind caring people who love me for who I am’ then that’s what the universe will give you.  Every thought is an affirmation; can you imagine how many negative affirmations you have in your head in one day?  Not just the thoughts about yourself but other people too…. that’s not good is it? So, change.

Forgiveness is key, whether you are forgiving yourself or whether you are forgiving others, release the negativity around the situation, send them love and light and move on with a smile on your face and love in your heart, you don’t have to attach to the drama if you choose not to, your life is for living not for living in the past so, release it all, art it out, journal it out, scream at the top of your lungs, or whatever works for you, but let it go and feel the love. Honestly, it’s the best way to move forward.

You can’t control people or how their minds work, but you can control yourself. Should they wish not to make you part of their future know it’s OK, you learnt all you could from the friendship/relationship, the universe will replace that with something bigger and better… if you let it, of course.”

Bright Blessings,
Pixie Allen

Click Here Visit Pixie Allen’s Blog: Pixie’s Musings: A Look Through an Eclectic Pagan’s Life

 

 

The Occult Meaning of Thanksgiving

“Is there any occult or esoteric meaning in the American holiday of Thanksgiving?  Thanksgiving is a harvest festival to give thanks for the past year. During the farming era of the past, scarcity and need were always lurking around the corner.  When there was a bountiful harvest it was time for celebration.

Thanksgiving is associated with the cornucopia, symbolizing food, abundance, and prosperity.  The cornucopia of plenty has its origin in ancient mythology. The Roman god Fortuna, the goddess of luck and fortune, was often depicted carrying a cornucopia and it became linked with her.  Lady Fortune represented how life was subject to the whim of chance, good or ill.  In ancient Roman times Fortuna was sought by many seeking good fortune and to avoid bad luck.  Since then this goddess has a modern name…Lady Luck.

Here is the possible occult meaning of Thanksgiving.  We give thanks for our abundance, with the unspoken hope of avoiding scarcity in the year ahead.  Giving thanks is not just an act of appreciation for what has past, but hope for the future as well.  Unknowingly, with thanksgiving we are practicing the law of attraction.

The Law of Attraction suggests what we think will become manifest in our lives. This concept is one of the cornerstones of occult thought.   Ritual, visualization, ceremony (dinner festivals) are all tools to the same end, to affect the future.  By giving thanks for what we have with confidence for better days ahead, we may cause this to occur.  The opposite is true, if we bemoan the present with grim expectations for the future, then that will likely be our fate as well.

I nominate Fortuna as the unspoken patron deity of Thanksgiving.  Life is a roll of the dice and can be arbitrary and unfair.  If we are fortunate enough to have a happy thanksgiving holiday, we should really be grateful.  There are many who will not enjoy a feast this year, or who eat alone.  We live in hard times now.  Our state of mind can make the difference.  We can change our circumstances if give thanks not only for the present, but give thanks for the future as well.  Giving thanks for that which has yet to happen will make it manifest.”

Article excerpts from author David at occultview.com

Spirit Message of the Moment – Celebrating The Pagan Holiday Mabon 2012

THE MEANING OF MABON
“The Harvest surrounds us. The bounty of Summer, the fruit of our labor, is ripe and hanging heavy on the vine. The theme for this Holiday is abundance and thanksgiving, rightfully so, as Mabon is the second of the harvest holidays and the most productive, and labor intensive, of the three. In many places, this harvest marks the peak of the garden harvest and the beginning of the fruit harvest, especially of grapes and apples. Due to the grape harvest and the nature of wine making, this is also a wine celebration, as last year’s vintage is finally able to be enjoyed and a new batch is now being started.

This day is also the Autumnal Equinox, a day when day and night are equal, balanced. From here on out the days will be shorter, the nights longer, the Winter that much closer. A chill in the air, frost on the grass, these mark the entrance of the spiders into our homes, a desperate effort to escape the cold and perhaps survive a little longer.

Within these few characteristics of Mabon, there is an underlying theme: connection. Who is it that we worked so hard with to create the abundance we now enjoy and pull in, but our community, those with whom we are most intimately connected. Our family, our friends, they are our community and they are the ones who celebrate all of our joys with us, with whom we give thanks and of whom we are thankful for. Even the entrance of the spiders into our homes, taking up residence in the corners where they will happily take care of any biting insects, echoes this theme of connection, this time to the larger community. The spiders remind us that we are never fully removed from Nature, even when we hide ourselves away in our climate controlled homes, surrounded by technology and “proof” of our superiority over the natural world.

The energy of the Autumnal Equinox spills over, and at this time when there is so much, we find ourselves pulled to share the abundance with those around us. At this time when Day and Night are equal, so, too, are all people equal; divisions and barriers are taken down, and we are reminded that we are all the same and we are all truly members of the same community.

It’s all cause and effect. When we start to acknowledge our connections, that we are not separate, it is then that we notice the Community to which we belong and notice just how far the breadth of that Community stretches. We notice our place in the scheme of things, and this leads to compassion, to the desire to share what we have with those around us. This sacred day reminds us of the need for community, the blessing of community, and the obligations we have as members of a community.”

Article by Lady Althaea

Spirit Message of the Moment – Movement is Critical

THE RIVER – A Time for Movement
“The softened light from the sun falls upon this meandering river, the sparkles reflecting the gentle movement taking place in the river’s body. She moves easily around the curves and rocks, sometimes gently, and sometimes quite rapidly and intensely. Still, the river’s movement will always eventually land her in the bosom of great Grandmother Ocean. Some of her water will evaporate along the way to feed the waters of the sky – just as it takes place in any other bodies of water – and bless the land and the seas with replenishment in a perfectly natural cycle that helps the planet sustain itself. Water is our lifeblood, a nutrient more essential than food. The flow of water throughout our own bodies serves as a metaphor for how Life itself flows through us and expresses as us.”

MESSAGE FOR YOU
“Fighting or blocking the flow of your Life Force can lead you to feeling spiritually void and disconnected from Source.  Just like the metaphor of the river, it does not work to force or fight this compelling movement. When you simply pay attention and observe the flow, it becomes easier to navigate your experiences and see what lies ahead, or at least get a sense of what is to come by the ever-changing geography that unfolds as you cruise along.”

“Your resistance is hampering your ability to make a choice in this matter. Surrender to the movement of Life, be grateful, and you will see signs along the shore and in the river itself that offer you clues about what direction your egoless Self is to be making. ‘Go with the flow’ is more than a trite aphorism here. It is essential that you do so now. Breathe, relax, and you will know.”

Today’s guidance is taken from Earth Magic Oracle Cards by Steven D. Farmer.

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Spirit Message of the Day – Beltane 2012

PAGAN SABBAT BELTANE / MAY DAY 
“Many Wiccans and Pagans celebrate Beltane, also known as Roodmas or May Day on April 30th/May 1st.  It is one of eight solar Sabbats.  This holiday incorporates traditions from the Gaelic Bealtaine, such as the bonfire, but it bears more relation to the Germanic May Day festival, both in its significance (focusing on fertility) and its rituals (such as May pole dancing).  Some traditions celebrate this holiday on May 1 or May day, whiles others begin their celebration the eve before or April 30th. Beltane has long been celebrated with feasts and rituals. The name means fire of Bel; Belinos being one name for the Sun God, whose coronation feast we now celebrate.

As summer begins, weather becomes warmer, and the plant world blossoms, an exuberant mood prevails. In old Celtic traditions it was a time of unabashed sexuality and promiscuity where marriages of a year and a day could be undertaken but it is rarely observed in that manner in modern times. In the old Celtic times, young people would spend the entire night in the woods “A-Maying,” and then dance around the phallic Maypole the next morning. Older married couples were allowed to remove their wedding rings (and the restrictions they imply) for this one night. May morning is a magickal time for wild water (dew, flowing streams, and springs) which is collected and used to bathe in for beauty, or to drink for health.

The Christian religion had only a poor substitute for the life-affirming Maypole — namely, the death-affirming cross. Hence, in the Christian calendar, this was celebrated as ‘Roodmas’. In Germany, it was the feast of Saint Walpurga, or ‘Walpurgisnacht’. An alternative date around May 5 (Old Beltane), when the sun reaches 15 degrees Taurus, is sometimes employed by Covens. (Both ‘Lady Day’ and ‘Ostara’ are names incorrectly assigned to this holiday by some modern traditions of Wicca.) The May pole was a focal point of the old English village rituals.

Many people would rise at the first light of dawn to go outdoors and gather flowers and branches to decorate their homes. Women traditionally would braid flowers into their hair. Men and women alike would decorate their bodies. Beltane marks the return of vitality, of passion. Ancient Pagan traditions say that Beltane marks the emergence of the young God into manhood. Stirred by the energies at work in nature, he desires the Goddess. They fall in love, lie among the grasses and blossoms, and unite. The Goddess becomes pregnant of the God.

To celebrate, a wedding feast, for the God and Goddess must be prepared. Let them guide you! Breads and cereals are popular. Try oatmeal cakes or cookies sweetened with a dab of honey. Dairy foods are again appropriate…just make a lovely wedding feast and you are sure to enjoy yourself! An early morning walk through a local park or forest could be fun for everyone. Gather up some plants or flowers to display in your home. Mom and daughter could braid their hair, and weave in a few tender blossoms.”

- Excerpt from Beltane by Herne via The Celtic Connection.

May Day Delights: The Pagan Celebration of Beltane

“May Day (at least in the Northern hemisphere) heralds the delights of the coming warm season, with intoxicating fragrances of spring flowers and flowering trees to delight the senses. Warming days and shedding of coats signal more pleasures of the coming summer season. Time to celebrate, with a bit of romping outside, relishing the green grass, the sun, the flowers, the fresh breeze. The intensity of the lush flowering trees appears heightened against grey city buildings, a bursting vibrancy of life against more austere form. Flowers broadcast life force and the powers of natural attraction. They offer a magnificent adventure into beauty, diversity, color, and sensual pleasure. There is no denying the pleasures of May.

For Pagans, May Day is celebrated as the religious festival of Beltane. The burgeoning life force of this season balances winter’s cold and death, and the wheel of the year turns. Many will gather to celebrate, wearing spring colors, adorned with flowers, ready to dance. The traditional maypole is central to many celebrations with long (perhaps 30 feet!) ribbons attached to a tall wooden pole. In some rituals a hole is prepared in advance, blessed and readied to receive, and the tree is also blessed, honored as a sign of life. Sometimes the joining is considered sacredly sexual, and other times simply functional and celebratory.

The dance around the maypole is a communal one, with dancers holding the long colored ribbons and weaving them over and under other ribbons. Around and around, carrying intention into the larger weaving of many strands of community. In some rituals, women and men dance in opposite directions, weaving the gender differences into the larger union. Other dances are more free form, playful and even chaotic. There’s coherence in the pattern, with the inclusion of imperfections and fun, with areas of systematic weave and areas of unique design. Dancers old and young engage, often sharing ribbons and turns around the pole. Around and around, over and under, sometimes in step and sometimes out of phase, how like life. We may not see the overall pattern until the dance is over, so the main thing is to participate, and to do so as fully as possible.

Contemporary Pagans honor sexuality, and often consider the erotic sacred. It’s not just about the pole and the hole, or the flowers and the bees, or the exuberance of May. For Goddess worshipers, “All acts of love and pleasure are my rituals.” This phrase comes from the Charge of the Goddess, one of the few and more widely known texts in this earth-based religion. In a small way I honor the Goddess and gifts of life as I stoop and smell the lush and fragrant hyacinths planted in buckets along New York City streets. The flowery exuberance is intense with multiple blossoms and strong scent, with it’s own part in the dance of life. What’s the flowery show all about? Attracting attention? Creating enough energy for the bulb to survive for another year? Rejoicing in the returning warmth and light? Is it an offering of the simple pleasures of fragrance? Is it an affirmation of hope in the powers of attraction? Of the pleasures of life that are free and available despite life’s challenges? What does it mean to hold pleasure sacred?

Surely at the very least I can pause and take in the flowers’ intoxicating perfume. Surely I can appreciate the flower’s fragrant offering of pleasure. Surely I can honor the gifts of May. Perhaps it is honoring the balance of life, where we know there is loss and pain, and there is also pleasure and joy, all to be experienced as part of a life’s journey. Just as Pagans hold the elements of Earth, Air, Fire, Water and Spirit as sacred, not to be bought or sold, abused or hoarded, so too is May sacred, belonging to all, with fertility and exuberance bursting forth in flowers. With the power of the internet, Beltane celebrations and maypole dances are readily found. I’m ready to dance. Happy Beltane.”  

- Article by Grover Harris, writer and speaker and consultant on religious diversity in America.

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Spirit Message of the Day – A Sacred Space is Where the Heart Is

KOAD – GROVE
“The grove is yours by oak, ash, and thorn
For all that has passed and all that is born
Are part of each other, connected as one
As all that is lost and all that is won.”

CELTIC FOLKLORE
“Taliesin, the famous bard, was a man very much in touch with the concept of oneness. Oneness is a belief that we are not only connected to everything, we are actually part of everything on a very deep level.  Previously known as Gwion Bach, Taliesin was reborn of a goddess Cerridwen after a shapeshifting battle of wits and born with the knowledge of everything in the world and his place in it. As an infant he spoke in verse, proclaiming that knowledge. He also spoke that he remembered having been a blue salmon, a dog, a stag, a roebuck on the mountain, a stock, a spade, an axe in the hand, a stallion, a buck, a bull, and a grain of the fields. In this card, Taliesin rejoices in the oneness of the universe and takes his place within the magical, sacred grove of trees.”

“Groves were the temples of the druids and of many other people of earth-based faiths. A grove is a gathering of trees with a clearing in the center; many of the trees in the druids’ sacred groves were the faerie triad of oak, ash, and hawthorn. Apple, willow, beech, and yew were trees often traditionally associated with the sacred grove as well. In fact, there are as many sacred groves as there are forests, all trees being sacred. This was a place where all knowledge came together – a place of peace and justice. A sacred grove would have been a place specifically consecrated as a temple, a place simultaneously of the material world and the spirit world. It was magically protected as a place to worship, to raise and send energy, and to gather for council meetings and other judicial events.”

MESSAGE FOR YOU
“This card represents Oneness and Consciousness. Wisdom is readily available to you; you need only to look within. There are connections between events that you may not have seen before, but those connections are very important in helping you to see through the illusions that are at hand. The situation may be more complicated that you realize; try to see the situation as a whole rather than focusing on the individual aspects. Also don’t forget that the decisions you make will ripple out to others, so act responsibly and teach others by your example. Things may seem very complex, so be careful not to miss the forest for the trees. Otherwise, you may be involved in resolving a conflict, which will be difficult because of the complexity of the situation. There is a lot of confusion; try to back up and see the whole picture. Don’t get bogged down in the details.”

FIELD GUIDE
“So how do you locate a sacred grove? Well, there are many sacred sites to visit in the British Isles and Celtic Regions, such as the Fairy Glen at Rosemarkie on the Black Isle or the Druid Oaks of Avalon at Glastonbury. Sadly, when the Romans invaded, they burned most of the druids’ groves and ceremonial sites. Of course, the land that the sacred groves once stood on can still be visited. There, under the gentle hand of the Green Man, the offspring of the original trees of the druids’ sacred groves may now populate those areas. Some of the groves that were in secret places may still exist.”

“To find a sacred grove, go into the wild places anywhere in the world and feel with your heart; when you find your grove, you will know. Or better yet, plant one of your own. You could plant an apple orchard or oak, ash, and hawthorn trees in your own yard. Or, perhaps ogham trees if they might grow in your region. Remember, a sacred space is where you make it.” 

Today’s inspirational message is from Voice of the Trees: A Celtic Divination Oracle by Mickie Mueller.

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