Spirit Message of the Day – Beltane 2012

“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 – Take The Path Less Travelled

“The world is a reflection of your thoughts, feelings, and beliefs. Embody the love you wish to see in the world.”

“When you look into the mirror, do you like what you see? The Sacred Pool card asks that you focus on self-love and self-esteem. We are all works in progress, so a detached self-examination made with rigorous honesty is called for now. Reflect by the Sacred Pool and be at peace with yourself. Can you see how far you’ve come and how magical your life is? Do you notice the spark of the Divine shining through your eyes? When you’re conscious that you’re the embodiment of Spirit, it becomes easier to respect yourself and act in good conscience…then you’ll reap the greatest rewards.”

“Your unique service to the world is not only needed but celebrated. See the love within you, and know that if you cast it upon the waters, it will return to you tenfold. Be at peace, for you are beautiful and loved. Act with surety and confidence, and success shall be yours – whatever your inquiry.”

“It can be difficult to overcome denial when there is a reward for staying where you are. If you can’t accept and love yourself, you remain trapped, wearing a false mask of victimhood. The benefit of embracing denial and the victim’s mask is that you never have to take a real risk. Dimming your light serves no one. Turning away from the truth that is reflected in the stillness of the Sacred Pool keeps you in denial, doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. Such vain efforts lead to a tedious, boring existence. Take the risk and shine your beautiful light into the world. Look in the mirror and see the truth. Surrender the need to self-sabotage.”

“Remember that you have a responsibility not just to yourself but to the Divine spark within you. Courage is not the absence of fear. Accept the discomfort of seeing with clear eyes and you’ll soon find that wondrous adventures are waiting for you. Step into your magical life. Take the leap of faith.”

Today’s guidance is from The Enchanted Map by Coletter Baron-Reid.

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Spirit Message of the Day – Attune to the Whispers of Spirit and Soul

“Dear one, never be surprised at the ways in which your connections to the Mother and to the Earth are being birthed into the world. If you are experiencing prophetic dreams, sift through the images and messages and know that all insights are worthy of attention, and most especially your own. The inner world and the Earth’s magick are both speaking to you, and wishing for you to answer. Do this by connecting with your own inner self. We know that you are searching for answers that are indeed within you, and that the path you are walking is not easy under your feet.”

“We all return to Her, the great Goddess, our Mother. The Earth wishes for you to reconnect with her in simple, pleasant and joyful ways – friends and food, laughter and love. Do not fear your own true self, your intuitive self. There are many words your people use for the truth of who you are, which can lead to confusion, and there has been fear and suspicion seeded in your minds, which can lead to mistrust. Know from your true magickal self that you are a being of magick: with a unique blend of earth, air, fire, and water magick making up your spirit. You are receiving messages – and yes, you also can hear them, just as we can ‘hear’ each other’s thoughts before they have even developed into words. In time you will come to understand these silent ways of communicating and know the truth of your belonging to the old ways. Know that all beings – plants, animals, and etheric – have so much to share with you. You are never alone.”

“Gwynne and Elluish are Dragonfae prince and princess of the forest, and they are in perfect harmony. They appear completely ‘different’ to others, but they are truly in complete harmony with each other, despite external appearances. In this image, Gwynne appears as a beautiful fairy, and Elluish as a diminutive dragonlord who works with the Dragonfae to safeguard and keep the knowledge of the Earth alive, and to keep the fairy realm safe from human ravages and interference.”

“He is the leader of a gathering of Dragonfae, who report back to Gwynne on what is happening throughout the world. She is so wise, and has seen so much, yet is ageless. He never gives in, and will never abandon his people, the Dragonfae – regardless of their form, because they are all children of Gaia. Both Gwynne and Elluish wish you to know that you are beloved for your unique qualities, and that blending in is not the way. This message is for everyone who has ached, not knowing it comes from their separation of the old ways…”

“Communication between beings, including people, animals and magickal beings via the senses. Incredible understanding between beings: soul-fusion and comprehension of meaning without a word being spoken. You have recently discovered that you can often understand what another being has to say without them uttering a word. Becoming more clairaudient, being able to receive messages that you ‘hear’. Development of the chakras to do with hearing. Becoming much more sensitive to sound.”

“Trust your dreams, intuitive messages, insights and visions. Know you are receiving messages telepathically at this time. Take heart if people do not understand where you are receiving information from. If your friendships seem strange to older friends or family members, do not buy into their judgement. Finding animals or other beings easier to understand than people.  Developing your intuition to a more subtle level, befriending animals, plants and looking to the natural world for love and support as much as you do the world of people and technology. Letting go of unnecessary technologies. Listening to the whispers of spirit and of the soul.”

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

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