Spirit Message of the Moment – Celebrate Summer Solstice

TIME TO CELEBRATE LITHA – MidSummer

“Also known as Summer Solstice, Litha, Alban Hefin, Sun Blessing, Gathering Day, Feill-Sheath246Fairy_Song-main, Whit Sunday, Whitsuntide, Vestalia, Thing-tide, St. John’s Day. In addition to the four great festivals of the Pagan Celtic year, there are four lesser holidays as well: the two solstices, and the two equinoxes. In folklore, these are referred to as the four ‘quarter-days’ of the year, and modern Witches call them the four ‘Lesser Sabbats’, or the four ‘Low Holidays’. The Summer Solstice is one of them.

Litha is usually celebrated on June 21st, but varies somewhat from the 20th to the 23rd, dependent upon the Earth’s rotation around the Sun. According to the old folklore calendar, Summer begins on Beltane (May 1st) and ends on Lughnassadh (August 1st), with the Summer Solstice midway between the two, marking MID-Summer. This makes more logical sense than suggesting that Summer begins on the day when the Sun’s power begins to wane and the days grow shorter. The most common other names for this holiday are the Summer Solstice or Midsummer, and it celebrates the arrival of Su481857_555874064427104_2129480533_nmmer, when the hours of daylight are longest. The Sun is now at the highest point before beginning its slide into darkness.

Humanity has been celebrating Litha and the triumph of light since ancient times. On the Wheel of the Year Litha lies directly across from Yule, the shortest day of the calendar year, that cold and dark winter turning when days begin to lengthen and humanity looks wistfully toward warmth, sunlight and growing things. Although Litha and Yule are low holidays or lesser sabbats in the ancient parlance, they are celebrated with more revel and merriment than any other day on the wheel except perhaps Samhain (my own favourite). The joyous rituals of Litha celebrate the verdant Earth in high summer, abundance, fertility, and all th208409_412438415499113_911770147_ne riches of Nature in full bloom. This is a madcap time of strong magic and empowerment, traditionally the time for handfasting or weddings and for communication with the spirits of Nature. At Litha, the veils between the worlds are thin; the portals between “the fields we know” and the worlds beyond stand open. This is an excellent time for rites of divination.

Those who celebrated Litha did so wearing garlands or crowns of flowers, and of course, their millinery always included the yellow blossoms of St. John’s Wort. The Litha rites of the ancients were boisterous communal festivities with morris dancing, singing, storytelling, pageantry and feasting taking place by the village bonfire and torch lit processions through the villages after dark. People believed that the Litha fires possessed great power, and that prospernahimaity and protection for oneself and one’s clan could be earned merely by jumping over the Litha bonfire. It was also common for courting couples joined hands and jump over the embers of the Litha fire three times to ensure a long and happy marriage, financial prosperity and many children. Even the charred embers from the Litha bonfire possessed protective powers – they were charms against injury and bad weather in harvest time, and embers were commonly placed around fields of grain and orchards to protect the crops and ensure an abundant reaping. Other Litha customs included carrying an ember of the Litha fire home and placing it on one’s hearth and decking one’s home with birch, fennel, St. John’s Wort, orpScreen-shot-2013-08-10-at-8.12.55-AMin, and white lilies for blessing and protection.

The Litha Sabbat is a time to celebrate both work and leisure, it is a time for children and childlike play. It is a time to celebrate the ending of the waxing year and the beginning of the waning year, in preparation for the harvest to come. Midsummer is a time to absorb the Sun’s warming rays and it is another fertility Sabbat, not only for humans, but also for crops and animals. Wiccans consider the Goddess to be heavy with pregnancy from the mating at Beltane – honor is given to Her. The Sun God is celebrated as the Sun is at its peak in the sky and we celebrate His approaching fatherhood – honor is also given to Him. The faeries abound at this time and it is customary to leave offerings – such as food or herbs – for them in the evening.

Although Litha may seem at first glance to be a masculine observance and one which focuses on Lugh, the day is also dedicated to the Goddess, and Her flowers are the white blossoms of the elder.”

Today’s excerpts are from twopagans.com

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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 – You Are Worthy of Love, Give What You Desire

THE LOVER DRAGONFAE
“Love each other. Passionate love seems to be the realm of fairy tales and romantic epics, but it truly is a part of your life and being too. Know that when you draw this card, you are a beauti374391_311536158954833_2008261214_nful being, worthy of bliss, romance, and adoration. There is a God and a Goddess for everyone and you are about to discover that for yourself.”

“Know that within you is everything you need to draw to you perfect love and perfect trust. Know that physical and soul passion can be ignited. Asking is the beginning. Your search for a soul mate is over, because with you now is the truth; that by believing in your true nature — the passionate and romantic being that you are – you are drawing to you the one who will adore you. Be quiet and still, and believe. Sensual delight, physical ecstasy and bliss are yours.”

ABOUT THE DRAGONFAE LOVERS
“These beings have been through many trials in order to be together. They are true soul mates, but their relationship is one which is fed each day with embraces, sweetness, and passion. They remind us that in order to love well, we must actively love each day, and that to neglect our lover is to ultimately neglect our own happiness.”

“They spea484918_10151103896062477_491993786_nk to us of the necessity of romantic gestures: that keeping love alive is as simple as watering a garden daily to keep the plants in full health. Their own love is guarded by the Dragonfae, whose blood they carry. Your own relationships will be protected and looked over by a being of the Dragonfae, who will ensure that your true love will come to you when you treasure this love enough to nurture it, and have it grow, and to share the love in your heart with the other, generously, honestly, with courage. You will find love, and it will be sacred. Protect it, and know that you have your own Dragonfae guardian who will ensure this comes to be, when you believe in love yourself, truly, from the depths of your heart.”

MESSAGE FOR YOU
“Your relationships need tending, as do all things that live. It could be a time to make a roman563338_474829599231034_675844261_ntic gesture, to love another as you would wish to be loved, to understand that love cannot flourish when there is mistrust and anxiety. You may be despairing that your relationship may never match your dreams – please know that your true love lies within your own willingness to believe that you too can experience passionate love, and that you are well-worthy of its ecstasies, no matter your beliefs about your age, your health, your beauty. You are a beloved one. The Dragonfae know this. Now they ask you to know this too.”

WORK WITH YOUR DRAGONFAE GUARDIAN
“Create self-loving moments in your day. Allow yourself to feel loved. Feel how loved you are, by the Dragonfae, and by the entire consciousness of all that is, and offer to yourself gestures and small acts of kindness that will further allow and attract passionate love into your life. Know that sensuality and physical union and bliss are birthrights and that you deserve these experiences now. Allow any feelings of need to fall away and replace them with a deep knowing: that you are worthy of love.”

Excerpt from Oracle of the Dragonfae by Lucy Cavendish.

Spiritblogger Says:
Remember, 405368_10150500037554734_1317162623_ngive the love you most desire, be the love you most want, and love the way you want to be loved.  Make the change you most want to see, by being the change.

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Spirit Message of the Moment – The Snow Goose Fairy

WOODLAND WISDOM – The Snow Goose Fairy
“The Snow Goose Fairy is dressed in white goose down and varies the shape of her wings according to the type of flight. For long flights she follows the geese south in the winter she lengthens her wings along her body into a snail shape. She is seen in more norThe Owl Queen by Brian Froudtherly countries in the summertime.”

“The Snow Goose Fairy says, ‘You are about to feel better about what you do. The thoughts that have held you back in the past are undergoing a change. You are now a more determined person, so allow this to stimulate a better future. Do not try to escape the need for authority in your life, but take it and enjoy the love that it brings you and those around you’.”

“‘Are you aware of your need to move on or have you been allowing yourself to feel that it was not yet necessary ? The time has come to prepare yourself to move forward in all ways. You will not flounder if you align yourself with the full power of the fairies. They are by your side to help you move forward.'”

Today’s message is from Woodland Wisdom Oracle Cards by Frances Munro and Peter Pracownik.

Art: The Owl Queen by Brian Froud.

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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 – Reveal Your True Self

THE DRAGONFAE GODDESS CHUMARA
– Web of All Life

“Beyond the mask we all wear of identity, beyond the construct of who we have been conditioned to believe we are, lies your face, your self. This face is tender and new in so many ways, as you have not shown her to the world before. This face has been protected because the world has seemed and proved indeed at times to be dangerous and unkind place, where those of us who feel different are proved to be so as we brave the taunts and finger pointing. But i now tell you that your protections, your armor and your shield can be removed safely with me. Do not discard her, as you may need her yet in certain situations.”

“But know now she is your armor and her role is to protect your true being. To you, I now reveal myself. See? Many have recoiled in horror at who I truly am. I am a Dragonfae Maiden, a Spider-Woman, a being of webs and change and destruction, and re-creation. Each day I must remake my world…I feel along its sensory threads to see what needs reconstruction and what needs to be let go of. For I am, as you are, part of the new web of life – a web of life that embraces our differences and yet understands that we are one. I ask you today to look at the webs in your life that must be remade and rewoven.”

ABOUT CHUMARA
“Chumara is a Dragonfae Goddess from this world and beyond who presents as a spider, as she is a powerful weaver of energies, dimensions, and time. She is healing the rifts in dimensions and time and we can assist her by understanding who we truly are and by working on our own individual weavings with consciousness and peaceful power. She holds together the strands of all four directions and creates ripple effects along them so we can communicate with worlds beyond this one known as Gaia.”

“Chumara is the creation energy which brings together nations and tribes, peoples and families, from this world and beyond, from other dimensions and times. Thus she is our mother of time and is often present when we have past life memories and experiences, when we receive premonitions about our future, as she weaves together the strands that hold past, present, and future in place. she knows they are all linked and that a ripple in one can be felt, no matter how far apart we seem, because we are all linked by the web of life.”

“She communicates via energy and sound, and thus you may hear a high-pitched ringing in your ears when she connects with you, as this is the vibration of the galactic web. Her role is to assist us in moving beyond our notions of economic short-term thinking, and moving into galactic environmentalism…not simply for Gaia, but for all with which she is connected. She wants us to see the Universe as our home too. She wishes for us all to remove the mask that says “I am this,” and to know we are that, but we are also so much more.”

MESSAGE FOR YOU
“Coming out about beliefs, revealing more of your true and vulnerable self to family; beginning to work in groups; understanding cosmic consciousness; finding a new family, understanding connections; making meaningful relationships that have far-reaching impact; learning more about people’s true selves. Revelations about cultural heritage and family and personal histories may be forthcoming when Chumara makes an appearance in your life. she also represents strides being made on a global and cosmic level on peace, communication technologies and understanding sixth sensory experiences, dream experiences, astral travel and time travel.”

WORKING WITH CHUMARA
“Gently revealing who you are in safe environments; exploring more about galactic consciousness; understanding your own personal and cultural history; bloodline vibrations and exploring your ancestry; being honest in situations where previously you may have kept silent; refusing to engage in falsehood for false peace; being who you are; becoming more sensitive to vibrational communication and higher vibrational living; creating a new family based on values and beliefs that are sacred to you; being in integrity with your beliefs; understanding your true self is beautiful, powerful and loving; activating the web in your life, working with the powers of the four directions, being open to the concept of communicating with beings from beyond our solar system.”

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

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Spirit Message of the Moment – Celebrating Lammas 2012

Lammas History: Welcoming the Harvest
At Lammas, also called Lughnasadh, the hot days of August are upon us, much of the earth is dry and parched, but we still know that the bright reds and yellows of the harvest season are just around the corner. Apples are beginning to ripen in the trees, our summer vegetables have been picked, corn is tall and green, waiting for us to come gather the bounty of the crop fields. Now is the time to begin reaping what we have sown, and gathering up the first harvests of grain, wheat, oats, and more.  This holiday can be celebrated either as a way to honor the god Lugh, or as a celebration of the harvest.

Celebrating Grain in Ancient Cultures:
Grain has held a place of importance in civilization back nearly to the beginning of time. Grain became associated with the cycle of death and rebirth. The Sumerian god Tammuz was slain and his lover Ishtar grieved so heartily that nature stopped producing. Ishtar mourned Tammuz, and followed him to the Underworld to bring him back, similar to the story of Demeter and Persephone.In Greek legend, the grain god was Adonis. Two goddesses, Aphrodite and Persephone, battled for his love. To end the fighting, Zeus ordered Adonis to spend six months with Persephone in the Underworld, and the rest with Aphrodite.

A Feast of Bread:
In early Ireland, it was a bad idea to harvest your grain any time before Lammas — it meant that the previous year’s harvest had run out early, and that was a serious failing in agricultural communities. However, on August 1, the first sheafs of grain were cut by the farmer, and by nightfall his wife had made the first loaves of bread of the season.  The word Lammas derives from the Old English phrase hlaf-maesse, which translates to loaf mass. In early Christian times, the first loaves of the season were blessed by the Church.

Honoring Lugh, the Skillful God:
In some Wiccan and modern Pagan traditions, Lammas is also a day of honoring Lugh, the Celtic craftsman god. He is a god of many skills, and was honored in various aspects by societies both in the British Isles and in Europe. Lughnasadh (pronounced Loo-NAS-ah) is still celebrated in many parts of the world today. Lugh’s influence appears in the names of several European towns.

Celebrating Lammas Today: Honoring the Past
In our modern world, it’s often easy to forget the trials and tribulations our ancestors had to endure. For us, if we need a loaf of bread, we simply drive over to the local grocery store and buy a few bags of prepackaged bread. If we run out, it’s no big deal, we just go and get more. When our ancestors lived, hundreds and thousands of years ago, the harvesting and processing of grain was crucial. If crops were left in the fields too long, or the bread not baked in time, families could starve. Taking care of one’s crops meant the difference between life and death.By celebrating Lammas as a harvest holiday, we honor our ancestors and the hard work they must have had to do in order to survive. This is a good time to give thanks for the abundance we have in our lives, and to be grateful for the food on our tables. Lammas is a time of transformation, of rebirth and new beginnings.

Symbols of the Season
The Wheel of the Year has turned once more, and you may feel like decorating your house accordingly. While you probably can’t find too many items marked as “Lammas decor” in your local discount store, there are a number of items you can use as decoration for this harvest holiday.

  • Sickles and scythes, as well as other symbols of harvesting
  • Grapes and vines
  • Dried grains — sheafs of wheat, bowls of oats, etc.
  • Corn dolls — you can make these easily using dried husks
  • Early fall vegetables, such as squashes and pumpkins
  • Late summer fruits, like apples, plums and peaches

Crafts, Song and Celebration
Because of its association with Lugh, the skilled god, Lammas (Lughnasadh) is also a time to celebrate talents and craftsmanship. It’s a traditional time of year for craft festivals, and for skilled artisans to peddle their wares. In medieval Europe, guilds would arrange for their members to set up booths around a village green, festooned with bright ribbons and fall colors. Perhaps this is why so many modern Renaissance Festivals begin around this time of year!

Lugh is also known in some traditions as the patron of bards and magicians. Now is a great time of year to work on honing your own talents. Learn a new craft, or get better at an old one. Put on a play, write a story or poem, take up a musical instrument, or sing a song. Whatever you choose to do, this is the right season for rebirth and renewal, so set August 1 as the day to share your new skill with your friends and family.

Related Articles

Today’s excerpts from Patti Wigington about.com on History of Lammas

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Spirit Message of the Day – Justice Will Prevail

THE LADY ALFREDA
“Know you this: that whatsoever you send out, you attract back to the power of three. Intent has energy, as do thoughts, feelings and emotions, and once released, this vibrational thought-field radiates out and attracts back to you that which was sent out. This is the Law of the Threefold Return, an ancient Law that the wise ones have known of for many a year, though many of the humans have refused to listen to its wisdom.”

“So, if you cry out an injustice, and if you are in pain, you must clear the reasons these manifestations of the Law were brought to you, were drawn to you, by you. As you think, so you will live. As you do, others will do unto you. this is the magickal law.”

“Do not be afraid of this truth: see it as a source of freedom. There is no blame in this karmic truth, for all that you send out will return. There is no other place for it to go. Your own underworld initiation is ending soon, and the dark will soon come to be but a place of rest, release, wisdom and deep, ancient knowledge. The Law is the Law. And the Lady’s Law is love unto all. Follow this, and the Threefold Return will work its magicks.”

“Do you not know the truth? Your own underworld is not hell, but your dark time is the cauldron of your experience, your growth, your understanding, your knowledge. Now you have the knowledge of the Law will you work with it, knowing it to be the truth?”

ABOUT THE LADY ALFREDA
“The Lady Alfreda is a Dragonfae-being of wise counsel. She is sister to Melusine, and as such, she understands emotions and water as energies. But her being is about the Law, understanding the Law, and reminding us all that the process of natural Law has its place in all of our lives, throughout all of our lifetimes. She bring justice, and is a karmic ramifications of actions and thoughts, emotions and words, will be felt by all. Do not fear. Know that this draws one phase to a final close, at last.”

MESSAGE FOR YOU
“It is time to get real and own what you have previously blamed on others. This does not mean blaming yourself. Instead, work on shifting your own karmic residue (Dragonfae are wonderful at this!) and understanding the connections between what you have sent out and what you have created. Issues of law, justice and karma. Fearful thoughts around what you see to be the darkness or black magick, not understanding just how the natural Law works, thus this card asks you to look to your own intent. Clear your space; work with your own dark times to understand the lessons. Make friends with your shadow and thank it for the lessons.”

WORKING WITH THE LADY AFREDA
“Make decisions, act in integrity, and keep your word. Be honest and upfront, and expect that from others. You do not need to play games, or be deceived anymore if someone has not acted with integrity. Know that you do not need to act, as the natural laws of this Lady of the Dragonfae will take over, and justice will be realised in due course. Your role is to act with honor, nobility and truth, and keep to that course. Take action regarding matters that must be put to rights. Justice will prevail.”

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

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Spirit Message of the Day – Celebrate Your Abundance

THE FOUR OF FIRE
“The suit of Fire represents our ideas and inspirations. It’s where we feel passion, display amazing creativity, and set our dreams into motion. This element corresponds to our career, art, adventure, risk taking, and self-development. Fire can also represent any of our passions. This card shows friendly dragons as the symbol for this suit because of their fiery nature and their iconic place in our imaginations.”

“This card means: You’ve worked hard and are now rewarded with contentment, peace, and abundance. The freedom your success has afforded you provides deep feelings of satisfaction. You’ve safely navigated your way through the obstacles to a place you can feel proud of. Matters at home are rewarding. Someone may be getting married or planning to move in with a partner. Peace and harmony have been established, and now you seek stability and commitment.”

“Additional meanings of this card include: A milestone event in your career. A successfully completed project. Count your blessings. Feeling elated. Engagement, marriage, or honeymoon.”

Excerpt from Angel Tarot Cards by Doreen Virtue & Radleigh Valentine & Steve A. Roberts

MESSAGE FOR YOU FROM SPIRITBLOGGER
If you look deeper into the significance of this specific card: This is a good time for gratitude. Examine the abundance that surrounds you. It’s okay to take time to feel fulfilment and satisfaction of attaining your goals. Reflect on everything you have, appreciate everyone that’s in your life, value your connection with community and your contribution; think about what positive things they add to your life. It’s easy to work hard and focus on the next task ahead; however, take some time to relax and enjoy what you’ve accomplished to date. Similar to the suit of wands, this card signifies energy, fire, and action. Enjoy and appreciate the steps you’ve taken to help achieve your goals and dreams. Part of manifesting one’s desires and happy life involves taking action but then releasing and letting go to trust that what you put out into the universe will come back to you ten fold.  Take time to celebrate the harmony and abundance you’re feeling. Have fun and revel in the joy of the moment today.

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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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