Thursday, May 9, 2013

Springing with Spring's Energy

Beltane morning just before sunrise: the world is still, quiet, and cool, but a new warmth is in the air. On a branch amid dogwood flowers, a Robin sings a joyous melody as the Pleiades star cluster rises on the eastern horizon.

Beltane's bird song and blossoms usher us into the light half on the year and we are all very grateful for the end (or near end!) of cold weather.

Named for Bel, a Celtic sun god, and "tine" (fire), Beltane is the last of the three spring fertility festivals (the others being Imbolc and Ostara). 

Beltane is the second principal Celtic festival (it's opposite,  Samhain is widely celebrated as Hallow'een). Celebrated approximately halfway between the Vernal (Spring) equinox and Litha/Midsummer (Summer Solstice), Beltane traditionally marked the arrival of summer for the ancient Celts, but heralds Spring for many of us in the Northern Hemisphere.

Like Samhain, Beltane is a time when the veils between the words are thin. On the night before Beltane, folks would place rowan branches at their windows and doors for protection, to ward off unwanted otherworldly occurrences.  

As we move into the season of growth, we find renewal and joy in rising earth energy as nature stretches towards light and warmth. 

Our peas are just beginning to twine up their posts and at this early stage of development, they still need protection.Those of us who have planted and nurtured seeds of intent are now seeing our projects, both spiritual and material, manifest; still, we must continue to support and nurture what we have brought forth.

One way to manifest and celebrate spring energy is a May Day or Beltane gathering.

At last year's Beltane gathering, each participant chose a brightly colored ribbon and danced around a Maypole. Weaving in and out with much laughter, we raised enlivening energy as we twined the ribbons tightly  until they twined the pole creating a new, bright  weave.

During this year's Beltane gathering, we lit a small fire symbolizing the sun's warmth and power to renew life and bounty to the land. We circled, sang, pounded on drums, enlivening ourselves as the earth is enlivened; some of us even jumped the Beltane fire--literally and figuratively traversing barriers and moving ourselves and our goals forward.

As the Earth around us is enlivened, may each of us be blessed with new  energy to make our heart's desires manifest.