Beltane is, in the Pagan Wheel of the Year, the day we celebrate the return of the summer (isn't that much needed right now?)
As I've written before, Tim and I feel drawn to a Pagan way of living, in that we love the sense of living in harmony with nature and the seasons and looking after ourselves and our earth because we see it all as being part of the whole. For us, following this way of life is about honouring life itself, and in doing so honouring the sacred that is all around us.
This is an extension of what I have been doing for years and it is just nice to find a group of like-minded people. For me, God is all around us, in everything, creating everything, cherishing everything, and loving everything. That is why I love the beautiful symbolism of the progression of the seasons through the stages of the Goddess' life, from maiden to mother to crone.
At Beltane, the God begins courting the Goddess and this time of year is all about fertility. Seedlings are beginning to grow, flowers are beginning to bloom, life begins to flourish after the harsh months of the winter. It is a glorious time of refreshment and looking forwards to the warmth of summer and the abundance of autumn yet to come.
This time last year we travelled to Glastonbury and celebrated Beltane there. Though we had been to Glastonbury before, it was our first experience of being there during a festival. And the place was buzzing. I felt truly emotional at times, because the love and joy was so embracing. It was a wonderful tonic after a couple of really tough years for us - a winter (if you will) that had lasted far too long!
We had hoped to return this year as well, but things didn't work out that way. We both felt a slight pang when we realised Beltane was coming up and we were still at home. But it worked out for the best as Little Man came down with a stomach bug Saturday night and we spent Sunday (my birthday) doing load after load of laundry and praying that his symptoms would soon ease.
Thankfully, though still tender, Little Man is well on his way to recovery. And TJ and I have started to smudge the house with the Beltane incense we bought in Glastonbury last year and are having a massive "Spring Clean" which started a few weeks ago and is finally starting to get near completion.
I feel like the light is finally starting to break through and we're finally starting to cast off the physical, mental and emotional traumas that have so darkened our lives in the past few years. We're letting go of the fear and anger and grief and starting to embrace the hope and joy and returning to a place where we want to celebrate the spiritual in our everyday lives.
We still have a way to go, but this Beltane I feel like we are further on than we were last year and hopefully by next Beltane we'll be even more refreshed in our souls. Cycles of life happen continually and they don't always take the same amount of time. Our physical seasons happen on a yearly basis, and yet even they can get slightly out of whack, just look how long this winter has lasted! And just like in the Wheel of the Year, we can personally go from Winter to Spring to Summer and then back to Winter again. Hard times crop up throughout our lives, but I like to think that we learn from early Winters how to stock up on reserves and enjoy the summer sun and the autumn harvest when they are here, so that when Winter does arrive we have the energy to get through it.
And that's exactly what I plan on doing this year!
Happy Beltane everyone x