The ancient pagan festival of Beltane officially heralds the end of winter and the beginning of summer. It is generally celebrated at the end of April and on the 1st of May, known as ‘Mayday’ and unintentionally honoured as a bank holiday in the UK. I know there are many people who would dispute that it is summer now because of our current weather systems, but for me it is warm and full of promise. This is the first year I have properly celebrated Beltane. I had a quiet celebration at home, since I was unable to find a suitably accessible local festival.
Picture the scene: I was alone in the house. My husband was out, my baby in bed, my dog in bed! I lit all my candles, created a sacred space of peace and relaxation in my living room, and proceeded with a special ritual of welcome and thanks to the God and Goddess of fertility and rebirth. I meditated, I danced, I generally floated around in a happy state of mind. My ‘bonfire’ was substituted by my small, cute cauldron in which flickered a pretty little tea light candle.
And what a start to the new season we have experienced. So far, in little over one week, my friends and family have felt the dramatic energies that abound. Some have developed sudden illnesses that will ultimately cleanse their bodies. Some have undergone surgery to improve aspects of their health. Others have suffered the loss of loved ones from the earth realm. These are very sad instances, but also very necessary. Mother Earth must cleanse and reshape Herself at regular intervals. It is simply the cycle of life.
You might think I sound crazy. You might say I am insensitive and how dare I speak so blithely about death. I do understand the pain people feel. We are all human. We are ruled by our emotions. We move alongside the cycle of Mother Earth. Perhaps it is time we started to take notice of what is happening around us. Look beyond our individual lives, look beyond what the media institutions tell us, and really see for the first time the true beauty and potential of our home land.