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The Wheel of the Year is the engine that drives NeoPagan practice. Explore thw magick of the season beyond the Eight Great Sabbats.

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The Pleasures of Spring

By the end of May, Spring is definitely in full swing and might even be tipping into Summer. It is always a luscious sensation to be feeling the Earth wake up, feel the welcome and optimism in the growing light, the warmer air, the green haze in the trees and the slight sweet hum of things growing. The Goddess has ascended from the Underworld, the Earth rejoices and blossoms. May encourages us all to play, to feel, to flirt and luxuriate. To pursue pleasure.

It's ironic that, despite loving May's sensory pleasures as much as I do, I really don't much care for Beltane. Yes it's a shocking confession, and I don’t enjoy sounding like such an anti-hedonist. I'm too much of an introvert to truly enjoy the enormous crowds of public Pagan events. I have had, more than once, the experience of being quite pregnant at Beltane. The very sight of the Maypole made me queasy and as for the Love-chase, oh forget that. What felt particularly isolating about being at a Beltane gathering while pregnant was how I felt somehow excluded, as if being already engaged in reproducing, I wasn't someone who would respond to touch, comfort, and attention. As if all the sensory pleasures of the day were off limits to me, either redundant or inappropriate. That struck me as being woefully anti-erotic.

Beltane has always held the energies of union and re-union, the alchemical magick that is present in the core of every star exploding into being as well as in the collision of 2 distinct cells creating new life. May Day reminds us all of the power we have when we envision a brighter future and better world. It is a hinge upon which the World shifts from the time of Darkness to that of Light, a moment when the Veil between the worlds is thin. As we cast into past to remember at Samhain, we cast into the future at Beltane, and throw our wishes, intentions, dreams and goals into the webs of Fate deliberately. This is magick that can be done by jumping over fires in ecstatic fellowship with the community, or alone in your temple.

Sometimes that union is people coming together for a greater purpose than themselves, to strike for justice or liberty, or to stand against forces that deny us full self-expression based on prejudice. Sometimes that union is in magick of two or more bodies coming together in the heat of desire. Sometimes that loving union happens within us, when we seek to discover and embrace all our parts. It's the adventure of a lifetime, and it never stops beginning. “We are divided for Love's sake, for the chance at re-Union.”

Spring is the moment when all the world's energy is geared to opening, rising, shining, moving to its fullest expression. It sings with joy and pleasure. It reminds us that despite our labors, our obligations and our worries, our capacity for enjoying this beautiful world is boundless. And that there is something truly sacred in taking time to stop and feel that ecstasy and joy of growth, beauty and pleasure moving thru us, radiating out of us, as surely as it does a sunlit field or tree in blossom. That is also part of the Work, to drop into the place in ourselves beyond logic, reason and speech, to plumb the depth of peace and communion in just being a living breathing consciousness.

Sometimes you have to stop and just say ahhhhh. Take that moment and stand in awe of the beautiful life you have. There is so much in it that's blessed.



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Leni Hester is a Witch and writer from Denver, Colorado. Her work appears in the Immanion anthologies "Pop Culture Grimoire," "Women's Voices in Magick" and "Manifesting Prosperity". She is a frequent contributor to Witches and Pagans and Sagewoman Magazines.


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