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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Beltane

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Crone on the Road

Happy Bealtaine! The sacred fires of Uisneach were relit on Sunday evening, on the cross quarter day. Summer is officially in, even though the temperatures were chilly.  But the hawthorn is in blossom, the cow parsley is frilling the lane, everywhere I look from my window is lush and green or in blossom.

For the third year running I have been away form home for Bealtaine or in transit. In 2017. (https://witchesandpagans.com/sagewoman-blogs/away-with-the-fairies/bealtaine-in-bloom.html), I was with Wise Woman Ireland at our weekend in Newgrange. Last year I was merry meeting on May Day in Glastonbury. (https://witchesandpagans.com/sagewoman-blogs/away-with-the-fairies/a-glastonbury-beltane.html.)

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Milk-White Pony: A May Game

Here's one of my favorite May-games: a kind of ritualized mock orgy. It's called “Milk-White Pony.”

(I got it from a local Wiccan priest who claims to have learned it at Boy Scout camp. To judge from the stories I've heard, I could well believe this.)

The dance takes place in a circle, with everyone singing and clapping. Here's the verse:

 

I saw N on his/her pony

riding on a milk-pony

I saw N on his/her pony

and this is what he/she told me

 

During the singing of the verse, N “rides” around the circle on an imaginary pony. At the end of the verse, the rider stops to face someone in the circle.

Then you sing the chorus:

 

Front, front, front

O baby

Back, back, back

O baby

Side, side, side

O baby

This is what he/she told me.

 

Both dancers thrust their pelvises at each other as they do this, front-to-front, back-to-back, or side-to-side as the lyrics call for.

Then N rejoins the circle, whoever he or she danced with hops into the middle, and the game continues.

No doubt the tune is out there somewhere—everything's on Youtube—but if so, I haven't been able to find it yet. I promise to keep looking. Meanwhile, consult your favorite ex-Scout.

Every coven should have one.

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Beltane's Flower: In Appreciation of Ian Anderson's 'Cup of Wonder'

If the modern Beltane has an anthem, it must surely be Ian (“Jethro Tull”) Anderson's Cup of Wonder.

When I first heard the song in 1977, it came as something of a revelation, managing (in what is surely the cultural and aesthetic touchstone of the New Paganisms) to sound both ancient and modern simultaneously. Of course, at the time we took it entirely for granted. Youthful arrogance has a beauty all its own.

If you haven't heard Cup of Wonder before, it's well worth a listen. If—like me—you haven't heard it recently, let me recommend a revisit. While very much of its own time, Anderson's sight remains true, his vision crisp, and his truth as deep as it ever was.

Wishing you joy of Beltane and a Merry May.

 

Cup of Wonder

 


May I make my fond excuses for the lateness of the hour,

but we accept your invitation, and would bring you Beltane's flower;

for the May Day is the great day, sung along the old straight track,

and those who ancient lines did "ley" will heed the song that calls them back:

 


Pass the cup, and pass the Lady,

pass the plate to all who hunger;

pass the wit of ancient wisdom,

pass the Cup of Crimson Wonder.

 

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Bring Back the May Baskets!

Even if it’s not all spring sunshine where you are today, there’s no reason not to get in the lighthearted spirit of May Day and Beltane. I’ll never forget the first time I was gifted with a brightly colored, homemade May Day basket by a new neighbor in our development out in the country. All it had contained was a fun mixture of popcorn and jellybeans, but the fact that it had been crafted by hand, and dutifully delivered to each home in the neighborhood by a determined little girl warmed my heart. It got me thinking about the tradition, and how this simple act of kindness probably wasn’t practiced much anymore. I miss those more trusting times when we used to be able to trick-or-treat after dark in a rural setting and not worry, as well. If you are fortunate enough to be blessed with a nice neighbor, a cute cat, or anyone deserving of one of these old-fashioned treasures, then bring back the May baskets, I say.

MAY DAY BASKET FOR A NICE NEIGHBOR

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs

b2ap3_thumbnail_Dolphin-skull.jpg

Scottish Hebridean Dolphin Skull

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
The Serpent's Kiss: Beltane Fires

We stand at another season and another turn of the Great Solar Wheel. We gather in the fertile space of circle greenery anchored well with phallic maypole standing tall. We dance around the potent fires of Beltane celebrating the sacred union of God and Goddess, youth and maiden and the polarity of seed and womb offered by male and female. The air is fragrant with the promise of summer's musky scent and shoots of fresh grass elongate delicately upwards, stretching towards Father Sun and longer days to bask in His brilliance. We can see the lengthening of the days light and feel the gentle caress of warm sun-kissed air on skin that has just recently shed its winter clothing. In the continuous cycle, darkness gives way to light and so also the sparse flora of the fields gives way to the thick verdant splendor of late-Spring growth. 

This is the magickal season of the thinning of the veils between ancestor and human, spirit and Deva and the gifts of connection to seen and unseen. We bow to the enlivening of all of the fruits of mother earth's bounty that will herald summer's gifts of ripening. We joyfully and with purity of intent and heart give offering to the Fae to aid us in our endeavors and make promise that the progeny of our union with nature and all of its life will make good in keeping her healthy and whole. All is ready and ripe for a consummate union that will feed the cycles of creation. This interweaving takes form in all aspects of being-sexual, spiritual and more. 

The potency of sexual union and the energy that is the by-product of the sexual act is one of the most potent and its heady scent seductively calls to all to join in the dance. If guided and directed towards enlivening and magickal working its raw force has the power to manifest form. In alchemical and Tantric practice, using this energy as a means of self-enlivening and energetic renewal and healing is the goal. It is this energy that is celebrated and called into action as we wait in anticipation of the Beltane’s lovers sacred union. The heat of passionate longing and the desire to join as one ensures the continuance of life's pleasure and humanity’s legacy. It pulses with a lusty rhythm that mesmerizes and magnetically draws to itself the object of its seeking. And, life continues in the throes of human passion and Divine synthesis. 

This is the time of spiritual union. When the potency of the energies and the fires of devotion are most fertile and ready to be held in loving embrace in hopes of creating connection and bond that will move us forward on our spiritual paths. We stimulate the fires of our own will and exhale into the heat of our yearning. At this turn of the Wheel, I would like to propose a deeper union. 

The Fires that arise are much like the breath of transformation that becomes the potency of catalytic change and enlivening. The fires that issue froth from the Dragon; a winged serpent who has conquered the mysteries of Air and has risen above the constraints of earth and land to soar across the heavens. It holds within its body the waters of life and quickens them in the Fires of creation, remaining solid and strong in its intent. The Snake is the terrestrial form of the Dragon and holds the wisdom of the Earth. This turn of the year, in particular offers up especial opportunity to drink deeply from the Dragon’s fires and the wisdom of Snake’s grounding as we seek the rapture of their Divine kiss. As we think on the outward expression of our passions and the desire for union we can also turn that desire inwards, fueling our passion for union with our Higher nature. 

The metaphor of Beltane is that of coming to a point of coalescent energy. The merging, blending and eventual uniting of our polarized selves in all their facets. Male and female, light and dark, earthly desire and the bliss of orgasmic release are the potent streams that become the maypole ribbons that we cling to as we dance around the core of seed-filled center. We also become the womb and vessel of this outpouring of force and act as the container of form so that something new may be birthed from this quickened state of being. We weave the ribbons tightly around this container, affirming the strength that is held in co-creative effort and then marvel at the beauty of that creation the celebration of the outcome. 

If we use another metaphor, that of the Kundalini awakening or Serpent of Fire, we find that this is one and the same type of energy. Desire awakens the serpent of wisdom who lays coiled at the base of the earthly and primal state. We breathe deeply and call forth our will to merge with this energy. Breath and action fuel and catalyze this energy and stir it into heightened awareness as the dance of weaving and life begins. As the serpent moves along its path of return the One becomes two; separating in individualized awareness of the need for polarity and the deeper gnosis of the duality of our singular state of being. Each moves along its intended course, seducing and drawing the other into its embrace at points of quickening and awakening. The pace quickens and the two return as One in the release of catalytic seed and waters of quickening. The fires of will reach up towards the Higher Self and the Serpent’s Kiss bites deeply into primed matter releasing the transformative elixirs of deep knowing and spiritual union with the Divine in all of its forms. The fires of Beltane move serpent-like in and through you and the joyous celebration of God and Goddess’ Sacred Union is that of You and your Higher Self. 

This year as you celebrate Beltane, open yourself to the deeper enlivening. Become a conscious participant in awakening all parts of your being. Celebrate your Gods and Goddesses. Celebrate your physical nature and connection to that which makes you most human. Celebrate the life that flows within you and the potential of being creator and co-creator of all that you will to be so. And, think deeply on these questions:

Will you seek the serpent's kiss*? Will you allow the energy of desire, will and action to guide you to the ecstasy of union? Will you draw into yourself the seed of potential and quicken it within the womb of your own making? And, at the next turn of the Great Wheel will you stand as one with the heat of the blazing sun issuing forth the breath of the fiery Dragon you have called to Light within?

Happy Beltane. May the Fires of Life Flow Through Every Part of Your Being!

 

Image: Stock Photo 123rf
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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs


I woke with the smellb2ap3_thumbnail_58639012_2319362924942583_1704575264542949376_o.jpg
of Belfire still in my hair
and knelt in a circle
of hawthorn and roses
to bless my brow, cheeks,
and neck with dew.
I heard the sound of
hooves on leaf and stone
and saw three deer leaping
away through the woods.
I lifted my arms to sun
exhilarated with wild enchantment.
What a blessing it is to live
right here, right now.

Good May Morning!

This week you might wish to pick or buy flowers for your home, to add touches that give you a sense of warmth and hominess, or light candles or diffuse oils near you while you go about your household tasks.

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