Beltane 2011

Sunflowers for Beltane and offering

Beltane Diffuser Oil: 2 drops Bergamont, Neroli, Rosemary and 4 drops Lemon

Farmer's Market bounty: squash, blueberries, beets, chicken, locally made chocolates

Blue Herons spotted on May Day morning walk

Spring dressing, May Day morning

Beltane feast: roast chicken, gravy, squash casserole, biscuits, green salad, blackberries and cream

Blackberries and cream...life just doesn't get much better!

I performed two small rituals. One, on Saturday, was to honor my marriage and boost creativity in the coming season. The second, on Sunday night, was a seasonal Tarot reading that I’ll post more on later. The oddest thing happened on Sunday. For the past two months Central Texas has been simply sweltering. Temperatures already almost in the hundreds. But on May Day, a cold front blew through and now it’s (almost) drizzling, cold and grey.  A potent reminder that no matter what the season the previous one, and the next, are never that far away. Gotta love Mother Nature, right?

All in all, a calm and blessed Beltane. I hope everyone’s was the same 🙂

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Blessed Friday and Beltane Plans

TGIF, you know?

So, Beltane planning is in full swing. Instead of writing this post I should be cleaning. However, BabyGirl is napping (HALLELUJAH!) so I thought I’d take advantage of the downtime to synthesize my thoughts for the weekend.

I’m having trouble making a cohesive Beltane plan because there is so much that I want to do. I have a meditation I recorded, I want to bless my garden, I want to do a devotional ritual, I’d like to ritually clean and smudge the house…Plus we have a friend’s BBQ to go to tomorrow, I promised to help and, natch, I’d also like to get to the farmer’s market to buy some meat.

Phew.

I think it’s going to breakdown something like this:

Saturday

  • Morning: If house clean(ish), then go to farmer’s market w/ C. Come home and smudge before leaving to help w/ the party.
  • Afternoon: help with the party, party, enjoy a communal spring celebration
  • Evening: do a devotional ritual to set up the evening, listen to the meditation, then go outside to bless the garden.

Sunday

  • Morning: greet the sunrise, perhaps perform another small ritual in the garden. Make special breakfast.
  • Then…relax. Enjoy a clean house. After C is down for the evening do a seasonal Tarot reading to begin the summer season.

The only things I need to work on tonight is putting together a fertility ritual for my garden. Seriously–it just seems like something is…I don’t know…wrong in the garden. When I go to water and check on the plants I don’t get a sense of health or vibrancy. Maybe it’s the drought, maybe there’s not quiet enough sun where we put the new beds (ugh). But a little oomph couldn’t hurt. Any ideas?

Beltane Links

I am a solitary practitioner at the moment. Mostly it’s by life circumstance: I live pretty far away from where a lot of the rituals in my city are held, until recently there hasn’t been a Pagan gathering near me, etc. Also, I’m still in the closet, as it were, and until otherwise I feel the it best to eschew public gatherings. More thoughts on that at a later date, though.

However, I love to celebrate the Sabbats. Ever since I was little I took note of the changing of the seasons. I could ‘feel’ a thunderstorm coming; I  laid in the grass watching the endless parade of puffy summer clouds; I stood outside on rare cold evenings just so I wouldn’t miss our ephemeral winters. I love to celebrate the changing seasons, whether in community or by myself.

In that spirit, each time a Sabbat roles around I figured I’d gather links that include history, crafts, recipes, meditations, reflections, etc. If you have any pertinent resources, please comment!

Read:

Bealtainn (Part 1–General and Scottish Custom) and Bealtainne (Part 2–General and Irish Custom) by Tairis. Very thorough!!!

Celebration of May Day by Mike Nichols

Beltane: A Return to Feeling by Diotima Mantineia

Beltane: Holiday Details and History by Christina Aubin

Beltane Crafts

Watch:

CharmingPixieFlora’s Beltane Ideas (Wiccan/Goddess oriented–she has a ton of videos with Sabbat ideas, family celebration ideas, crafts, recipes, etc…)

Beltane Thoughts #1: Fertility, General

Yesterday while I made my list of ideas to how to celebrate Beltane this year I had a sudden vision of cows in a feedlot, immediately following with the thought: “What does a fertility festival mean to us now, anyway?”

In the age of overpopulation, cloning, GMOs, etc…what does healthy fertility look like? When I read over and over again that Beltane is a celebration of fertility, of abundance–well, isn’t the general problem that American’s have too much abundance?

Then, I counter that thought when I consider the droughts that have plagued Central Texas more and more frequently. Our crops are dying. Gardens struggle. Lakes and reservoirs are so dry that boats sit on rocks instead of floating on water.  By August the population is hidden indoors; when we go outside the heat shrivels us. Then I long for the days of May, though hot, at least they’re still green. I long for the days when the air is damp with fecundity.  The celebration of Beltane as a seasonal marker makes sense, then.

So, I wonder if the question to consider now is…when fertility can be bought and abundance is a problem …what’s healthy fertility? Part of Beltane is sex, and part of sex (this is simplified, I know) is a partnership, a give and take. The environment gives and I take more often than I give back, so what can I do to give back? Mulch, compost, recycle, shop wisely, but what else? Honor it? Is that enough? What more?