and may dawns, yet again.
the celts revered balance, transformation, in-between states. samhain, known to most of the 21st century folk as halloween or all hallow’s eve, is the transformation from summer’s bounty to the dormant earth of winter, a time when the dead are near and the veil between worlds thins. its mirror, beltane, celebrates the dawning of spring and the renewal of life in the earth. the symbols of beltane are fire, sensuality, flowers, colorful ribbons, youth, and a maypole. the renewal of life requires acknowledgment and celebration of sexuality — the tradition of the maypole is an unveiled symbol of this union. a sapling (being a phallic object) was brought forth from the forest and then placed into a hole in the earth, which, aside from that overtly feminine image, also carries the sense of the earth as a bringer of life. the youth would then dance around this symbol with colored ribbons to celebrate the dawning of new life as seasons turn again.
beltane has often been known as a celebration of sexuality; in fact, the old tradition of gathering wildflowers on may’s eve was known for turning into an unbridled time of sex, which in my opinion is a celebration of life in and of itself. sex is a sacred thing, a holy thing. something to be enjoyed and celebrated. and what better time for it than spring?
i’ve always been drawn to celtic spirituality, perhaps because of the sheer practicality of the symbolism and the simple beauty of celebrating and acknowledging the seasons of life and death and the harmony that exists there. the celts were a people full of vitality and reverence for pleasure and life, as well as respectful of the natural passing of death.
this beltane, i’m watching for new life and celebrating my own. it is a season of renewal, of cleansing fire, and the joy of bounty. it is a time of love and growth.
this beltane, i’m watching as the sky begins to lighten and thinking about the power of creating life. i’ve been noticing babies lately; my sister is also pregnant with her 6th child. i was talking about babies and pregnancy enough that my boyfriend asked me if i was pregnant (i’m not). i’m not ready to have children, but lately i’ve been dwelling on the marvel of creating new life. i’ve been struck by the honest truth that in my body, there are bits of me that will someday result in my children. in a way, i already have them in me — the potential is there. i find myself thinking about them, wondering who they will be. wondering if they’ll know me when i first look into their eyes. knowing that they will be perfect. there is an inherent beauty in the simplicity of this…new life. all the complexities of existence and the trials and heartaches of living go hushed when i think how simple it is, how wondrous a thing it is that one cell can meet one other cell and cause life to blossom. what an amazing thing.
right now my skin is clean and soft, scrubbed with salts and mint and rosemary oils. birds sing outside my window, and there is warmth on the breeze. i’m ready to celebrate life today.
joyous beltane, everyone.
Posted on 1 May, 2010, in meanderings, thoughts, Uncategorized and tagged authenticity, beacon, beltane, celtic, excitement, experience, happy, life, love, may day, sabbat, sex, sexuality, spirituality, spring, warm. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.