I came running into the month of Beltane with fire in my hands and joy in my heart. Or more precisely Beltane and I went running out together in the high summer sun. It has been a non-stop adventure exhausting and exhilarating. While I see the shadows crossing with my rays of light and fire, I know there is more to come.
For me Beltane has always been a time of holy sacred fire. It is one of my top holy times of the year, and for me it last all the month of May. In the Irish tradition, Beltane or Bealltainn was the start of the summer season, an agricultural festival of blessings and protections. It was the time when the cattle went up to the summer fields to graze, their safety of high import. It was the time to put out the hearth fires, and relight them from the blessed bonfires of the community. Blessing were lain on house and field, rowan tree limbs collected for protection and prosperity. Being the beginning of summer the larders would be bare, and the harvest being planted. It would be a time of possibility and uncertainty. Over on Tairis there is an excellent article on the folk customs of the Irish and Scottish of Bealltainn throughout the centuries.
Add to this historical understanding of the festival, is the knowledge of the season. It is spring, the start of summer. The air is charged with change, will it frost the night and kill the blooms shyly peaking out? Or will the summer winds blow in hot and steamy? Everyday is an unknown. The world is on the edge of a new now, a new standard. The spirits are a buzz with the energy being put out by everything. Things get knocked over, go missing. Tempers are wild, and everyone seems on the edge of absolute joy or a ragged frustration that could end in a brawl or a roll in the bed sheets. The blood begins to pump faster, with more vigor and heat as the sun showers it’s glory upon the world more and more. Now is the time of action. The start of the cattle raiding. Three of the legendary invasions from the Leabhar Gabala happen in the time of Bealltainn. To hunt, to plant, to fuck, to create, to conquer, to woo, to run mad, to laugh. The veil is thin, the Gods and all those who dwell in the Otherworld draw closer with their mesmerizing golden haze. In a word it is one of my favorite times of year, complete with it’s stress, and maddening mood swings.
Now that we’ve covered the flavor and lens in which Beltane is known around my household you’ll get a much better sense if the emotive and energetic charge of the evens that have transpired over the last few days lol.
The build up began on Friday April 27th, with me facilitating an amazing ritual put on by the lovely Lady Yeshe Rabbit and Thora Azuolas. It was made even more special as we were joined by Guest Priestesses Kris Freewoman and Larissa. It was a ritual in honor of Oshun, as this is the fifth year of Yeshe Rabbit’s dedication to her. It was high energy, dancing extravaganza. Kris Freewoman is an amazing dancer and has such an energetic grace in how she directs the movement of the room. It is a skill that is lacking from our Tribes public working and one I would love to at least tap into. We had a room of 25+ women dancing in naked glory without a care in the world other than how beautiful they were being for Oshun. Not my pantheon but impressive and moving on all accounts. Larissa is an amazing drummer and had brought her talented friends with her, to truly make this a ritual to blow others in the rhythm department. For an hour or so that little yoga studio was transformed into a temple, an open field on the river bed, and a tribal communion ground. And by the end of the night I was bushwacked! lol
But there is not too much rest for the wicked. I was up bright and early on Saturday for a lovely day trip to a flea market with the Lumberjack. It was filled with all kinds of treasures that we wished we had room enough to hoard. In the end I bought some trinkets and a beautiful gold cuff and was contented. A quick stop at our favorite BBQ place for sustenance and it was back to the house to piece together an outfit befitting a Tickster of the May. Three hours later we were satisfied, the house completely destroyed, and hurrying on my way to get to ritual.
A ritual I only vaguely remember lol. It was a large production befitting Beltane, there was a lot of talking coming out of my mouth. A story weaved in rainbow colors about the Tribes of Love and Fire. How man came to be the fragile forged steel that it is today. A large community passing through the Beltane Fires that leaped high burning with excitiment, many blessings given. A new May Court crowned, and general revelry ensued. Another late night and sore feet, a heel objecting to being used as a bull hoof to drum up people’s attentions. Food hastily eaten in good company, and then to my soft calling bed.
The morning brought some respite but not much lol. Preparations needed to be made! It was Beltane Eve! I cleaned my destroyed house and set about to baking my offerings of honey cakes for the beasties and shining ones. They were damn tasty too.
I had some important spell work to prep and get done on the day. As well as a need to prep my flowers that were given to me by the Lumberjack. They are now drying for future use in incense and other spell work. All and all a busy day around Fort Epic.
And just when I was tidying up the Good God’s kitchen altar, it was time to leave for another adventure! For not only was it Beltane Eve, but the birthday of one of my beloved soul sisters! Tauri women rule, for the record. For this celebration we were off to get a lesson in archery. Something tantalizing but foreign to me. Turned out to be an addicting thing, and to most of our surprise we were not so helpless around the bow and arrow. Indeed I feel the possibility of a new wonderful hobby on the horizon….
With the night still young, and the Beltane blood high we went out to celebrate Tiki style. It was a lot of fun, I’ve never really been to a bar before. And certainly had never gotten drunk at a bar before lol. Good times all the way around. I discovered I have a taste for a drink known as Navy Grog (good thing to know for the future).
The good and happy drunk stumbled her way to bed, in enough of her right mind to have a glass of water and ibuprofen before diving headlong into Morpheus’s sweet arms. But wait! Sleep was but a sweet passing allusion. Somewhere inbetween the Mai Tai and Navy Grog, smashed between the talk of finding the bones of the dead on the beach, and oogling Elvis on the screen, there was the persuasion that took hold on my drunk little heart and I agreed to go up to the Inspiration point and watch the Morris Dancers and greet the first rays of the sun.
4:30 comes all to soon, and while the Portal turrets played their harmonic opera, the happy drunk stumbled confusedly back out of bed. Finding that those 4 hours alone in the sleeping realm did absolutely nothing for my balance and stability on my boozey feet. But the sunrise beckoned! And in the little marshmallow car the three bleary-eyed bull-women made their way up the hills, through the magic mist to watch that golden coin take it’s royal seat in the sky.
And it was worth it. While the Englishmen danced with their bells and ribbons the Sun began to show hit glimmering glory.
One moment you are holding your breath in anticipation, the next a sliver of gold, and then a brilliance to bold to look upon. Such is the glory of the Beltane sun. With joy we washed our hands and face in the morning dew. Gratefully we happened upon some wild Lady’s Mantel. All seemed delightfully right in the world.
The rest of the day past in a Gatorade, sleepy haze. As I worked the day and went home very tired. But certain things still needed to be done. Our Beltane fires needed to be lit, all of the house (including the cats) needed to pass thru for a good healthy year. And then the altar needed to be lit. Once the business was taking care of, and even then I completely forgot to bless the car which led to a different kind of adventure, but most of the business taken care of it was time to rest in the house and the home that I love.
I have to say it was one of the best first of May’s I’ve had in a long time. And the month isn’t even over yet! I realize that this post comes weeks after the event,we are now in the height of May-dom, so many more exciting adventures have transpired. So much more magic has been made. But that’s the thing about busy adventures, you’re too busy experiencing them to blog about them. But don’t fear. I’m taking pictures, and making notes. So as soon as I catch my breath there will be more blog posts to come!