The Pleasure of Beltaine

Posted by Jodie, 27 October 2008 12:47 PM | PERMALINK

 

 

History of Beltaine

Beltaine is a Gaelic word for the month of May (meaning bright/shining fire or sun fire). Shining one or bright one is also a term used for Great Bel, Sun God of the Celts. The festival is also referred to as Cetsamhain, meaning “opposite Samhain”, Beltaine’s direct opposite festival in the dark half of the year. It is the luscious fertility tide of the year; it is the celebration of life. It is Bridget’s fire festival, Goddess of fertility, purification, midwifery, fire and sexuality. Eight holy days and tides of the Earth grace the Mothers body. By weaving ourselves into her rhythms we work with the energy of the Earth and speak her song. The rhythm of this season is Beltaine.

As the Earth sprouts forth in deep pregnancy, flowers and seeds bursting from her flesh, she waits…in her most sensual self…the abundance of birth and fertility of the Earth is coming. The ancient ones watched this tide to help the Mother transform from sensual Maiden to fertile Mother to birth; they offered their own fertility to nourish Her. It is the time where union between people and the land brings fertility and abundance to all. We nurture Her and She in turn nurtures us. The fertility is circular, sensual and beautiful.

The old ones at this tide would make love directly on the land under the light of the purifying Beltaine fires. Across the landscape the hills would be alight with fires and love making as couples left their houses and were considering ‘gone-a-maying’, returning at dawn washing their faces with the Beltaine Dew. Rites of pleasure are however no arbitrary act. By offering your body, your pleasure, your fertility and your love, the Earth is nurtured and She breathes in the passion to heal and rejoice. The Priestesses and Priests of the Celtic tribes would invoke the Gods through mortals, and through the ceremony of the Great Rite they would make love under the apple branches to honor and bring love to the Earth. Traditionally within certain ceremonies the Priestesses asked the Priest to kill the King Stag and return to them for the rite. No King could be crowned in Britain without passing this rite of passage with the Priestesses. Children conceived on this sacred night are considered children of the Gods.

It is also a time a unions. Handfastings (Celtic marriage) or renewals of love were often performed this day. Ribbons are bound with promises and tied onto lovers hands. It was also a time of separation between lovers and cutting the binds the no longer bring love.

Beltaine is a time of deep pleasure and joy. Great fires are burnt for purification; sweets and fruits offered to the Earth and burning everything that is no longer needed in your life- so that only pleasure remains.

Timing

Beltaine starts when the Sun enters Taurus and the season turns to light. In the Southern hemisphere Beltaine is October 31st in the Northern hemisphere is fall on April 30th, followed by May Day. The month following Beltaine is a time of joy. Beltaine is a cross-quarter day, marking the midpoint in the Sun’s progress between the spring equinox and summer solstice. Beltaine begins the light half of the year.  All fear has been released and for this next month (the mead moon or honeymoon) is the best time for marriage and all sexual taboos are lifted. Newlyweds were given honey to eat during this time to encourage fertility.

Symbols

Roses- sexuality, love and beauty

Oak- thunder gods, guardians, wisdom and fertility, Sky father

Willow- fertility, Lunar, Goddess, water and love

Neroli- for seduction

Marigolds- to cleanse, bless and decorate the Beltaine circle

Almond- love magick

Apples- given to the Goddess as a symbol of her wisdom and love

Pigs- which feed on acorns the symbol of the Goddess wisdom

Hares-for fertility and luck

Bulls- have been associated with Beltaine. As the community used to walk all their livestock between two fires on Beltaine night for purification

Hawthorn –wreaths placed on top of the maypoles to represent the Goddess

Activities of the Beltaine Tide

Make love, feast, drink and dance and deeply enjoy sensuality, pleasure and beauty

Burn purification fires or do fire jumping if you have the ability to have a bonfire, to cleanse your spirit for the Beltaine season. Or you could burn a small fire in a fire proof container and burn writings or symbols of things you would like to let go of.

Indulge in rich wonderful foods that bring you pleasure and joy

Water or fertilize the plants around you, bring them richness and joy

Leave nuts, fruits and apples out on Beltaine night so the animals can also indulge in pleasure and joy to nurture the Earth

Dress in red and fill your home with flowers and beauty

If you have a partner have a romantic dinner at home and tell them from your heart why you are with them. It is a great time for reaffirming relationships and love.

Leave offerings for faeries (milk, cake, honey, herbs and incense burning throughout the garden) Beltaine nights is considered one of the high tide nights in which the veils between the faerie realm and physical world are thin.

Maypole dancing (or November pole dancing in the southern hemisphere) is a traditional fertility dance of Beltaine performed by men and women dancing in opposite directions. Red ribbons held by women (representing their blood and fertility) white ribbons held by men (to represent their semen and fertility) spiraling together to bind fertility magick for the Earth Mother.

Bind red and white ribbons together as a symbol of fertility and tie them to trees with wishes of things you would like to birth in your life

In Britain Hawthorn or Rowan branches which are flowing at this time are brought into the home. If you are in the southern hemisphere watch your local area. For me is the Jacarandas that blooms and burst forth in the week of Beltaine and bring a carpet of lavender to the city floor.  

Whatever ever activities you choose in your life, make sure in this tide of Beltaine you are having some serious fun and pleasure!

The fair maid who, the first of May,
Goes to the fields at break of day
& washes in dew from the hawthorn tree,
Will ever after handsome be.
- English folk rhyme

 

When the fire of Beltaine is lit in flame and in our bodies -we wake up the fiery heart of the Earth Mother… we nurture her birth and allow her fertility and passion to transform us all

 

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Back from the Goddess Conference…

Posted by Jodie, 14 October 2008 10:09 PM | PERMALINK

 

I am back from the Goddess Conference, Gold Coast Australia, filled with joy and tears. Still covered with ochre over my womb, in the marks of Gaia, the blood of the mother. From the moment we walked out in song Priestesses and initiates wearing our deep red cloaks and veils to meet the other great women attending, to the closing spiraling and shrieking witches dance that exploded into laughter and then deep resonance and song to the Earth Mother we were transforming, shedding and working with the Earth. We learnt a lot about drumming the elements and the rhythm and heart beat of the Earth, we heard about the power of Priestessing the Earth. I had the joy of watching how great Priestesses from around the country I have never met before called in the elements, singing in water, laughing in Air. We heard from an Elder Bilawara Lees about Song Lines and Aboriginal culture and the importance of people of Celtic decent stepping up and working their own Indigenous Law to bring balance. Many speakers talked about self love, and a sense of unity and love for both self and Earth. We heard about PaGaianess. Restoring these relationships, learning to receive the love of others and the Earth as well as nurture her. Understanding the relationship is circular and intention is powerful. We danced, we drummed, we chanted, we painted each other and exploded in our wildness. We learnt from Lucy Cavendish that one of the most powerful things you can do is simply grow food. Work with the Mother and begin the relationships with community of sharing food, working with each other. We walked the labyrinth into the Goddess and into ourselves to the great High Priestess and weaver of the conference and GAIA Patricia Corner. A simple yet powerful journey deeply spiraling in, and in, and in again. Now all over for another year until we spin again…
Jodie

Category: events | 3 Comments

Sheela-Na-Gig Goddess Ceremony

Posted by Jodie, 06 October 2008 11:52 AM | PERMALINK

Events in Brisbane

Sheela-Na-Gig Goddess Ceremony

                                   

An  Open invitation to you to come &  join other

good women of Brisbane and environs to celebrate, honour & share

this very special occasion and ceremony of placing a

Sculptural  Sheela-Na-Gig

in the Garden at Womenspace.

 

The Sheela is an ancient symbol of Sovereignty, Mother Earth,

Womanhood.  She is known as a Goddess of Transformation.

The ceremony will honour Her anew.

 

On: Sunday October 19th

At:  Womenspace 12-14 Homebush Road Kedron

Time:  1.30 for a 2pm start - 4pm

Cost: $5.00 p/ person This is a fundraiser for WS

Dress: As a beautiful Goddess that you are!

Bring a plate of delicious afternoon tea to share.

And a flower or herb to honour this Goddess

 

 

Bookings: Tess Elliott 0417 141212 or  3355 9370

Email: artonsuede@pacific.net.au

 

 

 


Goddess conference

Posted by Jodie, 02 October 2008 8:48 PM | PERMALINK

The Goddess conference GAIA Earth Alchemy will take place on the Gold Coast 10th-12th Oct 2008

The Open day will be on the Friday including markets, music and ritual, followed by two days of workshops.

For more information go to http://www.pomegranategrove.org/index_files/2008ConferenceProgramme.htm


Spring Equinox

Posted by Jodie, 01 October 2008 9:00 AM | PERMALINK

What a wonderful Spring Equinox it has been. Spring Equinox, also known as Alban Eiler or Ostara, the time when day and night stand equal and spring birth explodes through the landscape.  The time of light is growing and the Sun Gods warmth upon the Mother brings new growth. It is a time for new beginnings, to weave yourself into the landscape and grow with her. As the Earth Mother explodes with her fertility and light-how are you growing with her tide? Spring is a time of new ventures and sprouting new ideas. This Spring I sow the seed of Oakwillow into the fertile hands of GAIA at the Goddess conference in October. I bury my painted eggs into the deep rich earth of Danu and breathe deep into the new sweetness in the air. It is the time of the powerful Maiden and the young Horned God, dancing in their youth, awaiting the union of Beltaine as the fertility of the Earth reaches her crescendo. Enjoy the nectar and sweetness of your springtide and may the seeds you sow be fruitful .


Image copyright © 2008 Wytchy Ways. Used with permission.