written by Barbara Jones
Beltane is a time to contemplate the sacred union of polarities. Just as the union of the goddess and god takes place at this threshold time, we can seek to come into Divine Union with the two parts of the Self – the Light and Dark Halves of the Self – what we more commonly call our conscious and unconscious selves. How then can we bridge these aspects of the Self, which, by their very nature, are opposite to each other? Beltane is a bridge between the worlds, and we can use this sacred time outside of time to foster a connection between When we step through the portal of Beltane, we pass through the symbolic fires of purification and embrace the fertile ground of our limitless potential. We leave behind that which has held us back and move into a place of positive action which helps us to create the life we wish to live. What greater act of creation can there be than to set the fires of transformation alight in our souls, and to use the resulting illumination to burn through any outer challenges and inner resistance that stands in the way of our ultimate goal — a whole and holy self that is balanced and expressing its greatest good and highest potential. A sacred flame indeed!
Beltane is a sensual holiday, where one is encouraged to fully inhabit your own body and feel the energy of the Universe coursing through it. It is a celebration of your body as a means of channeling energy in all forms — divine energy, sexual energy, physical energy. To truly experience the lessons of life change, death and rebirth, we must occupy our bodies. Modern cultures, for the most part, teach us to shut down, to de-sensitize ourselves, to just make it through. The body is seen as something to be used, or even used up. But this approach never really works, because when we incarnated, we agreed to certain rules — one of them being that, when we screw up, the body gets to speak up. When we stuff our emotions, we stuff them in the body — and the body responds. When we deny pain, we deny the body — and the body responds. When we deny pleasure, we deny the body — and the body responds. The body also responds when we open to our emotions, work through our pain, allow pleasure its place in our lives. This intimate, undeniable relationship we each have with our bodies is the blessing, the gift of Beltane.
How long has it been since you carefully considered your beliefs about pleasure and the role it plays in your life? Not just the surface, intellectual beliefs, but those beliefs that are deeply rooted in your subconscious? Simply by virtue of being brought up in modern cultures, we have internalized negative messages about pleasure that may still influence us if we have not dug them out. Think of the aphorisms we heard growing up — and still hear: “business before pleasure”, “the devil finds work for idle hands”, “keep your nose to the grindstone”. Which ones did you absorb? What taboos around pleasure may still be subconscious drivers for you? One of the best ways to uncover and release subconscious beliefs is to listen to what the body is saying.
Paying attention to, learning to care for and honor your body, no matter what state of health it is in, will have a tremendous effect not only on your body, but on your mental awareness, your emotional states and on your personal resonance as well. Your personal resonance has a great deal to do with the people and experiences that you attract.
Occupying your body — paying attention and not shutting down — is a necessity if you want to fully experience life and love on this Earth. You cannot truly love, you cannot deeply connect with another if you are shut down, armored, and in denial. Accepting our bodies just as they are is a prerequisite for learning to love ourselves, and a necessary step towards healing. Listening to our bodies, learning to understand and making sure they get what they need is love in action, for if we carry the energy of self-rejection, anger and denial, we cannot come into resonance with the energy of love.
Think about what each day’s extra minutes of daylight are showing you, and how you are experiencing your ‘enlightenment’. We consider goals set last fall and new goals born of the winter’ contemplative insights. We assess our own internal relationship to our masculine and feminine selves, and we do our best to surrender to the alchemy required when birthing anything new and important. The weeks between Beltane and the Summer Solstice are the brightest of the year! They bring us the most hours of daylight, and consequently the most growth, whether to the plants in the ground, or the ideas we have planted in our intentionality.
As our days grow longer, I invite you to walk both inner and outer landscapes at the same time. Assess how your past decisions have created this reality (whether garden or life circumstance) and decide what you’re going to do about it in the here and now (sow new seeds in your garden’s empty spot, or use the fertile energy of Beltane create a new crop, situation or opportunity for the coming season.
Fertility is key at Beltane and usually involves rituals for fertile crops, love and babies. Yet fertility is also present in other areas of our lives. Fertility in your creative life, professional success, self-love, skills you want to learn or enhance, spirituality; the list goes on. How would you inspire fertility in areas of your life?
Prepare the soil
Prepare your foundation, specific to whatever area you would like to fertilize with a thorough spiritual cleansing. Ground and center with ritual baths, using herb bundles to change the energy of an area, undertake a deep cleaning of your home space, or try ritual bathing in lakes, rivers or the ocean. Make your own home blessing water, create your own Florida water using local herbs and waters, create an incense specific to your needs, plan some time to fast from food to cleanse your body of processed foods and toxins, hydrate yourself with water, add movement to your life that pleases you.
Get rid of the invasive species
What is taking over your life? Start by getting rid of all the extra items off your altar, decluttering your home space, streamline your spiritual tools, focus on those people you truly care about, get rid of time wasters and drainers, limit your social media time (set a timer if you have to), get rid of items you literally haven’t touched in years, and all the extra things you accumulated for “just in case” when you know deep down that time won’t come. Get rid of obligations that make you miserable, toxic friendships and relationships, and all the bad habits you know aren’t good for you (one at a time, because we are all human, and it takes time).
Adjust your climate
Certain plants need more sun or water than others, so what do you need more of in your life? It won’t magically appear without your intention, so start figuring out what YOU need. Not everyone else in your family or community, but YOU. What needs to be adjusted? Do you need more alone time, or more laughter? Do you need more sunshine when you are always stuck indoors? Make time in your life for what is important, adding in what enhances your life, and minimizes what doesn’t. Nothing happens overnight, so start with one small thing, and keep working at it until the climate is exactly how you like it, and then? Flourish.
Embrace the unknown
Ah, the great unknown. So many fear it, but it does take a certain amount of faith to keep moving forward. When we plant a seed, we have no idea of knowing if it will grow, do we? Do we fall to pieces when it doesn’t? I sure hope not. We usually try again, or try a different type of seed. What leap into the unknown are you afraid of taking? Take small steps towards that unknown. Visualize what you want at the end of that great leap: use vision boards, manifesting spellwork, or crystals to enhance your journey in the unknown. Use the spiritual and magical tools you have, or learn other ways to amplify your skill set.
New soils and nutrients
Old, tired soil doesn’t do well for crops, so we add more nutrients to the dirt, and we let it rest for a season. What would be a good magical boost for yourself? A new class, a piece of protective jewelry, a new vista or way of looking at things? What nutrients could you add to your life to feel better, and to become more fertile? Change up your diet, go vegetarian or vegan for a while, add more exercise and water to your life, try meditation, or go home a different way from work. Do your spellwork with a new tool, herb or oil. Try it for a little while and see how you feel. Change, if you harness the magic of it, can boost your life. Change one thing in your life and see what happens.
Strengthen your root system
What is your root system? Are you grounding and centering regularly? Do you listen to your deities or ignore what they say? Have you done ancestor work, shadow work, or really spent some time focused on yourself? Do you tend to look for any and all distractions instead? Really strengthen your core with a regular practice of grounding and centering, honoring your deities, and working with your ancestors. It is tough work, but the roots and foundation you will garner are worth all the effort.