Here, on this beautiful Beltane afternoon, I am sitting, half distracted by the clouds tumbling by, the rain, bouncing on the dark leaves of the Norway maple outside my window and the sheer volume of pulsing, green energy in the world today.
But I want to talk to you, I want to summon you, seduce you, draw you away for a moment, if that is all you will grant me, though the truth be told, I would rather have you for the duration of this day, into the night and on to dawn.
Beltane is a festival of fire, it is a rite to celebrate the death of winter and the coming of summer. It has many traditions associated with it that range from dousing and relighting house fires, driving cattle to summer pastures, decoration of windows and doors with yellow flowers that represent fire and many, many others, but I am not here for a history lesson today.
I am here to talk about fire.
I am here to talk about cleansing.
I am here to talk about wildness, sex, passion, power and freedom.
This is the holiday, the holy day that dances closest to my thundering green heart.
Beltane thrives within me as the true rite of spring, when the leaves have turned the hillsides green, there is no silence in the woods for all that lives is heady in the rush to mate, to create, to burn with the fire that they were given as a birthright.
In ancient times it was believed that dew, or rain taken from the leaves on Beltane had curative, restorative and beautifying powers. It could make you live longer simply because it as imbued with the spirit of this day.
I am going to offer you a similar cure.
Burn it all.
Just for today, set a fire, make that fire sacred to you and then burn all of it for a day. Let it go. Come back to me and for this period of time, be free.
“What the hell are you talking about you mad bastard?”
I am talking about all of the things that are desiccating your soul.
Part of the ritual of Beltane are the bonfires. Ashes from Beltane bonfires have great power and can be used throughout the year to bless, protect and ask favor on everything from crops to marriage unions.
But I am going to ask you to do something different. I want you to light a fire. If you can only light a candle, then do that, if you cannot even light a candle, use visualization, but no matter how you do it, I want you to do this for me.
Now, once your fire (real or visualized) is burning, I want you to create a short but powerful list (again, either real or visualized) of all of the things that are wearing on you today, get them out, all of the political fear, all of the personal anguish, all of the familial angst, the sadness, the loneliness, the hatred of exes, the loathing for your job, all of it. Write it out, hastily, angrily, or with slow, beautiful precision and then burn it and let all of it die for a day.
Burn it all to ash and once it is ash, I want you to breathe deeply, take the air, the energy of this wild, beautiful spring day into your lungs and I want you to acknowledge to yourself that you are a child of nature, and as a child of nature you are perfect.
You are every flower, you are every hawk in flight, you are every thunderstorm, every wave on a pristine beach, and you are every bowing willow, every coursing deer, every diving falcon and every mischievous crow.
Take your clothes off if you can, even for two minutes in the privacy of your bathroom. Understand the stunning work of art that you are, accept that the most powerful fire burning on this holy day is the one in the engine of your heart.
Close your eyes and run your hands over yourself, it need not be in a sexual or sensual fashion but if it comes to that, let that be in celebration of you as well. How pleasing are you to touch? If you accept the truth that it is only the strange whims of society that dictates what is and what is not attractive at any given moment, then you can burn your insecurities as well.
You are tremendously beautiful. How do I know?
Because I follow Her and She is flawless in Her creations.
Are you unloved?
No. Not if you are reading this. If you are reading this, I love you and I think that you are one of Her finest creations.
And I am right.
Today is Beltane, today is a day to feel alive, to allow the coursing green laughter of spring flow through you, to allow your hungers to blossom, burn and be a part of the great fire that we all gather around.
As I am writing this, all of Western Pennsylvania has gone Tornado Watch. Even our Mother is feeling wild, today is rare, it is powerful, it is beautiful and it is ours. OURS!
I am leaving, I am going back into the world, I am shutting off the computer and going out to lay in the grass and watch this day unfold, I will be alive like no one else, I will be wild and burning like no other creature in the world.
Unless you join me…
Take care of each other!