Beltane blessings to all of us in the Southern Hemisphere, we are heading towards summer and here in parts of Australia bush fires are raging already so we will be on high alert all throughout the summer.
It’s not really Halloween here, but as there is so much hype about it you can’t tell the children not to trick or treat, so they do. We have loads of kids come to our house, they love it.
Blessed Be! to all.
Southern Hemisphere Beltane
The date for the Southern Hemispheric Beltane is October 31st and ‘May Day’ is November 1st. The climax of Spring!
Beltane is the peak of Spring, a celebration of fertility. In ancient times it was the Beltane Rites that reconnected each year the King to the Goddess, the masculine to the feminine. It is a time for us to give thanks for our fertile lives, our creativity and our gender specific gifts and roles. Its a time to notice and honour the difference in the masculine and feminine. It is a time of increasing growth, building to almost full potential, of beauty and heightened passion.
Beltane Spiritual Practice
Your being, as part of the Earth, part of the cycle of the seasons, will be influenced by this energy whether you’re paying attention to it or not. If you pay some attention, you will feel it, and you can be in flow with it.
Think like the gardener, and align with the Earth energy of now, contemplate the growth that is peaking in your life, that is getting all the attention…if conditions support its final growth phase, this is what will eventually fruit.
So, how can you best nurture what is blossoming in your life now so that it will bear fruit?
What do you know you must do?
And if you are not doing it, why aren’t you?
Where is your desire leading you?
Suggested Ceremony for Beltane
Our community gathers at Beltane to honour and celebrate the rites of passage of our young folk as they grow from children to fertile young adults and to express ceremonially the specific and very different roles of the masculine and the feminine.
It’s a joyous time, much looked forward to. We camp for the weekend, sitting on the Earth. We live as a community together, all helping each other. We have separate women’s and men’s circles to conduct the rites of passage for the teenagers and then reunite as the sun sets dancing around a big fire, welcoming the new young adults back to the group in their new roles and status.
The next day, ‘May Day’, we have a May Pole ceremony. The May Pole is a beautiful ceremony for young and old and has deeper levels of significance the more you lend yourself to the symbology of all that it represents.
For the children it is a fun and playful game with their parents, dancing and singing, for the adults it is a re-enactment of the union of the masculine and the feminine and a chance to weave magic and love into that aspect of yourself within and without.
Here’s a suggestion for a simple ceremony to honour the Beltane energy with your family or by yourself:
Do what you do to make sacred space, call for protection, guidance and support and focus.
Go around the circle and each person can give thanks for all that is growing in their life, if you are alone, take your time and really feel this giving thanks process.
Choose one or two or three, you’ll know how many, specific things that are growing that you would like to focus on.
You could put something on your altar that represents this/these and light a candle for it/them.
Ask those there with you if they would be willing to support you in seeing this particular thing come to its fullness, and you could ask them for specific help if appropriate.
If you are doing this with your children it would probably be a good time to offer suggestions to them for what could help them.
And it is said that at Beltane, the veils between the worlds are thin and so you can see the fairies, so be sure to look out for them!
Samhain in Northern Hemisphere
To all in the Northern Hemisphere I wish you a Blessed Samhain, as the cold and snow begins to come your way may you stay warm and cosy. Enjoy Halloween and trick or treating. Blessed Be!
Samhain or Hallowe’en is the third and final harvest festival of the year and falls on October 31st in the Northern Hemisphere. Samhain or Hallowe’en is actually the end of autumn and the beginning of winter. We move now deep into the yin part of the cycle and the pumpkin patch! And as Mother Earth teaches us, if you didn’t plant in Spring or if you didn’t care for the vulnerable sprouts or the growing vine (etc) during the growth cycle, then there will be no harvest, simple as that.
This is an invitation from Mother Nature to be with one of the greatest opportunities and lessons in life, to be present with what is, and at this point in the cycle what is happening is the slowing down, going inward, letting go of all that no longer serves you and moving toward your still quiet centre. This time ahead invites inner reflection and contemplation.
Samhain Spiritual Practice
At Samhain time all the Earth’s living beings commence their preparation for the decent into the colder darker season of winter and we as the gardeners, the caretakers, are not excluded from this process.
In our modern lives it is easy to miss this significant transition point, carrying on regardless. But do take the opportunity to connect deeply with the rhythm of the circle in the cycle of the seasons. Depending on how you feel about the dark and endings, will influence how you experience the energy of this season. The bottom line is that the letting go and the descent in to the dark is inevitable, so we may as well ‘go with the flow’, if we don’t, some how or other, Nature and our nature will take us there anyway.
The final harvest at Samhain time is most evident in of our Earth and feel what is.
Literally, its time to gather the firewood, harvest the last of the pumpkins from the vine, take stock and move our living and playing inside where its warmer.
Seeing this metaphorically, its also time to move to a more reflective, contemplative space within ourselves, very different to the ‘out there-ness’ of summer.
With reflection and contemplation comes a deeper sense of self-awareness and ‘awareness is curative’ so this is a ‘health-full’ place to come to consciously, and an important part of the cycle.
These final ‘fruits’ you are harvesting now, are what you have to sustain you through the winter months when there is no outward growth. ‘Find’ these ‘fruits’ when you look at your life both literally and metaphorically. Look at your health, your relationships, your work, your life situation, what looks like the fruits, the harvest?
Remember, the ‘fruits’ also hold the ‘seeds’ of what will grow in the next growth cycle, they hold the lessons available to be learned from all you’ve done this growth cycle so far, since the beginning back in Spring earlier in the year.
And these seeds will gestate over the Winter,
and be what will be reborn in the Spring.
This happens literally in the garden and metaphorically in our lives, and often unconsciously, this is what’s going on when its ‘the same old same old’ things happening in your life.
The idea is that you notice the patterns repeating and then bring your choice to it. For example on seeing the ‘seeds’ contained in the ‘fruits’ of this harvest, you might ‘learn the lessons’ from this ending growth cycle and change how you do things next growth cycle (Spring). This could be new ways you approach your work, relationships, health, where you put your energy etc.….you’ll know.
Make your life your spiritual practice.
Notice how you feel the energy of this part of the Earth’s season affecting you.
- How does your body feel?
- Do you have a dominant emotion?
- And what are the messages from these?
Notice what you need to notice, learn what you need to learn, change what you need to change and heal what you need to heal. That’s the opportunity, that’s the gift. Journal as you go.
Suggested Ceremony for Samhain, Hallowe’en
Samhain is the final harvest festival marking the descent into winter. A time for us to carve pumpkins and hone our intuitive skills so we can discern the tricks from the treats!
In ancient times Samhain was known as a dark time, honoured but not feared. It was said that on this night the veils between the worlds were at their most thin making it possible to communicate with the dead and that loving ancestor’s spirits would return to connect with the living on this night.
The prejudices of our western patriarchal culture have, over the centuries, changed the messages of this powerful time from – respectful of the dark, the Crone and Wise Old Man and the death/rebirth part of the cycle – to fear, with the Crone represented as a scary witch and ancestor’s spirits as spooky ghosts.
At Samhain you can light a candle and call your dearly departed ones. Have a conversation, say what you wished you’d said, hear what they say to you. Perhaps create an altar in their honour and sit there in a meditative space and see what happens. You can do this with your children too, perhaps they wish to ‘speak’ to loved ones, pets included, that have passed away. Its important to include the reality of the ‘circle of life’ in children’s worlds.
With your community, gather the children and have fun dressing up and playing the traditional Hallowe’en games, and be sure to tell them the stories of the wisdom of the cycles that are playing out at the sabbats.