27
May

The magic month of May, is a magic I never really knew until this May, when I came to truly understand what union meant in an entirely new way –because this May, I lived it, and I continue to live it now, as my fingers tap out the words to express the boundless love that flows from my heart onto the page.

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May is the month when Venus, the ruler of Taurus comes to earth to grace us with love, desire, fertility and creativity of all kinds … The Goddess of love annoints the earth with blossoming flowers and trees and delights the senses with summer fruits and the bounty of nature’s garden. She is celebrated with rituals of fertility and harvest, with fire, which symbolizes the fire that burns within each one of us … in our hearts and in our souls, the fires that keep us alive and urge us forth to bring what we carry inside into the light of day.

May is the magic month of The Beltane, the festival of fires that burn with the light of transcendent love that can blossom here on earth …

The fires that honor all that is sacred and other-worldly.

May is the month of manifestation.

In late April, I had a tarot reading. I was feeling frustrated and lost. I was impatient, more restless than I could ever remember. I had worked assiduously, tirelessly on my psyche and plumbed the depths of my soul, lo the past several years, reaching new hard-won heights of awareness and consciousness and freedom, and I wanted to know where I should be heading with all of this next … and I was done walking this path alone.  I wanted answers, and I wanted them now.

Instead of answers,  I received predictions and advice, which, while heartening to some degree, of course left so much ambiguity and what I got was not at all what I felt I was looking for … I wanted immediate gratification– the opposite of what I knew to be the way– the Taoist path I had been walking. The wonderful woman who read my cards told me that I needed to get back to “ritual”– that I needed to reconnect with the desire to create the time and space to sit and meditate, to speak to the universe and say out loud what I wished to manifest in my life, rather than doing what I had started to do— the very opposite of what I knew would be best for me: plow ahead with great frustration, somewhere in the background hoping that as Rilke said, I would “live my way into the answers… ”  Of course I knew that I needed to give to myself  and return to my rituals … but I had become disheartened; I had been moving through a seemingly endless period of time that felt like dense, dark, hopeless sludge– gray and monotonous, without peaks and valleys, unfamiliar, uninspiring territory, and I wanted OUT. In so many ways I felt rich and ripe, the richest I had ever been, replete with every resource, and strangely energized in spite of my frustration … but I had started to allow my frustration to build to such a place that I found myself renouncing everything I knew and believed in about my own spirituality and connection to the powers of the universe. The big energy I felt pulsing through my veins was turning inward and had no outlet that would match the rising currents within me.  Instead of feeling empowered and filled with faith in my own ability, I felt disappointed, depressed, deflated, disillusioned. The past few years had yielded crucial life lessons, moments in time that brought me to that very reading, that place, that time, where I needed to be reminded of what of course I already knew so well–I needed to hear the words: “Practice what you preach,” and “create time for your own spirituality to breathe, so that your creativity catches fire once again and your life moves in the direction you want it to.”
Hard to believe that I, someone who helps others to cultivate patience and acceptance could not exactly say that patience has been my strong suit over the course of my life so far.
At the end of what was truly a great reading– one filled with hearty laughter, many deep breaths, some stellar advice and new friendship, my reader offered me a gift from her “Goddess Deck.” And said “pick a card, my gift to you.”
And so I did … but instead of picking one card, I picked two– two that slid out of the spread together. And what were they?

Venus and Pele.

Venus, the Goddess of love and Pele, the Goddess of Fire …

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Venus, who is the embodiment of the divine feminine, physical and spiritual love and beauty, and Pele, who erupts in all her ferocious glory, taking no prisoners, destroying the old, giving birth to the new and does nothing half way.

pele_volcano And so, those cards were a sign … my harbinger, they were the tokens of destiny that have indeed miraculously manifested in my real life.

But before my dreams manifested, I experienced a powerful transformation within my own being–I wrestled those feelings of hopelessness and frustration to the ground –vanquished the Leviathon and circled around again to what I already knew so well: that I had the power, I held the key to opening the door to my future. Through true union with myself, simply by placing my positive, hopeful intention in forward motion, the stuff that my true essence is made of, by looking in the direction of where I wished to go, rather than turning back to gaze upon a powerless space of times past, no longer within my grasp or meant to be,  I would go forth and prosper, and my life would follow.

And this is exactly what happened.
Venus not only came to earth as her magnificent and divine springtime self, but she blessed my own life in a way I never could have imagined by bringing one of her own to me, and joined forces with Pele, who lit the deepest fires of knowing and memory within me …

And so I honor these immortals with this very personal homage; I celebrate their union and the reunion I have been blessed with by highlighting The Beltane, the celebration of life and love that started inside my own heart at the end of April and manifested in May, just in time for the true start of the holiday.  The Beltane:  Festival of rebirth, honoring the primordial mysteries of the universe that starts May 1st …  For me, Beltane began just after May day, and has continued this entire month. And the reason this entry comes now is because this is the first chance I have had to write about it in all its glory— that “return to ritual?” the time and space and intention that I have written about for months now–the prayers and spiritual moments I set aside in order to manifest the events I longed for with every fiber of my being … YES, they have become my reality!

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The Beltane is the most perfect combination of love and fire, of the sacred and the divine, of the world we see and the world beyond; it is a time when the “veil between the worlds is thinnest,” when we have access to times past, and when we can manifest the life we were meant to live.
Beltane comes from Gaelic and means “brilliant, or bright and sacred fire,” and this is the time of fecundity, transformation and ecstasy.

It is the season of maturing life and deep found love.

This is the time of vows, and commitment. The Lord and his Lady, having reached maturity, come together in “Perfect Love” and “Perfect Trust” to celebrate the joy of their union. It is a time to celebrate the coming together of the masculine and feminine creative energies. Beltane marks the emergence of the young God into manhood– stirred by the energies at work in nature, he desires the Goddess, who is also finally ready to meet her mate in full flower. They fall in love, lie among the grasses and blossoms and unite.

Beltane is rich in vibrant color, lighting the eyes and cheering the spirit, as we leave the dreariness of winter behind. May is the month of sensuality and sexuality revitalized, the reawakening of the earth and her children. It is the time when we reawaken to the vivid colors, vibrant scents, tingling summer breezes, and the rapture of summer after a long dormant winter. It is a time of extraordinary expression of earth, animal, and human.  It is a time of great enchantment and celebration. It is the child’s unrestrained expression of bliss and delight. It is the sheer joy of running through fields, picking flowers, rapturing in the sunlight, delighting in the fragrance of spring, dancing in the fresh dew covered grass.

Our childlike selves guide us through the natural abandonment of our adult sensibilities and show us how to take grand pleasure, warmth and deep knowing.

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Lines from an ancient Gaelic tune …
Beltane!
I dance with delight
on Beltane’s night.
All senses freeing,
I dance for being.
The flower and the flame
of love’s own rite
shall blossom.
Sun
 embrace Earth, bright.

In history, the Beltane celebration honored life over death and celebrated the rebirth of the world. Above all, it was a fertility festival, a symbolic union of the God and Goddess, of the divine masculine and the divine feminine. A young virgin, often dressed in white with a crown of flowers, was chosen to be the Queen of the May. Her consort went by many names, including the Green Man, the May Groom, the May King, and Jack-of-the-Green, often dressed in green and decorated with leaves.

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This is a holiday of Union–both between the Goddess and the God and between man and woman. Hand-fastings, or Pagan marriages are traditional at this time. It is a time of fertility and harvest, the time for reaping the wealth from the seeds that we have sown. Celebrations include braiding of one’s hair, to honor the union of man and woman and Goddess and God, circling the Maypole for fertility and jumping the Beltane fire for luck. Beltane is one of the Major Sabbats of the Wiccan religion. (The term, “sabbats” is related to the Bacchanalian and Saturnalian rites observed by the Greeks and Romans, and it is the term derived from Old French, as well as derived from the Hebrew Shabbath, “to rest,” which pertains to the seventh day of the week as designated by the Ten Commandments in the Bible as a day devoted to rest and worship.) Sexuality is celebrated, something seen as holy and intrinsic to us as holy beings, and life is celebrated and the unity which fosters it. The myths of Beltane state that the young God has blossomed into manhood, and the Goddess takes him on as her lover. Together, they learn the secrets of life–of the sexual and the sensual, and through their union, all life begins.

Beltane was serious business for the Celts. They believed that the wheel of the sky would not turn without their intervention, and they did everything in their power, with their fires, celebrations and rituals - to ensure that summer returned each year.

When the Druids and their successors raised the Beltane fires on hilltops throughout the British Isles on May Eve, they were performing a real act of magic, for the fires were lit in order to bring the sun’s light down to earth. In Scotland, every fire in the household was extinguished, and the great fires were lit outside; the Celts built two fires created from the nine sacred woods (Rowan, Apple, Dogwood, Poplar, Juniper, Cedar, Pine, Holly and Oak). The fires celebrated the return of life and fruitfulness to the earth and would protect, heal and purify anything or one that passed by or jumped over.When the wood burst into flames, it proclaimed the triumph of the light over the dark half of the year. Then the whole hillside came alive as people thrust brands into the newly roaring flames and whirled them about their heads in imitation of the circling of the sun. When the sun rose that dawn, those who had stayed up to watch it might see it whirl three times upon the horizon before leaping up in all its summer glory.

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Beltane is a celebration of the event of life – the flame ever dancing and changing form, and the “holy desire” that brings it into being: and yet is also a desire for immersion, for union. Beltane is the power to conceive the new–the deep desire for renewal, for creation, dreamed up in the imaginal and non-visible realms. Celebrating an erotic relationship with our place, this earth and the cosmos, a deep knowing that we are her, and that we wish to show her our reverence and gratitude. In this celebration of life, this surrender to all things greater than us, and on which we depend with our very lives, throughout time, there has been no duality, no pretense of “mine” or “thine,” only us, and only union, union with ourselves, union with another and union with the world, humans, animals, nature.
Beltane is an excellent seasonal moment for becoming conscious of our very participation in the evolution of consciousness, and a time to quiet the mind long enough that we can fan the flames of our creative fires, giving birth to our own special contributions that will be of service to our time. It is clear that our times call for the casting away of the old in a radical way. The Beltane ritual by its very nature, facilitates such possibilities. It is an excellent moment to become conscious of what we most deeply desire– for becoming conscious of desire itself is a power of the universe – as a holy lust for birthing the new, a holy lust for ongoing creativity, without which, there would be nothing to live for …  The Beltane ritual facilitates this sacred process of integrity, union of word and deed, so that the unions we desire and those that we manifest are nurtured and developed in the most respectful and complete way.

In ancient times, the physical light of the Beltane fires passing from hillside to hillside was a great and potent symbol of a rebirth of hope and life each spring.  We do not need the physical symbol to know that the light of spiritual consciousness throughout this world has been re-lit in our hearts, and because of what we see when we look around at the world around us, our planet, we know that we have much time to make up for, that we need a global healing on all levels, and the call to action has been sounded. The Beltane is just that– nature’s call to return to life, to look inside and spark the fires of consciousness and healing within so that we may garner the life force to act selflessly, bringing our highest good to heal what lies outside.

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The time of the Beltane has long been considered a ‘power point’ of the Zodiac, and is symbolized by the Bull, one of the ‘tetramorph’ figures featured on the Tarot cards, the World and the Wheel of Fortune. (The other three symbols are the Lion, the Eagle, and the Spirit.) Astrologers know these four figures as the symbols of the four ‘fixed’ power signs of the Zodiac (Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, and Aquarius), and to show the power of the ancient study of and connection to the cosmos, these naturally align with the four Great Sabbats of Witchcraft.  Christians have adopted the same iconography to represent the four gospel-writers.

In the Gaelic tradition, at Beltane, the Pleiades star cluster rises just before sunrise on the morning horizon, whereas winter (Samhain) begins when the Pleiades rises at sunset. The Pleiades is a cluster of seven closely placed stars, the seven sisters, in the constellation of Taurus, near his shoulder. When looking for the Pleiades with the naked eye, remember it looks like a tiny dipper-shaped pattern of six moderately bright stars (the seventh can be seen on very dark nights) in the constellation of Taurus. It stands very low in the east-northeast sky for just a few minutes before sunrise. Beltane, and its counterpart Samhain, divide the year into its two primary seasons, winter, the Dark Part, and summer, the “Light Part.” As Samhain is about honoring death, Beltane, its counter part, is about honoring Life. It is the time when the sun is fully released from his bondage of winter and able to rule over summer and life once again.

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As Beltane falls, the second major dividing point of the Celtic year, it is the other period when “the walls between the worlds are thinnest” and access to the other worlds is known to be easiest, and it was the maypole that connected the world we know to the world beyond …

When planted in the earth or sacrificed in wells, as done by the Druids, the Maypole became a shaman’s path, the “World Tree” that connected the realms, through which humans could travel only at this special time. The Maypole or May Tree was not only phallic in symbolism but also the root of renewal; people connected their bodies to it and whirled about, forming a sacred circle and cone of power, literally becoming one with the tree and with one another. The Tree became their axis mundi, the center of the Great Wheel and time stopper, where other worlds met …. The Maypole dance was an important aspect of encouraging the return of fertility to the earth. Dancing the Maypole during Beltane was a magical experience as it was a conduit of energy, connecting all worlds at a time when these gateways were more easily penetrable. People gaily danced around and around the pole holding the brightly colored ribbons, clockwise to bring fertility and good luck, and later, brightly colored ribbons were woven around the pole by the dancers as they wove around each other. This interweaving symbolized the balance of masculine and feminine energies and the duality of life, and the energy this whirling dance of life raised, was sent down into the earth’s womb, bringing about her full awakening and fruitfulness….

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Beltane is the celebration of the sweet desire for being – the “glue” of the Cosmos, the primordial attraction that holds all form together and allows the dance of life to occur. At this time when “the veil between the worlds is thinnest,” these particular cross-quarter Moments, High Spring and Deep Autumn, just prior to the fullness of light or dark at the Solstices, high revelry celebrating a wild fertile space reigns. This deep excitement, a deep allurement is the very energy which creates a kind of intimacy between us and our place in the world. And the sacred depths, recognition of  form and formlessness, the realms of manifest and manifesting, are actually continuous … there is no seam that separates the worlds.
Nothing is exempt from the dynamic of relationship,  which is essentially an energetic flow, a preternatural fundamental dynamic, of coming into being and passing away, and ever transforming. These dynamics are our constant companions every day — and whatever our minds can grasp of the concept of eternity.  And the universe herself as a whole entity is subject to the same dynamics. Some indigenous religious traditions have stories of the whole Cosmos coming into being and passing away, and regenerating. And recent Western scientific research supports this too: “an ageless and self-renewing Universe” whose stars, even ancient ones, are “like short-lived fireflies in the grand scheme of things.”

It is this poignant and powerful thought alone which comes to mind when I think of what it feels like to be living my magical story of manifestation and memory this May … all things have their timing, and when they arrive, these moments that are once in a lifetime, are meant to be lived, and while to us they may last years, in the scheme of the universe, they are barely a flash of brilliant lightning against a dark sky.  I see a train pulling out of the station, gaining in speed, and I see myself running after it … I garner my strength and command my muscles to act in harmony so that I can grab the handle on the outer door and leap on, moving forward in perfect time with my destiny!

Last month, when I was feeling very low, I heard this song and the lyrics struck a chord deep inside me … they made me imagine who might one day inspire these beautiful emotions, this flow of bliss inside me. When I heard the song for the first time,  I chose to feel that it was my own light that gave birth to the dreams of another who might come my way and inspire the same.

And this month, at the start of The Beltane, that other person arrived …

And now he is here with me.

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This entire entry is written in honor of this most sacred reunion, with my deepest love, by my highest, most divine self … to my Anam Cara, the soul friend of my heart who has found me and moved me like no other before him, carrying me closer to heaven than I have ever dreamed possible, proof that the fire that lights my soul lives within another so like my own …

That every step I have taken on this path in this life, has lead me to this place where I now believe that miracles can happen, this place of divine reverence for my rituals, where I can touch and taste and breathe the mysteries of the universe in a way I never have before, and surrender to the greatest love I have ever known.

Your light is giving me the glow

Beautiful light with me everywhere I go

Brighter than the brightest star

Deeper than the sea

the secret of your innocence

reveals itself when we

glow
let go
let go
just be
know what we know

Om namah shivaya

Om namah shivaya

just breathe

take it slow
you and me
we just glow in the light of God
touch of your hand
the sweetness of your gifts
beautiful spirit
I breathe you in
deeper than I ever could
imagine this could be
Sacred is the nature of love as it reveals itself
when we just glow
let go
just be know what we know
just breathe
take it slow
you and me
we just glow in the light of God

Om namah shivaya

A perfect song for this time …  Om namah shivaya, the name given to the supreme reality– your inner self-the consciousness that dwells within for all eternity; the Om namah shivaya mantra leads awareness in reverse order from manifestation back to the source from which manifestation arose.

In Snatam Kaur’s words,

I celebrate the time of the Beltane, the time between worlds where anything is possible …

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Kindness of the heart

Breath of life, I bow to you

And I’m coming home …

And I’m coming home …

And I’m coming home.

Om namo guru dev namo

Om namo guru dev namo

“I bow before my highest consciousness.”

Chanting the Om namah shivaya and the Om namo guru dev mantras puts you in touch with your truest self, your highest self.

This time, the month of the Beltane is one of the most fecund times to get in touch with your highest self …
Light your inner fire and embrace your sacred sexuality— your divine nature and your timeless essence—this union of male and female within you that comprises your true self.
Celebrate yourself and the love you feel.
We are all fireflies, delicate, glowing spirits that grace this earth but for a short time.
Make the most of it, your time here.

Bow your head in gratitude …

In the words of Rumi,  ”There are a thousand ways to kneel and kiss the ground.

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8 Responses to “Venus Comes to Earth: The Magic of The Beltane”

Hi Jennifer, I just found your blog and it looks it was just in time to celebrate a joyous milestone for you.

All the best for your continued happiness.
Catherine

June 22nd, 2010

Greetings Jennifer.
I have long been blessed by much of your work. I am happy for your happiness. They picture of you and your Anam Cara was electric and said so much.

I have been an empath from childhood, too. If I understand it correctly, an empath can sense the truth behind the cover and will act compassionately to help that person express him/herself, making them feel at ease and not so desperately alone. You seem to do that well, and I rejoice in that.

I have wondered over the years of you would find deep love. Glad you have. I have, too, with One whose “eyes are like blazing fire and whose voice is like the sound of rushing waters,” and who, in the midst of all his power is gentle and full of grace.

jvyenchko
June 23rd, 2010

Jennifer,
I just read this blog and am moved by your story and can relate. For a long time in my life, I saw my career goals moving me away from a path of something I had long desired…a love relationship. I found myself unable to reconcile my desires to become a medical practioner and a loving partner to someone.
Fortunately for me, my career path lead me down the path to finding my soulmate, introduced to me by a classmate. As our relationship grew more and more, it became obvious to me that we were ment to be together, that there is some purpose for the two of us, beyond the scientific explanation of biology.
I believe that once a person realizes this, that he or she has found his or her soulmate, the world becomes a much more wonderful place. Every celebration: birthday, holiday, anniversary, we find ourselves revelling in the journey that we have been on, and looking forward to that continued journey. These moments seem to negate the “downs” experienced in our relationship, which, to be honest, seem to relate more to the worldly, rather than to the spiritual.
I wish you much happiness in your relationship!

Stephen Vetrano
July 2nd, 2010

Blessings to you and your Anam Cara. Most definitely a clean man, and you’re pictured out in nature together. May Pele and Venus be balanced and work in you, and Lono and Mars in he. I am glad you found a beautiful match.

JT

July 17th, 2010

Wonderful Post thank you:D
thought you might enjoy my Beltane Blessing machinima film
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VElZSplpxQc
Bright Blessings
elf ~

celestial elf
April 1st, 2011

Do you know who sings that song? I really want to buy it (my yoga instructor played it last night during our yin class) but when I google the lyrics, all I can find is this blog. :) Thank you, namaste.

Laura
April 21st, 2011

This is such a gorgeous site and I too would love to know who sings it and where it can be purchased. I heard it on the birth sanctuary website. Namaste

April 21st, 2011

If it is not too late to offer advice, the song whose lyrics are listed above is “Glow” from Donna de Lory´s album “Sky is Open.” just heard it on NPR. Incredibly beautiful. Hope this helps. Namaste.

David S., Missoula, Montana / University of Montana

June 16th, 2014