May 1, 2023

Beltane Blessings Of Growth And Abundance


Beltane Blessings!

Tis the lovely month of May! Gentle, warm weather and the smell of spring rain seduce Mama Nature’s creatures – plants and animals – into Her multiplicities of seeds, catkins, and pollen.  Flowers trumpet their openness to multiply, tempting bees and other pollinators to join in the dance. Beltane is a celebration of being alive, making it through another cold winter, and of fertility that ensures future generations.  We plant our seeds with joy and hope born of desire. 

What do you desire?
What seeds are you planting and tending?

Beltane (or May Day) is celebrated on May 1 (here in the Northern hemisphere), and in Nature’s calendar it is the first day of summer, the mid-point between Spring Equinox and Summer Solstice. Beltane is one of eight Celtic holydays, points in Nature’s wheel of the year that remind us of the turning of the seasons. By recognizing and honoring these occasions, we harmonize our lives with the rhythms and dances of Nature, the divinity that flows through all of creation.

Our Southern neighbors are honoring Samhain as they complete their harvests and honor their ancestors.  It’s humbling to think that our Mother Earth is so huge that people in different places are experiencing different weather!  (I know that sounds naïve, but think about it…) 

Beltane is a celebration of fertility in all its lush temptations. The dripping pistil, the eager anther.  Celebrants dancing between fires in anticipation of rich harvests, whether crops, livestock, or family.  Forces of Nature.

I have been on the coast of South Carolina this past week, a retreat with Mama Ocean between two shows in the area.  I’ve had lots of time to be lulled to sleep by Mama Ocean. And then to awaken to Her consistency the next morning.  What a great way to start my summer! 

It has been a true retreat here at the beach.  I’ve had time to read and breathe and enjoy being with Mama Ocean. I’m on the 12th floor, so I have a not-typical perspective of Her. Mama Ocean brings out the best in people, I think. She is the same energy, yet we are each individually affected by her. I have enjoyed watching peeps and their pairings: person and loyal, eager dogs (one who was so excited to be on the beach with her person and her frisbee. I’m sure she ate lots of sand! I’m sorry I didn’t film it!); pairs (I’m certain one of these pairs had their first-ever hug on the beach. It was lovely and innocent. The kind we never see anymore); parents and their wee ones, always running; littles dancing with Mama Ocean’s waves, ebbing and flowing, daring and retreating; individuals having their own conversations with Mama Ocean. She is a Force of Nature.

I consider myself very lucky that my passion allows me such opportunities! Playing with jewels and sharing stories.
What is your passion? 
How are you indulging in yourself?

Getting Physical

To the one who knows how to look and feel,
every moment of this free wandering life is an enchantment.
— Alexandra David-Neel

I’ve been thinking about the astounding blessings we receive by being on this physical plane. To be physically connected to our senses. I remember in the movie City of Angels with Nicholas Cage and Meg Ryan that angelic beings didn’t have any physical feeling. And it was worth it to the fallen angel to become mortal with all our frailties. But with our sense of touch.

Sometimes I think that being here on Earth is like being at summer camp. Being able to experience all the joy, excitement, and gratitude that comes from sensing our world up close and personal: seeing all the stunning beauty, smelling the lush green, hearing the myriad bird songs, tasting Mama Nature’s bounty, touching and being touched. 

Is this place a reward for us?  If so, we should take better care of it!

How is your summer camp going? I hope you are enchanted each and every day.
What do you want to tend to this summer?
What are you encouraging to grow in your life?

More Beltane Lore

I hope you enjoy this beautifully crafted video about Beltane from Joanna van der Hoeven

Transformative Possibilities

Butterfly is often associated with Transformation.  There is no way the caterpillar knows how to fly, or even that flying is in its future. Instinctively, it creates its own chrysalis (I recently learned that moths create cocoons while butterflies create chrysalises), enters, and seems to self-destruct into a gooey mess. But imaginal cells (that’s the name scientists gave them, isn’t that imaginative!) cause the caterpillar to reform into the butterfly. Eventually, after its transformation is final, the butterfly emerges.  But even emergence isn’t easy.  It is like labor: long and difficult, requiring strength and stamina.  Butterflies must struggle to birth into the world.  If someone helps it escape from its tight bindings, its wings won’t be strong enough to fly.

What transformation are you desiring?

What flights of fancy are you dreaming of?

Don’t Forget To Dance

It is a lusty month (as Vanessa Redgrave sang as Guinevere in “Camelot”) that precedes the most popular month for weddings.  It is when the maiden Earth Goddess unites with the Oak King to bless the earth and all her creatures with fertility and abundance.

At Beltane, maidens dance around the May Pole.  I prefer to celebrate with a May Tree, which to me represents the Ma-Tree-archy (Matriarchy).  Write your hopes, dreams, and wishes on colorful ribbons and tie them to a tree.  Like prayer flags or clooty ribbons, as they move in the breeze they are also sending prayers to Spirit. 

In Celestially Auspicious Occasions: Seasons, Cycles & Celebrations,  author and urban shaman Donna Henes writes:
The tree of life, with its roots deep in the earth and its branches reaching upward toward heaven, out toward eternity, is the prime symbol of midspring celebrations in many cultures. Trees have long been worshipped as beneficent spirits of bounty. Trees shade and feed us, supply and sustain us. They breathe life into our lungs. Possessing potent powers of fertility, growth, and longevity, trees are the progenitors of the world family tree.

When was the last time you danced?
What is your inner song?

And While You’re Dancing – Enjoy May Wine

 May Wine is an indescribably delicious drink for celebrating early summer!
– Gather Sweet Woodruff leaves, branches, & blooms (5 or 6 of their supple, green sprigs are enough for a liter bottle of wine)
– Tuck Sweet Woodruff sprigs in a bottle of white wine (don’t pay for expensive wine; the herb changes the flavor, so I only use the less expensive white wines in gallon screw-top jugs)
– Refrigerate for at least 24 hours (the longer the steeping, the stronger the taste), occasionally shaking gently

– Open and celebrate the advent of summer!

For Mother’s Day

For many of us, Mother’s Day is full of poignancy. Our mothers may have passed on, or are ill, or may have been a less-than-ideal nurturer. Or we may have disappointments as mothers ourselves. We may have yearned for children, but not had any.

My mother passed 23 years ago after a long illness. She was buried on Valentine’s Day, which was appropriate because she had a heart as big as all outdoors. I miss her all the time, and especially on her birthday, my birthday (she was the one who birthed me, after all), and on Mother’s Day.

I am so fortunate that when I really need her, my mom comes to me in the Dream Time. We get to hug and she always passes on the advice I need. She is still nurturing and supporting me.

I believe that when we most miss someone we love who has passed on, that person’s spirit is right beside us. Just one dimension away. But oh! that one dimension!

All stories are, in some form, prayers. – Brian Doyle

I also have disappointments in myself as a mother. I don’t know any mother who doesn’t. I have probably told my kids “I’m sorry” almost as much as “I love you”.

Being a mother is hard! In our western Christian society, we were taught about the Virgin Mary and how pure and long suffering she was. How can we compare ourselves to that? We can never win. It is yet another burden religion has put on women. I have read that the early Christians developed the story of the Virgin Mary 200 years after Christ’s death, promoting her as a substitute for the Great Goddess (who was revered by everyone) in order to more easily convert all to the new religion. Previously, the term “virgin” in older mythologies meant “a woman complete in herself”. What a shift, eh?

And while Mother’s Day was started to promote peace among families after the Civil War, it, too, has shifted into a multi-billion dollar industry. I’m not sure that anyone benefits from this holiday other than Hallmark, florists, and candy services. But to reserve at least one day of the year to honor mothers is a great thing. It should be everyday! So call your Mother! As often as you can. And clean your room!

And let’s be sure not to forget our Mother Earth when we are celebrating Mothers. She nurtures and sustains us all. And we have learned that all creators can also be destroyers. She continues to show her might and her need for balance in severe climate catastrophes, rampant illness, among other global shifts.

How can you mother yourself better?

How can you better nurture Mother Earth and all Her creatures?

Myss’ Archetypes

One of my teachers and Sheroes is Caroline Myss, and she has started offering a fascinating free video series talking about individual archetypes.

And I’ve been thinking a lot about the Mother archetype. Mother Nature. Mother Earth. Mama Ocean. Providing us with what we need. Clean water. Plenty of fish. Plenty of forests. Plenty. What generosity. Everything we know about Mother Earth sifts down into the realization that She provides, as a Mother does. Except for our human destruction. I don’t think she provided for that.

In her video on the Wounded Child archetype, Myss opened my eyes to yet another way that society diminished (if not did away with altogether) Mother and woman via the 50s and 60s shows. It has given me a lot of food for thought.

Mother’s Day Cards

I have an assortment of female-honoring greeting cards perfect for Mother’s Day in my etsy shop. Some are handmade, others are printed with my own digital collage honoring Mothers (of all kinds!). Perhaps one will speak to you and yours.

Spreading Seeds Of Intention

Multiplicities of seeds are spread with Her breath. Nature must delight in this time of year!  And it comes each year. Her promise, even in the face of our ignorance.

What seeds do you want to spread?  These vintage/antique sterling silver salt and pepper shakers hold multiplicities of tiny glass beads or glittery mica that can be shaken anywhere you want to plant some seeds… in your own yard, on your altar, beside a pillow.  $25 includes domestic shipping of a shaker.  To purchase, please visit my new etsy shop, A Heretic Heart.  Thank you for supporting my passion

Kate Stockman designs to honor Nature and the Self. A self-taught assemblage artist, Kate creates one-of-a-kind assemblage jewelry. She and her husband, a wood turner, live in a little cabin in Saluda, in the western North Carolina mountains.

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