Today is May Day, or the Celtic Fire festival of Beltaine, known in Ireland as Bealtaine or in Scotland as Bealtuinn. It is thought that this celebration was named after the old Celtic sun god, Belenos, or Bel, which means shining, while "tine" translates as fire.
When I think back some centuries to those living on and with the land, this would have been the time of celebration after a long winter. Often by Spring, the majority of the food which had been preserved from the harvest had gone and the planting was done, but it was an uncertain season and required patience to wait and see if those new little plants, or animals would make it all the way.
In our own lives today, uncertainty can create a lot of anxiety. We live at a time when we almost always have the answers at our fingertips, and immediate gratification has become the norm. Those old muscles of patience, tolerance, delayed gratification, and waiting for things have become a bit slack.
And although immediate gratification can be great for some things at certain times, immediate gratification is also the enemy of depth and mystery. We need depth to grow roots which stabilize and strengthen us, and we need mystery because it creates yearning and desire which move us forward!
Over the next week of Bealtaine, the masculine energy of the sun is beginning to grow and come into harmony with the feminine earth and water, creating movement and growth. This union and synergy also lives within us coming together in our Heart's Fire which fuels our passion and desire in life. Without it, we may not have a strong drive towards life, and can end up feeling mediocre, dispirited, and unmotivated to engage in what our heart truly desires.
The quickening energies of Bealtaine can teach us to:
be patient and yet passionate
don't rush things but stay focussed
and tend carefully to new things.
This time can also teach us about:
trusting and letting go
heating up the passion in our lives and in our hearts
and taking the first action on yearnings we may have had for some time.
Essentially, this season of Spring and Beltainne is the foreplay to Summer, so there's no need to rush, but you gotta keep it moving!
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We would like to acknowledge the traditional custodians of the Squamish, Kwikwetlem, Tsleil-Waututh, Kwantlen, and Katzie Nations, whose ancestral lands we live, work, and teach upon.