In the northern hemisphere, on May 1 (and throughout the month of May), we celebrate the fertility of Mother Earth. With gratitude, we dance… for the flowers that bloom, for the wheat that stretches toward the sky that later becomes our bread, for all that sustains us and heals us.
In this merry month of May, which begins with the Celtic holy day known as Beltaine, may your life be woven with that which comforts you, heals you, sustains you, brings you peace, and prosperity. May love and light ever bloom within your personal world and the vibrant, beautiful world that surrounds you. We are rapidly nearing summer, and the earth is alive and bursting with glory. Can you feel it?
Beltaine was the holy day that later became what many of us know as May Day, when the May Queen was crowned and flowers were gathered and delivered in reverence by the children of the village. And of course, there was that sacred dance. I remember dancing the May Pole in kindergarten, donned in a lovely hat made from a paper plate and decorated with flowers and ribbon.
In case you are not familiar with the symbolism of the May Pole… a wooden pole is carefully erected in a freshly dug hole in the earth, ribbons are tied to the top, with a wreath of flowers placed carefully atop the colorful strands. Dancers are staged in a circle, half facing clockwise, and half facing counter-clockwise, each with a ribbon in hand. As they move in their given directions, they weave their ribbons over and under each dancer that passes, weaving their desires into a colorful braid that wraps tightly around the pole. As the dance progresses, and the braid moves down the shaft, the wreath slides downward, gently penetrated by the woven pole. If you haven’t guessed it… it is a symbol of the sacred marriage of the divine feminine and masculine. (A rude awakening to learn such detail related to a childhood memory. Ha!) Dancing the Maypole is a group effort to energetically ask for abundance and fertility for the earth that sustains us, in the lives of those who dance, and the communities they represent.
I wrote this meditation while visiting a friend in Amelia Island, located in northeast Florida. He has a beautiful home on Fernandina Beach. I took an early morning walk to greet the sun, and was filled with delightful memories of a few summers prior when my Tribe gathered there for reunion. Sisters flew in from Virginia, North Carolina, and Colorado. It’s difficult to express that feeling when we gather… 16 years or more have passed since some have moved away, and yet togetherness brings tears, joy, laughter, and a sense of relief that can only be found with people who know your soul. Ah… there you are!
In this sacred space by the Sea, we got caught up on each other’s lives, cried together, cooked and dined together, gathered seashells, and when night fell, we danced at the edge of the ocean, and played with bioluminescence in the waves. Some of us rose at 3am to sit on the beach to behold the host of shooting stars that moved across the sky with the Perseids Meteor Shower. It was pure magick!
The following words flowed from sweetest memories of deep devotion. From the Greek Pantheon, Aphrodite embodies the sensual dance of love, and Dionysus delivers wine-soaked reverie to match Her passion. More than anything I’ve written… this meditation is dedicated to my beloved Tribe.
Beltaine Meditation ~ Honoring Our Beloved Community
With your eyes closed, make yourself comfortable. Breathe deeply, expanding your belly with the color of the ocean. Exhale the blues and greens, feeling tension washed away. Inhale the color of sunrise and let it fill your being. Breathe out yellow and orange as your shoulders release all tension. Breathe in the color of twilight and let it expand your mind. Exhale deepest purple as you open to receive all the universe has to offer.
Imagine the feel of sand beneath your feet, and gentle waves licking your toes. The night is warm, and the breeze that skims the surface of the ocean dances across your skin, leaving you with a sense of being gently caressed. The cool, salty water, which reminds us of our very beginnings on the earth – mother’s womb, rises up from the waves, in celebratory effort for the sheer possibility of landing on your lips to be licked away by your tongue. The ocean ebbs and flows, thrusts and retreats, yearning and longing for you to step gently into her waters, so that she may envelope your tender toes in a sensuous tango of step and sink, step and sink… urging you toward temperance and release.
On the horizon, you can see that light is dawning, as the sun is rising slowly, where water meets the sky. As you stand with your feet in the water, you can see the light in the distance glowing orange, and illuminating the surface of the ocean. You ask Aphrodite to fill you with Her light, and she eagerly replies by sending the light on the undulating surface, across vast water and wave, washing onto the shore and over your toes… effectively delivering a glow of healing light to wash over you.
You close your eyes, as if to find focus on your endeavor, and you see the images of your hopes and dreams materialize within your mind’s eye. As you consider the steps required to bring these dreams to fruition, you feel a gentle touch upon your shoulder, and another upon your arm, then another reaches for your hand… and you realize that you are surrounded by a loving, supportive community… each adding all of their energy, good wishes, positive thoughts, and affirming guidance to the healthy gestation of your desires to be realized and brought to birth.
Stand here, for a moment, and listen to the sound of the ocean’s song. Release…. Receive…. Release… Receive… Consider what you’ve been working to manifest in your life, and listen to those who have arrived to take your hands, support your steps, and urge you forward on your journey. What messages do they have to share? Release… Receive… Release… Receive… Feel the coming of a deep, genuine knowing. For what we seek, we need only to affirm it – as if it is already reality. When a woman is pregnant with a child, she is not focused on doubt or fear, she is focused on the beauty that awaits. This is how we create our reality, focusing on beauty that awaits… with a deep knowing that it is already here, just on the verge of being born into our lives. Release… Receive… Release… Receive… Gasp… Sigh…
Aphrodite and Dionysus are here, too, at the edge of the ocean, to offer their love and fertile abundance to bring life to your passion and desire. All acts of love are the rituals of Aphrodite, and that includes self-love. She gently caresses the soft skin of your cheek and smiles warmly, gazing into your eyes. As she sets a circlett of roses at your crown, she offers you a message. What does she say?
As she turns away, Dionysus steps toward you with a passionate gaze. You feel his body heat as he moves closer, and raises a bundle of red, bulging, sun-ripened grapes to your lips, and as you consume his offering the succulent fruit bursts in your mouth, spilling the juice of a generous and gracious god for your sustenance and great pleasure. He leans forward, and as you close your eyes, he whispers into your ear. What does he say?
As you open your eyes, you find our divine beings have vanished, leaving behind the sweet scent of wine and rose. You know that the blessings they each offered have blessed your hopes and dreams with a seed of light and life. And all that is left to do… is to offer gratitude for the divine energy that resides within you and around you, and for those in your life who support and celebrate your beauty and presence in their lives with unconditional love… and finally, to bring your desire to birth, celebrating your manifestation with joy and jubilation. LOOK WHAT I’VE DONE! I love it with all of my heart, and shall cherish it, as I nourish and care for myself.
Feel that smile radiating upon your face, and the glow that fills your body… and when you are ready… return to this sacred circle, and open your eyes.
Thanks for walking this path with me.