During the months of May through September the Sun’s journey was traditionally celebrated with lit fires, starting with the Beltane Fires of May.
After the long germinating period of Winter, May signaled that Spring was here to stay, and that this was the time when dreams begin to come into fruition. Some of the seeds that were planted in early Spring are now beginning to show their fruits.
The Beltane Fires are a joyful celebration of the end of the Winter’s hold over earth, and the sacred fire is aimed at stimulating the Sun as he strengthens his hold in the skies as we journey towards Summer.
During the May Day celebrations, it was custom to dance around the fire sunwise (following the movement of the sun in the skies), and then run around the fields holding burning brands to ‘wake up’ and stimulate the crops.
It’s also a time to bring in the flowers, decorate the home with white and yellow flowers as a way to celebrate the dawning of Summer.
Another way to look at this celebration in the Celtic Wheel of the Year is via the lunar phases.
Beltane is the equivalent of the Waxing Moon, or the Gibbous Moon.
Gibbous means ‘swelling’, ‘hump’. I like to think as the Moon is pregnant, revealing to us her swelling belly in the skies.
In many ways, this symbolism of being ‘pregnant’ with ideas, new seeds for a new harvest one that feels aligned with the season. Even when I take a quick walk around my neighborhood, I can see how the earth is just so pregnant with possibilities: gardens are blooming and this is just the first phase of Spring revealing itself.
How to work with this energy in your life?
Tend to the seeds you’ve already planted early in the year. Bring in the necessary nutrients that it may need. What needs a little pruning, a little bit more sun? What needs to be celebrated? Remember May Day is about celebration of the fact that we have survived another Winter.
Gibbous Moon is a preparatory Moon, in the sense that it’s getting ready for its Fullness.
So this is the time to do the research, the due diligence and whatever needs to be done so that you can reach your goal, finish your project of move ahead. Use the energy of May to work and tend to the last details before the unveiling of the Summer Solstice.
Lastly, the Moon is about Self-Care, Self-Tending. Envision which ways you want to celebrate and tend to what is calling for you. What is ‘pregnant’ within you that needs to tended? Perhaps there are some ‘unspokens’ that are in need of being tended so that they may be transformed.
Whatever you do for Beltane, be sure to bring a celebratory element too. This is an important turn on the Wheel of the Year that calls us to review our relationship with life, with others and with our own blossoming nature.
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