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Wheel of the Year: Beltaine

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icymist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-02-10 02:32 PM
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Wheel of the Year: Beltaine
Last of the three Spring festivals, Beltaine celebrates the full fertility of the world and the Universe, and bids farewell to Spring while welcoming in Summer. Here in the south, it seems the seasons are going along with the ritual calendar for once: this past week, all of a sudden, the jasmine burst open to scent the air with it's heady scent and the dragonflies all came back to dance like blue and green shards of glass in the sky and the weather was warm enough to start thinking about going back to the beach or the springs. It's nice when the inner calendar and the outer weather agree, isn't it?

In many traditions, this is the day when the Goddess and the God reach the same age in their inter-twined cycles and are married and / or consummate their love, resulting in the summer bounty of the Earth, the later rebirth of the God, and a really sexy and cheerfully naughty holiday. Bonfires are lit, symbolizing the strength of the sun, and are leaped to confer cleansing and luck (like in many of the solar holidays, because Pagans love a chance to light a fire). Rituals include symbolic coupling in the Great Rite of the athame and the chalice or cauldron, and the heat of the fire and the night encourages a start to the year's skyclad ritualizing. Many Pagan couples will schedule personal alone time to re-enact the meeting of the Goddess and God for themselves; if not, there's still the suggestive dances of the maypole, there's the luxury of decking the altar in rich-scented flowers, there's still the bounty at the end of Spring and the start of Summer's easy abundance.

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