Ditch the Guilt!
Wonderful Beltane is the Celtic start of summer. It is a time when the earth is fertile and full and the Goddess shows off her blousy, seductive blossom, inviting us to open ourselves to our sensuality within; especially after a long winter. We see everything blooming and greening around us, with the promise of the bounty yet to come.
We had such an amazing time at the Beltane celebrations here in Glastonbury. Indeed, it seems that the old ways are returning once more as a huge gathering took place at the Market Cross in the town, followed by a procession and the erection of the maypole and much merriment at the bottom of the Tor. Come and join us next year; we are planning a huge community picnic and you are all very welcome.
The earth’s energy is on the increase – and there is the promise of more to come!
Beltane has been celebrated for thousands of years as the time of fertility and abundance; we can see evidence of this all around us in the loud bird chatter, the blossoming of flowers and the greening of the trees, of nesting birds and animals choosing mates. Indeed, if Beltane or May Day as it’s more commonly known, used to fall on a Sunday, then a lot of the churches would have been quite empty as courting and established couples would go out ‘ a maying’ in the woods. Maypole dancing comes from a far more ancient custom: the maypole represents the God, it being a phallic symbol. Today we ask for the God’s blessing of his continued fertility and power in our lives.
Dress your altar in reds, pinks and greens to symbolise vitality, passion and love. Decorate it with spring blossoms, hearts and rose quartz.
In every part of the world, there are long-spoken tales of hares; from Europe to Africa and to the Americas, and even in the far East. In Britain, witches were believed to transform into hares.
Hare mythology is evident in ancient pottery, coins, seals, hieroglyphics and in oral history. In Africa, the hare was considered to be part of the Moon. Seen on a clear night, the full moon might, with a bit of imagination, contain the outline of a hare.
The hare has also been associated with the sun, fertility, the dawn, cunning and bravery. What was it about the hare which led to this mythology?
Hares are notable creatures who have always lived in close proximity to people. Most well-known of their traits are their courtship dances, and their habit of moongazing. The boxing hares that were always thought of as male have recently been discovered as being sexually active females.
Fables have been told across the continent of the cleverness, deceit and triumph of the hare, some of these being turned into the Bre’r Rabbit tales related by Uncle Remus.
In times past, the moon was perhaps the most powerful symbol of birth, growth, reproduction, death and rebirth and the hare was then endowed with similar earth-bound powers. The hare took on a magical persona and become associated with the Goddess. The Norse goddess Freyja had hare attendants, and in Britain the hare was sacred to the moon goddess Andraste and the Celtic goddess of witchcraft and wisdom, Cerridwen.
The Celts believed that the goddess Eostre’s favourite animal and attendant spirit was the hare. It represented love, fertility and growth and was associated with the moon and the dawn. Eostre changed into a hare at the full Moon.
I love Imbolc! What a relief to have the wonderful returning light after the dark, cold, dampness of winter.
In the pagan tradition, Bridget is the young maiden who sweeps away the dross of winter. She takes what was the old Crone’s walking stick and strikes it on the ground, waking up the seeds, bulbs and plants from their winter sleep.
Much has been written about Bridget for she truly is an amazing goddess and one that is very close to our hearts here in Britain.
The Irish honoured Bridget as a saint, and she was often known as Brigit-Ana – this is where the British Isles get their name – Brittania.
She is a triple goddess of healing, poetry and smithcraft. This is her link with fire – just as the Smith strikes metal to purify and therefore strengthen it, so we can purify our souls through life’s lessons. Bridget helps us to release anything we no longer need, revealing our bright, shining essence.
“Dearest Bridget please connect with me now. I invite you into my life to help energise and revitalise my mind, body and emotions. Help me connect with my creativity and enthusiasm.”
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Amethyst is a truly multipurpose and essential crystal.
Due to its wonderful lilac/purple colour, it helps to elevate our thoughts to more spiritual matters.
On the physical plane, it helps with headaches. Amethyst is also cleansing and detoxifying.
Inexpensive and beautiful, an amethyst tumblestone should be carried at all times.