Whoa have I had a powerful Beltaine. When it comes to Beltaine there is no better place to be on the entire planet than Glastonbury – well if you’re a pagan that is. We really do it in style, meeting up at the Market Cross, putting on a bit of pageantry and entertainment and then the green men setting off with the Maypole on their shoulders to the ceremonial blessings with the waters of white and red springs and onwards with the colourful troupe wending through the hills to plant the Maypole in Bushy Combe and then dance the Maypole, not only joining hand-in-hand with each other but hand-in-hand with past and future generations. Each year the crowd swells – Charlie Barley reckons there were at least three hundred of us in the circle today.
Beltaine, May, the rising sap and the start of summer and we bring it in good and proper here in the heart of Avalon. For the lonesome witch I was, there are dreams coming true all day long. Like the whole crowd in the heart of town chanting “Earth my body, Water my blood, Air my breath and Fire my Spirit” and remembering rolling round the seasons, singing this with a small child who loved being brought up a witch until we moved to Northern Ireland and the bullying Christian children made her life misery.
And oh, it is the end of winter. I know I’ve not posted a blog in ages but I couldn’t say bright hopeful things when they weren’t true and ever since I got back from Ireland I’ve been battling demons. Hideous horrible insidious suicidal seductions. Uck. I LOVED being in Connemara. It fed my soul. I was in heaven in my hide-away living the dream – “being a writer”. Haven’t written a blessed word in months, well nothing that could be regarded as remotely creative anyhow. There I’ve confessed!
Today was wonderful for all sorts of reasons. For seeing Jo and realising just how much I love her and how ridiculously grateful I am that she’s in my world for one. For the moment I recognised that the woman with the green face staring at me was Ros.
But the most exquisite joyous experience today was “playing the Bard”, stepping forward in ceremonial robes and speaking my truth directly from my heart to a huge crowd of people – stepping into a place that is rightfully mine with these people who enter the spell-binding space with me. Feeling Awen, feeling awe, feeling “we”, feeling like I belong. I am full of gratitude that the awen flowed through me today and I felt it. We felt it. I’ve found it hard that so few people have ever viewed the video I made of “The Great Turning Times” . Today the poem found its audience: right time, right place, right people, people who know what I mean when I say
“As we turn away from all the lies of the culture that is dying
we become Gaia healing herself
nurturing life on Earth”
because that is the point of what we are doing here in our sometimes shambolic style.
Today , I feel that, at least for today I have found my place in the scheme of things. This is the magic of Beltaine. I haven’t understood what I’m doing on the planet all winter. Today when I poured my truth into the container of listening hearts that say “yea it is so” I connected. At this moment I am serving this circle by naming our purpose, giving focus to our celebration, fulfilling my responsibility as a bard, and there is no better experience available in this world than knowing what my purpose is right now and fulfilling it to the best of my ability.
Another wonderful experience today was opening the circle at the Assembly Rooms with Merlin. I lead us in sounding the Awen and he lead the invocation to peace, a version I’m not familiar with – really beautiful. When we affirmed peace in the North I sent the energy home. How I wish peace to the people I came from, how saddened I am by some of the news from the “wee North”.
What a relief it is that the tide is turning. I have had a lonely difficult winter and plodded on best I can. I’ve applied for jobs, jobs it’s taken vast amounts of research to locate because I can only apply for work in line with my truth, my deep commitment to finding “a sustainable way of living/ more respectful of our mother/on whom our life depends”. I can apply for them but getting them’s another story!
But here in the quiet of the night, it is finding friends that made this night so magical. And for that reason, the best circle of all for me personally, was the little one I encountered outside the Assembly Rooms, a circle of familiar faces, a magic circle that was just right for the poem that felt too intimate for the huge crowd in the Rooms. And we did it, we created a space of love.
I wish you all a space of love this Beltaine. Cos that’s what Beltaine’s all about, isn’t it?
Happy Beltaine to you all.