Welcome to magical May. This weekend marks the celebration of the ancient festival of Beltane + our gateway to summer! The days + months of 2021 are ticking by quickly as we journey through the seasons and the earth continues her slow awakening + coming to life. I think it’s been a tough, intensive year so far, and it makes me really wonder what lies ahead as I slowly return to life after my own cold, dark, long winter. It has been transformative to say the least. But, what lies on the other side of the transformation I do not yet know.
What I do know is that 2021 has been filled with pain + disappointment, but also much hope + inspiration. I suppose that is how the cycle of life really is. And thankfully, mother earth shows me the beauty in the cycle year after year. Because of the seasons, because of nature, I find a sense of calm even as I go through my own seasons of darkness, winter, light, and life.
And this weekend we cross over the threshold to summer (or winter)! We are awake + rising to life. (Or dropping down into the slow, inner, reflective energy of winter). Of the 8 earthy festivals throughout the year, this one falls on the midway point between the spring equinox and the summer solstice and is the middle of the priestess season. As the summer solstice in June is the highest point of the sun, the brightest and longest day of the year, I count it as the middle of the summer energy. So, for me, this day, the 1st of May, known as Beltane to ancient, earth-based cultures is the threshold + the beginning of summer energy. So, folks in the northern hemisphere, we’re on our way now. Awakened, rising, and called to live life to the fullest out in the bright sunshine + warmth of summertime.
Beltane is a celebration of growth, fertility, and life ushering in those early summer vibes. For me, the summer energy, as I mentioned above, begins today and runs through August 1. And, even though August is still a “summer month”, I see it as the threshold into autumn energy.
For now, it is time to bask in the fullness of life. Right now, we are entering the height of living. In our seasonal year, this is the time of being fully alive. Looking outside our windows, we can see that life literally has been reborn. There’s no denying it. Blooms on trees, baby animals, flowers, bright sunshine, cleansing rains, green grass under our bare feet. Nature may not be completely awake yet, but she is well on her way. Just stand outside for a moment + feel the pulsing energy of life teeming through everything. That pulse, that rhythm, that awakening is coursing through our veins as well right now. Hand on heart, my friend. That’s the same beat that’s in the earth. We, too, are nature. And, like the earth, we are emerging, rising, and coming to life again.
A little about Beltane now. It is a spring festival, celebrated in many places in Europe in various ways. In Sweden, it’s celebrated not as Beltane, but as Valborg (Walpurgis night) on the last day of April, with bonfires, champagne, strawberries, and outdoor grilling. But, no matter where or how, it is a celebration of spring + the beginning of summer. Cows are let back out into the fields, crops are planted, and people gather to feast + usher in the season of light + life.
This year, in Sweden, our celebrations are much different. We have been asked by the government, due to the ongoing pandemic, to not gather in large groups. All of the traditional celebrations of large crowds have been cancelled. And, even though the celebrations look different this year (as they did last year too), that doesn’t need to stop any of us from celebrating by heading outside, honoring the earth, noting the passage of the seasons + the turning of the wheel, and tapping into the energy of life that is swirling all around us.
Perhaps, having to celebrate in our own families makes things even more special. And, while we yearn to gather in large groups + feel those energetic vibes moving through the crowds, it is not time to do that quite yet. But, soon. I can feel that as we have slowly awakened from winter, we are also slowly climbing out of the deepest, toughest days of the pandemic. Life literally is coming back to us – but, oh how we have been changed.
As we cross this threshold into the energy of summer + life, it’s also a good time to pause and consider how we are being called to grow. This is the season of becoming. Nature shows us in her most stunning and beautiful ways how spouts become crops, buds become flowers and then leaves. Grasses grow. Trees rise from the ground, drop their roots even deeper, and thicken with deep green leaves. The sun rises high in the sky.
This is powerful, magical energy. But, it is also powerful, magical energy that we hold as well. Right now, as we see the earth bursting forth + rising to life, it is the perfect time to recognize + celebrate the growth + life within all of life… including ourselves.
For me, as I enter this season of growing, I do not know at all what lies ahead for me. Lina + I are moving in July, so I am quitting my job. And I have big dreams + ideas of how I want to live. At the same time, I have no specifics or details about the work I will be filling my days with + putting out into the world. So, entering this season of growth + life truly is opening myself up to exploring how I have transformed by the long, difficult dark winter from which I am emerging. And then trusting the process to unfold as it is meant to as I discern my way forward.
So, I’ll leave you now with a few questions I am asking myself as I cross into the season of light + life. Steal away a few moments, preferably outside around this Beltane festival day, and ponder how you are being called to grow:
- What is bringing you great joy right now?
- Where do you currently find inspiration? What do you feel inspired to devote your energy to right now?
- What parts of yourself do you feel most confident about? Where do you need a confidence boost?
- What intentions are you planting for the summer months?
- What do you hope to grow in your life?
- What do you want to harvest come autumn?
Sending all of the magical, bright, fertile, life-filled energy of May to you that I can. Bask in it all. Observe + feel + give thanks for the growing light, and know that light, love, and truth are also growing and expanding in you.
Blessed Beltane! xoxo. liz.