Friday, May 01, 2009

Beltane Benevolence

Today my favorite bank teller said, "Oh, it's the first of May ~ that's called May Day, isn't it?" And I had a perfect opening in which to explain to two intrigued bank employees (the teller next to him was all ears, too!) that the secular version of these holy days leaves a lot out.

May 1st is Beltane: a time for celebrating the beauty and sanctity of all life. No matter how challenging your life may be now, today is a moment for reclaiming your power, balance, and inner strength.

Beltane is one of eight Shabbats on the Wheel of the Year. The others include the Solstices and Equinoxes, Lammas (August 1st), Samhain (October 31st), and Imbolc (February 2nd). Beltane breathes renewal into our cells as we acknowledge the Nature Kingdom and the advent of summer. For our Southern Hemisphere allies, the Wheel of the Year is reversed: Myth*ing Links offers a fine page on the Southern Year.

Although traditionally observed on May 1st, astronomical Beltane arrives on the 5th, a nice sync-up with Cinco de Mayo, so we actually have an entire week in which to renew, dance the fire back into our beings, and open once again to a sacred reUnion of our masculine and feminine selves. Mythologist Kathleen Jenks provides a page rich in Beltane lore from around the globe.

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