In our everyday sacred journey around Mother Sun – the “Turas”[i] of our Planet Earth – our orbit is now moving us into the Seasonal Moment of Beltaine/Samhain: the cross-quarter between Equinox (Spring S.H./Autumn N.H.) and Solstice (Summer S.H./Winter N.H.): that Moment will be at is 23:42 “Universal Time” on the 7th November … that’s November 8th 9:42 EST Australia – my place. Other global times are available at http://www.archaeoastronomy.com/2016.html
In the Southern Hemisphere the Planet enters the Season of Beltaine/High Spring – a celebration of the dance of life and sweet desire for it … a celebration of Allurement, as cosmologist Brian Swimme names this Cosmic power: as the light part of the day continues to grow and to dominate. It is a celebration of Light par excellence – its colours that enter into our eyes, the warmth and magic received on our skin, the flowers and beautiful food that Sun and light produce, and the relational connections we enjoy with others.
In the Northern Hemisphere it is the Season of Samhain/Deep Autumn – a celebration of the trans-formation of life, a time for remembering all who have gone before and for dreaming and conceiving the new, as the dark part of the day continues to grow and to dominate. It is a celebration of Dark par excellence – the comfort and rest it may bring, and its sentient fertility rich with possibility.
Beltaine and Samhain are essential to each other – one cannot be without the other, they are co-incidental; enjoying the moment of Now – its gift and in all its beauty, is intimate with a sense of death – the knowing of the passing of All. What’s more, Life is built on Death – this moment and all beings would not be here, if all had not passed before. Death is actually the Mother of us all – we may be thankful for Her darkness and for the breath-taking manifestation that comes from Her. In PaGaian Beltaine ceremony, we remember how “we are united with all who have come before us, in their Desire, in their longing …”: to sense the wholeness of form and trans-form, the flux and unity that this Event of Life actually is.
Both of these Seasonal Moments are entrances to either the fullness of light or dark, which occurs at the Summer or Winter Solstice; and have traditionally both been times of high revelry celebrating a wild fertile space – one a genetic fertility, the other a trans-genetic/imaginal fertility. It seems there is a kind of excitement felt in bodyminds about the anticipation of fullfilment of light or dark – both with their particular magic: and in the evolutionary story the advent of meiotic sex is connected to the advent of death.[ii] The Ultimate Creative nature of passion – felt deep within and expressed multivalently, is worthy of much more contemplation.
For some Beltaine/High Spring Poetry: PaGaian Beltaine 2009 on YouTube
For some Samhain/Deep Autumn Poetry: Celebrating PaGaian Samhain 2009 on YouTube
Many will celebrate the Moment of Beltaine/ Samhain on the 31st October, and yet others will enjoy it closer to the astronomical moment of 7th/8th November. Here in the Blue Mountains of Australia we will celebrate Beltaine ceremony in MoonCourt a little early this year (as happens sometimes) – on the 22nd October. The invitation reads:
Earth tilts us further towards the Sun – the Source of Her pleasure, life and ecstasy
You are invited to celebrate
This is the time when sweet Desire For Life is met
… the fruiting begins:
the Promise of early Spring exalts in Passion.
This is the celebration of Holy Lust, Allurement, Aphrodite …
Who holds all things in form, Who unites the cosmos,
Who brings forth all things,
Who is the Essence of the Dance of Life.
If you wish to attend, you may email me (Glenys) for an invitation and details
PaGaian Cosmology blogs for Beltaine/High Spring
PaGaian Cosmology blogs for Samhain/Deep Autumn
You may find the Beltaine/High Spring and Samhain/Deep Autumn meditations on PaGaian Cosmology Meditations CDs nurturant of your participation in this Seasonal transition – with a group or for yourself. The meditations may be purchased individually (and digitally) or you may purchase the whole set (in CD form or digitally).
Beltaine/High Spring and Samhain/Deep Autumn preparation e-notes, images and meditations are offered: Celebrating PaGaian Cosmology On-Line .
Beltaine and Samhain story are offered in Appendix F of PaGaian Cosmology or if you have a paper version of the book, there is an Index for references throughout. These Seasonal Moments in relationship to the whole Wheel of the Year may be found in Chapter 5, and ritual/ceremonial scripts are offered in Chapter 7 though they of course have always evolved and been adapted to personal and regional poietics. The on-line versions are different from those in the paper copy of the book.
For more reflection on the reciprocity of Beltaine and Samhain: Beltaine/Samhain @ EarthGaia.
[i] Turas is a Celtic word meaning “journey”, “pilgrimage”, and refers especially to the circular, spiralling prayer used by people in Celtic countries as they walked sunwise around a sacred site. (Caitlin Matthews, The Celtic Spirit, p.31)
[ii] See Elisabet Sahtouris, Earthdance, NE: iUniverse, 2000, p.134-135, and Ursula Goodenough, The Sacred Depths of Nature, NY: Oxford University Press, 1998, p.143-149. More can be made of this link between these Seasonal Moments: orgasm has been termed “a little death” in French.