As our planet Earth, and we Her inhabitants, orbit Mother Sun in our everyday sacred journey, we move into the Seasonal Moment of Beltaine/Samhain, the cross-quarter transition between Equinox and Solstice: that is, into High Spring towards the Summer Solstice in the Southern Hemisphere, and into Deep Autumn towards the Winter Solstice in the Northern Hemisphere. The Moment will be November 7th at 10:36 UTC … that’s 20:36 EST Australia where I am (+ 1hr for Victoria and NSW). Other global times are available at archaeoastronomy.com
In the Southern Hemisphere as the light part of the day continues to grow and to dominate, we may celebrate the Season of Beltaine/High Spring. It is a time for remembering the beauty of the dance of life, and the essential deep desire for it: that is, how essential desire is for anything to happen. It is therefore recognized as Holy Desire. This recognition, enjoyment and wonderment seems so needed in these times. Beltaine/High Spring may be a time of ceremonial celebration of the power of allurement, the holy desire that brings all things forth. It is a Moment of celebration of Light and its processes: the warmth received, the manifestation of flowers, fruits and beauty, the diverse colour wavelengths received into eyes awakening the senses, and the passion enkindled, out of which relational connections deepen; and even just whatever it is that gets you out of bed in the morning. The creative nature of passion and desire deeply felt and expressed multivalently, is worthy of much contemplation, and not repression as many have been taught in this era.
In the Northern Hemisphere as the dark part of the day continues to grow and to dominate, we may celebrate the Season of Samhain/Deep Autumn. It is a time for remembering all who have gone before, those who have passed into the night, the ancestors, which may include all beings over the eons. It may be a time of ceremonial celebration of the power of transformation, as the year turns, as the era turns; and a time for dreaming and conceiving the new – for new re-solutions. We may feel it particularly in these times of cataclysmic change. It is a Moment of celebration of Dark and its processes: which may include the comfort and rest it may bring, as well as the breakdown and composting of so much that belongs to the past, making space for the new to emerge. The Dark is the ground of being, and is a sentient fertility rich with possibility, in which the new may be composed/conceived.
Beltaine and Samhain are essential to each other – one cannot be without the other. They occur at the same time: that is, they are co-incidental. Appreciation of the moment of Now, its gift and its beauty is intimate with knowing a sense of death, the knowing of the passing of all. And further, life is built on death: this moment and all presently manifest beings would not be here, if all had not passed before. Death is actually the Mother of us all – we may be thankful in this moment, remembering that we are united with all who have come before us, in their desire, in their longing. We may sensethe wholeness of form and trans-form, the flux and unity that this event of life actually is.
Both Seasonal Moments have traditionally often been times of celebrating a wild fertile space – one a genetic fertility, the other a trans-genetic/imaginal fertility. It could be a kind of excitement felt in bodyminds in anticipation of the fullness of dark or light, the climax (as it will be at Solstice – Summer and Winter). In the evolutionary story the advent of meiotic sex is connected to the advent of death: there is intimate connection.
For some Beltaine Poetry: PaGaian Beltaine on YouTube
For some Samhain Poetry: PaGaian Samhain on YouTube
Many will celebrate the Moment of Beltaine/ Samhain on the traditional date of 31st October or November 1st, and yet others will enjoy it closer to the astronomical moment of 7th November. At my place in Australia we will celebrate Beltaine ceremony close to the Moment, and I invite others in this way:
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.
PaGaian Cosmology blogs for Beltaine/High Spring
PaGaian Cosmology blogs for Samhain/Deep Autumn
Beltaine/High Spring and Samhain/Deep Autumn meditations are offered in PaGaian Cosmology Meditations, available in digital format or as a set of CDs.
Some Beltaine and Samhain story is offered in Appendix F of PaGaian Cosmology These Seasonal Moments in relationship to the whole Wheel of the Year may be found in Chapter 5 along with a diagram of the PaGaian Wheel of the Year. Ceremonial scripts are offered in Chapter 7 , though they are in no way considered prescriptive. The on-line versions are different from those in the paper copy of the book PaGaian Cosmology as they have always evolved and vary according to personal and regional poietics.
Blissed and profound Beltaine/Samhain transition to you.
Goodenough, Ursula. The Sacred Depths of Nature. New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998.
Livingstone, Glenys. PaGaian Cosmology: Re-inventing Earth-based Goddess Religion. NE: iUniverse, 2005
Matthews, Caitlin. The Celtic Spirit. London: Hodder and Stoughton, 2000.
Sahtouris, Elisabet. Earthdance: Living Systems in Evolution. Lincoln NE:iUniversity Press, 2000.
Sewall, Laura. “Earth, Eros, Sky” in Earthlight, Winter 2000, pp. 22-23 and p. 25.
Swimme, Brian. The Universe is a Green Dragon. Santa Fe: Bear & Co., 1984.
 Our everyday sacred journey around Mother Sun could be named as a Turas. 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)
 See Laura Sewall, “Earth, Eros, Sky” in Earthlight, Winter 2000, for more on this.
 See Elisabet Sahtouris, Earthdance, p.134-135, and Ursula Goodenough, The Sacred Depths of Nature, p.143-149. More can be made of this link between these Seasonal Moments: orgasm has been termed “a little death” in French.