As our planet Earth, and we Her inhabitants, orbit Mother Sun in our everyday sacred journey, we move into the Seasonal Moment of Samhain/Beltaine: the cross-quarter between Equinox and Solstice – into Deep Autumn towards the Winter Solstice/Gateway in the Southern Hemisphere, and into High Spring towards the Summer Solstice/Gateway in the Northern Hemisphere. The Moment will be at 18:58 “Universal Time” on the 5thMay … that’s May 6th4:58 EST Australia – my place. All global times are available at http://www.archaeoastronomy.com/ . Mark your calendars, and contemplate your method of celebration.
In the Southern Hemisphere as the dark part of the day continues to grow and to dominate, we 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, all of whom have enabled this present moment.
It may be a time of celebration of the power of transformation, as the year turns; and a time for dreaming and conceiving the new – for new re-solutions. It is a Moment of celebration of Darkand its processes – the comfort and rest it may bring, its sentient fertility rich with possibility, in which the past is composted, and out of which the new may be composed/conceived.
In the Northern Hemisphere as the light part of the day continues to grow and to dominate, we celebrate the Season of Beltaine/High Spring. It is a time for remembering the beauty and sweetness of the dance of life and essential deep desire for it. It may be a time of 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 diverse abundant colour wavelengths received into our eyes awakening our senses, the warmth received on our skin, the manifestation of flowers, fruits and beauty, and the passion enkindled out of which relational connections deepen. The creative nature of passion and desire felt deep within and expressed multivalently, is worthy of much more contemplation, and not repression as many have been taught in this era.
Samhain and Beltaine are essential to each other – one cannot be without the other. They occur at the same time: that is, they are co-incidental. Knowing a sense of death, the knowing of the passing of all, is intimate with appreciation of the moment of Now– its gift and its beauty. What’s more, 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 the ceremonial celebration of Beltaine/High Spring we may remember how “we are united with all who have come before us, in their desire, in their longing …”: to 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 high revelry 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 – Winter and Summer). And in the evolutionary story the advent of meiotic sex is connected to the advent of death: there is intimate connection.
For some Samhain Poetry: PaGaian Samhain 2009 on YouTube
For some Beltaine Poetry: PaGaian Beltaine 2009 on YouTube
Many will celebrate the Moment on traditional dates, and yet others will enjoy it closer to the actual astronomical moment. Here in Australia where I am located, I will celebrate Samhain close to the moment on the 6thMay. I invite and invoke celebration thus:
Earth’s tilt leans us further into the dark – this is the time for conceiving the new …
You are invited to celebrate
In this moment, between the old and the new,
all is possible.
The veil is thin that divides the worlds.
We remember the dead, let go of the past,
conceive the Not-Yet.
We remember that we are more, much more.
We meet to trans-form yet again,
in the womb of the Dark Shining One,
of our own bodyminds.
PaGaian Cosmology blogs for Samhain/Deep Autumn
PaGaian Cosmology blogs for Beltaine/High Spring
Samhain/Deep Autumn and Beltaine/High Spring meditations are available in digital format and also on PaGaian Cosmology Meditations CDs, at that link. The meditations are a beautifully produced collection which supports the preparation and performing of ritual /ceremony for each Seasonal celebration.
Some Samhain and Beltaine story may be found 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. Ceremonial scripts are offered in Chapter 7 : though they 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.
Blissed and profound Samhain/Beltaine transition to you.
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 countriesas they walked sunwise around a sacred site. (Caitlin Matthews, The Celtic Spirit, p.31)
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.
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.