Sunday, April 25, 2010

Sacred Union...

Merry Meet Family and Friends!

So, this weekend we attended one of my most favorite Sabbat celebrations! Beltane! Simply speaking, Beltane is the time when we celebrate the marriage of the Lord and Lady. Depending on one's geographic location or tradition, Beltane is often celebrated on either April 30th (my birthday, go figure!) or May 1st. I can assure you the earlier date did absolutely nothing to detract from the festivities!

I had picked up a little bug and was uncertain if I would be able to make this year's gathering. After agonizing for the better part of the of the day, I realized that I would have definitely felt a whole lot worse had I missed it!

The ritual was being held at the home of the High Priest and High Priestess who were officiating that evening. Their home is infused with so much loving energy, that one only needs to arrive at their doorstep to realize that they have indeed entered, "sacred space".

After several hours of merry-making which included the Maypole Dance, the sun went down, the Beltane fire was lit and we prepared for ritual. We lay our blankets side by side on the cool grass around the Circle, snuggling against the night's chill, as the flames illuminated the faces of the many friends who have become family. Our High Priest's words described it perfectly..."loving intimacy".

When it was time for the Elements to be summoned, the participants brought their own individuality to the rite. The East was summoned by several children dancing and carrying wands, whose brightly colored ribbons swirled in the breeze. The South, by a young woman who danced while twirling a hoop of flames around her waist, in the North, a sensual belly dance was performed.

It was a young, pregnant woman who summoned the Element of Water however, who's words I found most poignant. She approached each of the celebrants asking us to cleanse our hands by dipping them into a bowl of consecrated water. As she did so, she told a story of her grandfather, who had died only a few days before. She talked about his life, about how happy he had been that he was expecting his first grand-daughter. It's was difficult to listen without tears. She made it clear however, that while she grieved his loss, she wasn't sad. His life had been rich and full. He was 102 years old at the time of his passing.

As she spoke of her grandfather, the night air was suddenly filled with the sound of dogs howling. I remembered reading that dogs often howled to portend a death but also, were considered psychopomps (Spirit Guides) that not only ushered souls into the afterlife, but also the souls of newborns into the World. I felt that surely her grandfather was there with her as she honored him by sharing the story of his life. It was strangely comforting.

For our mother to be, Beltane is a time to look forward to the birth of her daughter. For the God and Goddess, a sacred union that would bestow blessings of abundant new life upon the Earth.

Not only does Beltane signify the date of my own birth, but a birth into a life that is much different than that to which I was born. It's signifies a birth into a family that while different as well, holds just as much love. And, into a Path that allows me to see the World with with the wisdom that comes with age, but with the eyes of a child, never ceasing to find it's beauty and magick.

It was indeed a splendid celebration of loving intimacy and of memories, without tears!

Blessed Beltane!



SeeThroughGreen said...

I am so glad that you had such a beautiful night! Also very moved by the young womans story. She sounds like one of those very strong women that can take just about anything!

Carol said...

Tracy you are so lucky to have celebrated Beltane in such a beautiful way! It sounds so awesome just as the ritual should be for the union of the Goddess and God.

I remember your birthday what a coincidence that you were born on that day - or is it?!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY AND HAPPY BELTANE.

I lucked out too, I will be leaving for san diego on Beltane but luckily will be celebrating in san diego. My son's close friend's mother is a High Priestess and I have been invitied to the ritual (I am so happy).

Rue said...

Oh that sounded absolutely beautiful! Glad you went even though you were a bit under the weather.

Beltane blessings!