Beltane Newsletter 30 April 2017
I love Beltane. It is one of my favourite celebrations, and since the success of last year’s fire and my resulting Beltane baby for my son and his wife, it is now even more special.
Beltane is a fire festival that heralds the beginning of summer. In Edinburgh, they hold a huge celebration on Carlton Hill, but I have perfected the private fire pit and love family gatherings around my magickal fire. There is nothing more cleansing and mysterious and magickal than fire and an outdoor fire is even better. It is our energy and warmth but also the cleanser. It is magickal and full of romance. There is nothing more romantic than turning your normal garden into a romantic, flickering fire garden and nothing better than sitting around the fire with the stars above and those you love all gathered together having food and festivities and enjoying the simplest of life’s pleasures, as they have done for millenia. It is a very primal activity and none better. I light fires at every opportunity. In fact, with a coal fire in the shop and in the house, I rely on my magickal fires for comfort and warmth and survival…no fire, no hot water or heating…so I light at least one every day!! There are also some nights when there is nothing more perfect than a still half-lit night and you just have to go and light a fire outside and watch the dark descend. It is also a brilliant cleansing activity. I use the fire to burn garden debris and unwanted paperwork burns in a metal bin. It is a great feeling when you start with a pile of rubbish and burn it all till there is nothing but ash and a clear space. This to me is Beltane…mass cleanse and clear-up after the winter with the family…with a few buried baked potatoes cooking away and a drink to the little people asking for their blessing for any family matters. Your wishes can be written and burned in the fire on this night by any members of the family.
Fire is the element of the Sun, the South, of strength, of change and of passion…and is obviously a fire sign. I love this element. It represents power, energy, creativity, inspiration, motivation, vitality and transformation. It can motivate people into doing things they would not normally do. It has the power to change things. It can destroy everything in its path but can ignite new beginnings, so you can use it to burn away old desires and bring on the new ones. I once drove through an area of Majorca that had been completely destroyed by fire, but marvelled at the tiny new fans of greenery appearing from the blackened tree stumps whilst the area was still smoking from the devastation. The old trees were dead but the new were appearing instantly…fresh growth fanning out from the flames with hope and optimism and Nature was recovering at an alarmingly fast pace…amazing!!
It can do that in your life too. It can rekindle passion in your life, as it has done at Beltane for centuries. Make an incense using frankincense with mustard seeds, black pepper and galangal to bring the passion of the Sun into your home. If you don’t like incense, blend the fire oils and add to an oil burner for a fabulous empowered home! This is the time to make changes if you are not content with your lot and some fire motivation and determination can help you on your way this magickal mystical Beltane.
When is Beltane?
These days the calendar depicts when Beltane festivities are held and we even have a bank holiday to let us celebrate in style. It begins on the eve of Beltane, 30 April, when the fire should be lit as the sun begins to go down, then it should be kept burning through the night on 1 May to greet the dawn to herald the beginning of summer. Summer is announced by the flowering of the Hawthorn, which in the south of England will be about this time. However, up here in Scotland, we can be 2-3 weeks later. Confused? I celebrate at both. I do the newsletter for the 30th and will have a fire or light candles and read cards. However, I will have the outdoor bonfire when Aberdour Hawthorn actually flowers (that is when they jumped my fire, the new moon appeared, and Bumble began his journey to this plane as a true Beltane baby and gift from the Goddess). As I watch flurries of snow on the gusts of wind fly horizontally by the window, I suspect it may be quite late again this year…
Overcoming fears and worries this Beltane…
There is a lot of scary things going on in the world right now and it would seem another General Election and more change on its way as we face leaving the EU (or not). Many worry over these larger things. Me… my philosophy is “Don’t worry about what you can’t change” but not everyone is like me! Must be the eternal optimist in being a Sagittarian but I seldom worry about things…maybe I am reaching that age where I figure “What will be, will be” but lots of my customers do, so if you are a worrier, here is a little (or bigger) spell to crush those fears!!
This spell can be used at Beltane or on a waning moon and you can either use a small red candle and a few tumbles or a larger fire outside with some larger pebbles from hillside/beach gathered before the event. Write your worries down on paper…listing anything you want to overcome. Now, either:
Light your red candle in a holder and place the paper underneath, then using quartz or jasper tumbles, begin
circling the candleholder with the stones, stating “Fear is conquered, fear is crushed, worries burned and fears
are hushed” as you lay each stone around the candle…then let the candle burn down and then bury the wax and the
Light a small bonfire and encircle the fire with a row of large beach pebbles/stones, or if you have a ready-made
pit like mine, add a further circle of stones onto the ones in place, stating as above as you lay them, then burn
the paper with your fears listed in the bonfire, then let the bonfire burn and enjoy.
Grid with a circle…
On a table top, I have a part of my extended altar in which I have a circle of 12 points like a clock with diameter of about 12”. Within this circle. I have my singing bowl (but a cauldron, fancy plate or bowl will also suffice) and put all my magickal spells to ‘cook’ in my bowl or anything I want to re-energize. All you need is 12 quartz points to make your magickal clock. I have the 4 quarters in bigger points than the other 8 and then join then all together with a 13th point which is the largest (controller). You don’t have to start off with 13 from the beginning. I collected mine over time but now this magick grid is the mainstay of my altar and everything else goes around it. It is my circle of power and you can create one too. It is so simple. The points all face inward to empower the centre of the circle. When I place anything in my bowl, I simply draw a circle, clockwise from the ‘12’ over the points with the controller three times, to link the circle together, then spiral it upwards like a cone and off it goes. Easy peasy
What is happiness…are you happy?
Now there’s a question!! Maybe it is an age thing again, but I find that living in the here and now brings me contentment and happiness whereas negative thinking can in fact become a habit. As Monty Python says…
If life seems jolly rotten, there’s something you’ve forgotten!
And that’s to laugh and smile and dance and sing,
When you’re feeling in the dumps, don’t be silly chumps,
Just purse your lips and whistle — that’s the thing!
And… always look on the bright side of life…
So Live life NOW …that’s the answer!!
Life is about living. We are born. We live. We laugh. We love. We die. Everyone is born and then dies…it’s the living, laughing and loving in between that matters. Life is precious. It is the small things in life that give us pleasure. Happiness is not about a new 60” TV, a fancy car or the latest phone, but pleasure experienced from the senses. It’s about things we can see, smell, hear, feel and touch that affects our brain to release endorphins, serotonin and dopamine in the brain. On my recent holiday to the Swiss Alps, I went alone for a walk up a mountain in the Spring sunshine and sat on a bench, the only sounds were the running of waterfalls and the sound of birds, and a view to die for. It was breath-taking and I sat there just enjoying that moment at complete ease with my world.
Life is about simply enjoying such special moments! Those moments are what bring you the feeling of complete happiness – those that make you stop and take your breath away. Remember, happiness is not having the best of everything, but making the best of everything you have. Quite simple really…it’s just a matter of perspective!
Another point…part of the joy is the simplest of joys… walking! Part of happiness comes from being at one in your environment; wherever you are. I don’t like exercise. I don’t feel motivated because I need to exercise. However, such moments of joy can come from simply walking. I don’t think of getting about on two legs as doing exercise, but helping me to enjoy the best of nature which, at the same time, lifts my mood, which makes me feel better which makes me healthier/calms anger/cools headaches etc. This simple means of walking, as we were intended to do, keeps your heart pumping, blood healthy and helps renew skin cells which keeps you younger looking so it’s all win/win!! We were made to move this way so get walking in your world and you will help your body to help you too!
Mercury has been retrograde…can you tell?
Before it began in retrograde, people were contacting me asking to see if it was. The consequences this month has been very strong and people have had computer issues, car crashes, arguments, train problems, mail problems etc and when it is playing like this, decisions, especially major ones, should not be made…oh Mrs May…something you said you would never do, then you make this huge decision when Mercury is retrograde…oops!!
We have to ride it out till it goes direct and that takes place on 4 May and decisions can then be made, especially important, life changing ones. Our Scottish Council elections take place when Nicola? Oh yes, 4 May!! However, if you are like us, and at this point in writing, our chimney has gone on fire, the stormy wind is blowing the soot back down the chimney whilst provoking the fire. We have had to salt it to put the fire out & shut the shop due to the smoke and soot inside, which is resulting in no trade…so enough now Mercury!! Canne take any more Captain!!
New Moon: Wed 26 Apr @ 13.17 hrs Full Moon: Wed 10 May @ 22.43 hrs
New Moon: Thur 25 May @ 20.45 hrs Full Moon: Fri 9 June @ 14.11 hrs
Mercury hasn’t helped the production of this newsletter (communication) but will be better next time I promise. Tomorrow is a new day so positive wishes of new beginnings to you all
from Chris (alias the Green Witch)