Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Beltane 2014 - Too Cool for School?

Blessed Happy Beltane to you all!

Traditionally speaking, Beltane is the beginning of the 6 month Season of Fertility, ending at Lughnasadh, The Season of Harvest, on August 2nd.

This time of year we are midway through the season of Spring, started at Ostara / Vernal Equinox. Beltane is my hands down favorite Sabbat in the Witches’ Wheel of the Year.  We started both Drawing the Circle Productions (16 years ago) & The Silver Broom Ministries (9 years ago) on Beltane.

We celebrate the sabbat & the anniversaries with a party for our coven, my clients, students & other active members within our Silver Broom Community. There is a ceremony to mark the sabbat then we build a bonfire & honor our tradition of doing shots off  an Ice Luge.

This is why we now call the name of the party, “Fire & Ice.” 
Do you hear Pat Benetar in your head now? I do!

The Heart of Beltane

Beltane is the 4th of the 8 sabbats & corresponds to the 4th or Heart Chakra, which manages Emotional Power. Because of the Heart Chakra association, it has a lot of powerful symbolic coordinates to guide us through the season, if we work it right.

For example, in the Kaballah Tif’eret is the sphere of the Heart. It holds the power of Harmony & Balance. To put a fine point on it, it is EMOTIONAL harmony & balance, a tricky feat any time of the year. But at this sabbat it is highlighted so we can focus on & become empowered with Love. 

Wrath & Fortitude
The Shadow of the Heart is Wrath; that emotional anger & rage that possesses us when we are caught off guard & acting unconsciously. Its healing Grace of Fortitude is the emotional strength to slow the momentum of Wrath, open our hearts & forgive, mostly ourselves.

Beltane is also the symbolic sacrament of Marriage, which is perfect because it is the sabbat of the Sacred Marriage between God & Goddess, Sun & Earth, which leads to the consummation of the union & the fertilizing of the land with divine seed into the womb of the earth. This is why Beltane is often referred to the ‘Sex Holiday’ & ‘fertilizing the fields’ often refers to a sacred romp outdoors with a beloved, or close to it.

On a more personal & internal level, it has to do with the known or unknown marriage vows we make to our soul. So many are looking for a soulmate who have not yet mated with their own soul. Beltane is a perfect time to write down those vows & have a wedding within the self. Do you vow to Love, Honor & Cherish yourself, etc..?

Sacred Truth
This speaks to the Heart Chakra’s Sacred Truth, “Love is Divine Power.” When we bring the heart into balance - Tif'eret, consistently tempers our Wrath with Fortitude - Shadow/Grace & make new Vows to Self - Marriage the Heart opens like a valve. We can access a range of emotions from contentment, through happiness & into the highest states of emotional freedom, joy, bliss & ecstasy.

But what does it take to be emotionally balanced? That’s a complicated question because we all have very different paths, psychology & physiology to consider. But there is still some common ground we can examine. The Course in Miracles states,

“Happiness is a decision I must make.” 

Not a choice, but a decision. I have learned there is a difference between the two:

  • All choices have consequences. The size of the choice often determines the size of the consequence, but not always. 
    • Sometimes small physical choices have gigantic consequences. But in retrospect we may find what we thought was a choice was a decision.
  • A decision is life changing & takes our lives down a different path or way of being. 
    • We make many choices before, during & after a larger decision. 
    • Like choices, decisions have consequences. Though as I mentioned above, one may look like the other if we are not aware of what we are doing & more importantly, how we are feeling.   
Happiness is a wonderful emotion. It indicates that the Divine Power of Love is flowing through us & with practice; we can up the voltage into the higher realms of Joy, Bliss, Ecstasy & Exhilaration. 

This is the benefit of a daily spiritual practice within the Heart Chakra & makes the entire 6 month season of Beltane a lot of fun. Our hearts can blossom like spring flowers & emit a vibrational perfume that enhances all of our eternal senses, which leads me to the magick in all of this.

If Happiness is a decision that we must individually & collectively make, then we can decide to imbue its power into our lives & of course our spells. Earlier I was listening to a meditation by Deepak Chopra where he said, “Happiness is Viral.” To me this says that we have a greater power to influence the world when we deliberately decide to set our vibration at Happy & tend to it from a spark (Yule) to a candle, (Imbolc) to a fire (Ostara) to now a bonfire at Beltane.

Don’t take my word for it. Practice it for yourself, Cast spells from a place of emotional happiness & then deliberately do your best to maintain being happy for as long as you can after casting. Though what you cast for may or may not drop into physical form immediately, you will begin to see symbolic synchronicities, what Muggles call coincidences, creating a trail of bread crumbs toward what we want.

In other words, you can’t live a sad story & have a happy ending. That only happens in fiction. The key to living ‘happily ever after’ is to generate & maintain an open & happy heart every day until we eventually croak at our appointed time. This way, regardless of how long we live, we can live happy & ‘put our hearts’ & ultimately our divine power, in all that we do. It ain’t easy, but it is so very worth discovering this power we all have, but rarely consciously use.

Too Cool for School

I will however, give a small warning. Many of us have emotional shields that we've gathered, like armor around our hearts. This just happens as a reaction to life in this world. Some of us have developed a shell of shields around the heart chakra, making us ‘Too cool for school.’ 

For example, do you sit in a corner snarking at weddings when people are risking looking foolish as they drink & dance the night away? I certainly have, but I made myself outgrow that because I found it to be at its core, cowardice.

The opposite of cowardice is courage. Courage, from the French word for the heart ‘Coeur,’ is about developing the bravery to crack our emotional armor, open our hearts & act on the guidance it gives us to let go & enjoy the moment freely. Simple, but hardly easy as no one is born with courage, it must be developed.

So if you find yourself at a party, wedding, ritual/ ceremony, what have you & the cowardice of ‘too cool for school’ kicks in. Stop for a moment & ask, what am I so afraid of? Has the tribal dictates of the world bound you emotionally? Can you muster the courage to dance, laugh & participate? Is ‘too cool for school’ keeping you left back in your personal spiritual curriculum? Are you in Heart Chakra detention?

Only you can free yourself from this, but it can be done in baby steps, allowing you to mature into a spiritually mature emotional adult. As the Course in Miracles also says:

“In my vulnerability I become invulnerable” 

This is not to be taken literally, but symbolically & more important for the lessons of Beltane, emotionally. So remember this, to keep it simple:

‘Too cool for school’ leads to ‘Too cool for happy.’ 

Wouldn’t you really rather practice that 'Perfect Love & Perfect Trust' we as Witches are always going on about? Then have at it, crack open that heart chakra, bring it into balance, heed its guidance & let the Love & happiness that is divine power influence, everyone around you known or not & the world as a whole.

Blessed “Happy” Beltane,

Rev. Mark A. Lyons, President
Drawing the Circle Productions INC.
631-968-8307 @ProfWitch on Twitter


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