Beltane, “Bright Fire” of the sun
Bonfire flames danced toward the spring sky. Farewell winter! Welcome new life. I felt the flash of heat as I leaped over the center of the fire.
This purification ritual represented moving boldly into the spring season.
One of the most joyous days of my life was this Beltane celebration 15 years ago.
Our group gathered in a woodland retreat center on Whidbey Island. Celtic Ceremonialist Lucinda Herring guided us into the ancient realms of spring rituals. I felt transported to May Day in medieval Europe.
Together the Lords and Ladies sipped May wine; Apple juice festooned with wild strawberries and sweet woodruff. While the ladies wove garlands of fragrant blossoms, the Lords passed into the forest.
My garland’s scent of lilac, wild rose and apple blossom swirled down to alight my senses.
We Ladies contemplated our springtime dreams as we walked the path into the rich, green forest. Gaily we tossed pink petals into a shining pond to launch our desires for the new season.
Meanwhile, the Lords be-decked themselves in leaves and ivy to embody the Green Man, the masculine spirit of new life bursting forth. The Lords returned in capes of glistening ivy. They erected the Maypole with bright ribbons flying in the wind.
The frigid wind made our cheeks rosy as Lords and Ladies twirled and skipped around the Maypole.
Hoorah, Hoorah! Wild laughter and joyous celebration kept us dancing and cheering.
‘Arms like petals reach up to the sun
Spring! Long awaited, newly begun
Lambs, babies leap and run
Winter’s over. Have some fun!’
Celebrating the sun’s power after the cold darkness of winter, we built the fire. We knew we must purify the earth, cleanse the old.
I felt a kind of peace rising in me with the fire’s glow. Smells of spring blossoms coming from my garland encircled my happy spirit as I took my leap of faith into the unknown.
Later, riding home on the ferry, I could not stop smiling. I had celebrated life as it had been done for thousands of years. My garland radiated sweet fragrance to mingle with the woodsy fire scent, which lingered in my spring spirit.
Kay Wagner LMP & NASM Certified Personal Trainer, leads classes in Yoga, Pilates, Free weights & Fit-ball. Her BABY BOOMER/SENIORS oriented classes are held at ROSEHILL Community Center.Kay provides Massage Therapy & Personal Training in her studio overlooking the mountains and water, at 828 2nd St. in Mukilteo. Please call 425-353-4545. Learn more at kaywagnerwellness.com.