In Wyld Shamanism we follow the old nature-based calendar because it reflects the natural cycles and rhythms of the earth and when we are deeply connected to the natural world, we feel these subtle turns of the wheel. So we celebrate the eight Sabbats of the year, noting the first buds of spring, the first autumn leaf turn colour, and feel the need to either celebrate or hibernate.
But there’s more. We humans have a need for wildness. it is where our souls belong. We have spent centuries trying to control the natural world, and kill the wild animals living free a s a way to suppress and curb our wild spirits. But this is about the heartbeat of our own, which hears the cry of the heart beat of our Great Mother. The song we all hear and which connects us to all life.
We need wilderness areas. We need to honour nature and her natural cycles and rhythms… and become attuned to them.
When you are deeply connected to nature in the way humans used to be, you can, for example, acknowledge the return of life to the trees in the spring. Many places have lost their magic because of human pollution and disconnection but trees acknowledge the human attempts at connection. Here at A Place of Peace, there is a vitality and conversation in spring. Our very Australian landscape here at our sanctuary, is dotted with wildflowers, the purple Kunzea, the white flowering Hawthorns, the bustling yellow of the wattle, the grey and green of the gum, and the delicate pink of random fruit trees. A European influence of past settlers building on the beauty of an already magical landscape.
The animals are thrilled to see grass after the spring rains. There is a feeling of hope and celebration and we celebrate with Beltane.
Here in the southern hemisphere, Spring is in full swing and around the beginning of November is when the sap rises, vitality is at a height, the veil is thin, the unseen play, and a celebration is called for! In the old days, Beltane was a fertility festival, celebrating Spring. Sex magic was considered a powerful force to ensure the fertility of the crops, the priest and priestess got together to ensure Earth was fully awoken after her winter slumber, and after the feasting, couples coupled all over the land! Many a Beltane-conceived baby was born nine months later!
These days in Australia mainstream has followed America and spring is celebrated with a very Fall harvest festival. People can Halloween party all they like but I think its important to remember that in the southern hemisphere the real festival is Beltane, not Samhain!
Samhain is a harvest festival, the last before winter. It was another highly potent time when the veil thinned and the ancestors walked the land. In this day and age it is a great time for communing with the dead, honouring them with ancestral healing work, and doing some divining.
In the southern hemisphere, we don’t have pumpkins in spring, we have flowers growing in a riot of colour and celebration of life force. We don’t have the ancestors walking in spring, we have the fae and the nature spirits who dance and sing, celebrating the vitality of the land. Our own life force is activated as the natural cycle of life encourages long walks, runs, swimming, picnics, and fun — outside in the beautiful spring sunshine. In autumn, our natural cycle is about preparing for the slower, colder days of winter. Spring is when what we hibernated or created over winter, bursts into creative birth. There are suddenly parties and events galore. Calendars are always full of music festivals and holiday parties and other events, after the quiet of winter.
So here’s to Beltane — a magical time when the veil is thin. If you go out at twilight or dawn, you might be able to see the fae folk, especially at the liminal places at the water’s edge, for example. They are there and they want to be acknowledged!
Take some time to gather with friends this Beltane at the beginning of November. Sensitive folk will be able to feel the thinness of the veil.
Enjoy this special Beltane vegan feast compiled by Tamsin — all gratitude to her and the creative vegan cooks!
- Whole Grain Oat Crackers
- Black Bean Taco Salad with Crunchy Roasted Chickpeas
- Vibrant Spaghetti Squash Bowl with Smoky Waffled Tofu
- Lentil Fattoush Salad
- Lemony Spring Pasta Salad with Vegetables and Herbs
- Vegan Cheesecake with a Salted Caramel Fudge Sauce Topping
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Photo by Nadine Primeau on Unsplash