May 1 is Beltane, the Celtic Fire Festival that marks the first day of summer, in the ancient Celtic calendar. It is also known as a "festival of optimism". Love that! The Celts were in tune with Mother Earth and celebrated her cycles as an exquisite resource, to be revered and honored. Now is the time when the earth is fertile, full of promise and potential, as her flowers and trees start to blossom displaying their beauty and fragrance for us all to enjoy. Nature beckons us to do the same thing.
Today, as we cross the threshold of equinox and solstice, we are moving into the waxing power of the sun. In honor of the sun and this auspicious time, bonfires are still lit all over Ireland on Beltane. This is in keeping with the tradition of the ancient Celts, who saw fire as a protective force. The fire is also a symbol for sacrifice.
Often we need to sacrifice our old, harmful and comfortable habits so we too can blossom into the fullness of life. This Beltane why not create a ritual fire and take some time to consider: What needs to be sacrificed in order for you to reach your full potential? Write it down on pieces of paper and throw them into the fire. A simple gesture can become a powerful catalyst for change when we infuse it with sincerity and intention.
Celebrate life! Buy your self some flowers, call someone dear to you and let them know you love them. Take a walk in nature and behold its magnificence! Look in the mirror, soften your gaze, and behold your own magnificence! What a gift it is to be alive, when every breath is a second chance. Every breath is an invitation to breathe in LOVE. It is time to get optimistic, about claiming your own gifts, and sharing them with the world.
Get in to the spirt by listening to some festive music! Here is the beautiful voice of Loreena McKennitt, with her Beltane Fire Dance to get you started.
In honor of Beltane, and the great Celtic mystic and poet John O'Donohue I would like to share his blessing with you:
May you recognize in your life the presence,
Power and light of your soul.
May you realize that you are never alone,
That your soul in its brightness and belonging
Connects you intimately with the universe.
May you have respect for your individuality and difference.
May you realize that the shape of your soul is unique,
That you have a special destiny here,
That behind the facade of your life there is something beautiful and eternal happening.
May you learn to see your self
With the same delight,
Pride and expectation
With which God sees you in every moment.
Le Gra, (Love in Irish)
p.s. you are amazing!