Dearest moonbeams, the Wheel of the Year is turning once again and this week we welcome in the festival of Beltain. Beltain, also called Beltane, Bealtaine and Beltine is one of the cross quarter festivals of the wheel of the year along with Imbolc, Lammas and Samhain. Beltain is celebrated on the eve of the 30th of April over into the following day, May 1st (May Day). It's one of the four fire festivals of the wheel of the year and is a celebration of spring at its fullest and also the beginning of summer.
It's a time to celebrate the abundance of mother nature that is so apparent at this time of year and re-establish our connection to Gaia as we enter into these lighter, warmer days. This couldn't more relevant during times such as these when are being given a chance to slow down and re-forge our connection to nature. As the human world stays indoors, the Wild World is rising once again...can you feel it? Mother Earth is healing and we are remembering what it means to be in co-creation with her.
Bel is also the name of the Sun God associated with this time of year and Beltain is a celebration of the union and sacred marriage of the Sun God Bel with the Mother Goddess Danu. This union is what makes this a fertility festival and a time to celebrate sex, love, abundance and the balance of the sacred masculine and sacred feminine. This union of masculine and feminine was represented by the May pole, red and white ribbon was tied around a pole as people danced around the May pole. It was a time of joy and merriment and it was traditionally a time for handfastings -pagan wedding ceremonies. It's a time of year where communities would have come together in celebration, this year however, we will have to find new ways to honour the spirit of this festival and we hope to share some of those with you here.
What is blossoming in you?
In terms of working with goals, ideas and dreams, now is the time to fertilise your intentions and joyfully go about bringing your dreams to fruition. Look back at the intentions you set at the start of this year and see if you can get a sense of what's blossoming right now? Is your hard work paying off? What needs extra attention and nurturing to help it bloom and grow? And maybe there are things that need to be released (see below for fire ritual). Beltain combined with the recent new moon in Taurus is a time to focus on abundance and working on blockages we might have in relation to our self worth. In your journal write down all the things that you can feel an abundance of at the moment, you might even like to do this as an illustration of blossoms and flowers in bloom with your words written inside. Allow this journaling practice to fill you with a deep sense of gratitude. If you find it hard to get going, look to nature first for she is putting on a show at the moment. Birdsong is at it's loudest at this time of year and all of mother earth's energy is devoted to growth at this time, all of life is bursting with potential.
Goddesses of Beltain
Danu is an ancient mother Goddess referred to as the Great Mother of Ireland. She is the mother of the Tuatha De Danann, a magical race of people that brought magic and wisdom to Ireland. She represents wisdom, abundance and life in flow as she is also guardian of the rivers and waters of Ireland. Danu is also associated with the archetype of the High Priestess and so invites us to step into our power and sovereignty and bloom like the Spring flowers.
Maia is a Greek Goddess and gives her name to the month of May. She is one of the seven sisters of the Pleiades - the seven daughters of titan Atlas and the sea-nymph Pleione. Maia is the eldest of the Nymph sisters, who were also companions to the goddess Artemis. Nymphs are nature spirits that look after the environments in which they dwell with their gentle and divine energy. The seven Nymph sisters were believed to have transcended into the sky, transforming in to the Pleiades star cluster. Step outside at night and look to the night sky, see if you can see the Pleiades and connect to the gentle and loving energy of Maia.
Fauna is a Goddess of Wild places, animals and sexuality. She represents the archetype of the Wild Woman - untamed and unapologetic. Call on Fauna's blessings to help you rewild yourself and reclaim your connection to your own wild feminine and sacred sexuality.
Frigg is a Norse Goddess of motherhood, fertility and the home. She is Odin's wife and her name translates to Beloved. Call on Frigg to bless your home and the seeds of your intentions.
Queen Maeve is a sovereign Earth Goddess who represents sexual empowerment, independance, passion and power. She is a warrior Queen of Ireland with the reputation of being intoxicating, forceful and decisive. Do you need some of this Warrior Queen energy in your life at the moment?
ELEN OF THE WAYS
Elen of the Ways goes by many other names - The Green Lady, The Deer Goddess, The Horned Goddess and in her Crone aspect she is also called the Caillech. She is an ancient Celtic Goddess associated with Shamanism. It is said that she is a guide during times of change and also a guide during our dream space. If you are finding it hard to see the path laid out before you, call on Elen of the Ways to help you find your way.
The month of May is sacred to Mother Mary and she is often referred to as the Queen of May. Mother Mary represents unconditional love and healing. She can soothe our sorrows and comfort our fears.
Samhain marks the beginning of Winter, Beltain marks the beginning of Summer and just like with Samhain, this is another time of year when the veil between worlds is at it's thinnest. During Samhain, the thinning of the veil helps us to connect to the dead and our ancestors, at Beltain it's a chance to connect to the magic of the Fae and the elemental beings. Going back to our theme of rewilding and re-forging our connection and relationship to mother earth, this is a wonderful time of year to pledge ourselves as guardians of nature. In your journal, write down a list of the ways that you would like to be a guardian of nature. Maybe you'll make a promise to always pick up litter when you're out on your walk. Or to try harder to reduce, reuse and recycle. You might even like to make your pledges aloud, as if speaking to the Fae folk, they will be delighted with you!
As with Shakespeare's Midsummer Night's dream, this is also a time of year for mischief and the Fae have been known to cause a fair bit of mischief on the eve of Beltain. Mischief in this way can help us to keep a sense of humour and not take ourselves quite so seriously. If you notice things are out of place or not going quite according to plan can you treat it as a message from the Fae that you might need to lighten up.
Flower Maiden Bath
Remember, we are in Taurus season and this season is all about self love and sensuality. Give yourself a treat for the senses by making yourself a ritual flower bath. Fill your bath with flower petals and arrange crystals and candles around your bathroom. Citrine is beautiful for working with abundance and Rose quartz for tuning into love and sensuality. Then add in your flower maiden bath elixir:
Add the following essential oils to a small dish of milk
Geranium 2 drops
Jasmine 1 drop
Ylang Ylang 1 drop
Rose 1 drop
Patchouli 1 drop
Mix in well with the option to also mix in honey and oats. Oats and honey are incredibly healing and soothing for the skin and the milk will help to bind the essential oils. Please don't add essential oils to the water without something to bind them with. Why not soak in the tub with a book on fairytales or folklore to connect even further to the magic of this time.
Create a Beltain Altar
Tuning into the turning of the seasons by creating altars within the home is such a lovely practice. You can create a simple Beltain altar by gathering flowers and other objects that represent this time of year. You might like to use or make a flower crown to go in the centre of your altar and decorate with crystals, candles and ribbons. You might like to create an Altar in honour of one of the Beltain Goddesses using objects and images that are sacred to that Goddess. You could also decorate branches or twigs with ribbons to represent the blessed Oak Tree or World Tree that our ancestors would have gathered round. As you tie the ribbons onto the branches, make a wish, this is a lovely ritual to do with children.
Beltain Fire Ritual
The word 'Bel' means 'Bright one' and Beltain signifies the start of the light half of the year. In ancient times, the old fires were put out and new fires were lit to signify the start of this new bright time. Beacons were lit all along the country and bonfires were set on the eve of Beltain to be danced around all night till the following morning. The element of Fire along with the Sun himself were honoured and revered.
Fire is such a purifying force and as we are celebrating this shift in to the lighter half of the year now is a good time to leave behind all that no longer serves us, in particular, ways of thinking that prevent us from having an abundance mindset.
Here's a simple Fire Ritual that you can do using a Candle or a small fire pit/wood burning stove depending on what you have access to. Write down a list of self limiting beliefs or scarcity mindset habits that you can identify within yourself. Ask yourself - do you find yourself often worrying about having enough? Do you get jealous/competitive with others? Are you generous of spirit and with your resources? These questions should help you to identify whether you're operating from a place of fear and lack. When you've created your list, burn it and with this act of burning, release all your old fears, old stories and self limiting beliefs.
We really hope you enjoy our blog. We are just working on our Beltain edition of our online Zine where we can share even more ways to connect this magical time of year.
You are also invited to sit in ceremony and celebration with us this Friday to honour Beltain. We are hosting a FREE online Beltain ceremony and Meditation via Zoom at 7:00pm(gmt) - if you would like to join us please email firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll send you the Zoom link.
Blessings to you all xx
Dear ones, happy new moon in Taurus! We are now arriving in the second sign of the Zodiac calendar. The first 6 signs of the Zodiac are all about the self and then the second half of the zodiac is all about our relationship to others and the world. Aries carries that energy of the new born child, curious and inquisitive about everything and fired up by passion. Taurus now helps us to ground that Aries energy by inviting us to slow down and connect to it's element of Earth. Aries initiated the season of Spring and now Taurus holds it. Taurus is a fixed sign, giving it it's notorious reputation for being stubborn but the flip side of that is they are incredibly loyal and reliable. Taurus is a very loving sign, ruled by the planet venus, with a deep connection to mother earth it gives us permission to enjoy the abundance of nature's gifts. Taking a look around at this time of year you can really tune into Taurus' theme of abundance, all of mother earth's energy right now is channeled into new growth. The world appears to be covered in blossoms of soft pink and pale yellows, a gust of wind rustles through the trees and we can watch the blossom dance on the wind and reveal branches now lit up with fresh green leaves. It feels like everyday in the garden there's something new that's appeared, a new bud, a new bloom or a new wildlife visitor. Butterflies begin to make an appearance and we can once again hear the delightful buzz of the bumblebee. With the festival of Beltaine just around the corner, now is the time to really re-awaken our connection to nature and all it's gifts.
Love, beauty, abundance, gratitude, sensuality, sexuality, re-wilding, grouding, pleasure, being present, blossoming, expression, creativity, truth, honesty, loyalty.
Taurus rules the throat and neck and one of the struggles that Taureans face is either an overactive or underactive throat chakra. An overactive throat chakra can lead to that Bull in a china shop effect of speaking our truth in an overpowering and overbearing way, an underactive throat chakra can mean that we rarely ask for what we want or are honest about our needs and wishes. Lets relate this to our theme of love and ask ourselves, when my needs aren't being met - how good am I at asking for what I need? Being able to vocalise our needs and wants is such an empowering act of self love, it is saying to ourselves and the world that we deserve to be loved and respected. The way that we love ourselves teaches others how to love us. We can also spend some time thinking about the inner dialogue that we have with ourselves. What kind of conversations are we having with ourselves on a regular basis? If we were to read aloud the kinds of things we said to our self would we be shocked? If someone else were to speak these things to us how would it make us feel? Would we tolerate such words?
The other interesting theme to look at during Taurus season is working out what your love language is and is this in harmony with those closest to you? For example, your love language might be physical affection but your partner's might be that they love you by doing practical things. Sometimes, when our love language is not being reciprocated in the same way we can feel unloved or unwanted when all we need to do is recognise the other person's way of expressing love. Learn to ask for what you need if your needs aren't being met. Communication, truth and honesty are key themes for New Moon in Taurus. How are we being present and honest in our relationships with others? We can check-in with our own stubborn tendencies and notice if they're getting in the way of harmony in our relationships.
The combination of Taurus being a feminine earth sign and it being ruled by Venus which represents the Divine Feminine, we have an opportunity to look at our self love, self worth and learn to experience life through all our senses. We can ask ourselves in what ways do we deny ourselves the pleasures of this life? And what are the reasons for this? Do we feel undeserving? Do we feel shame in relation to pleasure? As we looked at during the full moon in Libra, we as women are so often shamed for seeking and experiencing pleasure. It is time we reclaimed pleasure as an expression of the Divine.
"You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love." - Buddha
Spend some time with your body. Perhaps lying down on the earth itself or in your room. Slow down your breathing and start to listen to your body. Has your body been speaking to you and you haven't been listening? Be present and listen. What messages does your body have for you? What does your body want to do? Does she want to sing? Does she want to paint? Does she want to dance? Does she want to sob? Does she want to stand barefoot on the earth and howl at the sky? Can you honour her wishes? What does it feel like when you act on these wild urges of your soul? What does it feel like when you supress them?
“And then there are the cravings.. Oh, la! A woman may crave to be near water, or be belly down, her face in the earth, smelling the wild smell. She might have to drive into the wind. She may have to plant something, pull things out of the ground or put them into the ground. She may have to knead and bake, rapt in dough up to her elbows. She may have to trek into the hills, leaping from rock to rock trying out her voice against the mountain. She may need hours of starry nights where the stars are like face powder spilt on a black marble floor. She may feel she will die if she doesn’t dance naked in a thunderstorm, sit in perfect silence, return home ink-stained, paint-stained, tear-stained, moon-stained.” - Clarissa Pinkola Estés
We find ourselves in a situation where the hustle and bustle of busy modern life has gone, roads are quieter, shopping has changed from an act of pleasure to a practicality and societal structures of timetables and commuting to work are dissolving - we have an opportunity to turn our attention once again to the wild, the wild within us and the wild around us. When something feels precious we savour it, we cherish it and protect it. A walk that we may have taken a hundred times before, now feels sacred as it's that one precious bit of time each day where we can go out - perhaps we've already noticed how much more present we are on our walks now. Have we noticed things we've never noticed before? Do we savour each smile and friendly hello from strangers because it now too feels like a precious moment of connection and interaction whereas maybe previously we didn't even notice them? Too caught up in our thoughts, or maybe even on our phone? A lovely practice to integrate into this time is to create a nature journal, each time you go for a walk, even if it's the same walk, the same route each time, can you pay attention to the tiny details of each day? You'll start to notice that each day is different, each plant has changed, the weather is different, you yourself are different. Gather things from your walk and stick them in your journal, or maybe even sketch or paint the things you've seen on your walk when you get home. Allow nature to move through you, to touch all the corners of your wild soul and awaken a part of you that has been dorment. Allow this connection to the wild to bathe you in a feeling of gratitude.
“We’re not just losing the wild world. We’re forgetting it. We’re no longer noticing it. We’ve lost the habit of looking and seeing and listening and hearing. We’re beginning to think it’s not really our business. We’re beginning to act as if it’s not there any more.” - Simon Barnes, Rewild Yourself
- Write down the word SENSUAL in your journal and spend some time sitting with that word. How does it make you feel? Does it make you feel uncomfortable? Inspired? Alive? Create a word map around this word, trying not to overthink it.
- After your word map, ask yourself, when do you feel sensual? What experiences in life are sensual? Could everything be sensual? Is there any shame around this word? If so, can you trace back where that shame has come from?
- How could you be in your body more?
- What is your relationship to your body? How could you begin to view your body as an expression of the divine feminine?
- Do you ask yourself how does it look more often than you ask how does it feel?
- What in you right now is longing to be expressed?
- What truths are you holding back from speaking?
- Write down the word WILD and like we did with the word Sensual - spend some time sitting with that word. How does it make you feel? Does it make you feel uncomfortable? Inspired? Alive? Create a word map around this word, trying not to overthink it. you might also like to create a vision board based around this word.
Self Care Rituals for Taurus
Taurus invites us to be fully in our bodies and awaken all our senses. It's an incredibly sensual and affectionate sign. How can you be in your body more? Dance, move, give yourself a massage, run an aromatherapy bath, go for a walk, place your bare feet on the ground and get present. Here is an Earth playlist for you if you just want to move and dance intuitively:
AROMATHERAPY FOR TAURUS
With all that is going on right now and being bombarded with so much information it's so important to have time where we're moving from head to heart, where we can feel present and grounded and connected. Use this combination of essential oils either in a diffuser, a body oil or in the bath to help you come back into your body, drop into your heart and connect to mother earth:
INDULGE THE SENSES BODY OIL
Taureans love to experience life to it's fullest, they love to stop and smell the roses. This body oil is a real indulgence of the senses.
25ml of base oil of your choice
Jasmine 2 drops
Ylang Ylang 3 drops
Rose 1 drop
Vanilla 2 drops
Sandalwood 2 drops
Add dried rose petals for extra magic
As we've mentioned, Taurus loves to experience life through the senses and is associated with the throat chakra which is all about creative expression. What creative projects could you do that are tactile or more embodied? Perhaps you could play with clay or salt dough, there are lots of great recipes online for creating your own modeling clay. Maybe your soul wants you to have your hands in the earth, planting seeds and creating a joyful garden. Maybe you'd like to learn chanting or drumming? There are so many people offering free events online at the moment like ecstatic dance or drumming circles. Now is the time to open yourself up to new experiences.
We really hope you've enjoyed this blog post, wishing you a blessed New Moon in Taurus. Those of you joining us tonight for our online sister circle, we can't wait!
Dear ones, we are heading into a powerful, super full moon in Libra this Wednesday. We have already had an intense few days over the weekend, with the Jupiter and Pluto conjunction on Saturday night, creating a powerful portal for change and the cleansing of certain Karmic patterns to do with oppression and fear. We find ourselves at the start of a new month and are officially welcoming in the season of Spring as we continue to see more and more signs of nature returning, green shoots and buds bursting forth signalling new beginnings and hope, days are lengthening and the sound of birdsong grows louder with each day. Yet, as per our previous blog, we continue to stay in lockdown as the Coronavirus continues to take hold of our planet. Now more than ever, is a time to come together as one, united by our experiences and hopes for a better future, and this is what this Full Moon is all about.
For this full moon we will have the sun in the fire sign of Aries and the moon in the air sign of Libra. If Aries is all about our relationship to self, then Libra is all about balancing this by looking at our relationships with others. It's about balancing our own needs with the needs of others, and learning to give and receive in equal measure. Libras are always seeking for balance and harmony and are the peacekeepers of the Zodiac. This can sometimes be at personal cost as they often put their own needs and wishes at the bottom of the list and can get into the habit of denying themselves pleasure. This full moon teaches us how to balance the fierce, independent and self assured energy of Aries with Libra's wish for peace and harmony with others. It's an opportunity for us to see how much of our energy is spent people pleasing - you may need some more Aries devil may care attitude, or if you spend too much energy caught up in yourself - add in some of Libra's air qualities of connection, harmony and communication. Libra teaches us that we are all interconnected in a web of humanity, everything we do affects others and the actions of others also have an effect on us, this is being illuminated not just by the glow of the full moon but also by our current situation. Now more than ever we can see the impact that our actions have on the rest of the world, just by staying at home, we can protect people from getting sick and in some cases dying. Choosing to post positive things on social media might help someone take their first smile that day and feel a sense of comfort and relief whereby choosing to constantly post negativity might trigger someone to have an anxiety attack or to be living in a state of paranoia. Libra invites us to ask ourselves - how are my actions affecting others?
During the New Moon in Aries, we looked at our Solar Plexus Chakra and the theme of empowerment - we asked ourselves whether we felt disempowered, empowered or whether we were being overpowering. How could we start to balance this solar plexus work with the heart chakra associated with Libra? How can we stay connected to our core truths and values whilst at the same time be open and loving? Can you notice any patterns whereby you might move away from your own values and beliefs in order to give to others? How does it feel when you do that? Does it leave you feeling energised or depleted? Likewise, can you notice any patterns of stubbornly holding onto our beliefs and values whilst moving away from the heart space? How does that feel? How does that affect our relationships? Again, what we are looking for here is balance. The ability to see things through the eyes of others whilst at the same time remaining true to ourselves. The ability to give love whilst having the self love and self respect to receive love when it's being offered.
KEY THEMES FOR LIBRA: Love, Beauty, Fairness, Equality, Harmony, Peace, Partnerships, Communication
Full Moon Journaling
The full moon is the peak of the cycle, think of it like the season of Summer and what comes after the full moon is the waning energy similar to Autumn, a time to release and let go. We teach working with the lunar cycle a little differently, we wait until the waning moon to do all our releasing and forgiving practices and instead use the full moon to embody your new moon intentions. It's a time to enjoy the fruits of your labour, much like in Summer and it's a time to use the full moon energy in a way that suits you. Most people are affected by the full moon by not being able to sleep, having excess or slightly agitated energy so it's nice to dance, shake it off, do yoga, write, create, paint or connect with friends. It's also a time to shine light on your experiences of the last two weeks and reflect on what you've learned, what needs to continue forward and what needs to change? It's also a time to shine lunar light on your shadows and work with the opposing signs to help you get clarity. Here are some journaling prompts to work with:
- One of Libras key themes is BALANCE - do you feel in balance at the moment? What would make you feel more balanced?
- Another key theme for Libra is HARMONY - this was also a theme for the Aries New Moon when we looked at our Solar Plexus. Do you feel in Harmony at the moment? Do you feel in harmony with yourself and do you feel in harmony with others?
- What is your relationship to pleasure at the moment? Do you feel guilty about enjoying yourself?
- Place your hands on your heart, take a few deep breaths and ask yourself how your heart feels today? Do you feel open or closed hearted?
- What are your fears at the moment? Where in your body do you feel these fears?
- Are your needs being met in regards to your relationships?
- Write a list of things that bring you pleasure and joy? What makes your heart sing?
Libra's ruling planet is Venus, the planet of Love, Beauty, Abundance and Pleasure. There is a lot of shame wrapped up in women experiencing pleasure and enjoyment.
Do you always feel like you have to justify yourself when you do something that is just for the sheer joy of it? Do you find yourself saying things like "I've worked so hard this week I deserve this long soak in the tub."? When you finally have some time off, do you feel guilty and so instead of doing the things you actually want to do you end up doing things that feel useful or productive? These themes might be playing out even more in our current situation as we are being forced to slow down and stay in, we might long to sit and read for a few hours, or just sit and be in the garden but this little voice demanding that we be productive all the time is there gnawing away in the background. That constant need to be productive is a masculine quality and needs to be balanced out. In the book Rise Sister Rise by Rebecca Campbell, she talks about the shift she made from corporate life to working for herself and how before she knew it, she had got caught up in that masculine approach to working. She talks about the difference between working from a place of pressure or pleasure:
"When you make pleasure your driving force, the doing is a joy and the outcome is irrelevant. When you make pressure your driving force, the doing is a stress and the outcome is always changing. It is irrelevant what you are doing, what is relevant is the undercurrent of emotion that is driving it. You can change your entire life, but if you don't update the system nothing will really change." - Rise Sister Rise
Do you operate from a place of pressure or pleasure? Think deeply about the driving force behind your actions.
Connecting to the Goddesses Venus and Aphrodite will help you to tune into these divine feminine energies of pleasure and the understanding that pleasure, joy and love are you birthright not just treats that are released after a certain amount of productivity. When we allow ourselves to let go and enjoy ourselves, we arrive in a place of happiness and contentment, we are then more open to loving others and receiving their love in turn. We live in a state of flow, ease and grace. When we deny ourselves love, happiness and pleasure it's then so easy to begrudge others who seem to be enjoying themselves, our mind can then be overtaken with jealousy and bitterness. This repression can then cause problems with our ability to create as our relationship to pleasure is linked to our Sacral Chakra and therefore our womb space.
"The womb is not a place to store fear and pain. The womb is a place to create and give birth to life." - Rebecca Campbell
Libra Self Care
Libra rules the lower back, hips, kidneys and bladder so be gentle on these parts of the body as the moon journeys through Libra. Drink plenty of water and lay off the caffeine. Using springtime herbs such as nettle and Dandelion can help to gently cleanse the kidneys but its important you drink plenty of water at the same time. A yoga practice to help release the lower back and hips will not only aid in any muscular tension in these areas but will also help to release old emotions that have been stored here - perfect for the full moon when emotions are heightened and brought to the surface. You could also work with crystals to support and balance the Sacral chakra such as Carnelian and red jasper as well as working with crystals to support the heart chakra such as rose quartz, emerald and green aventurine.
Tune into Libra's balancing and harmonizing energies with essential oils of Geranium - for balance, Bergamot - for harmony and Rose - for love. These are beautiful together and make a gorgeous bath recipe or body oil. Rose is often the symbol for both Venus and the Divine Feminine so why not treat yourself to a bunch of roses to decorate the home.
Rose Moon Water
On the night of the full moon grab a bowl or a glass to place your moon water in. Pour in some water (filtered if you can) and place in some rose quartz crystals and some rose petals and 1 drop of rose essential oil. Leave under the full moonlight overnight. In the morning, remove the crystals and rose petals and pour your moon infused water into a spray bottle and add a little bit of alcohol or rose toner to the bottle (this will just help to preserve it). Mist yourself with the your rose moon water whenever you need to re-connect to your heart. Store in a cool, dark environment. You could also add in flower essences to this mist also and any additional essential oils that you feel called to use.
Full moon blessings to you all dear sisters! Don't forget you can join us for our live Full Moon Circle via Zoom when you sign up to either our $10 or $20 a month Patreon tier. Full details: www.patreon.com/sistersofthemoon
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