Oidhche Bealtaine

Here it is, an lá Bealtine, and again I feel grossly ill-prepared. It is a strangeness how things, spatial and temporal, become contorted and mixed up. I often think — and it is hardly an original thought — that the world we live in is a direct manifestation of the inward state that we held in the past. Thus it is hardly surprising that my house is a chaos of stuff barely kept in place. That’s how I feel inside: everything spilling around with no balance and barely the impetus or even desire to get it all back in place. The result: major holidays loom, and suddenly I am caught with my proverbial trousers down.

The problem is naturally my attitude; I spend so much time stressing over what is wrong, what needs fixing, and what is therefore transient in my life that I just don’t prepare as I should. I know this, so in this post I change it.

Now.

Tomorrow I am taking the kids up to Goldstream Park since they have fire-pits up there. Properly we should go up before dawn and light our fire as the sun rises, but with electricity as our fire now being drawn directly from the power companies on a daily basis I doubt that the significance would meet the reality. In order to honor the day and the powers, we will go up with our paraphernalia and make our small offerings there. As part of our kit I am preparing some cans that we will convert into little candle-lamps as well — as many as I can muster. I would like to have twelve or at least nine, but I think I’ll have to settle for six.

One thing that bears note as well is that I have noticed that how the day is spent usually has great significance for the coming year. The two high festivals of Samhain and Bealtaine are famously remembered as times of divination: Samhain regarding otherworldly events like deaths and Bealtaine regarding more comfortable events like marriages. In general, my experience has led me to watch carefully how my internal state moves through the day, as that creates a resonance that flows through the coming months. At Samhain it holds for the entire year: if I feel poor and ill-content, then that perception will become a kind of default state over the whole year.

I could struggle with how this could be seen in one way as a prediction for the year and how it could elseways be seen as a kind of Law of Attraction magnified, in other words as though these two high feasts have a special quality about them that makes one’s emotional state that much more significant to what is to come. Both aspects have good potential arguments supporting them, but there is (as always) a third, less straight-forward option: on these days the true nature of reality becomes a little clearer. To put it in the simplest terms, time is not really how we experience it. There is a time out of space and a space out of time, and what we perceive as cause and effect is really an experiential matrix produced by spirit flowing through the prism of physical reality.

Of course, this in itself is not perfectly accurate since it suggests a dichotomy between spirit and physica. The reality is that physical reality is an emanation of spirit, but thinking of them as separate facets helps to grasp the model I’m suggesting.

Tonight, as part of my observances, I lit an offering of incense to the gods and took a reading from my deck. As usually happens, it felt very right setting up, but when I sat down with the prepared cards and began to word my question my mind went blank. In the end I realized that I was ready to take up whatever path I needed to achieve my place in proper relationship with the gods, so voiced this as the following: “I am ready to take my proper place according to the will of the gods. I need to know what the outcome will be from Bealtaine to Samhain setting out on this path readily and openly.”

This was the reading in the Celtic Cross spread as it fell out:

  1. (covers) II: The High Priestess
  2. (crosses) I: The Magician
  3. (above) XVII: The Star
  4. (below) King of Pentacles
  5. (behind) 6 Chalices
  6. (before) King of Wands
  7. (myself) XIV: Temperance [reversed]
  8. (my house) XIII: Death [reversed]
  9. (my self-perception) 7 Swords [reversed]
  10. (the outcome) Knight of Chalices [reversed]

The fact that all four of the attributive cards are reversed tempted me grievously to assume that I had inadvertently flipped the deck after laying the last of the six resultant cards,but I think that there is a warning in here rooted in the inverted Temperance card: a warning to slow down, go with the flow and ease into this process. In the end, I need to stop pushing things and let the gods and ancestors do their work. If I flip that last card, manifesting true temperance rather than the impatience and strife that I have lived by for almost the last decade, then the other cards, particularly that Knight of Chalices, will flip as well.

In any case, there will be a decided transformation in my circumstances, especially as others see me. The other cards are so positive that I take heart in the difficulty implied in the result. It is clear to me that righting Temperance is the key to what is to come.

 

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