Friday Foraging 20: Beltane edition

Blessings of Beltane and the height of Spring to one and all!

It’s been a wee while since I’ve done one of these, so no doubt many excellent articles have been missed, apologies if yours is one of them! But here goes:

Anna Walther at Wildseed Within writes on The Magic of Daily Practice. You may recall I shared another post by Anna about walking the dog as a Pagan practice, and this post shows just how profound such a simple thing can be:

“My entire spiritual practice lately has consisted of walking outside daily with Poe and saying my threshold prayer when I leave the house in the morning. That’s it. It’s not sustainable, but it’s been enough, to remind me that I’m always in relationship with the interdependent web of all existence, and that I’m not responsible for turning the wheel of the year or loving this world alone.”

The ever-enthralling Anima Monday has an Interview with Penny Billington. Penny is a stalwart of the Druid community, a deep thinker, experienced teacher and utter force of nature who I’ve had the great pleasure of chatting to over a cup of tea at Druid Camp:

“A druid is a perpetual student, ready to be constantly surprised, energized and enlightened by the next revelation, which might come from a wise elder, birdsong or a soap commercial. We just have to allow our normally dormant senses to slumber more lightly, so they can easily jolt awake to receive the hints that the sentient world constantly sends us. It’s pure delight! I invite all druids, each time they go for a walk, to say out loud to the enspirited world, ‘May I see wonders.’ And the really wise ones will add the caveat, ‘And may I recognise them when I see them!’ Then just see what many, tiny moments of joy that brings you, and be thankful. It’s a magical world.”

Dana at The Druid’s Garden writes about Embracing Ancestral Fires and Fire-Starting at Beltane. As a fire festival, Beltane is a wonderful time of year to think about the sacredness of fire and pehaps learn some useful fire-lighting skills as well:

“The tiny sparks from my flint and steel shower down on my char cloth. This flint and steel set was a gift from a fellow druid from almost a decade ago, a gift that has long offered me a connection with my ancestors. It takes me a few moments to remember the technique he taught me, striking the steel against the flint in a particular way with a particulary angle to my body. Starting a fire in an ancestral way isn’t just a mental act; its an emboded one…In 30 minutes, the fire is blazing and warm, and I feel intimately connected with it because I was able to start it on my own with basic tools.”

Beith over at Wandering The Woods has an excellent post on Blossoms at Beltane. As a queer person myself, the heteronormative sexuality that is often the focus on Beltane leaves me feeling isolated, yet Beith shows how through something as simple as a May blossom, you can craft a Beltane meditation or ritual that is “inclusive to all, human and non-human, sexual or non-sexual, gay or straight.”:

“What are blossoms? They are the sign that the tree opens itself to the outside world, and it is ready to receive the blessings of the bees. The tree takes part in the creation of honey by feeding the bee with its essence. In return, the bee facilitates communication between different flowers and even different trees. That is a pretty powerful exchange, that can teach us so much on so many levels.”

And finally, The Wild Hunt has a fascinating deep dive into Beltane’s Past in Print, looking at representations of Beltane in print and media from the 19th century to today:

“Here we are. We’re building infrastructure. Paganism and Witchcraft are becoming more mainstream despite discrimination and misinformation. We even have our own news source. There’s no need to find offbeat sources or academics to share the meaning and power of Beltane.”

I hope whatever you did or are doing for Beltane will bring you joy and connection to the living world.

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