By the first week in May, in Colorado, we are awaiting the return of the hummingbirds, the redwing blackbirds and the mating robin couples. Or this is what we tell ourselves. Deep under our layers of clothing and winter wonderland weariness, we are awaiting another voice, another calling.
We want to scratch our backs on supple aspen trees just like the grumpy awakening bears. We want to shed fur and skin and old habits from the months of snow. We begin listening for something mysterious on the wind. We have almost forgotten how sweet the sound of pan-pipes are as they whisper to us from the forest and fields.
We can't stop yawning. We want to play hookey from responsibilities. We feel drawn to contact old sweethearts. We want to throw all our clothes off on bluesky Spring Days. We put up the hammock, drag out the lawnchairs and hang our laundry on the clothesline. We almost faint at the pure clean smell of it in the sun.
After a fierce winter and great deal of praying for Spring we almost can't believe our luck! The return of the Sacred Masculine at Beltaine, the old European celebration of May Day, is like welcoming a long-lost lover back into our arms. This is the Priest of Spring. The sweet youthful urgency of this energy makes itself present in the rising sap, the snow-swollen rivers and our own heightened sense of anticipation.
HE IS PAN, THE LIFE-FORCE AND THE FORCE OF LIFE! Ignore Him at your own peril. His call will be heard, or Pan-ic will occur!
He is also a reminder of our own inner relationship to the Sacred Masculine within ourselves. Whether we are women or men, we cannot help but be drawn to His joyous delight in simply BE-ing. He shows us that nothing is lost--we can always reclaim the Spirit of Youth--If we choose to. Robustness and wild, wonderful expectations are absolutely age-free.
Women can become maidens again. Men can feel their boyhood returning. Believing is Seeing! We can allow ourselves to be caught up in the sound of His compelling music, the irresistable call of Pandemonium--literally, "the Music of the god Pan!" We begin to embody, with All of our human bodies, His gratitude for existence, His sense of playfulness, his willingness to be gob-smacked with delight, and his glowing, healthy sensuality.
He is health: the health of our fearless curiosity, our unself-conscious appreciation of our own Creature-ness.
THE CEREMONIAL WELCOMING OF BELTAINE ENVISIONING
On May 1, as the members of the Earth Wisdom Mystery School celebrated the Bringing in of the May, we practiced an ancient Scrying tradition of our forebearers, the European and Celtic shamans. It is well-known, in our Medicine-ways, that this lunar celebration is also an opportunity to GO BETWEEN THE WORLDS. For European and Northern Tradition shamans, this is a fire celebration which enhances sacred Vision and expands perception so that we might beckon particular guidance on our spiritual paths--both for ourselves and for the healing of others.
Instead of making a traditional wicker offering for the Fires of Beltaine, we designed a Wicker Envisioning Sphere which had first appeared in some of our nighttime dreams. We followed the Sacred Dream-Fabricating Ritual of many indigenous shamanic journeyers and created a spiritual contraption which we had co-created, first in DreamTime undertakings. That is, we had dreamed the parts of the structure together, through individual, conscious dream narratives. We agreed that this Wicker Man Sphere, as it named itself, was a symbol of the search for the Sacred Masculine and our desire to go Between the Worlds on that quest. Our entrance to the Sacred was through the Sphere. Inside this magical sphere we would be able to "Scry," or seek Visionary and Intuitive Awareness.
Within this small circumference created of woven willow, fabric, twine, vines and leaves we set the ancestral crystal ball from my maternal lineage and various totems and invested objects to ground us in our developing Conduction skills and intentions. We placed the Sphere next to a small, secluded stream at my riverside retreat, WiseAcre. Through the Sphere we were able to conduct the guidance of Allies, Ancestors and Nature Spirits or
Divas and Wights.
As we knelt just inside the opening of the Sphere, we were enveloped in a small, quiet sanctuary in the middle of Nature. Even though the woven wicker sides were not solid, their enfolding curves held each Querant, or Re-Questor in a microcosmic, sacred space. Here we entered through the portal, transiting from Ordinary Reality, and the noisy celebration around us, to Other Worlds and Realms of the Guides and Ancestors. As it grew darker, a lantern inside the sphere suffused the circle with an orb of flickering light.
Gazing "strange-eyed" into the Circle-Within-A-Circle of the antique crystal ball, each Questor was able to Conduct, or draw shamanic impressions and direct Ally and Spirit Guidance from the experience. Four of the Mystery School interns reported similar "images which slowly appeared in a deep part of my mind," while another reported seeing a silhouette in the crystal ball which revealed itself as "my past and future Wise Self."
Through my scrying, and as the Shamanic Officiant for the May Day ritual, I was made aware of a very ancient Naming Ceremony. I saw in my peripheral vision, and through the crystal ball, some of the rites of the ceremony through which the original source of the sacred name by which I know myself, was revealed. I had not made a specific request for guidance. Rather, I opened myself up to the experiment of using this dream-designed shamanic divining process, and whatever might come through or from it.
Our Rites of Spring brought us ever closer to the Shamanic practitioner's goal of the embodiment of the Sacred Marriage, the conjunctio of harmony and balance between the Sacred Inner Masculine and Inner Feminine, Above and Below, Without and Within, Past Life and Present Incarnation, Physical Body and Subtle Body.
This recognition of harmony is also the celebration of the outer, Natural bond and courtship dance being enacted, through the cycles of the seasons, between the Earth Mother in all her Goddess Forms and Her maturing Sacred Child, maturing Apprentice and future Consort, THE GREEN MAN.