Sunday, May 19, 2013

birds, flowers and art-Beltane 2013

we are so blessed.
this season especially fills my heart with deep gratitude.
beauty surrounds us.
this life is a great work of art.
Elizabeth's irises and the gnome
birds love our land. they feast and nest and survey from the tops of our branching fences.
patting a stunned hummingbird on the deck, noticing its gentle warmth
and the color change of its feathers.
I get to sing to it.
We sit with it until it flies, first to the hyacinths in the sun and then away.
the cycle of flowers unfolds like petals.
and then get knocked down by the wind.
full blown  raindrops
  this particular May has been superb, complete and total.
Days now long and past bedtime,
it is daylight way too early to actually get up.
this post has been a whole month in crafting spending so much time in the vibrant present
that is the May.
It is way to long and should be many posts but that is the summer.
maypole dance jester
the only way to keep up is to roll.
Summer, full on summer. DO it now.
Notes from the month are below in backwards chronological order beginning with now
and going to then:

it all started with the May, like an exhale, and passing through to the green pastures beyond.
Maybe it was that big full moon
as we approached this May that sent us through to the summer dimension
yellow moon 
Our first need fire was started on Bryan’s birthday. Perfect bright sun has been a theme.
phantom flame spark of sunlight 
The smoke in sunlight mimics flame as if calling the real fire which comes in a gentle flash  and then suddenly ablaze with spirit.
And then contained though strong, even doused with protective water so we could leave and fete Bryan and come back to its warmth which burnt all night and came back to life in the morning.
night embers
then we tried to ignite the central
directional fire circles
but they were not ready to flame
though the sun was strong
sunlight spot magnify light
then there was the fire during ritual in the nemeton in the bilé in the cauldron.
It takes more that just the light and the magnifier, it takes intent and patience.
magnifing glasscalling the light

sacred fire
then finally, after ritual proper, after dancing and undancing the maypole, after snacking and eating, after friends left and before friends arrived, Bryan carried the embers from the cauldron from the nemeton to the center fire circles. thinking it would not carry to flame he walked away, turning back to catch the smoking branches quickly turn to fire- large giant fire.
central fire flaming central fire flaming1
central fire guysBryan and fire friends
fire 3fire 4
fire 5
quick kid was able to take rapid-fire shots before it burned down as quickly as it started.
central fire
then again taking embers and lighting each of the directional fires.
Keeping the flame alive and moving.
First all smolder unsure if to take flight
and then like the flower emergent from bud
the east and west fires burst to life.
they burn almost away when, as if on cue,
the south and north fires ignite.
getting ember
fire in the eastfire in the south
fire in the west
all fires smoldering  east and west ablaze fire in the north & south        

And finally all fires burned down, sun setting, food eaten and dishes washed,
more folks come to gather, to sit by the fire,  dark but still warm
dancing the Maypole
maypole dancewomen and hands dance
maypole dance unwind   

our ritual sacrifice
purification offerings
orienting to the earth
the eastoffering to the south sacrifice       the north   center heat
what is hard to remember is everything.
pictures as recreation or creation of themselves.
this green always seems as if it was.
       center                    the waters water reflection and light 
it must have all been from the need fire and the tending of the fires, the venerance of the flame.
the focused beam of sunlight and patience. focusing energy as one and crafting intent.
sunlight spotmagnify light
maybe it was the flowers.
IMG_3752  IMG_3748IMG_3759
I can’t remember if we first saw the Baltimore oriole just before or after ritual but by now we see them everywhere. Bugs are constant. Frogs, turtles, and bunnies are around.
Nature is noisy 24/7 now.
barely leafing
trees that were just budding then are now
full leafed and dark green.
they sway gentle and inviting
in this heat after the frost after the heat after the frost that has been this month.
from the photos I remember

that we had to raise the maypole twice (because the Hawthorne crown flopped to the side ensnaring the ribbons).
and the day grew warmish and warmisher.
maypole crown 
lifting lifting2 lifting3 lifting4lifting5 lifting6
erect   beam me up beam me up2  hands & feet
the fires, all started from the sun,
were special and kind and startling in their balance of strength and containment.
   center flameworld
Now it is mid-May and their is earth under my fingers and it is hot. Everything is super green. And everything needs more water even though it just rained two days ago.
the Hawthorne finally blooms
flowering hawthorne
Beltane is summer, or the doorway to summer. We pass through from Spring and the beginnings of flowering trees scenting the air and with a languid blink it is summer.
It smells like summer outside, air heavy with soon to rain and plants stretching hourly. Flowers are now crowded by taller plants. Thunder rumbles loud and ominous.
You cannot see the forest for the trees.
witchhazel in the woods
We got the Maypole up the morning of ritual
with a crown of hawthorn cut to clear
the Jersey City I-Beam bridge to the woods then just beginning to leaf with moss still
sun dappled.
        attaching the hawthorne crown 2  weaving hawthorne crown
attaching the hawthorne crown                 me & pole        
Now, once again, it is as if there was never gaps in the trees, lone branches and neighbors' houses visible. Always this greenness, this growing and blooming, this behindness in the garden and weeds to pull. Rapidly moving cycles
Our Beltane ritual was simple and gentle and beautiful and lasted days. Flowers everywhere.
First it was the 1st and then by Bryan’s birthday  we started building fires and assembling sacrifice. The Maypole came down from the stone wall and the hole was uncovered.
maypole hole
Flowers ringed the house with color and fragrance. The distraction of days; keeping prep at a minimum. Ease and gentle opening. Wandering as gardening, languid meals in the sun. The need fire. Focusing the light to flame.
first fire
first flame flame spirit flame spirit2 flame spirit3 flame spirit4flame spirit6
flame spirit7 
second fire attempt
focused light
center pyre
to be fire
fire rekindled
      sweet smoke tending fires     
today it rains, a summer’s rain.
the cat insists on being outside and everywhere is green and lush. Flowers are in constant bloom and will be until Samhain.
We have arrived.
dogwood blossom
The May is a season more than it is a month.
apple blossom
We start the May with buds beginning and our long perfect spring of cool weather and rain.
cherry blossom IMG_3758IMG_3751IMG_3744
       dancing cherry trees
omens from ritual:
from the Ancestors-Ehwaz, the horse and the rider, what gets you where you are going, the vehicle partnership
from the Spirits of Nature & Place-Gibor, giving and the giver, recipricocity and sharing
from the Gods & Goddesses-Berkanu, birch, beginnings, birth
for the season-Othala, sacred enclosure, what is set apart and protected and held safe
shaft of light & pole
heat phantoms