Sweetwood Temenos Celebration of Beltaine
We moved the Sweetwood Temenos Celebration of Beltaine from the weekend of Beltaine to a time in May when the weather was more likely to be fair in the Kickapoo River valley region. The lilac and many other plants were still in bloom and it sure looked like Beltaine.
The circle was prepared, all groomed and decorated. There was a bed of straw made for the Goddess and God that was decorated with flowers. The old ribbons were taken of the Maypole. The Maypole was removed from its ward in the south and placed in the woods.
20 good folk, 15 adults and 5 children showed up to celebrate the reunion of love between the Sun God and Moon Goddess. She who is full of renewed fertility and wisdom and he full of renewed virility and understanding.
The celebration recognized our ancestors’ ancient way of looking upon the great lights of the sky as expressions of the younger Deities, children of the Earth and Sky Gods. Sweetwood’s Beltaine celebration recognizes the on going Myth of the Sacred Marriage of the Younger Deities for the Age of Aquarius. This was a sacred marriage enated at the beginning of Sweetwood Temenos that enshrined a new peace between the matrilineal and patrilineal ways and establishing a new way of peace between women and men and harmony with in the community of humanity.
Sweetwood Temenos has a two-year ritual cycle, one year the Sun Goddess and Moon God preside over the year and the next year the Sun God and Moon Goddess. This two-year cycle is a continuing renewal and remembering of the Peace marriage of the Aquarian younger Deities.
The Sweetwood Beltaine celebrated the values for which the peace marriage stands for, Deep Friendship, Self Knowledge, Positive Sexuality, Attunement with Nature, and Religious Pluralism and a belief in immanent Divinity. With Beltaine’s emphasis on the goodness of sensuality, youthfulness, Eros and renewal of the cycle of life, the value of positive sexuality was celebrated as a reinforcing factor of our community’s values and as goodness in of itself.
The Sweetwood ritual reenacted symbolically the sacred marriage of the Gods upon their return from the summer land and being renewed, fertile and virile once again. Mythically Sweetwood envisions Spring as a physical manifestation and expression of this seasonal act of sacred matting and renewal of vows.
In the ritual the assembled good folk built the bed for the sacred marriage of Gods. The Bed represented the community and all that was good in the community and blessings were offered by the good folk by placing flowers on the bed. Then the men and women separated with the men going off to the woods to bring back the Sun God with them in the form of the phallic maypole. The women blessed the Lunar disc and tired ribbons upon the Lunar disc each with more blessings. The men went to the Maypole in the woods and anointed the pole and gave blessings upon it. There were 4 satyrs who show up and took part in the anointing of the maypole. Both the women and men’s blessings honored the goodness of being women and men, femaleness and maleness and their sexuality.
The women called the men back to the circle with joyous shouts and laughter and the men came. In the circle the women placed the lunar disc upon the maypole with joy and laughter and the men with glee lifted the maypole and placed it into the ground. All grab a ribbon and chanted with much enthusiasm and laughter as we wove the love and did the cosmic dance of the Moon Goddess and Sun God.
After the union of the Goddess and God was woven with a rainbow of ribbons, symbolizing heaven upon earth, the good folk of Sweetwood’s ritual celebration of Beltaine shared water and then the circle was opened for feasting.
Due to the threat of rain we moved to the Sweetwood’s picnic shelter where a fire was built and there was drumming, eating and pleasant conversation or in other words we ate drank and made merry in the sight of the Gods. Whole batches of morel mushrooms were picked and fried up for the good folk who attended the Sweetwood Beltaine celebration. The children had a good time hunting morels and eating them too! The last of the good folk left at 10:30 pm. under starry spring night skies.
I as the last of the good folk went to the circle with one torch lit walked into the lovely circle and up to the altar and gave thanks to the Goddess and God, the Divine Community, the Wee folk and the life, both plant and animal, of Sweetwood. Today was a blessed event, Thank You, Thank You, Thank You I shouted and it echoed through the valley below.