May, 2012

Merry Meet!!

May, 2012

Merry Meet Readers,  This issue of PaganPages is brought to you by:

We have a wonderful issue for you this month with some great new columns!

The Celtic Craft

Song of the Ancients

Perspectives on the Male Divine

Lavender’s Corner

An Astrology Report for May

and…

a Book Review on Spells for Self-Improvement


Feel free to leave us your comments and opinions on our articles.

You can also contact us at [email protected]

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Little Heathen Girl on the Hill

May, 2012

for Dawn

The following verse developed from a daydream.  I imagined that just for a few minutes I was allowed to go back in time to pre-Christian Europe.  I found myself on a hill on a lovely blue afternoon.  There was an elm tree on the hill, and under it a little girl with two thick blonde pigtails was threading flower-bracelets.  I asked her what she knew about the world, about life and death and the Gods.  She answered me in a sort of sing-song, as if reciting a lesson learned (no doubt) from the local priest, and this is something like what she told me:

A Pagan Credo:

1

The Sun is my Father,

The Earth is my Mother,

The Moon is her mirror

The Planets are his other wives –

They are barren.  Only my Mother is fertile!

The blue sky is the Sun’s meadow,

Where we all live.

The night is a great dark forest

Surrounding our meadow on every side.

The stars are other meadows in the forest far away.

2

When I die, I shall sink down into my Mother’s womb

To rest and grow young again,

In the arms of my dear dead,

In the lodge of the Old Ones.

When the cycles come round

I shall fly up to the Moon, Mother’s mirror.

And when it is full of bright young spirits,

Down we shall fall in the blessed rain.

3

The black earth will drink us,

The trees drink us too.

The fields will sprout herbs,

The trees will drop fruit.

On Walpurgis-night, or Midsummer’s Eve,

I’ll wait in the apple,

I’ll watch in the parsley.

Robin or Marian will happen along,

Spy me, pluck me, gulp me down!

Two by two into the thickets they go,

Loving all night in the Mother’s soft gaze.

Nine months later I’ll open my eyes

And weep as they tie up my navel-string.

4

Thus life after life we tread the round,

School and holidays, until we grow wise.

When we grow up, then they’ll give us real work:

For the Gods need our help, though they don’t tell us why.

Then, at the end, she put her head on one side, looked up at me and said, “Poor man!  Don’t you know anything at all?”

Then I vanished.

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HearthBeats: Notes from a Kitchen Witch

May, 2012

Milestones: rituals for life’s moments

MM and welcome to my kitchen. Come in, sit down and grab a cuppa something yummy while we chat. This month I would like to talk about milestones of life. These are the moments in your life that make a huge difference as well as some that are smaller but equally important. We all know the big ones; marriage, birth, death, but what about coming of age? What about Croning? These and some others are important as well.

I am sharing some ritual ideas and plans for some of the life rituals that I have been involved in.

First as I see it is the birth rite. When your child is first born, or about to be born. Having a ritual that will ask the goddess of birth and motherhood to come in and watch over you and your child during this time. Creating a sacred space for your birthing to happen. Many of us will set up a circle, calling the element to bring the energies so that the baby will be exposed to them firsthand. Call of God and Goddess to be present at the birth and to guide and protect during the birth. This is a personal event and can only be written and enacted by the parents and the High priest or priestess involved.

Second would be the naming ritual. This is when you would present your child to the circle and to the Goddess and God in a formal setting, placing the guidance for the future with the deity of your choice. You would Name your child in front of the God and Goddess and elements you would start by bring all involved to the space. Casting circle, calling you elements and deities as well as your ancestors. Then picking up your child you would introduce that child to each element, deity and ancestor and then to each person in the circle. At this time you would expect each element, deity, ancestor and person in the circle to “gift” your child with a blessings or gift that will assist in its growing up.

Third as I see it is the coming of age ritual. This ritual would happen around age 13, when a female begins her cycle and male would start growing facial hair. These are signs that there bodies are maturing and they would have been (in the past) considered adults. This is when the child is introduced as an “adult” to the elements. This ritual is when you may want to give your child elements that could be incorporated into their altars. Wooden Athame, flameless candles for the quarters, I went to the craft store and found figurines that could be used to represent each of the elements and God and Goddess. Or you could talk to a pagan friendly potter and have them shape representation for you. If your child has been raised in the craft then they will know how to honor their Altar. You may just need to guide them a bit.

Fourth on my list would be birthday rituals.. Every year we are alive is a blessing (of at least I hope you feel that way) and should be celebrated by reaffirming you beliefs and desires. This can be as simple as a birthday candle wish or as elaborate as a full blow ritual that you re-assert your commitment to your Deities.

Now I know some may think that I have the line up a little off as I am listing Marriage or Handfasting as less important than birth . Well times are changing and many women are choosing to have children but never to marry. Or same sex couples who either don’t marry or cannot yet by law marry are still having children. So in my order of important marriage is a bit down the list. This does not mean that I hold them any less sacred. I have been married to the same man for over 20 years. But many do not feel that traditional marriage is the way to go. Handfasting seems to be the ritual of choice. This entails casting your circle but leaving a door cut in it. Invite all the guests to enter and be welcome and then guide the groom in. circle him clockwise into the circle and stand him at the altar. When ready the bride enters in circle and is also walked clockwise into the circle placing her in front of the groom. Then close the circle. I personally do not ask who gives the bride away as I do not consider her property to give away. But if this is a choice of the bride then this is where that should happen. The official (HP or HPS) would bind their left hands together and allow then to speak either prepared vows or vows they have chosen. I have then guided them around the circle, introducing them as man and wife to each of the elements and Deities. Asking guidance for their energy to be separate but join together thus strengthening them. Then walk them again introducing them as man and wife to all the guests and then allowing them one last walk around the circle to the doorway (at this time people could be throwing flower petals or blowing bubbles until they leave through the door cut in the circle), the guests can follow out and then as they go forth the official and then thank the elements and Deities.

Sixth I would say is the Aging ritual or the croning rite. This is to celebrate that we have found a new phase of our lives. We are no longer maidens, youth that are running round fertilizing and propagating the earth. And we are no longer the Mothers (fathers), chasing kids and teaching them how to be good people. We are now the crones; the wise ones who have hopefully learn a wealth of information and can now help guide our children and their children in being a force of good in our world. Help guide the changes to heal rather than harm. This is a more personal ritual that is between you and your Deities or with your coven (group) and you and Deities.

Lastly would be the passing on ritual. The ritual that we would use to guide our loved one on to whatever afterlife we may believe in. and to raise energy to heal the damaged hearts of the living. In this ritual we, as the family of the dead, would cast circle, asking each element to watch over our loved on and guide them into the resting place. We would call whatever deity we may have used or that the dead used, and ask that Deity to light the way so that our loved one would not stray or become lost. Lastly we may ask our ancestors to make a place among them for a much beloved member of the family and to help them to transition and to add their wisdom to the mix. After we would ask each person to remember the loved one with a good memory, because that loved one will never truly be gone.. Only harder to reach. And as long as we keep them in our hearts we will never lose them at all.

Now most if not all of these rituals are causes for celebration. Even a death can be celebrated as a life well lived and a soul who is now able to visit with God and Goddess. I wish there to be a big beach BBQ as my “wake” I want to crying, just laughter and memories of how I may have touched their lives.. joyful that I am now moving on to my turn on the wheel.. and that I may yet see them in another form.

That being said, celebrate. Have a big happy party, enjoy life in it many many phases. Share happiness and love and live connected.

Thank you for coming and checking my kitchen out.

Blessed Hearth and Home

The Hearthkeeper

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InterWeavings

May, 2012

May is all about Joy!

So far we have looked at the first four of our year of values. January’s simplicity, February’s love, March’s order and April’s Faith moves us into May’s joy!

Joy can seem very superficial but to feel deep contentment and grounding is joy at the core of our being. Do you sometimes feel guilty for being happy when so much heartache surrounds us? It is easy to join in the chorus of “woe is me” when everyone around us is complaining. And with the terrible economy and job losses there are serious issues facing us and those we know.

Fear is quick to steal joy. So is negativity of any kind. If we believe in the rede of Harm None, doesn’t that include harm to ourselves? I think so. I also believe that thoughts held in mind produce after their kind. I can choose how to interpret the life I lead day to day.

I have to force myself to refrain from reading the political and financial news these days.  I feel strongly about this country and the upholding of the constitution. It is what gives us the freedom to express our beliefs openly in our daily round as well as in publications such as this.  I believe in being not only a good steward to our Mother Gaia but also a good steward of our finances. There is doom and gloom everywhere! We are at a point where our family is prepared physically and financially to thrive. I do not want my joy stolen from me each time I listen to the news or read an article. I have done everything possible to be a good parent and partner and I choose to walk each day in peace and joy!

May reminds me that there is a larger world of spirit that envelops us all. Beltane is perfect for celebrating the incredible life force rising!  Joy just bursting out all over!

Shopping for food with springs abundance showing is wonderful.

Cooking with fresh vegetables is a must now that the farmer’s markets are starting. Just eat dandelions and sweet violets in a salad. Our yard is filled with wild food! Planting gardens of vegetables and flowers with dirt under our nails connects us further.

To remind us of that energy an altar outside is lovely. A touchstone visually as you approach your home. It can be as simple as smooth river stones stacked on a window ledge with a teacup filled with violets. An altar could be a grouping of flowering plants with sacred symbols drawn on their pots or a bench on a porch with candles, flowers and little figures of baby animals. It is a way of leaving the world behind us as we enter the sacred space of our home. Joy fills this place.  It is also a reminder of peace as we leave our sanctuary for the day

Spend the month of May finding joy in the minutia the day. You will be a joy to others and feel it returned three-fold.

Blessed Be.

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Book Review: Spells for Self-improvement

May, 2012

Spells for Self-improvement   Using Magic for Personal Success

by  Lauren White

©  2000    Andrews McMeel Publishing

ISBN:  0-7407-0552-0

102 pages

Hardcover                        $9.95 (U.S.)

As you would rightly expect upon seeing this book for the first time (it is about 5 inches square), it is extremely basic and written with tongue firmly planted in cheek.  For all of that, there is still a certain amount of wisdom contained within the amusing writing.  Basics are provided in terms of color uses and some flowers and herbs, and the reader is reminded that witchCRAFT is just that – a craft – and takes patience and practice to perfect.

Regular readers of my reviews know that I have often bemoaned the preponderance of “101” books on the market.  Well, this is not a “101” book – it is a “pre-101” book.  It is capable of being used even by children, in some instances.  It gives a very broad overview of the sorts of things which anyone can do to improve  their life, as is indicated in the subtitle “Using Magic for Personal Success.”

The spells are all very short and simple yet, based on years of experience, they should be fairly effective.  Of course the one disadvantage of this book, because of the size of it, is that there is minimal explanation of the reasoning behind the spells.  The correspondences of the items chosen are explained in extremely basic terms, but that is a good thing, as far too many authors go into great depths and thus confuse their readers.

Each spell provides a level of difficulty, length of time for results, and reliability (all rated from one to three).  While I wouldn’t use this particular system, it works for the author, and it should work for the user.

For the experienced practitioner, this book is unnecessary.  For the individual hoping to learn what makes magic work, it is not helpful.  But for the person looking for some quick inspiration and guidance, it is quite valuable.  Browse through it and simply enjoy what is offered.

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Meditation Moment

May, 2012

A Sacred Union

Beltaine is a time of pleasure, joy, and sacred sexuality.  It is the marriage and consummation of the Goddess and the God according to Wiccan and some other Pagan mythologies.  This meditation seeks to unite the God and Goddess within you.

You need a quiet comfortable space, uninterrupted time, and possibly something to write with and on.  You may choose to have someone read this to you, or to record your own voice reading it with appropriate pauses so that you can meditate with your eyes closed.

Imagine you are lying in a hammock strung up between two palm trees on a Caribbean beach.  Sunlight sparkles on the turquoise water as the waves sing you to sleep.  A balmy breeze keeps you cool as you rock back and forth, back and forth, loving life, rocking back and forth, relaxing, relaxing, relaxed.

There is a tidal pool nearby, and you feel drawn to it.  You kneel beside the pool and look over the edge, expecting to see all sorts of colorful sea life.  Instead, you see that the bottom of the pool is black obsidian.  The pool forms a mirror, reflecting the darkest parts of yourself back at you, distorted by the waters of emotion.

Even the darkest parts of you are beautiful.  In the brilliant sunlight, on the beautiful, peaceful, healing beach, you can see yourself through the eyes of unconditional love.  You are looking into the eyes of the Goddess.  You are looking into the eyes of the God.  And Both are smiling back at you with total loving acceptance.

Looking into your own Divine eyes, you realize that what you sometimes see as a flaw is actually just a part of your wholeness.  The thoughts, behaviors, memories, emotions, and habits that upset or embarass you are all still a part of you.  You have denied them, repressed them, and turned them into your sacred Shadow.

Now you have the opportunity to embrace the darkest part of yourself and bring it into the light.  You have the power to transform those fears, doubts, and pains into new passions, adventures, and joys.

If you are ready, look into your eyes and promise to honor and cherish all of your Self.  Promise to love and take care of yourself in sickness and in health, for richer or poorer, for better or for worse, as long as this lifetime shall last.  Kiss your reflection if you feel moved to do so.  Perhaps you’d like to bathe in this sacred pool, or in the waves that beckon a few yards away.

If you are not ready to make that much commitment, ask your Self, or the Divine, what steps you can take in your day to day life to help you on your path to loving yourself and making your life the best one so far.  Listen, watch, feel.

When you are done, find your way back to your hammock.  Watch the brilliant oranges, reds, and yellows of the rejuvenating sunset over the violets, blues, and greens of the living water as you rock back and forth, back and forth, loving life as you rock back and forth, back to your body, relaxing, relaxing, opening your eyes.

Welcome back!

Now you might want to have a drink or a snack.  Perhaps consummate your new relationship with yourself?  All acts of love and pleasure…

Blessed Beltaine, Happy Mother’s Day, and make it a fantastic month!

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Hally’s Hints

May, 2012

The Picture of Your True Self

The only black and white that exists is within the conscious interpretation. Outside of this the essence of the right from wrong and the equality of karma is all about balance; harmony.

What goes up must come down but this does not make it black or white. Magic, spiritualism, and everything in between is not defined by colour but rather, by intention. What may seem one thing on the surface does not necessarily define the colour; intention of the energetic self. Consider the analogy of a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

When being true to oneself the sheep is the sheep internally and externally. The wolf is internal as well as external. It provides connection and power; unity and most of all balance. The wolf then is not coming from a place of evil or bad and the lamb is no longer vulnerable and gullible. It is then that the balance of strength and weakness to create synergy between the two within the one.

When there is imbalance and loss of connection to self it is then that the two opposites become forced to create a pseudo balance. Naturally at some point this conflict will amplify the obvious requirement for organic harmony to occur.

This can occur through various forms of pain until the individual actions this imbalance. However, when this is suppressed or ignored it is common for the negative, unresourceful strategy to surface. Over a time this then becomes fundamental to that individual seeming that this strategy is the natural balance however, this insatiable unhappiness, yearning and even a level of pain and loneliness never dissipates. This is reflective of this imbalance.

Another way to view this is that the true self is not necessarily the same as the energetic self. When they are it creates a stronger energetic vibration and the auric layers increase in intensity. When the two are separate, or rather disconnected what someone looks like on the surface, often referred to as physically, may not necessarily be the same as what they look like energetically.

The added benefit of being aligned and true to oneself is that it provides the ability to resonate and connect to others that of the same vibration. These commonly will be more comfortable and as such, they too can be viewed in their energetic, pure form.

What this means on a greater scale is that it is connecting to the collective and ultimately source. It is the natural and intended evolution on the path to fulfilling the individual purpose. This is compounded through the connection to benefit from the fulfillment when it is gained.

It is said that no one individual can make a difference and whilst in essence this may hold validity it however, is not completely accurate. It all starts from a simple place… aligning and to be one with Self. This will allow for true connection to the collective, empowerment and fulfillment with the individual and overall purpose. It is the evolution of the energetic being. The balance of alignment will affect and be for the benefit of the greater good.

The picture of one’s true self is reflective of their energetic self. Without this there is no balance… consider it a picture that is out of focus.

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Path to the Holy Guardian Angel

May, 2012

I figured I would share with you some thoughts that crossed my mind as I phase into the 2nd month of my ceremony to obtain the Holy Guardian Angel and some key things that may help you out. I found the Ingredients of the ceremony are in your dedication to the Divine right, acknowledge the Divine, work to know yourself, never become a egocentric person, and take the blame for your mistakes because you manifest realities through your actions. These just scratch the surface of what I have learned.

I have found that dedication to the Holy Guardian Angel is the hardest thing to do do in this ceremony

sometimes, but do to the fact you kind of miss the regular functioning mundane life outside of paying

bills. I found the practitioner has to keep themselves as pure as they can for the ceremony, spiritually

and physically. To yearn for the Holy Guardian Angel is to take care of business to keep yourself to

going every to prepare for the ceremony. There are days where I just pray for 15 minutes a day and

those 15 minutes are specifically designed in admiration to the HGA (Holy Guardian Angel). I have felt

the smile from my HGA even with a simple prayer for them, but I only did it twice. This is the method

that Abram von Worms used in the Abramelin.

DO NOT ONLY ACKNOWLEDGE THE HGA! Apply the dedication to the deities you have faith in as

well. If it was not for the Divine your HGA would cease to exist. You most definitely have to work on

yourself through the workings of the gods. The whole point to even do this ceremony is to realize how

small you are in this world compared to the Universe and to humble yourself before All men, but do not

bow to a man. The power of the universe is contagious and overwhelming for the mind. So if you are

not puzzled in your journey during this ceremony, then you have not yet attained the true meaning of

the ceremony. The whole ceremony is a rite to adsorb in the Macrprosopus into the Microprosopus. If

you do not feel like a fool at the end of the Ceremony then consider it a failure, you saw what you

wanted to see, not what the Divine wanted you to see.

The EGO is a killer for any ceremony. I was watching the Paris Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn

video with a group of men doing the LBRP and it was awful; these men were not in sink, recorded it

on video to show how good they were (in my opinion), and I did not feel the energy. It was the worst

version of the LBRP I have seen on video I think because of some of the men fluctuating the ego. The

ceremony you do not want to fluctuate the Ego in is the ceremony to attain the HGA, it kills the purity

and demeans the purpose of finding the Higher-self. This is a crying shame when you see magicians,

pagans, and mystics fall in to the trap of being caught in the Egocentric world. There is no point to even

yearn or call for the HGA when you are going to be completely ruled by the ego.

I think the most important of all the items listed is to always take responsibility for your mistakes and

ask for guidance to not make the same mistakes over. Normally when I realize my flaws and work to

perfect them, amazingly enough, the other three paragraphs above are expressed properly: You have

shown your dedication to find your HGA, You naturally call forth the divine, and you kill the ego when

you work on the flaws. This this is the most vital of all the listed items. No one can determine your life

other then you. NO one is to blame for who you are then YOU! Take the responsibility for your actions

and improve them. I am not saying be a saint or goody goody; I am saying work to build yourself up

like a Crystal Tower. Always work to get back to your True SELF. The whole point of this whole

ceremony is to earn your true nature back, many people forget about this fact of attaining the HGA. I

find this task of taking responsibility the hardest one to do honestly.

Within the first month this is what I have learned from this experience. I will keep driving forward to

help all of your when you need it to make me a better person. All I can do is offer you advice of the

do’s and do not’s  that worked for me. I hope all of you gained some sort of insight of something about

yourself, if not I hope you find better lessons then what I can post.

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Plastic Paths: The Astral Travel Chronicles

May, 2012

The Dry Spell Continues

Several months ago my parents invited my brother, husband, and I to dinner and announced over dessert that they were combining years of holiday and birthday presents into one spectacular gift: they were taking all of us on a cruise to the Caribbean! There was a collective thud as three jaws hit the dining room table. And so, during the middle of December, my mom, dad, brother, husband, and I set sail from snowy Colorado to warm tropical islands.

Even though I’m an Aries I’ve always had a great fondness for water. Spending 7 days on the ocean made my heart flutter in delight and during the trip I spent many hours floating and swimming in the ocean and in the pools on the boat. But what I looked forward to most about the cruise was sleeping with the patio door open and listening to the sounds of sea as I slept, being lulled by the boat’s rocking. I fantasized that such an experience would end my astral traveling dry spell and ignite powerful, life altering experiences!

Nope.

Everyone I spoke with on the cruise confirmed this was the rockiest boat ride they had ever been on, and while my husband and I weren’t prone to motion sickness, this ride got the better of us. After three days of being thrown around hallways, buffet lines, and stairwells, he and I were both about to heave. My grayish-green complexion and I went to the onboard store where a perky brunette seemed way too happy to inform me that they had run out of Dramamine and any other motion sickness cure they normally carried.

“But we’ve only been at sea for three days,” I said, struggling to keep breakfast down.

“Yep!” she proclaimed with a smile. I went to poke her in the eye for being so upbeat while I was miserable but the ship lurched and I stumbled into a rack of souvenir t-shirts instead.

My brother is a certified hypnotist so I called him and asked if we could hypnotize the motion sickness away. He met me in my stateroom and hypnotized me into feeling better. During the session he also told my mind to remove any stress or worries before he counted me awake. I don’t really talk to him about my problems so at the time I wondered why he decided to throw that last bit in there, or if it was just standard procedure for a hypnosis session.

For the past six months or so I’ve been sleeping about three or four hours a night, wide awake for the rest of the day. That night, with the patio door open and the sounds of nighttime ocean singing a gentle song, I slept a deep sleep for nine hours. The sickness was gone, the anxiety attacks were gone, and I felt rejuvenated all day.

Every night after that repeated the same pattern. I was (and am) a bit disappointed that I never left my body and the dry spell is still in full force. But I haven’t had a panic attack since being hypnotized (which had been a daily occurrence) and I’ve been sleeping six to eight hours a night. The outer world can really shake me up, twist me around, and send me reeling off the path I want to be on. I feel like a “reset” button has been pushed from somewhere inside which has given me a chance to course correct.

I miss astral traveling very much and when I ask that quiet inner voice of truth when I’ll start up again the answer seems obvious yet insightful, gentle and full of love. “Not just yet.”

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Rayne’s Ritual Way

May, 2012

Making Your Beltane

I’m going to do something a little different for this month. Because Beltane is so close to a lot of us, it’s all about releasing that creative fire! Which is why I’m not going to be doing a set ritual this article, instead I’m going to give you, my readers, all the tools necessary, to create, preform, and celebrate this lovely Sabbat.

A lot of the lore around this time of the year involves sex, Beltane being one of my personal favorite Sabbats what you would find around this time of the year normally includes, bright colors, bonfires, balefires, maypoles couples jumping the Beltane fire, and fire divination…to name a few.

So let’s look at some of the symbolic/magical meaning behind some of these things.

1)      The maypole has been seen as a traditional Beltane ritual rite for a very long time. Basically as the people dance around the pole they weave ribbon down its length. The hole that the pole is placed in is usually seen as the Goddess’s womb, the pole representing the phallic. To me, the weaving of the coveners represents the beautiful, renewing union between the Goddess, and God.

2)      Jumping the Beltane fire is something I’ve personally done on Beltane every year since I started practicing. For me it means an ending to a certain aspect of my life, and the beginning of something new. A lot of divination work can be done with the Beltane fire. Really get your creative energies flowing with this Sabbat, and a jump over the Beltane fire can be a great way to start.

3)      I’ve always thought to release something you burn it. Beltane is a great time to make a medicine bag, a poppet, or simply a cheese cloth filled with herbs/trinkets/bones or whatever you want. You charge the bag with intention, to bring or banish something from your life, and throw it into the Beltane fire.

Spells around this time would include things such as, renewal, changing, divination, it’s a great time to start a new witchy practice! And if you can get your hands on it, snakeskin is GREAT for banishing. I like to do spells for self-healing around this time. And if you have one, you and your partner could even explore some tantric magic.

Whatever you choose to do this Beltane, make sure it’s safe, that your fire is watched and that you enjoy yourself! Close your eyes, feel the heat of the fire, think about the Goddess and God’s passion as they make love and bring in the fire of the year.

**I hope everyone has a Blessed Beltane!**

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