Between Two Worlds: Celebrating Beltaine With Hekate

Still snowing here in Wisconsin as I contemplate the Magick of Beltaine, in about 2 weeks. This year I will celebrate Beltaine a bit differently than in past years. In the last couple of years I celebrated Beltaine with a large group over 3 days. This year I will be celebrating Beltaine, on May 1st, with a much smaller group of Witches, facilitated by a favorite young Priestess friend of mine. And Hekate will be there with me.

Photo by the author.

I love the fact that Beltaine is a festival of flowers, fertility, sensuality, and delight. I love that the Maypole ribbons are the colors of the Rainbow spectrum. For me that symbolizes the unity of the Pagan and the LGBTQ community. I love that it celebrates life unfurling. I love that it has beautiful flowers, colorful clothes, and for me this year, the delight of all of these things combined into one Magickal day. A day to dance to the rhythm of our bodies in a sensual way.

But for me, this will be a much more uplifting day. Beltaine will be exactly 2 weeks before I have my gender reassignment surgery. The surgery will be on the New Moon. I normally celebrate both the Dark Moon and the New Moon in my own way, with solitary prayers, and Rituals to Hekate. Giving my thanks to Her for all She has given me. Yes, I will do that on the night before my surgery. I will ask Her to be present at the surgery, overseeing everything.

She is the change, the ally and friend for the next level, the guard, guide, and system. She is of the people. There is no priest/priestess needed to access Her. She is associated with birth, and crossroads. She decided when one age began and another ended, and in that way, She is greater than the gods and the titans. She is also associated with death.

Photo by the author.

Since She has been such a wonderful guide to me, it’s only natural to have Her be involved in my surgery. First, symbolically, there will be a death of sorts. Around the Beltaine fire in olden times, they were meant to symbolically “burn up and destroy all harmful influences.” Many times using a sacrifice. I use this analogy as getting rid of something that doesn’t suit me anymore. With this surgery, I will have the remaining sex part of my biological male body surgically removed. My plastic surgeon, after taking just the “parts” she needs, like the nerve endings, and the rest goes symbolically in the Beltaine fire.

Hekate is also associated with birth. Symbolically, I will be reborn as a woman after my surgeon performs the procedures of penectomy, clitoroplasty, urethoplasty, and bilateral labiaplasty. That is what we call male to female transformation. That too is a crossroads. Liminal, relating to a transitional process, occupying a position at, or on both sides of, a boundary or threshold. I will go into surgery one way, and come out another way. Of course this is a bit different from being a natural born woman, but for me anyway, it gives me what I need physically, mentally and especially emotionally. And I’m very happy to have Hekate there with me.

Beltaine celebrates the height of Spring and the flowering of life. I will treasure this Beltaine with the knowledge that I will be like a spring flower, emerging from the earth, reborn after a cold, dark winter in the Underworld. And Hekate will be the one bringing me into the sunlight, to get reborn. Hail Hekate!!!

So until next time, with Her, I’ll see you…in the future!

Mighty Hekate, Queen of the Witches,
Blessed am I,
To call myself one of Your chosen.

(Above used with permission from Cyndi Brannen..with many thanks and love)

About Brianne Ravenwolf
Brianne Ravenwolf has identified as a Pagan from a very young age. She is an active member of Circle Sanctuary in Wisconsin. She volunteers her time there helping at most Full Moon Rituals, as well as some workshops, Circle events, and Sanctuary work days. At Pagan Spirit Gathering (PSG) last year, she became the first Pagan Transwoman to have the Senioring Rite of Passage. She follows a Hekatean Witchcraft Spiritual Path. To relax, she likes to walk, camp, and hike as much as possible in very rural areas. Brianne is also an avid reader, especially young adult novels. Her latest YA book read was "Belle Dame Sans Merci" by Astrea Taylor. You can read more about the author here.

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