Do you need a Maypole at Beltane? I don’t think so.
Do you need any tool to do something witchy? No.
Do you need to be with other people to do magick? Not really.
At least, that’s what I think. I think magick and celebration is inherent, a part of our DNA, a part of being a human. Ritual is in everything, from the way we wake up to the way we drive to certain places.
It might not be impressive or full of sweaty screaming, but all of these little moments where we remember what works for us, what brings us into our lives is also magick.
No matter what time I’m in, I can return to ritual. Without bells and whistles. Without remembering the words to a certain song or drumming the exact rhythm to fit the song.
Beltane isn’t about the pole in the center. It isn’t even about what it meant to you in the past. It can be what it means for you, just as you are now.
The Dance of Life and Joy
I can tell you from experience that cutting 80 maypole ribbons is a pleasure and pain. Trying to figure out how to measure the length in relation to the pole height is something I remember, but also sometimes miscalculate.
My process has always been to measure one length across the longest stretch of my house. I put down masking tape at both ends so I can easily run ribbons back and forth at the right length.
Again and again. Fighting with cats the whole time.
It takes a long time, this magick of preparation. It takes finding a place that has the right width and length and colors of ribbon. It takes remembering that I need a little extra because one of those ribbons is going to be cut short in the middle of the spool.
I need to take my time with this. And once I get into the flow, I remember the dances of before.
But I don’t need those ribbons. I don’t need to be so darn precise. The magick still works. We could still dance. We could still blend energy together. Even on our own. Even online.
For me, it’s about the dance. For me, it’s about the weaving of energies. It’s about what we each have created. What we bring into the expanding light and strength of the sun.
What have you brought to this day of celebration?
What have you gathered and known?
What have you birthed into being?
What about the wildness of your heart?
Remembering the Wild at Beltane
While I think of the pandemic and how it has sometimes felt like the wild is far away, I also think of the wildness inside. The part of me that is not touched or tempted by outside judgments. It knows what is true for me.
It knows of liberation.
Beltane is also a time of fertile ground, of fertile thought and action. It recognizes my value, my memory, and my resilience.
I wander into the dance of my heart where there is hope.
Always hope. For me. For the Earth. For the space between what I am and what I am becoming.
What Do You Weave and What Has been Woven?
So, if you find yourself away from a Maypole and missing the brightly colored ribbons that flap in the wind, I invite you to dance anyway. Dance into your wildness, into your liberation.
Move the places of stuckness and freedom.
Dance into your disappointment and into your desire.
Shake your head and your fingers and toes, noticing the new ways you experience the air wherever you are.
I was recently in a class that reminded me that those who die get to experience perspective. Now, your mileage may vary with this, but this rings true for me too. In this life right now, we often don’t have an experience of knowing what our true impact has been.
How we have touched the lives of others. How we have changed the course of our own life in marvelous ways.
Move with that possibility that you have already created something new. You have placed a new ribbon into the dance, one that has been necessary for your becoming. One that has been vital for your community.
One that has held your heart the way it needs and needed to be held.
Recognize the colors of your wildness, your truth, and your presence. Feel into those sensations and images and hold them close.
Like a song only you can sing.
Like a lover who knows every curve.
Like a dance you can only dance.