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May Day Is The Great Day

May Day Is The Great Day April 30, 2018

Freya, Artwork by Kris Waldherr

Spring Goddesses

Love of life, a lust for life, is beautifully symbolized by Spring/Fertility Deities all over the world. Unsurprisingly, most of them are women.
What did the Spring Deities do for the folks who celebrated and worked with and studied with them?
There are LOTS of answers to this question but I’ve got three favorites:

  • Story: moral tales and lessons. Telling a story about a fertility God or Goddess changes emotion and belief so much more effectively than saying “Be proud of how you look” or “You don’t need to be ashamed of your sexuality”
  • Practicing Presence: Acknowledging the changing of the seasons, tuning in to the world around you. being present to what is true now and what could be. a sense of companionship when all human companions are absent.
  • Community connections: coming together for feast days and rituals that strengthen the bonds of community.

Finding your Spring Deity

Vesna: Art courtesy of JankaLart on etsy

So, who is your lust-for-life deity? What stories can give you insight and what practices can give you self awareness, agency, and build community

Bone Forest Moon

I use the structure of “Moon/Forest/Bone” to define my relationship with the sacred.

  • Bone: What images of the divine, what stories and mysteries and lessons, what beliefs and practices have been (or SHOULD have been) passed down to me through my tribe, ancestors, and family?
  • Forest: What does the place where I am ask of me? Knowing that holyness and divinity often comes from direct experience of a place, what has relating to the divine looked like in this place in the past?
  • Moon: What universal human truths and experiences are available to me to work with? What is the cosmic view in which the earth is a blue marble floating in space and the scientific view that seeks to find ways to describe and relate to reality that hold up across many experimenters, many experience-ers.
XAL20046 Spring, maiden gathering flowers, from the villa of Varano in Stabiae, c.15 BC-60 AD (fresco)

I can tell you about my Spring Deities. I invite you to find who or what might be yours.

Bone

This includes the deities my father’s Slovak mother would have known if she hadn’t been brought to the U.S. so young. Vesna for the first breaking of Spring and Lada for the fertility, love and warmth of Summer. There are also the deities of my mother’s French/Gaulish and Scottish ancestors and my father’s English ancestors. Artio from Gaul, Celtic Olwen, and depending on which historical period of the British Isles you want to focus on, Freya from the Anglo-Saxons or Flora from the Romans. your heritage might lead you to Oshun: The Yoruba Orisha of rivers and beauty and sensuality, Or Ishtar from the ancient near east and Sumeria, Kono-Hana-Sakuya-Hime from the far east. or Atabey, the Taino Goddess from the Caribbean.
Heritage isnt the only place to seek for symbol and sacred meaning, you can also open your awareness to the here and now.

Forest

Gaulish Muri Statuette: Artio

I live in the green Willamette valley at the confluence of two great rivers. Spring begins with flowers in March and by May we have planted our gardens and are cleaning up from the muddy month of April. My deities of place are Mount Hood, known as Wy’east, the Willamette river, and the hazelnut trees. Take a moment to reflect on the sacred places and things right here.

Then you can also seek among the Universal.These images of the most holy will resonate across place and time and culture.

 

Moon

Kano-Hana-Sakuya-Hime

The cycle of the earth around the sun, the tilt of the earth, the changes of the temperature and day length… All these things are experienced by human beings in all parts of the planet. The experience of falling in love, of birth, of losing and regaining health are all experiences shared by human beings everywhere. My deities of the cosmos are Love, Birth, and Joy. They are the Sun and Heat and Fire. You might share some of mine or have a few others that especially resonate for you.

—————-
Reverend Amy invites you to find your own spiritual direction through a relationship with the sacred in the domain of Bone, Forest or Moon.

About Amy Beltaine
Rev. Amy Beltaine is the sole proprietor of Listen to HeartSong: Inviting you to conspire with divine love to trust and live your HeartSong. As a Spiritual Director Reverend Amy accompanies those who are navigating personal and social transformations, over Skype and in person. She also travels to congregations and communities west of the Rockies offering workshops and Sunday services on topics ranging from "Compost Communion" to "Inanna Journey" to "Sacred Fool". Amy served as the President of the board of CUUPS continental from 2014-2017. Learn more at http://listentoheartsong.org. You can read more about the author here.
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