I realize that on some levels it’s utterly absurd, given how many view Beltaine, that someone who is basically an aromantic asexual albeit initiated Wiccan is going to dish out some advice on how to handle Beltaine this year. Possibly insane. But I’m going to plow forth with what I hope is some practical wisdom and good ideas, because I know some of us are starving for that right now.
First of all, fertility is more than just heteronormativity and baby-making
Yes, I blogged about this before. It bears repeating. Yes, we’re all stuck in our homes and some are stuck without their respective mates or potential for that as a result of the self-isolation/”quarantine” as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our planet continues to go on, nature around us makes its way towards green lushness, and provided any of us are able to go outside even for a few minutes we can see that.
It’s that very green lushness, the growing of crops, the fertilizing of fields, that life continues. We can feed ourselves. Our families and loved ones can be fed. We can eat, and the world around us can go on living.
There’s a lot of chaos right now. Perhaps some peace, a sense of stillness and serenity can be achieved by meditating on nature and the bounty it yields us.
It too is sacred.
Beltaine is more than just Beltaine, and I will argue this until my dying breath
There are a myriad of traditions, tales, and traditions surrounding this time of year. You don’t need to have physical intimacy in order to honor this sabbat. Sure, for many traditions it helps. And yes, there’s a sacredness to honoring the joy we can experience with one another.
But there’s magic too, in this and in other things. There’s the magic of the green growing things, the magic that is magic, and the magic that comes from the otherworld.
These things too are good.
You don’t need an excuse to mourn intimacy, you are human and this is okay
There is too much that we’re missing right now. Our friends, our family, our loved ones. And sometimes those video chats and phone calls just aren’t enough.
It’s okay to mourn this. It’s okay to not feel okay.
I suspect that many will project how we feel about this onto the holiday of Beltaine this year, and it’s totally understandable. Your feelings are valid, and you need to honor them. But it’s also good to examine where they come from too, and honor that as well. Beltaine is just highlighting for you how you’re feeling right now about world events and how they are impacting your relationships, and that’s completely okay.
How would one actually do Beltaine by themselves?
Picture yourself in a lush, growing wood. You are surrounded by nature. Plants are reaching their peak growth. The air is fresh and warm. The sun is radiant. You can hear the air in the trees as the branches casually sway in the breeze, leaves well formed on their branches. A gentle stream nearby can be heard, water flowing on fertile earth.
Light a candle. Say a prayer. Honor the beauty of the growing season, honor the beauty of the earth. Honor that fertility as well as that of humankind.
We’re all sacred.
How would one do Beltaine online, via Zoom or some other online chat?
Perhaps a guided meditation similar to above, along with other guidelines I’ve given for doing online ritual. Talk among your group and figure out what would hit the right chord with everyone. Consider the background of your own tradition. What stories and appropriate words could be said this year? How shall we take what we have been given to us? What perspective should we have upon this day? How does it fit with our own body of traditions and lore?
There are many ways in which this particular sabbat can be honored. Maybe one approach is to actually sit (virtually, obviously) and talk among yourselves as to what this holiday means to you. And not just to you, but to your specific tradition.
I bet you’ll find new ways to appreciate this holiday, even if you’re not typically a fan of it (like me, ha). And in embracing others’ words, we can embrace this holiday this year and all it can bring to us.
Happy Beltaine! May it bring to you whatever you need most at this time.