Goddess Temple Newsletter
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Beltane is here ! As the great wheel turns, we enter the time of Rhiannon, Goddess of Love. Look: Her mark ; The Temple decked in luscious red and delicate blossoms in the hedgerows of the Isle of Avalon. Bluebell carpets under the liquid green of beech and hawthorn, all Her Nature is a fragrant, fresh celebration. The great star filled night sky of Beltane eve is Her presence as Mystery, helping us to find stillness in the opening of our being, and connection gazing into the eyes of the star beings, reflected in the eyes of loved ones.
Beltane, when we stop to feel the great wheel of the universe spinning and know we are a part, so that we may bless this dance of life free in our own, and each other’s body, welcoming Her in.
Tender cloudless sky, shot through with exuberant sky-dancing swifts and swallows, inviting joy and courage in their wild flight of passionate co-operation: an inspiration to living ‘love-in-action’.
These magical birds of Rhiannon arriving back on these shores at spring time, like Her songbirds that bring healing and beauty, teach the spreading of our wings beyond the perceived boundaries of people and nations, while honouring our interconnection, as felt in the touch of Her boundless sky that embraces us all.
Feel the fire of the sun awakening the inner flame of passion, Her touch igniting the true light of our intention and commitment, while the warm breeze carries the sung vibrations of love. Skylark, black bird and song thrush sing for their mates, melting resistance and resentment in our being, as we too may welcome our beloved into our arms and celebrate the great gifts of Love and Life that She manifests in us all.
And we hold the hands of our loved ones, our friends, community, as we dance in joy and gratitude to life, weaving our ribbons of connection, around the Maypole and onto the land.
The green land blossomed in beauty as She rides into our sensual landscape, asking for the opening of the hidden places of our hearts, that lack or loss, like winter, may have held shut and impoverished for so long. Feel Her flow: She is soft and fierce, flowing in blood, soft tears and raindrops, in all the sweet juices of love and in the waters of life. She gifts pleasure, freedom and consciousness, ecstatic wisdom, sacred sexuality, presence and surrender, a deep homecoming to the sacred source within our body. She cleanses away pain and shame, Her gentle presence dissolving old negative beliefs that have had such strong grip on us. In Her mythology, Rhiannon is intelligent, politically strategic, kind and famed for her beauty, honesty, wealth and generosity. She chooses Her lovers freely, be they man or God, and as Great Queen embodies sovereignty itself.
She also owns the underworld journey, as Death Mare She rides the beloved dead through the veils of reality, and carries us into and through the crisis of our soul patterns manifesting as woundings-of-love in our life. She may visit our dreams and give voice to our suppressed emotions as Great Night-Mare. Frightening and powerful, She moves us to action, as at last staying small, hidden and frozen stuck is no longer an option worth compromising for.
After all, Her gift of love and the courage it takes to open the heart also brings the gifts of heartbreak and loss; our growing edges tenderly held by Her, even in our darkest loneliest nights of the soul.
For at this time of exuberance and celebration of joyous aliveness, She also comes to reminds us of our responsibility to those who are less fortunate then we are.
Those who are suffering at this time, who have been hurt by war, violence, disease and grief, who have become homeless or had to flee conflict in their lands or families. How do we share the celebration of life and the gifts of love ? What does She ask to manifest through us as Her MotherWorld in action ?
In the Teachings of Rhiannon, responsibility is not a burden reluctantly taken up or an obligation placed upon us that we would rather rebel against; rather it is a freedom we choose.
‘Responsibility’ = our ability to respond.
Respond to Her three questions which guide those who would follow Her ways.
The first question is : “What is real in this now ?”
The second question : “What is needed (including for/in you) ?”
The third question is : ”What would Love do ?”
Simple questions, that are not so simple to live by, but which form a great inquiry to feel Her guidance through.
This Beltane I wish for all who come to Her Temple here and who connect to Rhiannon’s ecstatic energy in the land, to open our heart to these questions. May they help us to bring more of Her presence into the world, to be more of Her Love in Action and to manifest Her radiance in all the small and big ways we can, in all the ways Rhiannon guides us to.
With Beltane Blessings of Love, Katinka Soetens, Priestess of Avalon and of Rhiannon, Priestess of Rhiannon trainings and The Magdalene Mystery School – Herpathoflove.com
Meditation on the Hawthorn at Beltane
by Paul Williment
Walking past a hawthorn hedge I turned to the trees and said, “What can you tell me about the Divine ?” The following day as I walked that way again I noticed that the hawthorn had begun to blossom. The season of Beltane had arrived. The warm May sun adds nothing to the hawthorn. But it does mark the time when the beauty, power and grace contained within the gnarled branches can burst forth in a riot of aromatic flowers, filling the air with their heady, sensuous smell.
Talking to the trees is prayer and the Goddess who dances in and through all creation listens and responds. There are living spirits who hear the sound of my voice, the language of my face and limbs, and smell the scent of my body. They are the birds singing in the branches, the squirrels about their daily lives, the insects taking to the air. These too hear my prayer and add it to their own. The voices of wind and water, of branches swaying in the breeze… all add to this moment of prayer.
Talking to the trees in a wood makes it clear that prayer is heard and that the Goddess wants only our own beauty, power and grace to blossom. People need trees and trees love people. We are often drawn to the very tree that can embrace us and bring us the healing we crave. Trees communicate with each other in complex and beautiful ways, their language a mystery but entirely real. Have you ever felt that you have been gently guided through a wood to find yourself standing in the presence of a tree of great and ancient wisdom?
Lone Hawthorns, gnarled and shaped by the wind often stand as sentinels on the moor. They have long been seen as living spirits with a special magic. People have for ever torn strips of cloth and tied them to the branches and they have poured out their prayer to the articulate landscape.
Every landscape tells its own story and is shot through with dreams that command the attention of our imagination. Our sensuous bodies are the miracle that enable us to experience all this. Yet, as creation bursts into a riot of colour and life and promiscuity I am aware that I can only experience this within the limits of my own bodily senses. I can never experience this in the same way as my intimate partner let alone as a raven, a deer, a butterfly ; as a hawthorn or an oak; even less as an ancient rock that has stood sentinel for over a billion years. The depth of the world is utterly inexhaustible. My every experience of it is constrained by a visible horizon of mystery. Yet I feel no sense of being bound or imprisoned. Indeed, it is the unmapped expanse between things that contains the seeds of allurement. Only Goddess is the whole and experiences the whole.
So I dance to the sun and the power of creation, dance on the earth ; feet naked. I know that this Beltane and throughout the year I will turn to the trees knowing that the beauty, power and grace within us only waits to be unfolded by the touch of the Goddess as the hawthorn blooms unfold in the warmth of the May sun.
Flamekeeper of Brighid