A Beltane teaching: A lover’s embrace of life

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Right now, in the heat of Beltane, the wild realm is expressing itself so loudly and so boldly that we just need to step beyond our doorstep to receive its direct, powerful truth-speak: life is our ardent lover.

How can we doubt this in the light of life’s wondrous love offerings: the hot kiss of sunshine on bare skin; dawn’s glorious chorus of birdsong; a meadow blanket of wildflowers; the soft, sweet bite of a fresh-picked strawberry; the bubbling laughter of a toddling child; and the electric stroke of a lover’s touch?

Our relationship with life is not monogamous; we share life’s ardor with all growing things of this Earth. At Beltane, life comes courting, gathering every one of us into its lover’s embrace. Sex and birth are everywhere — delicious, unstoppable, untameable — as plants, flowers, birds, bees and creatures, great and small, mingle, mate and burst forth new life in a stunning, overflowing brilliance.

These wild impulses run hot in our blood, no matter our attempts to block or deny them. We soften and open with the sensual tease of the strengthening sun. We delight in the enticing scents of unfurling buds of plant and flower. The primal juice of the creature realm sings to our creature flesh, awakening our feral instincts to make love and make life. And deeper still, life’s lover powers stir the mysteries in the core of our being, igniting our hunger to birth and nurture the latent desires of our soul.

Yet so much toxic debris blocks our lover’s dance with life. The shadow-side of our humanity represses, denies and distorts these powerful energies. Nowhere is humanity more profoundly wounded than in our sensual, sexual, soulful life-creating-life drives.

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Nature guides us always, even in the face of this terrible, damaging aspect of our personal stories and collective humanity. For everything there is a season: a time to seek our truth and healing in the winter-like grasp of our sorrow and pain, and a time to cast off the hard, cold grip of our shadow side and bask in the light and beauty of new growth and possibilities.

Of all of life’s magnificent love offerings, the most miraculous is the gift of our Self. Every breath is a gift from life, as are the wonders of our spirit, mind and body. And with these precious gifts, we get to choose what we make with what we’ve been given.

Life is not a doting, ever-benevolent lover. Everything in the growing world has its seasons through death and darkness, and life and light. We are no different.

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New life emerges from stagnation and death. What is deep and best in us arises out of our wounding and loss. Sometimes we have to hold on to these truths in the thick of our pain and sorrow. Sometimes we have to trust that the new that we long for is the true and best balm to what ails us. Sometimes, if only for a sun-bright season, we have to leave our hurt behind and give all we’ve got to tend and blossom into the life we most dearly want to live. We can choose to dig deep, shine bright and make the most with what we’ve been given.

In these ways, we become the lover that returns life’s embrace.

Excerpt from: The Path of She Book of Sabbats: A Journey of Soul Across the Seasons. To find out more, visit The Path Store. © SheBard Media Inc. 2015

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