Beltane; the Celtic and pagan fire festival of 1st May, otherwise known as May Day. This ancient festival occurs at the peak of spring, as summer begins. The themes are earth, fire, and fertility - everything in nature is abundant with life, vitality and energy. This time is about conception and potential; time to manifest ideas and dreams, taking action.
So where are we now? Nearing a hopeful (sceptical?) end to the pandemic within our shores. We have been locked down on and off, and restricted entirely for over a year. We have spent more time alone than ever before. We have become used to not seeing faces or interpreting the facial expressions of strangers. We have become accustomed to translated bemasked mumbling speech. We have socialised within confined bubbles. We have lost the instinct to hug and to touch. We are no longer used to the speed and noise of our prior lives. And yet restrictions lift. Places are busy. People invade our space. Traffic and crowds are loud. Queuing is long, intense, achy, and cold. Shops are bright. The rowdy pace of life is back, but everything takes longer. Invitations and expectations are back on.
When better to do this, than at a turn in the wheel of the year? There's so much symbolism held within it, and nature has so much to teach us. I'm going to balance one of my least favourite topics (COVID) with one of my favourite topics (plants), inspired by my walk today. Trees don't come out of winter suddenly. They don't get news of a temperature rise or light increase and suddenly pop up new branches, leaves, flowers and fruit. It's a process. As the weather and seasons change, trees cautiously start reaching out with new branches. Once the branches are out, leaf buds form, and then - cautiously - out come the leaves. Once the leaves have established and matured, and generated some energy, come buds, then flowers, then fruit. So maybe it's ok for us to emerge from the winter of our pandemic restrictions in a similar manner. Cautiously. One bit at a time. In an order which best prepares us for the changes to come, and allows us to build on our strengths. And just as the tree responds to a sudden change in temperature, slowing its progress, we are allowed to respond to a sudden change in our mood, slowing our own progress of re-emerging from isolation. Beltane is here, celebrating the growth and vitality of nature - but not all of nature has even begun to display its potential. That doesn't make the festival any less important or powerful.
So give yourself permission. Permission to take it slowly. Permission to say no. Permission to postpone meetings and plans. Permission to rest. Permission to make sure your needs are met. Permission to change your mind. Permission to take it slowly. Permission to find it difficult. Permission to not meet even your own expectations. Permission to get it wrong. Permission to learn; you've not done this before. None of us have.
Focus instead, on your ideas, your hopes, your dreams. What is it you want to manifest? Allow the energy of the season to stir within you, and ask yourself what intention can you have which will lead you there, one step at a time.
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Author - Zoe Copeland, MFHT
With a background in education, sports coaching and mental health, Zoe began to explore more holistic avenues of helping people with a particular focus on where the mind and body meet. Zoe began her bodywork training in Sports Massage and has since studied other massage theories and techniques, as well as Reiki, to provide a holistic approach to each treatment. With specific training in women's health, trauma and scars, she has developed an intuitive practice which leaves you feeling a positive change in your body and mind after every appointment.