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Bealtaine

Updated: May 6, 2022

Origins of an elixir that will bring us under.


In the Rites of the Sun we turn towards the second half of the year. Hawthorn blossoms bring the world into the drifting scent of sex and death. Holy ones who wear the long robes of Falcon feathers, turn the knives of the season for the dancers to twist along the blade. A dance that brings you to the hedge of night, sweetening desire.


Curving eyes carve out the dark. Irises of fire staring up at the stars. Every year it is the blood that renews the land. The blood, the milk and the honey.


Five Queens spiral in from the dusk, their arms extending up into the air like a chalice. Wild is the wind that runs through the tongues of the land.


The North, the blessing of sacred fire, the hearth, the hunt.

The South, the blessing of sex, poetry, emotion and music

The East, the blessing of bees and honey, belonging, co-operation.

The West, the blessing of storytelling, of knowledge passed down, of illuminating mystery, nurturance, abundance and prosperity.

Ériu, Center, the blessing of the sacred stone, the sovereign mare, the goddess of the land.


It is the breaking of winter, the turning of our other season, when we are kissed by summer. Five directions of Five Queens dance. Tattoos on their wrists and cheekbones gleam the way dragon scales smile at you. They dance circuitous routes through the heat of sex. Through the hunt. Through emotion and poetry. Through the music of Bull hides stretched across the rims of wood wheels. There are flutes, rattles and shakers, long sticks pirouetting across horizons sparking against each other in Sacred intersections of Song.


Our cattle are soft and silky. They are turned out with copper bells, decked in ribbons. Udders blessed with the blossom of Sceach geal. Watery animals of the moon. Our riches. We walk them between two fires. Flame and water meet in an intersection of great transformational power.


We traveled far to come here. Making our way from the sea, to the Hill. We have come a long way. To open a way. A way between.


To open a way. To open a way. To open a way. Five Queens come together from five routes. Through the burnt end of winter. A candle snuffed out. The smoke clears and we can feel the sun. How it holds us all together.


Center plants her feet into the belly of the hill as the four directions become still as stone around her. Sparks fly like bright bees humming. Ériu slowly unpeels her hood, curling back the layers of her shawls.


Her body is made of the Earth, rounded, shapely. She is born of the hills, of the craggy edges. She is sturdy, proud, thighs thick like tree trunks. She comes from the green plains, where the Sacred cattle graze. She is beauty.


She squeezes her full breasts. Hands well worn and sturdy from a life knowing the dirt. Her skin is raw from the Journey. Raw from walking in the briskness of late winter. Raw milk begins to pour from her nipples, running in rivulets down her thighs. Earth opens her mouth to drink from our bright Queen.


Four directions loosen their shawls, garments dropping to their feet. They stand in the wind, naked sparks knowing ecstasy. Dark starlight shining on their skin. Palms extend to receive the moonlight. Heavy, hanging low, they bring their strong capable hands to their breasts and squeeze.


They are the milk givers. The sacred ones.

We sing a slow song. One that is hypnotic.

It swells and flows like breast milk.

Their milk empties onto the earth.


It is my younger sister who is the Blessingway this year. She comes into Land of Women carrying a clay vessel. She walks tenderly, holding the well in the tight circle of her arms, almost as if she does not know how to stand on land.


Her face is a spectrum of light and dark that ripples with pride and fear. A wild choke becomes caught in my throat. A gathering of longing and love that I hold for this being. Her tenderness.


My sister with gentle hands that dance like the waves of the sea. My sister who belongs more to the currents of the ocean than the dirt of this world. A bouquet of longing and love gathers moving out of my body. A night bird shoots out, flying low above her head. Her face lights up with recognition. She knows I am with her.


As I watch her hold this responsibility, I can see the hope and possibility. I can see the drawn lines of worry and sorrow ebbing and flowing from her young face. All of us here who gather for Bealtaine carry those lines. We drew them in the sand as we held Counsel over the future of our people on this land. This would be the year we change into the Land Spirits.


Change is force that cannot be held back by will. Our futures pour out the way rivers spread from your fingertips. Complex lifelines intersect in the alchemy of each Palm.


We have come to different decisions. Some will stay. Some will go. Some will depart to the stars. Some to the place under the hills. Some will open the plain of light. Some will cross into a dreamland. We have that right here. To make our own decisions.


My sister, the Blessingway, honors our passages by blessing the breasts of the queens with primrose, rowan, hawthorn, gorse, hazel, and marsh marigold. She rinses cloth in the fragrant well, pouring cooling the waters over sacred skin. The Queens arch their backs to receive the opening. Water drips like a dream in a cave. Cascading down bellies and thighs. It's a pleasure to rise, to swell, to ebb and to be still.


The Queens now cleansed, speak to the Moon and to the Earth. They speak from the north and the south. The east and the west. Calling in a body of Ritual that holds us together. This body will change us as the Earth does with the turning of the wheel.


We fall silent to listen. Breathing into a stretch of quiet that lasts as long as a plain. A procession of silence that holds a bone in stillness. A silence that bends Time. Then The Queens shake. They shake their hair around their frames. A mantic shaking. They bring forward their wisdom. Bundles of Nine herbs they cast into the fire.


Turning towards each other, they braid their Hands together. Falcons come to land on their shoulders. Night flutters like the breath of birth. Talons grip the bones so tight bright spots of blood dialate in the dark. No cry is heard from the lips of a Queen.

It is our wolves who walk with us that howl in the distance.


It takes to belive, a night to open the gate and sometimes it takes longer. We will live here, in between. For many days. Many nights. For we have many worlds to connect. Tír nAill, the other land, Tír Tairngire, Land of promise/promised land, Tír fo Thuinn, Land under the wave, Tiír na mBeo, land of the living.


These worlds connect to roads that lead us to the Lands, Mag Findargat, the white-silver plain, Mag Argatnél, the silver-cloud plain, Mag Ildathach, the multicolored plain. Mag Cíuin the gentle plain and Emain Ablach, Isle of apples.


All those worlds left maps in the palms of your living hand.


When you feel a gate shift open, Mystery pours through, illuminating the smallest gesture. Ancestors of our ancient dead appear as whirlwinds held together by the faces of cows streaming milky ways through a lunar cycle. Drums strain beating in new rhythms. There is a yearning in the sound.

Shapeshifters, Holy people, People who walk between worlds holding the edges. Spectrums of genders. Horned dancers. They stamp their feet and begin to wind their ways around the Queens.


I admire the antlers that seem to grow from their skulls. Masked in leather strips that hang down their fairy faces, an unwavering intention courses through them as their subtle movements pick up speed.


The Horned dancers open themselves. Loosening in an illumination of song that belongs to streams of poetry pouring from the condensation of energy beating in the heart of Ritual.


I lean in, feeling the dirt in my hands. Feeling change in the land. Watching their human forms blend into the Embodiment of the Land.


In our cycles, a dancer will transform into the eternal, giving their heart to the land. The heart of the dancer is buried in the mouth of the earth. The Earth beats with the heart as blood drips down into the Eye of the Dreamer that lives in the center of the stone. A blue fire fed by the long red river. This has always been our way, even when we did not live on this land, but on land, hot, dry, closer to the sun and full of black stones.


I watch as my sister’s life companion comes forward to be this dance. Pearl is sweat and stardust clung together in a fury. His feet slash and cut through the air. When they land they have become hooves, spraying the dirt with their impact. Pearl’s hair is braided up black rivers. Strung and ringing with tiny bells. Strong music running through the strands. Pollen has marked his face with the signatures of bees entwined into the horns of the stag. He shifts our consciousness as he dances.


Flutes play the song of Hawthorn blossoms meeting the Mae. Shapeshifters crouch low to the ground, gathering energy to spring up like swift wind. They pounce in between space landing back down to Dance the imprints of stars into the earth. Amplifying the possession of the stagking.


I can feel it starting to happen. Co-regulation of our nervous systems. We breath as a Mid Wife does when the contractions of new life become visible in the portal. Five journeys converging into one. A bloodstream that pours life into the body of a ritual. Minds meet at the In- between, A Place of Dreaming. Slipping off our shoulders are the hard decisions, the weary road, the pain of future separations.


In the heart of a ritual, you become a hive of consciousness. Your roles shift, influenced by the brightness of your wild gifts. You become a form guided by the land, by the bigger hands of mystery that weaves all life together. To birth a new way into being.


We join the dance of the Stag, arms flung open, kissing the wild night inside of us. The dark beckons to all who feel the sap rising, the springtime, the nectar, the ecstacy. The coldness of winter’s hibernation melts off. We are of the flames and the wind. The sex of the earth calls to our blood, our knowing. We clasp hands with our future lovers. Night turns to Dawn and the sun rises up like a moan.


Dancers come bringing a crock of golden butter and a crock of dark ointment. The Queens curve through, three stags sway with the weight. They caress the spine of the Queens with the golden fat of butter. They bless the thighs with fat. They bring the crock of dark ointment to the hands. The propolis is applied to the fingertips, massaged into the palms. Working their way up to coat the arms of the Queens. The dark sticky nektar is applied elbow to fingertips and dries the deepest maroon on the skin.


When the Queens raise their arms to the sun, Dawn’s golden rays lick the sweetness.


The five Queens create a gesture of respect, bringing their fingertips to the lips of our Sacred Cauldron. They each crack open a small clay vessel like an egg. To pour a drop of red liquid, bláthdhortadh into the cauldron. The bloom is shedding. Blood of their moon time.


They pour in the sweet fresh waters. Waters gathered from Wells all along the way of the walking. Stirring with their fingers. They stir in An t-ádh dearg. The red luck. Chewing seeds of hawthorn, they spit what was broken open into the belly. Nine sacred branches are lit underneath the cauldron.


The Origin story of the elixir that will bring us under. Taste will remind us. Of when we were made more of the earth than of the veil.


The five directions hum a song the bees taught us when we arrived on this land. The song balances and harmonizes, stretching around the circle of the People. It expands and contracts then takes off with a life of its own. A wild hive of sound.


The fire has reached a good burning place and the Cauldron applies herself to the task of bubbling, steaming, alchemizing the Elixir with fire and water. We make love endlessly as lovers do when time slips through your fingers. Choruses of orgasms feed the land pleasure on downy beds of cowslip.


Much later, When the cauldron cools, the propolis will be reapplied to the arms of the Queens who each have brought a Whole hive, a sacrifice of bees, honey and pollen. They will have followed the chanting of long prophecies to a place in time where the medicine is fed well. They will lower five hives in the Belly of the Cauldron. Stirring with their fingers. They will spit again.


A gesture of renewal and respect to the Multifaceted ways Hawthorn holds the Heartbeats of our Island. The medicine that weaves our consciousness in togetherness. Who holds her branches open for not only the People, but for all creatures who live within her roots.


To see from this perspective. To see from above, I bring my consciousness into the flight of the falcon. I want to see the beauty of my people from this perspective. I want to see their speech fill the wind. I want to see the way songs carry lives of their own. I want to see sound shaping futures. I want to see pathways opening. I want to see the mapping of our disappearance. The mapping of emergence. I want to see this to cherish this living. To hold onto it so that I may remember in every rebirth and in every death. In my note shaping of the eternal. I want to hold this through every burning. Through every deviation. Through every devastation. I want to hold this so strongly that it will survive in the blood. So that when the future brings their palms to the Dirt.


They may Remember the recipe and Return us to your memory.


The elders say: when you forget what power means remember Love


An Excerpt from 50 shades of Clay

October 2018




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