Northern Rivers Protogrove gathered on May 7 to celebrate Bealtaine. The sky spirits blessed us with a beautiful day. Although our celebration was a week late, there was plenty of excitement in the air. Compared to the week before, the leaves were actually starting to dot the surrounding trees. It truly felt like the beginning of the green half of the year.
We held our celebration at the Kripalu Yoga and Wellness Center. Children and all, we danced the Maypole as is our tradition. The wee ones always make it chaotic, but it’s part of the fun. We laugh at ourselves in the process, and that’s become just as much a part of the tradition as the dance. After that, in what is sure to be a new tradition for us, Grey invited several of the children to link hands and dance “Ring Around the Rosie” around the Maypole. We’re always working on ways to include our smallest guests.
We returned to the stone circle for our ritual. Compared to Imbolc and the Spring Equinox, this ritual was smaller and more intimate. We strengthened our bonds and honored another member who is going to move away soon. This was Annette’s last ritual with us. She’s been with us for just a little over a year, and she’s brought so much to us. Many people join us in our celebrations, but few become dedicated members. She’s one of those rare few, and she really embraced it, giving her all. Northern Rivers is better because of her involvement, and we will miss the joy and beauty she brought to our gatherings.
Ritual gives us a time to reconnect to each other and the Kindreds. Some of us do that through our art. Grey Catsidhe made a banner to represent the Goddess of the rite, Airmed. We honored her for her connection to herbs, tending gardens, and healing. We gave thanks for the return of plant life and prayed that she teach us her skills and bless us with healing. For our magical working, we jumped our sacred fires for purification and luck, then sent some extra energy, with help from Airmed, to a grovemate healing from a surgery.
Grey Catsidhe acted as the seer and took the omen using the Druid Animal Oracle. The Nature Spirits gave us the bear, a symbol of the land. Grey associates the bear with hibernation, and given the season, she interpreted the card to say that the land is waking up and the Nature Spirits urge us to wake up and commune with the land. The Ancestors gave us the hawk, a symbol of nobility. The Ancestors are blessing us with the nobility of the old ways so long as we are listening to them. The Gods and Goddesses gave us the swan, a symbol of love – so appropriate for Bealtaine. The Shining Ones blessed us with love and remind us to focus on that this season. Taken together, the Kindreds urge us to get outside, reconnect with the nobility of the Old Ways, and focus on the love of the Shining Ones, and cultivate love for each other. A very good omen for our spiritual family!