Today is May 1: we’ve entered Beltane season, in the heart of Taurus, ushered by the eclipse earlier this week. It is also the start of National Masturbation Month, conveniently enough (and thanks to a brilliant idea by the Good Vibrations sex toy store in the 1990s).
Beltane is an old Pagan holiday in which the renewed fertility and abundance of the Earth is celebrated by engaging in celebration and ritual sexual union: the sensual, lusty and very physical representation of ‘god’ and ‘goddess’ reconciling for the purpose of channeling the life force into new life.
On one level, that’s the polar opposite of masturbation, which is a solo act of self-love (even if you’re being witnessed by another). Yet done with intention, masturbation can take on the essence of joining one’s inner female and inner male, rather than simply existing as a ‘second-rate substitute’ for being coupled.
Performed outdoors, in contact with the soil and grass and rocks, it can become an act of gratitude for all that the Earth provides and an agreement to receive that material abundance with full openness.
There are various ways of reckoning the exact date of Beltane, one being the day the Sun passes through the midpoint of Taurus (15 degrees Taurus); that happens May 5 at 9:59 am EDT.
May 5 is a Monday, however; not the most convenient day for most people with ‘day jobs’ to frolic naked in the fields or woods and have sex (whether with another or solo). Even if by choice or necessity you keep the ritual celebration indoors, it can be helpful to think of Beltane as a season rather than a moment — so relax in knowing that this whole weekend and the next couple weeks are fair game.
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