Before I get into how wonderful the idea of Beltane is (this being the season of that Pagan holiday) I want to briefly talk about some activity around the Aries Point. There is a pretty big event coming, connected to the Aries Point, which has a way of magnifying the news and making world events seem deeply personal.
First, two paragraphs of technical explanation, easy does it. The Aries Point is the first degree of the sign Aries, which is the first degree of the zodiac. By extension, that includes the first degree of Libra (opposite the first degree of Aries) and then the first degrees of Cancer and Capricorn (the four cardinal signs). The same basic effect happens whenever there is an event early in any of these signs. This is where the Sun is for any equinox or solstice, called the Quarter Days. Holidays — and big events — naturally gather around these points in space-time.
Yet it works one other way — if you divide the distance between the first days of the seasons, you come out in the middle of the fixed signs — Taurus, Leo, Scorpio and Aquarius. We also get an Aries Point effect when the Sun crosses the midpoint of any of the fixed signs, or when there is some kind of noteworthy event. When the Sun gets to one of these zones, we get what’s called a Cross Quarter Day. These are the Pagan holidays that include Beltane and Samhain (pronounced sah-wen, which is Halloween).
We are now close to the midpoint of the Sun’s transit through Taurus, and on the day that happens, we get a Full Moon — the Scorpio Full Moon, spanning the exact midpoint of Taurus and Scorpio. This is a full-strength Aries Point event because of its precision and because both the Sun and the Moon are involved. This happens Saturday, May 5 at 11:35 pm.
So, we have a potent Full Moon approaching, and though it’s about a week off, we’re going to be feeling the effects like a gradually rising emotional tide that will peak and crest overnight Saturday to Sunday. This will come with all the well-known themes of Taurus and Scorpio — such as sex, sensuality, resources and the exchange of resources. Then there are a diversity of psychological subtexts — the abuse of power, fear and shame associated with our physical bodies, and what are commonly called ‘gender issues’ — the ways in which gender translates to matters of power and subjugation.
In short, all the subjects that dog most people most of the time, and which we seem to utterly suck at dealing with. Encrypted in this Full Moon is every desire we could ever imagine as well, and (at least) the potential to make it real. Our posts this week will be a series of comments on these themes, and the High Sabbath of Beltane, though first, an opening thought.
It is repugnant to some that in astrology and in life, money is associated with sex. That’s a lot of what we seem to find across the Taurus-Scorpio axis. But this is only in a culture that is obsessed with money for its own sake, and with sexualizing every car, every bite of food and every cell phone service. Money is divorced from the concept of resources and further severed from the Earth, which provides those resources so generously. Sex is severed from communication, pleasure, affection and creativity. Reproduction is still OK as long as kids aren’t given any knowledge of their bodies.
It is into this bizarre environment that we are being re-introduced to the idea that all wealth comes from the Earth, that our existence and subsistence (in the form, for example, of food) is the product of some sexual process.
As for the exchange of sex for money: that may indeed be not just the oldest profession but the oldest transaction. If you believe the authors of Sex at Dawn, a book about the actual, genetically (and socially) documented sexual patterns of humans and other primates, the “I will hunt and provide protection for you” reciprocated by “You can fuck me, and I will raise your offspring” is exceeded in age only by actual mountains.
That, however, is not the point of Beltane. The idea of Beltane is men and women connecting in a way that honors the Earth as the source of all life. The tradition of having sex with someone other than your significant other, that is, kind of randomly (with ritual fucking in the fields) honors sex as an offering to the Earth, with a little joke about how important it is to shuffle the genetic deck (and spice up your erotic life) every now and then.