Beltane: Goddess, Love and Abundance

Dear Friend and Reader:

Strange to imagine, but we’re already at the mid-spring holiday. That’s called Beltane. After April Fool’s Day, it’s my favorite ‘special’ day of the year, as it makes such a lovely point: of honoring the Earth and women as part of the divine feminine, which is to say, the basis of all life as we know it.

The Grandmother Land, High Falls, New York. Photo by Eric Francis.

Some are starting to figure out what this is about, and some always knew. Yet in Western civ, imagining the divine feminine is a little like trying to conjure sprites and faeries while you’re walking around midtown Manhattan. There’s a place and a time for everything, and in a forest or perhaps near the ocean is a natural place to feel how female the Earth and the cosmos are. As for the time, that would be Beltane.

This old holiday is commemorated by Druids, Pagans or us witchy types when the Sun reaches the midpoint of Taurus, one of two signs ruled by Venus, usually on May 5 (it’s mostly celebrated on April 30 or May 1, and some traditions have the party all month, known as The May).

All things related to Venus have one thing in common: producing people who are astonishingly diverse in their talents. There’s an inexplicable multifaceted quality to Venus, and when she gets going, there’s a kind of fecundity — that is, nourishment — that’s dripping with a fusion of creative and erotic energy. Eros and creativity feed one another, especially when you get a positive cycle going.

It would seem that humanity is far from that right now: we’re in a time when fear seems to be feeding on fear, and many people are caught in the cyclone, not seeing any easy way out.

Venus has been one of the most active planets in the sky this spring. It was in retrograde motion from early March through mid-April, beginning in Aries and ending with a conjunction to Chiron in Pisces. Chiron is an agent of healing; or, you might say, activation of potential. Chiron has a cathartic effect. A lot comes up under the influence of Chiron — really, anything can — and this, plus its intensity, leads to plenty of confusion regarding what it’s really about.

The Grandmother Land, High Falls, New York. Photo by Eric Francis.

Venus conjunct Chiron through mid-April was a heart-opening, heart-rending or heart-wrenching experience. Chiron activates the full potential of the other planets. The word apathy means the inability to feel pain. When you tune into a Venus-Chiron blend, you feel, and what you feel will give you guidance on what you need to heal.

Since we’re talking astrology, remember that in the background of everything happening is a great conjunction, one sign over, in Aries. That would be Uranus conjunct Eris, which is demanding an inquiry into the impact of electronics on our lives. This is top-level matter of healing right now, and many people know it; they just don’t know what to do about it.

The paradox is a little like this: when you’re profoundly disoriented, how do you get oriented? You can’t exactly get off the ride; all of society is on the same roller coaster. Or perhaps that’s an inappropriate metaphor: a roller coaster is all about physicality. What’s happening to us now is that we’re being pushed out of our bodies in a kind of digitally-induced “ascension.”

And to be sane, we must deal with this. Attention to spiritual matters is no longer a luxury. Attention to sensuality is no longer a luxury.

In the language of Beltane, the first thing to do is give yourself experiences of being in your body. That means feeling, which means awakening from the numbness induced by nonstop electric communication — and nonstop activity.

The Grandmother Land, High Falls, New York. Photo by Eric Francis.

We’re talking about the feminine side of experience: not mental; not driven by activity, or goals, or profits, but rather by experience itself.

Said another way, this is about all things feminine and female, and raising those aspects of consciousness. It’s no coincidence that this is happening in a time when all things female and feminine (including the Earth) are under siege, be it psychic, economic or physical.

This is taking a toll on each of us; and we need to respond individually, and encourage one another to ground into our bodies and feelings. We have reached the point where that’s the single most vital aspect of spiritual growth.

Psychologist Erich Fromm noted many years ago, “The more the drive toward life is thwarted, the stronger is the drive toward destruction; the more life is realized, the less is the strength of destructiveness. Destructiveness is the outcome of unlived life.”

The opposite of that would be encouraging the drive to life and to experience; to choose to actually live; to participate in this great biological experience known as existence on Earth.

With love,

Short Monthly Horoscope for May 2017, #1150 | By Eric Francis

Aries (March 20-April 19) — You deserve to have more confidence than you currently do, where a relationship is concerned. What you’ve experienced recently has taken you deep into your self-awareness; now you must use what you know. The potential snag: people change, and relationships change. Sometimes that transformation makes it impossible to relate to someone on previous terms. When both partners are aware, flexible and willing to evolve, then and only then can the relationship grow. The only program you have to get with is that the universe and all of its people are in nonstop motion. One way or another, progress is inevitable.

Taurus (April 19-May 20) — You may have to lose yourself before you find yourself. You seem to be swimming from one perspective to another, though don’t take this too seriously. You always know where you are; at the minimum, you’re alive and in your body. If you’re feeling even vaguely lost, come back to what your body needs: is it food, companionship, fresh air, rest, or a little time alone? These are not abstractions. The secret to being happy as a Taurus is to take care of the physical level first. If you drink water, eat nourishing food and sleep at night, your life tends to go well.

Gemini (May 20-June 21) — Mars in your sign is pushing you to take sides. Yet you seem to see one side as valid, then see the other as equally valid. Consider that both viewpoints complement one another, and that they work together. Take that a little further and see them as part of the same solution. Life is rarely a question of one side or the other being right. It’s almost always a question of being able to adapt and create a way of thinking, and of working, that actually serves you and your goals. Take a step back and look at the wider landscape.

Cancer (June 21-July 22) — You’re about to experience a breakthrough on a question involving your career or profession. Yet once you have this information, you’ll need to apply consistent discipline to make it useful. This is the obvious statement that we all need to write on the bathroom mirror. You have all the ambition and all the ideas that you need; you must play shepherd and sheepdog to yourself, and keep your herd of responsibilities grouped together and maintained on a daily and hourly basis. Then when the big idea arrives, you’ll have a system functioning that can help you bring it to fruition.

Leo (July 22-Aug. 23) — You may feel the need to be more honest with others about who you are, and that’s a healthy impulse. Consider all that you don’t talk about. Notice all that you have not mentioned to close partners and friends. You might question your motives for remaining silent. You can also simply be more forthright and let people into your desires, your thoughts and your feelings, and see what happens. Most people fear disaster would ensue if they told the truth about themselves, though the actual results are usually much more liberating and energizing.

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22) — If you’ve got an idea for an investment or business enterprise, follow your instinct; though don’t gamble everything. Make sure you set enough cash and resources aside to have what you need to cover the basics, and then take a reasonable risk with the rest. If a partner is involved, ensure that the collaboration is balanced, and that both parties make comparable investments of commitment, time and money. Make sure that the terms of any agreement are clear, in writing, from the outset, especially where money is concerned. This is an important aspect of planning for success.

Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23) — The conduct of a close partner may be perplexing to you, though if you look closely you will see the logic. You’ve gone through a rapid series of changes and a phase of, “Give me some room; I’ve got to figure this out.” At this stage of your life, you would be wise to live your relationships in the moment, rather than being distracted by past events or future plans. Is your experience fulfilling to you now? Are you growing and is your situation improving? If you’ve answered no to any of those questions, you need to think carefully about what you’re doing there — and what you really want.

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22) — Proceed with caution this month where financial matters are concerned. You could easily get caught up in your own excitement or wishful thinking and make a costly error. You may, however, feel like you’re proceeding with the utmost confidence that everything is excellent. You need to reality-check yourself regularly. It would help if you consult with someone who is intelligent and not directly involved in your plans, someone whom you actually respect, and run your financial plans past them at every stage of the game. Listen carefully to what they tell you. And overall, for the next few weeks, when in doubt ask for proof.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22) — Your own insecurities may be getting the best of you. You need to get the best of them, first by recognizing how you actually feel. With Mars in your opposite sign Gemini all month, you may feel like others are pressuring you or are being verbally aggressive. You may be confident but you’re also sensitive. Certain comments may go right into you and not seem to come out. Recognizing that, you must hold your boundaries and choose your company carefully. Holding your boundaries means standing up for yourself, and learning to say, and mean, “This is not acceptable.”

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20) — While it may seem that a relationship is changing, what’s really evolving is your concept of what a relationship should be. Nearly all the prevailing notions of relationship lack clear expectations, and most lack dependable role models. It’s time to raise your awareness about these matters, and take a step in the direction that follows your other advances in maturity. The bottom line in any successful relationship is that people share the same spiritual goals, and agree how they plan to get there. Then, life happens — though at least you have those underlying principles as your foundation.

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19) — You’re going through a kind of initiation: the emergence from one distinct phase of your life to another, in the most positive sense. Initiation is a concept that’s all but missing from Western culture. Think of it as a graduation: emerging to a higher level of growth and challenge. Now you must be your own master: of ethics, of keeping the promises you make, and of focusing on the higher purpose of your life. Higher purpose means knowing why you’re doing something rather than just doing it. Opening up that topic might seem overwhelming, but it’s time to ask real questions, so you get real answers.

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20) — The price one pays for success is responsibility. Once you accept that, success will be all the sweeter. It will push you to be a better person, more confident in yourself, more reliable and more honest with yourself and others. The image of doing well is rather different from the reality. We are constantly confronted by celebrities who seem not to have a care in the world. For you, three parts service to one part glory is the ideal formula. Wake up every morning and remind yourself that you have a job to do, so you may as well do the best job you can.

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