This is where I usually gush about my favourite time of the year.
The “luminous weeks” from May to July, the sleepless nights of light and balmy air filled with the seductive scent of blossoms and the burgeoning life of spring. It’s always been utterly intoxicating to me.
Before I continue, I’d like to explain this a little, because to non-pagans or even pagans who aren’t as sensitive to the rhythms of nature (or whose path simply didn’t involve spending decades sharpening their senses, bathing in moonlight and making love to the earth), it might seem like it’s “all about sex”. And don’t get me wrong, it’s without a doubt the sexiest time of the year, pure ecstasy in a lover’s embrace, but that’s because it’s all about sensuality, those sharpened senses of mine that somehow respond to things like luminous nights and soft grass and crashing waves over rocks, that get drunk on the elements. Don’t get me started on what the moon does to me.
And this year, I don’t quite know what I’ll do:
- There’s this whole thing with social distancing. I’m so touch-deprived it’s not even funny. Again, it’s not all about sex (although that’s of course off the agenda too, seeing as I live on my own), it’s about touching, hugging, breathing in friends, falling about laughing… Zoom and messages are an increasingly stale replacement.
- 15 years ago, after 13 moons of intense preparation, I spent Walpurgisnacht celebrating and then sleeping in the woods and got up at the crack of dawn to dedicate myself to the powers that be (not governments. The actual ones). I’d planned to spend this anniversary in the same place, near Vienna. You know what became of that.
- There’s another, more subtle thing. You know how people say they’re “between jobs” or “between relationships”? Well, I’m between mythologies. I’ve been inexplicably sad at times, violently so and completely out of the blue over these past few days. Nothing to worry about, by the way, it’s simply emotions; my point is, I can distinctly feel my gods withdrawing from me. They bear me no ill-will; they simply can’t follow me here. They’re bound to this soggy island almost 2k km North-West of here, where my soul is also. The waves of sadness come whenever I sense this. I’m mourning.
There’s a great German term for being very, very alone: mutterseelenallein. No German speaker ever thinks of its meaning when they use this expression, but literally it says “mothers’-souls-alone”. This is what I feel right now spiritually, like the souls of all the ancestors and the spirits and the deities have left, and I’m alone.
I’ve been starting to read up on Southern Slavic, particularly Croatian mythology recently. There’s not much to go on, at least not in English, but there are some folk tales and mythological creatures I think I’ll be able to relate to very well (those who don’t mind a long read, bookmark this). I simply haven’t had much opportunity yet to get to places where I could start making contact. It’ll come with time, I’m sure, but in the meantime, I’ll have a strangely up-rooted Bealtaine because I can assure you, all my Bealtaine feelings and the absolutely explosive energy which translates into an inability to concentrate or stay still, is very much present with me this year, just like every year.
So, it’s not a bad thing, I’ll just need to learn more and actually communicate with… them. These things can’t be forced, but they’ll happen, I’m certain. I may be foreign here, but I’ve felt strangely at home from the first moment I arrived in Croatia, like I just slotted into the energy here. So I’m optimistic that this will work out in time. It’s the exact opposite to the time I visited Nova Scotia, which I then considered as a place to live: The spirits of the land weren’t hostile or unwelcoming there, but they were completely alien to me, almost like my DNA was incompatible. Beautiful as it is there, it’s not my home. Here, it’s a different story.
I still intend to celebrate the Hel out of Bealtaine Eve and the following few weeks. Virtual hugs are very much welcome – seeing as there can’t be physical ones – but please understand, I’m not down or anything, just perceiving what’s going on and experiencing it. No filter, so to speak. I’m actually quite happy most of the time.
Have a beautiful Bealtaine! I’ll try and get outside, although the weather is pretty wet and supposed to stay that way for the rest of the week. In fact, there have been thunderstorms on and off for the past five hours or so. I thought it was over, but it’s just started again. Might be time to leave the house and meet Perun.
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