A Grove member participated in our Yule Rite despite being busy with a toddler who had just joined her household. She is also a student so her schedule was overwhelming. As we said our goodbyes outside the Taco Bell where we had gone to indulge in some junk food after our Rite (budgets were also extremely tight), she whipped out her cell phone and played a brief recording I’ll never forget.
The air rang with the loudest, most joyous, most uninhibited laughter I’ve ever heard. It was the laughter of toddlerhood, of innocence, of wild, primal, surging joy—and damned be anyone who tried to contain it, to make it conform!
A toddler boy’s laughter rings in my memory as I contemplate Beltane. Daffodils, tulips and trees exploding in pink and purple are visions of that laughter, that play, that flirtation that is the first step to new creation.
A toddler’s laughter makes me yearn to laugh that way, play that way, feel that way—the way I felt when school was about to pause for the Winter Holidays or summer vacation, when I sat around a campfire next to a snug little travel trailer that would soon shelter me for the night, when my Birthday arrived, on Christmas Eve. Everything faded into a bright mist of contentment and happiness.
Beltane’s archetypes resonate with all living things. There is the obvious—sacred sexual encounters and the Chalice and the Blade uniting in the Great Rite. I struggle with that archetype because I am not sexually active. But that laughter brought the deeper meaning, the one that applies to all Life, into sharp focus. I am constrained by my workplace and by being spiritually in the closet at home but my Soul can soar with that passion. I can unite the Blade of my passion, energy and strength with the Chalice of receptivity to my every experience.
I can bring passion to answering letters and e-mails at work as completely and clearly as I can. I can bring passion to my relationships, especially a passion for what will serve my loved ones. I can bring passion to my stolen moments with the Nature Spirits and Shining Ones. I can bring passion to cooking to nourish my father and me. I can even bring passion to washing a dish or mopping a floor!
A little boy’s laughter echoes from a cell phone speaker and Beltane’s Needfires shout to me from ancient Celtic hills: “Don’t hold back!” Cry, laugh, dance, release! “
Nothing can manifest without a union of Passion and Intent, of Yin and Yang, Male and Female, flint and stone. Hold back and there can be no spark to light the void. The time for rest, for constraint, is over. It is time to run, to shout, to roll in the grass, to fertilize the Universe and be fertilized by the Shining Ones.
What sparks will you ignite?