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Bealtaine Blessings

Much love to you on this beautiful sacred day, the wedding day of the god and goddess, also known as May Day in the northern hemisphere. When I wrote my usual blessing for it on twitter this morning, I found myself unexpectedly typing Beltaine, which I've never done before. Now I'm typing Bealtaine for this post, which is the fully proper spelling. I watched a movie set in Ireland last night, that must be it!

Like my dear grandmother, I have always loved all things Irish. As a teenager people knew to give me Irish gifts, including a wonderful book from my brother about the old stone walls of Ireland. If I'd been smart back when I was choosing a name for blogging, I would have gone with something Irish or Gaelic, rather than randomly setting on the prosaic Sarah. Certainly now that I'm a writer I would wish for something more interesting! Living in a country to whose native culture I have no connection, and also having no connection with the cultural ties of my name, makes for a very lost feeling. Especially when we are advised by wise folk to develop a relationship with the spirituality of our location rather than cleaving to one far from where we are - or to seek connection within our culture's tradition (which is very unhelpful when you may simply not believe in what that tradition teaches.)

I understand the importance and beauty of being in relationship with the land which holds you. But I think if we deprive our spirit of its true mythic language, we end up very alone indeed. Of course, following a culture which is thousands of miles away from you is lonely too, especially when no one else around you does so. But it is better than denying your spirit its truth.

For decades, I have followed the old pagan Wheel of the Year. It resonates with how I was raised and what I chose to believe for myself and what I see in the world around me. I don't abide by the exact customs of it, for that's impossible here. Instead, I allow my spirit to have a natural relationship with the world turning. If you look in my right-hand sidebar you will see that I personally call this time of year Tender Moon. Bealtaine used to be a day of delight for me, and now it is a time of quiet meditation. It has evolved over the years and will continue to do so I'm sure.

Were I living in England or Ireland, no doubt I would abide more closely to the traditional ways of celebration. But here at the far edge of the world, without community, without a true name, with only the wind and the moon as companions, I find the mystic path - embracing being without, being alone, the inner path - is the most comforting to follow.


  1. Bealtaine blessings, Sarah.

    I am warmed by what you say. I want to connect with this land, right here; but I also feel so drawn to the old lands of my ancestry. Perhaps there is a mythic land in-between, and that is where I must learn to dwell, in my heart, if not physically.

    1. Yes I think that is the lesson, and perhaps those of us far from our ancient ancestral lands are blessed in that way, for we are drawn in our longing to the mythic land, the otherworld.

  2. As we celebrate the Celtic New Year (Samhain) here in the dark, I join in your bright Bealtaine greeting. On both sides of our planet, the air is thin, the old myths are calling...

  3. I've been reflecting on this a lot lately. About how I find the place I love absolutely stunning, and yet I don't feel as connected to it as I'd like. I try to befriend it, spend time in nature, but my heart still longs for something colder, darker, more vibrant and wild. I'm not sure how to change this.

    I too love Ireland, though I've never been there. I'd love to go somewhere very windy with green cliffs by the ocean :)

    Wishing you much beauty in these blooming days of spring :)

  4. wishing you all the best of the season---especially blooms and scented boughs, birdsong and abundance. also joy from the land where you live and joy from the heritage in your heart and bones. humanity has ever been a wandering species; surely we can carry many homes within us.

    bealtaine blessings!


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