Beltane New Moon: Fecund and Fertile
The New MOON of May falls closely following the sacred pagan cross-quarter day of Beltane or May Day. This fire celebration of fertility and fun has been observed and ritualized for millennia. The eve of April 30, rolling into May 1 is considered to be the gateway into summertime in the northern hemisphere. The day considered to be the beginning of Summer in our modern era, Summer Solstice, is actually the peak of the season. You'll hear the word midsummer, and this is why; It's the middle of the Summer season. The door swings open to Summer on Beltane.
Ways to honor Beltane include: gather flowers - wild and cultivated, with which to bestow and festoon your house. Find a hawthorn tree and tie ribbons into its branches upon which you have written wishes (for the faeries to read), participate in a local Maypole celebration, or turn a tree in your garden into a Maypole.
You can make wishes on copper pennies tossed into a fountain (this is actually making offerings to Venus, to whom copper is scared and she inhabits all waterways including fountains), or leave out a special article of clothing on Beltane eve and let it be soaked in the early morning dew. This infuses it with magic and blessings. Pet a cow, tie bells on your ankles and wrists to emulate and celebrate the Queen of the May.
It's time for red wine, strawberries, chocolate and candlelight! Make a daisy chain for your head, get a nice massage, have a picnic in the woods, make love, make a wish and jump over a small bonfire.
When I was growing up, we would make little baskets out of paper and fill them with posies and hang them on neighbors' door handles in the early morning of May 1 (early pagan training from my Irish Mom).
Beltane is the matching set with Samhain or Halloween. They share a powerful axis portal where the veil between the worlds is very thin. Beltane is the midpoint between Spring Equinox and Summer Solstice and is a great time for divination and for working magical rites. In fact, traditionally it was the night of the year to perform the 'Great Rite'.
Bonfires were lit and jumped over for purification and blessings, and after the phallic Maypole was wrapped with the yonic ribbons in another form of sympathetic magic, people would go out into the fields and make love, to inspire the newly planted crops to grow.
It was also the tradition that on this one night of the year, it was customary and accepted that the person you lay with was not your partner. When children were conceived on these nights they were considered to be magical, blessed, Beltane babies, and were embraced by all. King Arthur was said to be born of a Beltane rite.
With Beltane as the backdrop to this time, we approach the New MOON in TAURUS. It perfects on May 4 at 3:44pm PDT. TAURUS gives a solid and grounded base which is helpful for this lunation as were are in some deep and murky terrain with both SATURN, the lord of karma and structure as well as PLUTO, God of the Underworld having just stationed retrograde. SATURN is tight with KETU, or the South Node of the MOON, a point that teaches us to let go. KETU is a hand releasing something it has been holding. SATURN is where we work very hard to do the right thing and to follow laws that are truly just, and greater than we are.
The shadow side of SATURN is control and tyranny and as it's in the governmental sign of CAPRICORN, the astrology of now has an energy of circling the drain. What needs to go? What parts of the governmental structure that we live in are old and outdated and are harming life? That's our work, to make changes on this level. To purge out the old. This team of heavyweights will continue to travel together until late November/SAGITTARIUS time, when KETU finally starts to break away, but SATURN and PLUTO are solid travel companions until April 2020 when SATURN leaves CAP for AQUARIUS.
Also happening now is the MARS in GEMINI t-square to NEPTUNE in PISCES and JUPITER in SAG. This is an Alice in Wonderland kind of transit that challenges reality a bit. Navigating life requires a little whimsy right now.
If you're having trouble staying grounded (esp likely for the mid to later degree mutable sign of GEMINI VIRGO SAG PISCES) really tune into the TAURUS vibe. Eat some nutritious food, get a massage, take off your shoes at the beach, make out with someone cute. Get in your body and send a tap root down deep into the earth.
VENUS in ARIES is squaring the NODAL AXIS, which links it to the SATURN and PLUTO retrograde. This is a testing time for relationships, and there may be some needed adjustments financially.
Take some time to honor both Beltane and the New MOON in TAURUS. As this one is so fertile, be sure to plant some new ideas as well as actual plants. What do you want to grow this year? What can you give to the compost pile in order to create more space and fertility for your new projects?
Paetra Tauchert, Astrologer
Paetra Tauchert, Beltane Rose, 2016
John William Waterhouse, The Soul of the Rose
Covenant of the Goddess on FB
For the Love of the Seasons on FB
Rupert Bunny, Pastoral
The Heirloom Gardener on FB
De Broceliande de Avalon on FB
The Bael Fire, William Floyd on FB
Rick Lilley on Deviantart.com
Disney, Alice in Wonderland