Blossoms at Beltane

What is the ultimate symbol that the spring season has really taken off? The final proof that winter is really long gone and the beautiful summer days are near? I’d say that that would be the blossoming of the hawthorn and the start of may.

When we have our Beltane celebrations. Yet you do rarely see these blossoms play a significant role in the beltane rites. They are mostly just… decorations it would seem. Yet it is precisely these blossoms that create an opportunity for a ritual that is inclusive to all, human and non-human, sexual or non-sexual, gay or straight. 

What are blossoms? They are the sign that the tree opens itself to the outside world, and it is ready to receive the blessings of the bees. The tree takes part in the creation of honey by feeding the bee with its essence. In return, the bee facilitates communication between different flowers and even different trees. That is a pretty powerful exchange, that can teach us so much on so many levels.

First, what does it mean to be open? Have a think about this. The tree does not just give some sugar or similar, no it offers the stuff that connects it to the future: its seed. To reproduce but also that other species might live of it. What is the seed your life has produced? What are the talents you possess in such abundance that you do not mind sharing them with others? How is it that others can be nourished by what you have to give?

At the same time, this requires a lot of trust. You give, but will you be given something in return? Will there even be someone who notices your beauty and wants to share what you have to offer? As you give you cannot know. And yet the freely given gift is the basis for this exchange. You cannot ask for rent or be conditional. If you do not put yourself out there and display your talents to the world, nothing will happen. Yet success is not guaranteed, scary as that may seem.

Yet what enormous reward there is when you finally get noticed and the exchange of ideas happens: a fruit grows and a future is guaranteed, you have successfully reproduced yourself in a way that you can be proud of…

This is Beltane just as much as the dance between the may king and the may queen. It is maybe the most important aspect, as it reflects what fertility means to the entire plant world. And that is most of nature, actually. So will you remember them in your next ritual?

3 comments

  1. Thank you for this! Having just returned from a Beltane ceremony that not only included Hawthorn but also specifically honoured flowers and bees, this is a very timely and welcome way to look at Beltane!

    Liked by 1 person

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