Beltaine in the Pagan traditions is the time of the Sacred Marriage, or Hieros Gamos. This is a sexual reenactment of the two primary forces of the Universe–tension and release. These primal forces (Empedocles called them “love and strife”, Buddhism calls them “preference and aversion”, etc.) are present in everything we see. Life would not have begun on Earth, nor would it continue to exist, without them. Physically, it is the building up of volcanoes (tension) that exploded (release) into the freezing sea that created the conditions for life to occur. Mentally, emotionally and spiritually, the idea is that the force called tension, strife, aversion, etc. moves us forward. It keeps us reaching, desiring, aspiring and it is the source of the energy often referred to as “divine discontent” that promotes spiritual growth and attainment. The force called release, love, preference, etc. helps us to integrate, heal and re-group. It is the agony and the ecstasy of this tension and release that, together, make life rich. So many of us try to escape the tension and surround ourselves always and only with the release. But release isn’t that pleasurable without the tension that leads up to it.

Our Beltaine this year coincides with a Mercury Retrograde, which is always sure to produce some tension. I am suggesting that you try a different approach to tension this Spring. I am suggesting that you welcome it as the creative force of the Universe. Volcanoes destroy, but they also create new land masses. At one point in geological time, life on Earth was saved by volcanoes because erupting volcanoes created our protective atmosphere. Without volcanoes, we wouldn’t have Hawaii. This Spring, try using the “volcanoes” in your life to create something new. See them as opportunities and optimistically welcome the changes they bring. Enjoy the endless cycles of tension and release and allow your life to be enriched by them!

readinggraphicWe begin our May with our MOTHER’S DAY TEA & TAROT, which is filling up quickly, followed by a new event–the author will be reading astrology-related poetry from her new book, CHARTED TERRITORIES, and if you email her with your birth information prior to the event, she will prepare your personal astrology chart and have it for you at the reading. Then she will select her readings from the charts of all those who attend! At the end of the reading, you may take your chart home with you! See below for full fliers on all these events.

Jon will be offering the “Spells that Work” workshop in 3 parts on May 11, 18 & 25. This is an exciting workshop that explores using an intent to create an active Spell that actually manifests! The ancient methods taught are “tried and true”, and you will learn to “trouble-shoot” your Spells that aren’t working. Whether you are a beginner or an advanced magickal practitioner, this workshop holds much knowledge and skill for you! It is held on Wednesday evenings. The cost is $15 per evening, or $35 total if paid in full by the first evening.

IMG_7588The biography of DOREEN VALIANTE, published by Llewellyn, IS IN! If Gerald Gardner is the “father of modern witchcraft”, then Doreen Valiente is most certainly the “mother”.  Doreen Valente worked as High Priestess with Gerald Gardner, Robert Cochrane and others just after the anti-Witchcraft laws were repealed in England to revitalize and restore Witchcraft and Magick. We owe much of our current “liturgy” to her, including the oft-quoted CHARGE OF THE GODDESS. She has left a legacy of many fine books on the Craft and every Wiccan should be familiar with her life and work. Stop by Crone’s Cupboard soon to pick up your copy of this important work!

Brightest Blessings and Happy Beltaine!