For everything there is a season, and Beltane is the time to embrace your life-making instincts for the new and beautiful to take root and flourish in your world. Whatever you seek, the Green Man will give to you, for He is the lover-God whose ardor can spark new life and possibilities.
On Beltane, in the heat of daylight hours, seek out a patch of the wild world where you can privately commune with Nature, preferably with soil at your feet and the sky overhead. Make sure this is a space where you feel safe and comfortable to go deep. If you can’t be outdoors, settle yourself in front of an open window that lets in ample natural light and fresh air.
Close your eyes and use your breath to ground yourself. Track the soft, sensual rhythms of your breath, slow, slow in, slow, slow out. Savor the tingling passage of air through your nostrils, filling your lungs and stretching your muscles and ribs outward, and the long, gentle release of breath, flattening your belly inward toward your spine. Follow this pattern over and over, emptying yourself of thoughts and concerns, until your body feels supple, enervated and relaxed.
Focus your consciousness in your solar plexus and then reach your awareness and senses outward toward the exuberant ways in which Nature is bursting forth new life in your part of the world. With your eyes still closed, immerse yourself in the smells and sounds of the burgeoning life around you, and the wild-world energies of sex and birth; draw these energies into your body and let them connect you to the erotic, sensual currents that infuse the Green Man’s Beltane magic.
Take a few minutes to check in with yourself in this exchange. Beltane energy is edgy and intense, and can sweep you off your center or dredge up any shame or wounding you may have around your body, sensuality and sexuality. Be very, very gentle and compassionate with yourself, and only take this work as deep as is good for you at this moment.
Yet do not retreat back into the shadowy places in your psyche. For everything there is a season, and now is the time for you to embrace your life-making instincts for the new and beautiful to take root and flourish in your inner and outer landscapes. No matter your personal doubts, resistance and judgments, or those of others, know that life loves you as you are and longs for you to embrace and live from your deepest beauty.
Know that it makes no difference whether you are straight or queer, man, woman or transgendered, a blade of grass, a frog in heat or a nesting eagle — the Green Man is beloved and lover to us all.
In your inner landscape, let your wild instincts paint for you a forest wilderness decked out in its glorious, Beltane display of new growth: the bright, leaf-green canopy of trees, the musky scents of mating animals, and the melodic communion of nesting birds. Feel the heat rising from the soil, from the branches and foliage, and from the creatures of this place.
Feel a mirror heat emanating from your soul’s desire. Surrender. Become the lover that says yes to life’s embrace.
Imagine the Green Man emerging from between the trees. Take in His physical appearance, His scent and the way He moves His body. Feel how your body and heart respond to Him. Sense the energy field between you, and His magnetic pull on your body and soul. Share whatever words of welcome and communion come to you.
Abandon yourself to the love- and life-making dance that arises between you. Whatever you need, in whatever form, the Green Man will give to you, for He is the lover-God whose ardor can spark new life and possibilities within you, rooted in your deepest essence and beauty.
Do not rush this embrace. Leave behind all traces of your old stories and hurts, and anything that stops you from being fully, wondrously present and sensually engaged. Luxuriate in His delicious companionship. Savor His taste of the wilderness and the delicious joining of your outer forms and inner energies. Let Him fill you, fill you, fill you, and receive His igniting, transforming magic with your whole being, making fertile your soul’s desire to live and flourish from your Deep Self.
When this magical union feels complete, seal it with a sweet, gentle kiss. Then say goodbye to the Green Man with words of love and gratitude. Let the forest landscape fade away. Use your breath to bring you back into your physical body and waking reality. Slowly open your eyes to the bright light around you.
The shadow-side of humanity runs counter to the Green Man’s magic, and you may come up against tender, wounded places inside yourself. These things may resist and block your impetus for new growth. So be gentle, take care of yourself, but do not let the old, stuck places hold sway on your journey of soul.
You must become the lover of your own life, tending your new growth, cultivating your deepest beauty, and making the most with what you have been given. It is time to dig deep, shine bright and embrace the magnificent gift that is your Self.
Artwork by Amdhuscias
Excerpt from Path of She Book of Sabbats. Available on Amazon.
Make your own journey with the Green Man into the wild, delicious, life-making powers of Beltane with the Path of She’s Beltane Guided Meditation. Available at the Path Store for $9.99.
Make your own journey with the Green Man
into the wild, delicious, life-making powers of Beltane
with the Path of She’s Beltane Guided Meditation.
Available at the Path Store for $9.99.
Twenty years ago on a Beltane Eve, I did my first ritual after moving to a rural home. In a secluded spot, surrounded by seven acres of undomesticated forest with only the stars and a single candle for illumination, I cast a circle and then called to the Green Man to come be with me in my Beltane magic. There was just me and my overpowering yearning to connect with the wild God energy of Nature. Sitting cross-legged with the moss-covered earth beneath me, I rocked back and forth, putting every ounce of my longings and love into my prayer and invocation, speaking out loud to the listening wilderness.
When you do magic in ritual space, the extraordinary and inexplicable can happen. This was one of those experiences. To my utter shock, a man-sized being of light appeared between the trees and walked toward me. His inner core was a warm, golden white, with diffused beams extending outward, like moving, radiant candlelight. I don’t have words to describe His beauty and power. Even as I write this many years later, I feel the intensity of His stunning, delicious presence pushing against my flesh, both from the inside and the outside at once.
Yet, I am sorry to say, this spontaneous, magical appearance in physical reality terrified me. Although I had been working with spiritual beings through my dreams, ritual and channeling for a number of years, my contact had always been through inner images and voices, not direct, physical communion.
I closed my eyes and asked the Green Man to forgive me my limitations and fears, and to come to me in the way I was used to, through visualization and words. And there He was inside of me, speaking to me, and gifting me with the information and insights that I needed at the time on my long journey of healing my relationship with God and men, and blossoming into my true, deep Self.
This Beltane experience has left an indelible imprint on me, with lessons that helped me truly understand and embrace the Green Man’s presence and gifts. Here are three of these lessons to inspire your Beltane magic with the Green Man.
1. The Green Man isn’t just a mythic being, a psychological construct or something we humans have made up. He is real, substantive and most accessible to us at Beltane when the veil between the worlds is thin.
This lesson brings up an important point of divergence in the pagan world. Some see the Gods and Goddesses as purely human creations that are the products of myths and reflections of our human psyche. Others understand these Divine beings as immense spiritual entities that we can encounter and come to know through our spiritual practices, dreams and human creative and mythic works.
Consider how you conceive the Green Man. What do you already know about Him through myth and story? How do you understand and engage the Gods and Goddesses in your personal and ritual work? How open are you to direct communion with the Green Man? Your answers to these questions will impact how you can experience and work with the Green Man in your Beltane magic.
2. The Green Man is the lover God who gives us whatever we need, in whatever form to help us grow and blossom as our true, deep Self.
Beltane magic has a sexual edge. The Green Man walks the land, firing up everything He touches with His wild, fertile life force. In Nature, plants, birds, bees and creatures, great and small, mingle, mate and give birth to a brilliant display of new life. Even the seemingly innocent, secular practice of the maypole has its roots in Beltane’s celebration of sexuality and fertility: the maypole is a giant phallic symbol arising from the fertile earth, and the dance interweaving the long ribbons represents sexual union and the creation of new life.
In my Beltane ritual, the Green Man was my gentle, patient lover. In the face of my fear and limitations, He enfolded me in His loving presence, took me to the shadow places in my inner landscape that held my wounding with God and men, and shared visions that helped me make peace with my personal story and the men who had hurt me. This was exactly what I needed to take my next step on my journey of soul.
The Green Man is your lover, and mine, and of every living thing on the Mother Earth. He makes love and life with each of us in accordance with our needs and capabilities. When you open your heart and your longings to the Green Man, He will come to you. This communion can be and feel sexual, but that’s only one expression of His lover presence. Whatever you need, in whatever form, He will give to you.
3. The Green Man gifts us with a positive, life-centered vision of God and masculinity, outside of the limitations and dictates of our collective human reality and personal wounding.
The Green Man is the guardian of the wild world, and the master of the mysteries of life and co-creation. He is a masculine presence unlike anything in our shared, mundane world: a being of light, love and life-making, feral, sensuous, and unencumbered by the restrictive dictates of our human society.
When the Green Man came to me that Beltane eve, He helped me mend a debilitating inner tear that separated me from God and men. I called out to Him from a pain, primal and ancient, that arose from my personal wounding and from the generations upon generations of women before me that had suffered at the hands of men. I wanted this separation to end, and to love God and men once more. But I didn’t know how to make right what was broken within me.
So the Green Man revealed to me His true nature: a being of light, beauty, love, compassion and patience. With His gentle guidance, He helped me see beyond my inner tear and limitations, and showed me the spiritual wasteland of the men who harm others, a desolate place severed from the love and life-centered ways of God and the sacred masculine. This Beltane night, the Green Man set me free, not only returning me to a positive relationship with God and my own instinctive, life-seeking nature, but also widening my love and compassion to include the wounded masculine.
However you choose to embrace the magic of Beltane — be it a walk amongst Nature’s feral, stunning fecundity, or to sit in ritual circle with the Green Man, or in whatever ways you honor this potent time of year — know that the Green Man’s wild-world dream of light, love and life-making is reaching out to you. Here He can help you step beyond the wounding and limitations of your personal story and our collective human reality to explore and embrace a new, positive relationship with God, the sacred masculine, and your own wild, life-centered nature.
Artwork by CyrilBarreaux
Make your own journey with the Green Man
into the wild, delicious, life-making powers of Beltane
with the Path of She’s Beltane Guided Meditation.
Available at the Path Store for $9.99.
Excerpt from The Path of She Book of Sabbats
As the seasons of the Earth turn, so do the seasons of humanity. Many powers are converging, within and without, to wake humanity from its long winter of soul. Spring is in the air; Persephone walks the land above; and here you are, by my side, reaching for the ways of the Great Mother once more.
In this awakening and Great Turning, Persephone is your teacher. She sought out Her wholeness in the belly of the Underworld, willingly suffering its trials and lessons to test and come to know Herself in the fullness of Her being. By these travels, Her power and selfhood were honed, and She returned to me maiden no longer, but Goddess and Queen in Her own right.
So too humankind has lived the full range of its nature, both the shadow and light, and horror and beauty. As you individually and collectively emerge from your travels in the Underworld of humanity’s shadow-side, you can follow Persephone’s example. You can become powerful and wise enough to embrace the full breadth of your human nature, ancestral heritage and life experiences — the good with the bad, and the shadow with the light — and in doing so, you become a child no more, but a person honed and matured by your trials and lessons.
Whatever pain you feel or burden you carry from your personal and ancestral stories have brought you to this evolutionary cusp. You need not be trapped by a past that no longer serves you; instead you can use its trials and lessons to fuel your journey of soul, and help you step out of this old tale and your own old story, and into a fresh new beginning.
It is time for we ancient ones to find our rest. Humanity’s long winter of soul is ending. The ancestors’ stories are done. They have served their purpose of bringing you to this evolutionary, awakening moment of choosing the Great Mother’s life-centered ethos once more, from a place of power and wisdom. We pass this blessed world on to you. What comes next will be of your choosing and making.
Let your suffering be the compost that feeds your new growth, and let your joy draw your hungry limbs upward to embrace life. Trust yourself. Trust each other. Begin again.
Celebrate Spring Equinox
with the Path of She Book of Sabbats.
Artwork by Natalie Shau
Spring is a time of rebirth and new beginnings. Nature buds and blossoms as the seasons of light and life return, and the Goddess offers up Her mysteries of spiritual evolution to guide your journey of soul.
With a Goddess-based conception of spiritual evolution, your whole life — everything you are and everything you’ve experienced — is part of a greater journey that drives your personal growth and spiritual evolution. Your intention on this journey is to become a more whole, mature, powerful version of your Self.
This season’s offering in the Path of She Guided Journey Series, Spring Journey: Your Spiritual Evolution, is grounded in the Mother-Daughter tale of Persephone and Demeter that speaks to this Goddess-based conception of spiritual evolution.
In the Fall, Persephone begins Her journey as a maiden who leaves behind the sunlit realm of Her Mother Demeter. She descends into the Underworld, and spends the Winter months traveling its mysteries of darkness and death, and suffering its trials.
In Spring, Persephone returns to Her Mother Demeter’s realm of light and life as a Goddess reborn into a more mature, evolved version of Her Self. She is the Queen of the Underworld and Goddess of Spring Growth, with a wholeness and bigness of being that is wise, loving and powerful enough to bridge and balance the immense, opposing energies of the death-centered Underworld and the life-centered sunlit realm. Where Persephone walks the Earth, She leaves a trail of spring flowers in Her wake.
Through this mythic Goddess tale, you can embrace a new understanding of your Self, your life story, and your journey of spiritual evolution. Here are four transformative teachings offered by these Mother-Daughter Goddesses, Demeter and Persephone, in the spring season.
1. New growth and beginnings arise from darkness, death, suffering and wounding.
In many spiritual traditions, spiritual evolution is associated with a rarefied, higher state of consciousness: one becomes enlightened, ascends to a higher frequency, and transcends the human, material condition.
The problem with this conception of spiritual evolution is that it’s elitist, granting spiritual superiority to the very few who can achieve this state of purity. It favors the path of the monk or ascetic who chooses to separate themselves from the complexities and messiness of everyday life. It negates the very substance of our human existence, that we are flesh and blood creatures, living in a material world. And, most importantly, it leaves out the vast majority of us traveling a sincere spiritual path of personal healing and growth in accordance with the dictates of our own soul and life story.
Nature and the Goddess illuminate a very different conception of spiritual evolution.
You don’t need to think of spiritual evolution as a rarefied state of enlightenment. Instead, you can understand and engage your spiritual evolution as a journey of new beginnings and growth that arise out of the darkness, trials, suffering and wounding of your life story. Rather than transcending these inescapable parts of your human experience, you can honor and embrace them as the very things that inform and nourish your journey of evolving into your full maturity and power.
2. Your life story is the vehicle of your spiritual evolution.
Persephone sets out on a journey of discovery and self-determination outside of the circle of Her Mother Demeter’s love and guiding presence. She has Her own, unique, personal experiences in the Underworld, separate from the ways of Her Mother and the sunlit realm She left behind.
This is Persephone’s story, not Her Mother’s, nor the story of any of the other Goddesses in the Greek pantheon. And it’s the full range of Her life story — with its beginning in the sunlit realm of Her maidenhood and innocence, travels into the depths of the mysteries and trials of the Underworld, and return to the sunlit realm, stepping into a new level of maturity, power and wholeness — that drives Persephone’s personal growth and spiritual evolution.
Like Persephone, you must consciously choose to set off on a journey of discovery and self-determination by stepping beyond the people and parts of your life that define and limit you, and descending into the mysteries and trials of your inner darkness. Here you’ll find everything you need — amongst the lost and repressed parts of your Self and life story that hold your beauty, wounding and dormant potential — to guide your new, spring-like beginnings of personal growth and transformation.
This isn’t the work of one season, but of a lifetime of descent into your inner darkness and personal trials, and return to the sunlit world of new beginnings and personal growth. The journey itself, drawing on the wellspring of your life story, is your spiritual evolution.
3. Equanimity is an essential skill on your journey of spiritual evolution.
Your spiritual evolution is driven by a special kind of transformative magic. Whenever diverse, opposing energies come together, and are held in a state of equanimity, something miraculous happens. Life is reborn in new, fresh ways that are only possible through the potent meeting and mixing of opposites.
Nature and the Goddess Persephone illustrate this transformative magic, and the essential role played by equanimity in the miracle of springtime rebirth.
In Spring, Nature reveals a living equanimity where the wild world is reborn through the balanced, harmonious interweaving of the primal, opposing forces of life and light, and darkness and death. When Persephone returns to Her Mother Demeter in Spring, She is reborn into a mature, evolved version of Her Self, whole and holy as the Queen of the Underworld and Goddess of Spring Growth. Persephone demonstrates Her equanimity through a bigness of being that is wise, powerful and loving enough to bridge and balance the divergent worlds of the death-centered Underworld and the life-centered sunlit realm.
This transformative magic equally applies to your spiritual pathwork. Whenever you consciously embrace and engage diverse, opposing parts of your Self and life story with equanimity, the miraculous happens. You heal, grow and evolve in powerful, new directions that can only arise out of the complexities and polarities of the wholeness that is your life.
4. Spiritual evolution is a journey toward wholeness.
In Her Underworld travels, Persephone reclaims the missing half of Her nature. Her maiden side lived in the realm of light and life, but She was incomplete without the part of Her that held the mysteries of the Underworld and Her experiences of death and suffering. Persephone isn’t one thing or another, but a wholeness that contains it all. In Spring, it’s Persephone’s wholeness, as the Queen of the Underworld and Goddess of Spring Growth, that reveal Her as a Goddess evolved into Her full maturity and powers.
Nature is this wholeness. It’s an ever-shifting balance and harmony of darkness and death with light and life. With the change of season, one state naturally steps into the foreground as the other recedes, but neither ever totally replaces the other, and both are absolutely essential and interdependent. It’s Nature’s wholeness that gives rise to springtime’s new, green growth.
This spiritual pathwork of seeking and reclaiming will naturally change and evolve you, deepening your spiritual maturity and power, and granting you a sense of peace and rightness as you live in accordance with the rich, complex wholeness that is your innate, true, beautiful nature.
Further explore these transformative teachings through the Spring Journey: Your Spiritual Evolution. The Spring Journey guides you through seven, integrated lessons that take you into the depths of your springtime personal growth and spiritual evolution. Each lesson is complimented with an awareness practice and journaling task to help you experience the teaching for yourself, and apply it to your journey of soul and everyday life.
Your Spring Journey includes: two pdf ebooks: the Spring Journey Guidebook and Spring Journey Journal, and the Spring Journey Guided Meditation (mp3 audio). The cost of this integrated Spring Journey package is $16.99.
Spring Journey – Your Spiritual Evolution: Embracing Your Life Story
Seek Out New Beginnings ~ Embrace Your Wholeness
~ Evolve Into Your Deep, Beautiful Self
Your Spring Journey awaits you!
Photo by Matthew Henry on Unsplash
Take a moment to step outside your door. Open your senses wide; drink in the light, colors, textures, sounds and smells of the natural elements that surround you; let these sensual encounters seep into your skin, down through your flesh and bones, into the very core of your being. You’re home, here amidst the physical wonders and swirling energies of the natural realm, here on this green and blue jewel of Earth as it spins and cycles its way through the infinite Cosmos.
Close your eyes and place your hands on your belly; track your inhalation, letting it draw your awareness into the depth of your inner landscape. Empty your mind; relax your body; be with yourself, still, silent, at ease. You’re home, here amidst the physical wonders and swirling energies that are you, here rooted in the beauty and gifts of your Deep Self and authentic humanity, a unique-in-all-the-Universe being, spinning and cycling your way through your one, precious life.
With a soft, unfocused gaze, once again take in the surrounding landscape. On your exhalation, share a bit of your Deep Self essence with the outer world; on your inhalation, draw in the energies of sun, earth, wind and wild, green-growing things, and sense them infuse and inform your inner world. Breath in, breath out, slow, sweet, steady. You’re home, here amidst the love and rightness of this communion, within and without, between your Deep Self and Nature, spinning and cycling together through the seasons of light and dark, life and death, and joy and sorrow.
These primal, essential connections are always present; you’re already home. Your journey of soul, at its core, is about remembering, reclaiming and living, ever more deeply and profoundly, this simple, powerful truth. And this process is an unfolding journey that begins anew with every breath, every step, every season and every cycle, in the big and small miracles that mark your healing and personal growth, and bring positive, live-affirming change to the greater world.
Breathe deep and feel your feet upon the ancient pathway of the Goddess. Look behind you and bear witness to your travels through one cycle of the Wheel of the Year, across its seasons of darkness, death, light, life, joy and sorrow — engaging the soul lessons ripe for you at this time, renewing your primal relationship with Nature, and the Gods and Goddesses, and acquiring the knowledge and skills that facilitate your spiritual pathwork. You’ve walked this ancient path in your own way, following where your Deep Self and life have led you.
You’re not the same person you were at the beginning of this journey; you’ve become someone new, and this new isn’t some ideal, perfected state, but a deeper, more present and beautiful you. No matter how profoundly you’ve changed or how messy your life still feels, love and embrace yourself as you are right now, honor the hard, hard work you’ve done, both the struggles and positive changes, and savor this sweet moment and the goodness that is your life.
And once more, you’ll return to the core themes of your soul work and life story, and their reflections in your pathwork of beauty and wounding. Though it may sometimes seem like you’re treading over old, familiar ground and issues, know you follow a spiral path that will lead you deeper into the layers and complexities of your soul work, for as long as is needed for you to reap its gifts of healing and transformation.
Excerpt from the Path of She Book of Sabbats. Available in paperback and e-book at the Path Store.
The Path of She Book of Sabbats takes you on a soulful journey through the seasons, with Nature and the Gods and Goddesses as your guides. Connect your spiritual path with the energy of the Earth through teachings, guided meditations and pathwork exercises, and explore your soul’s journey through its seasons of light, dark, life, death, joy and sorrow. Embrace the powerful, essential work of transforming your life.
Artwork by SergeyDemidov.deviantart.com