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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.
Posted on:  Apr 26, 2020 @ 12:00 Posted in:  Sabbats
Right now, in the heat of Beltane, the wild realm is expressing itself so loudly and so boldly that we just need to step beyond our doorstep to receive its direct, powerful truth-speak: life is our ardent lover.
How can we doubt this in the light of life’s wondrous love offerings: the hot kiss of sunshine on bare skin; dawn’s glorious chorus of birdsong; a meadow blanket of wildflowers; the soft, sweet bite of a fresh-picked strawberry; the bubbling laughter of a toddling child; and the electric stroke of a lover’s touch?
Our relationship with life is not monogamous; we share life’s ardour with all growing things of this Earth. At Beltane, life comes courting, gathering every one of us into its lover’s embrace.
These wild impulses run hot in our blood, no matter our attempts to block or deny them. We soften and open with the sensual tease of the strengthening sun. We delight in the enticing scents of unfurling buds of plant and flower. The primal juice of the creature realm sings to our creature flesh, awakening our feral instincts to make love and make life. And deeper still, life’s lover powers stir the mysteries in the core of our being, igniting our hunger to birth and nurture our soul’s latent desires.
Yet so much toxic debris blocks our lover’s dance with life. The shadow-side of our humanity represses, denies and distorts these powerful energies. Nowhere is our humanity more profoundly wounded than in our sensual, sexual, soulful life-creating-life drives.
Nature guides us always, even in the face of this terrible, damaging aspect of our personal stories and collective humanity. For everything there is a season: a time to seek our truth and healing in the winter-like grasp of our sorrow and pain, and a time to cast off the cold, deadening grip of our shadow-side and bask in the light and beauty of new growth and possibilities.
Life is not a doting, ever-benevolent lover. Everything in the growing world has its seasons through death and darkness, and life and light. We are no different.
New life emerges from stagnation and death. What is deep and best in us arise out of our wounding and loss. Sometimes we have to hold on to these truths in the thick of our pain and sorrow. Sometimes we have to trust that the new that we long for is the true and best balm to what ails us. Sometimes, if only for a sun-bright season, we have to leave our hurt behind and give all we’ve got to tend and grow into the life we most dearly want to live. We can choose to dig deep, shine bright and make the most with what we’ve been given.
In these ways, we become the lover that returns life’s embrace.
Excerpt from: Path of She Book of Sabbats. Available on Amazon.
Photo Credit: Tyler Dozier on Unsplash
Posted on:  Apr 20, 2019 @ 15:16 Posted in:  Sabbats
At Beltane, your journey of soul is all about embracing the delicious, transformative energies of the wild world. Now is the time to surrender to your innate, powerful desire to make love and make life, and to bud and flourish in the sunlit realm from the essence and beauty of your true, deep Self.
You need only look to Nature to awaken and fuel this sacred longing inside of you. The cold, death state of Winter has been long forgotten and the powers of life and light are turned on high.
The green world is in the midst of a love-fest, displaying its erotic, fertile impulses with brazen exuberance: the brilliant green of new foliage, the mating rituals of birds and beasts, and the profusion of airborne pollen.
May Day is the secular celebration of Beltane, with its traditional maypole dance. A tall pole is planted in the earth and decorated with flowers and long ribbons. Dancers, each holding a ribbon, circle the pole in opposite directions while interweaving their ribbons. This lovely and seemingly innocent custom has its roots in Beltane’s sexual, fecund energies. The maypole is a giant phallic symbol arising from the fertile earth, and the two weaving ribbons represent sexual union and the creation of new life.
With the veil between the worlds thin, the Green Man walks the land, leaving a trail of burgeoning life in His wake. His touch is a quickening magic that spreads like wildfire, igniting the hungry impulses of life to create new life. All living things, including humankind, are beholden to the Green Man’s powers.
When you step into the Green Man’s magic, you enter His dream of light, love and life-making. He embraces you as lover in the gorgeous, ever-unfolding dance of co-creation, with your outer existence arising from the well-spring of your unique essence.
Beltane, like Samhain, is an edgy Sabbat, stirring up primal forces that have long been denied and suppressed in our human psyche. As Samhain calls us to be wide open and raw in the face of death and endings, Beltane calls us to be naked and uninhibited in our lover’s embrace of life. Of the two Sabbats, Beltane can be the most challenging because it takes us up against our personal wounding and societal prohibitions that negate and distort our desires, sensuality and sexuality.
Let the Green Man and wild realm teach you about transformative change, where immense beauty and new growth naturally emerge from the old and stagnant to heal and renew your life and our world.
Excerpt from: Path of She Book of Sabbats. Available on Amazon.
Photo Credit: Chris Greenhow on Unsplash
Posted on:  Apr 27, 2017 @ 10:00 Posted in:  Sabbats
At Beltane, at the edge of the forest, haloed in the chartreuse brilliance of backlit foliage, the Green Man awaits you. He is a lean, powerfully built man, dressed in Lincoln green, with penetrating chestnut brown eyes and a captivating smile. With a crook of His finger, He beckons for you to join Him.
Without a word, the Green Man leads you deeper into the forest. As He walks, an aura of light and heat radiates outward from His body, firing up everything within His circle of magnetism. Unseen creatures scent the air with the feral musk of mating, trees release yellow dustings of pollen, wildflowers burst into bloom and baby chicks break through their thin-shelled eggs.
Something delicious stirs within you, a mirror heat that fires up your core and loosens the fibers of your being. Your inhibitions melt away, overrun by a primal, steamy desire to take the untamed, fertile life force of this mysterious Green Man inside of you.
The Green Man turns to you, His face suffused with passion and love. He places His hand on your mid-body and an intense, thrumming current runs between you. Within your core, something pushes past the stagnant, blocked places inside of you as tendrils of new growth unfurl and reach hungrily toward the Green Man’s magnetic touch.
“Your hunger and my hunger are one,” He says, His voice rich and husky, “your deepest beauty longs for expression in the outer world, and the outer world longs for your deepest beauty. My quickening magic can ignite your sacred hunger and make fertile your flourishing in the sunlit realm. Is this what you desire?”
With your yes, the Green Man transforms into a being woven of shimmering luminescence. His living-light body pushes up against your outer form, insistent and irresistible, and you open yourself wide to His luscious, energetic embrace. Together you tumble deeper into His wild-world dream of rutting and nesting and the pushing forth of life. One heart, one breath, one ecstatic force unites you, the Green Man, the forest plants and creatures, and every living being of the Earth, in the irrepressible drive of life to create new life.
In this glorious embrace, all traces of the waking dream of the human world melt away: your suppressive, domesticated ways that block your primal, wild instincts; your self-judgments and limitations; the outer voices that tell you who you are and how to live your life; and the destructive, life-fearing ways that plague human society. They are but distant memories, constructed by a shadow dream that has no sway in this other, more compelling and nourishing, wild-world dream.
For what could be just one shining moment or a season of bliss, you revel in your life-making dance with the Green Man and the forest. Then your energies separate; He stands before you, returned to His physical form, and you find yourself, once more, on the edge of the forest.
“This wild-world dream we have shared is real, as is your hunger for your deepest beauty to have form and expression in the outer world. The life you are longing for has taken root in your inner landscape. Even now, its tendrils, infused with my quickening powers, are reaching for their place in the sunlit realm.
“Be warned and be wise. As you step back into the everyday that is your life, this dream will fade and the human dream will impose its order upon you, an order that denies my wild ways and debases the primal, creation impulses that run hot in your human blood. Forces, within and without, will resist this tender new growth within you.
“My magic serves you even in the face of this resistance. Remember your wild encounter with me and my forest realm. Remember the irrepressible drive of life to create new life that infuses every living thing. Be courageous, step away from the old stories that wish to bind these powerful impulses within you. Give yourself over to the hard, dedicated, wondrous work of tending and nurturing the new and beautiful that is yours and yours alone to gift to the outer world. As the new takes root and flourishes, so the old atrophies and dies away.
One last time He kisses you, a soft brush of lips on your brow, and leans close to whisper in your ear, “at the edge of the wild, between the dreaming and the waking, you will find me, always, waiting to love you ever deeper in this dance of life-making.”
Then the Green Man smiles His radiant smile and steps back between the trees as the forest vision dims and disappears. Though He is gone, His igniting touch has done its work, leaving you forever changed. The new, beautiful life you hunger for is budding within you, and it is time to give yourself over to tending its continued growth in your everyday existence. What the Green Man has kissed awake can never go back to sleep. For you, and all your human kin, are beholden to His mysterious dance of light, life and creation.
Excerpt Path of She. Available on Amazon.