Amaterasu © Hrana Janto 1991
Solstices are the extreme points as Earth’s axis tilts toward or away from the sun—when days and nights are longest or shortest. On equinoxes, days and nights are equal in all parts of the world. Four cross-quarter days roughly mark the midpoints in between solstices and equinoxes.
Seasonal celebrations of most cultures cluster around these same natural turning points.
The chains of winter are broken. Break your symbolic bindings by planting seeds. As these seeds unclench in the darkness, ask what choices can you make in response to the needs of this sacred moment? What is it that you value and how can you align your life with that?
Listen to the voices of the universe saying YES—the sun shines, the birds sing, the flowers bloom. The purpose of the universe is to celebrate the delight of its existence. May that inspiration hot-wire us into the living voltage of the Mother. Renew your life with others.
Lying on your back in the woods, see how the trees lift themselves in a circle. Reach out and extend your circle. Community, the geography of Somewhere, is the We that balances the Me. Women know this, in the compass of our bones.
Written by the incredible, Oak Chezar. From We'Moon 2020
Helixical Flame © Miss Ascentia 2005
She is gracing us with her rays late into the day and teasing us with cloudbursts and rainbows. The new growth of green buds stimulates growth within ourselves.
Dig deep in the dirt and within yourself to carve out space for new challenges and insights. Dance in the golden light of sunshine welcoming this new time of abundance and magick. May your gardens be fruitful and your soul rivers flowing sweetly.
Beltane Love from the We'Moon Creatrix Team
What Was Given © Robin Lea Quinlivan 2009
Life is literally a fire burning in our bodies. Our biology magically takes in energy in tiny increments so we don’t ignite. Still, it’s a wonder more of us don’t just spontaneously burst into flames!
Inner fire, hearth fire, community fire, sexual and fertility fire of people, animals, plants, the land.
In wars, in forests, in collapsed nuclear reactors, even freak fires in the arctic? What about depression—not enough creative fire, soul fire, wemoon fire, to bring balance and healing to offset the devastation? No way to get there from here?
Newborns of the body or imagination conceived on Beltane are “Merry Begots,” full of enough aliveness, love, joy, humor to confound the toughest logic and direst doomsday predictions.
—Miriam Dyak © Mother Tongue Ink 2015
We celebrate the Maiden or Maen (an alternative word for this life-phase for those who do not resonate with the term Maiden) in the month of April and Menarche in May. We create this distinction to unlearn the trance of equating Maidenhood with reproduction and sexuality, focusing instead on sacred Desire.
This is a good time to journey or quest, learn new skills, practice the balance of self-care and care-giving. We seek the inspiration raging in our guts—our genius—that which is ours alone to manifest. Ask the Maens and Maidens in your life, and within yourself:
(art credit: Making Light © Autumn Skye Morrison 2008
We respond to both sunlight and moonlight through the magical science of hormones and the pineal gland—“the seat of the soul.” Our hormones dance and flow in synch with these large forces of nature. This cycling is a built-in mechanism for renewing mental and physical health, taking us inward and outward, to release what no longer serves us.
Women responded to their Blood Cycle by going within to listen, then coming out to share with their tribes what they experienced in their monthly “vision quest.”
I ask women to sit with this remembering. There is science involved in this magic, but it is magic first.
The natural and personal cycles are One. We become She Who Cycles. Now that is something to tell a young woman on the day of her First Bloods!
Kim Duckett © Mother Tongue Ink 2016
...And So much more!
Denise Kester (Ashland, OR) is a mixed media printmaking artist, renowned teacher and founder/artistic director of Drawing on the Dream, an art distribution company. Announcing the new book Drawing on the Dream—Finding My Way by Art. drawingonthedream.com
Kimberly Webber (Taos, NM) Priestess of painting, alchemy and bees. Advocate for the Divine Feminine, personal freedom, youth, pollinators, biodiversity, animals, oceans, forests. Planter of flowers and corn. Pollinator of empowerment. Amplifier of hope. Kimberlywebber.com
Oak Chezar (Jamestown, CO) is a radical dyke, performance artist, Women's studies professor, psychotherapist, writer, & semi-retired barbarian. She lives in a straw bale, womyn-built house. She just published Trespassing, a memoir about Greenham Common Womyn's Peace Camp. Whilst working & playing towards the decimation of patriarchy & industrial civilization, she carries water. firstname.lastname@example.org
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The longest night gifts us with time to enter the darkness, fully. We hold our breaths with nature, where life is suspended, waiting in extremis. The stillness behind action gathers as we empty and trust in our renewal. What will you give/lose to the night?
The triumph of light peaks, slides slowly to dissolve. This is the tipping point for everything: democracy, misogyny, racism, climate, freedom. All are on a cliff edge. We've reached the neon-bright entrance to The Great Turning. Change is the only thing that doesn't change. Are we ready?
Perfect balance returns, light and dark in harmony again for the final harvest. As we wheel in the last-lit days of seasonal symmetry, face the coming darkness together with gratitude for what we've learned about light. Autumn's grain is spring's seed; paradox surrounds us with ripening wisdom. If we lose hope, remember that Hope has two daughters to support our balancing acts: Anger and Courage.