I'll wash my face in the morning dew
Bathe my soul in the sun
Wash my face in the morning dew
And keep on movin' along.
~Tom T Hall
Beltane is a fire festival...but I'm feeling a softer spirit this Beltane. Oh, I know the fire's burning in the bosom of the earth --and in us all-- but this year, I'm feeling a spirit more of refreshment than of flame. Maybe it's because my part of the earth is awash with much needed rain. I can hear the wind blowing outside the windows and see the droplets dashing against my window as I type this. The flame of Beltane is a soft glow, a steady warmth. It's speaking to me of hearth and health.
It is a custom at Beltane to rise at dawn and bathe in the dew. A woman who can slip out unnoticed and wash her face in the chilly morning dew on Beltane, will be beautiful and attractive throughout the year, and a man who washes his hands in the dew will be skillful with his work. I learned of this custom in a book called '13 Moons' by Fiona Walker-Craven. It's not something that's easy for me to accomplish, living in an urban environment and without a garden or even a balcony or windowbox. This may be the year I do it anyway. There's a small green in the middle of the flatblock where I live. Picture me running out at daybreak in my gown and robe, walking boots pulled on with strings flapping around my ankles, jacket hastily shrugged on, dashing out to hastily scrabble my hands through the wet grass and pat some of the water on my face. It's not exactly a wanton frolic with birds chirruping from a budding hawthorn hedge, but this is reality I'm living in. :)
The spirit is there and that's the important thing. It's the fire of Beltane, that spirit. The drive to renew, to refresh, to make fresh starts, to overcome obstacles, to get out there and feel alive! That's the fire that tends to us all.
I decided to draw three cards from the Gaian Tarot: my refreshment, my fire, my direction (where I'm 'movin' along' to):
I had to smile at this draw. I know who the Elder of Air is in this draw, as I've just embarked on a new learning journey with someone whose wisdom I respect. I will find new ways of nurturing myself and my life through this learning, and I seem to be moving toward a period of great fulfillment within myself.
I told you it was a softer Beltane for me this year. Soft and sweet. How is the fire tending to you?