As I glance along the feeds of my social media accounts I see friends celebrating Beltane. I can imagine the hedgerows at home beginning to be heavy with Hawthorn flowers, the birdsong will be a symphony of voices, the skylarks will be singing their song seemingly never taking one small breath.
The time between Beltane and the Summer Solstice is my favourite time of year. The gates of the South East and South of the Circle open and light and life comes literally flying through, colouring the land with flowers and the sky with blue.
I say imagine because right now I find myself in Autumn. Here in Australia instead of life and fertility I feel the veil thin as the Spirits of the Ancestors are honoured at Samhain. Sometimes I wonder when I’m at home if the festivals really are simply reversed. But seasons are seasons and, although the smell of Autumn differs from region to region across this massive land, here in South Australia it really does feel like Samhain has arrived. Just a few days ago ANZAC day was marked here – just as at home Remembrance Sunday lay in Autumn, close to Samhain, so the day to remember the fallen of war also lay close the time when the veil thins.
So the South East of Beltane becomes the North West Gate of Samhain as we cross the equator. What a truly magical world we live upon. When I return next week I will travel from Autumn to Spring in the space of a 22 hour flight. I’ll go from seeing falling leaves to bright green fresh leaves, draped in flowers. I may have missed the ‘date’ of the 1st May, but Beltane will be in full swing for a couple more weeks at least. For convenience I mark it by date, but in truth when I look upon Albion and see all of the hedgerows literally dripping in Hawthorn, that’s when it’s Beltane for me, and I know I won’t have missed that magical sight, and will be able to welcome the May Queen myself.
So although I have celebrated Samhain twice in six months, I know the flowers of Beltane will thankfully be there when I return home.
Whether you are celebrating Samhain or Beltane, blessed be.