06 November 2011

Bealtaine - A Magickal Weekend

The first weekend in November this year was when the Temple of the Dark Moon had its annual Bealtaine magickal retreat in the beautiful Adelaide Hills.

Bealtaine is traditionally the time of the year that marked the opening of the Summer, and indeed with temperatures soring into the mid 30s  Celsius (about 92 Fahrenheit), Summer certainly felt as if it had arrived.  With recent rains, the surrounding grasslands seemed to be at an all time high.  However slashing had commenced in earnest with the approaching warmer months bringing with them the danger of bush fires.

According to legend, the Gaelic ancestors, the Milesians, arrived on Irish soil at Bealtaine where they disposed of the magickal (faery) Tuatha De Danann.  Amongst the invaders was the powerful druid and poet, Amergin, who composed the following poem upon landing in Ireland:

Bealtaine and our Ancestors
I am the wind on the sea
I am a wave of the ocean
I am a bull of seven battles
I am a hawk on the rock
I am a drop of the sun
I am a law of unity
I am a boar for valor
I am a salmon in the water
I am a lake in the plain
I am the power of Art
I am the point of a spear in battle
I am the god that kindles fire in the head
I spread the light in the mountains
I tell the ages of the moon
I reveal the secret resting place of the sun.

Early Summer Flowers
This poem, known as "The Song of Amergin" is a favourite to be recited during Bealtaine rites. The poem is also considere to be a prayer of unity with all of creature with Amergin invoking what are considered to be the "fundamental elements" of the Three Realms that make up the Irish Celtic Universe.  These realms are:

- The rocks and mountains of the Land,
- The waves of the Sea, and
- The wind that blows over both all the way up to the Sky (which is the home of the Sun and Moon).

Shingle Back Lizard
Amergin also invokes powerful animal spirits that give life to hunting, farming and fishing cultures like those of our Ancestors. These animal powers recur throughout the whole of the mythological tradition: the bull, the symbol of power and life; the hawk, the high-flying and far-seeing bird of prey; the stag, symbol of sexuality and fertility; and the salmon, the symbol of wisdom.

Amergin ends his poem with an invocation of the Divine power that animates creation, and which lights the fire of inspiration in the head, the seat of the soul.

Early Morning Mists
One of my personal hi-lights was the sighting of a shingle back lizard (above photograph) who was rather less than impressed of being discovered by a group of rather exhausted campers who were returning from a walk down to the island in the early afternoon heat.

Sunday morning at our weekend retreat heralded in almost a completely different day as a welcomed change had rolled in, bringing with it early morning mists and even the odd spots of rain, hardly enough to dampen what was a simply wonderful weekend away with a great bunch of people.

1 comment:

  1. remember when you made James Grand have sex with his own sister ???

    come on now, tell us about it , seeing as you have that knowledge