Beltane, if celebrated on the lunar-led earth path of the medicine wheel, is tonight.
Indo-european ancestors used to celebrate Beltane as the traditional start of summer.
Think fire, passion!! May Day, when maidens danced the Maypoles and the lusty earth was potent with the growing BLOSSOMS that at spring were birthed! When the ancestors used to make love and celebrate the union of romance and marriage, as well as the union of sun and earth that produced the fertility of crops every year.
What a special time to think of LOVE.
Agape LOVE. Unconditionally altruistic, life giving, accepting. Transformative. Eros love, the craving for union, the longing for self and other as One. DIVINE LOVE.
I start tending my “dark” side at Halloween. On the medicine wheel, I walk an embodied daily understanding of as within, so without, and vice versa. For me, this is the truest way to be in sacred relations to all of life.
What this means is that when the days darken, I tend the season of the dark. I take it as reality that from Fall Equinox onward, and especially when we reach November and the time changes, this is a time when I am closest to my own interior darkness.
Recall (from Wild Women Wisdom, Ovulation and the Active Imagination, Nov 13, 2014) that the psyche projects its earliest understanding of dualistic thinking. Dualism is self and other. Think as well of opposites, mom and dad, good and bad, right and wrong becomes internalized as the right worldview. Good behavior is behavior that gets positive feedback so all else is bad behavior. This becomes an unconscious way we relate to the world!
Dualism is the nature of consciousness. Carl Jung deepened our modern understanding of this by helping us realize that what we are conscious of, our thoughts and feelings that we can see or name, has a compensatory opposite energy too that we can’t or don’t. He called this our shadow.
Basically, what we associate with as bad we will stuff into our shadow, where it dominates the unconscious. In this way, what we don’t work out will get acted out. Or as Jung said, “Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.”
Tonight, and in general what is peaking or being brought to the light right now, is related to your conscious or unconscious experiences from late October onward.
One of the reasons (from Wild Women Wisdom, Wildness on the Full Moon Tide, Jan 5, 2015) women repress their strength or natural association with the realm of the feminine godhead (and therefor with the realm of the collective unconscious) is because we in Western society esteem a male God. Meaning the feminine has been relegated to the shadow.
The feminine, however, was at one time divined among many other aspects through menstrual mysteries.
During the 14th and 15th centuries 9 million women burnt at the stake because of a document known as the malleus maleficarum which associated menstrual mysteries with being a witch (see Shuttle and Redgrove’s (2005) The Wise Wound for more info.)
Inherent feminine wisdom, or the biological fact that we are cyclical and rhythmic just as the moon and the sun, the seasons and the tides, had to be buried deep within the collective psyche. It was demonized or repressed, which means shamed to the extent that rhythmic knowledge of one’s own psyche either as a female, or in regards to anima or feminine instincts, became associated with Satanism!
Lets consider more closely the archetypal mind of the Goddess, or the feminine divine, as a counterpart to the more known and illumined God. The Goddess oversees the realm of dark, night, intuition, death and rebirth (because the female rules the women’s mysteries, of which birth is one) receptivity, and on a more temporal or practical level, emotions, though that is equally an embodied male or animus or egoic part of the process as well (see Ann Ulanov’s interpretation for more on this.)
Bessel van der Kolk is a doctor who coined the term developmental or complex trauma. This is when the nervous system experiences normalized, environmental traumas like untreated substance abuse in the family, domestic violence, or poverty, among other things.
I would like to suggest that the wound of the feminine, or the collective suppressing of the power of the feminine, is an untreated complex trauma in society at large.
In my own experience, healing it means healing the wound of, in Erich Neumann’s words, the patriarchal uroboros in the feminine psyche.
Uroboros is the snake eating its own tail. Think about it. If the feminine’s strength is the darkness, and the darkness is also what’s been demonized both through the repression of feminine instinct as well as as the demonization of dark as wrong or bad, well then. That’s kind of a problem that, like the uroboros, is self-perpetuating.
This Beltane my dear friends, WRITE ON YOUR HEART A COMMITMENT TO YOURSELF TO LOVE YOURSELF WHOLE AGAIN: Shame shames shame. The shame cycle is part of the nebulous core of almost all complex traumas. SHAME SHAMES SHAME. This is the patriarchal uroboros.
Begin within. Healing is about awareness, keeping right relations within by starting to love yourself by being with exactly how you are feeling right now. Healing is about softening, utilizing the Wise self to be with, to accept what is right now. To accept unconditionally gives us the choice to Love. To serve and to create union with the shadowed aspects that the Full moon illumines.
At Beltane, let us align our Wise selves with the sacred heart of Divine Love inside of each of us, and transform shame. Healing is not so much an action plan as a way in which we learn to unconditionally accept and relate to our self.
This be my prayer for us all!