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The Covenant of Gaia Church Of Alberta announces...
Category: Public Circle
What to Bring: please bring a potluck dish to share after ritual
Price/Donation: suggested donation of $5 per person
Acct. Id: 420973
Event Id: 86044
When: Apr. 20th. 2013
Where: Calgary, Alberta
Please join us in celebrating Bealtaine 2013
Event Details: Bealtaine
This is one of the fire festivals, and the source of a lots of bawdy jokes and allusions. For example, "Hurray, Hurray, the first of May: Outdoor suiving starts today!" refers to making love outdoors. By the first of May in Europe, it's fairly safe to take your beloved out for a romantic encounter. Alas, here in Calgary, the first of May is not generally regarded in such a light. There is always the chance for another snowfall.
Be that as it may, Bealtaine is a fertility festival, to celebrate the spring planting and to ask the Deities to make this a fruitful and bounteous year, both of the fields and the domestic animals. It is also a time for weddings for the pagans of today.
Many people today seem to think that June is the marrying month, and indeed there seem to be more honking parades of gaily bedecked cars during June than any other month. But let's think back to our ancestors, and ask ourselves why early May is a good time to get married.
It is a lull time. The cows and other animals have given birth and ploughing and planting has just finished, or will be shortly. There isn't that much happening around the farmstead. People have time to celebrate.
A side effect of weddings is pregnancy. If a woman becomes pregnant at Bealtaine, then she will deliver in late January or early February. The hard work of harvest is over and the hard work of ploughing and planting is yet to come.
How was Bealtaine celebrated in those early days? We know that bonfires were built, usually on the top of a sacred hill or mound. Cattle and other livestock were driven between the fires, so that they might be blessed and be healthy and fruitful during the year. There was probably dancing and singing, and food and drink to be enjoyed. This was an all night celebration, with the youngsters being sent home after dark and the grown-ups continuing the party all night.
Bealtaine has the reputation of sexual licence, of being outside the normal bounds of social interaction. It seems not to have mattered who you were with on Bealtaine night. It might not have been your spouse. This is also where the weddings fit in, with newly married couples jumping the fire together and then going off to consummate the marriage.
Other couples jumped the fires together as well, to ask the blessing of Deity on themselves as they had asked for it for their livestock.
The Wheel mythology tells us that the God has now grown to young manhood and is married to the Goddess at Bealtaine. She becomes pregnant and so the Wheel turns.
Today, we jump the Bealtaine fires to ask for the blessing of Deity without the fertility of the body that our ancestors asked for. People jump with spouses, friends and to affirm commitments with others. We look forward to seeing the fields fill with grain and other foods, and to see the mighty trees leaf out in all their splendour.
Event Location: Church in Calgary in Calgary
Event TIME Details: Ritual starts promptly at 7:30 pm
Directions: Please contact our Meet'n'greet coordinator for further information on location of our rituals.
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