Beltane Blessings & the Taurus New Moon

Happy Beltane! Also known as May Day, today represents the halfway point between the Spring Equinox and the Summer Solstice. If you've ever been part of a Maypole experience, you've undoubtedly been a part of this festival with Gaelic origins. A time celebrating the flowering of nature, the abundance of life, and the richness of the earth's and our own creative potentials, Beltane is a beautiful time to get our hands dirty in the garden, spend some time with flowers, or participate in any activity that connects us more fully with the flourishing of life. I remember being a 4-year-old and participating in my first Maypole celebration. Of course we had no idea what we were doing, but the colorful ribbons on the pole still stand out in my mind, as well as the lively and playful atmosphere (perhaps there was a little chaos too!) marked by this time of year. I love that this memory lives on in my awareness, that it was strong enough to be carried forward. It's a sweet time of year, and an awesome one for making May baskets filled with flowers, edible or medicinal plants, perhaps some baked goods, and even eggs (boiled, preferably), and giving them to someone not necessarily expecting them. What a lovely way to express appreciation and gratitude for someone! This May basket tradition is something we celebrated in North America in the early to middle 20th Century, and NPR even has an article about it here:: If you're feeling excited about the blossoming of life around you, you're feeling the May Day spirit indeed! 

This festival falls, quite appropriately, when the Sun is in the sign of Taurus, oftentimes when the it's about halfway through the sign. And this Saturday marks the New Moon in Taurus, with the Sun and Moon indeed falling midway through the sign of the Bull, carrying with them the energies of connecting with Nature, settling into simplicity, and returning to our senses. With Uranus here too, it can infuse the energy needed to shift old habits and create space for ones that are more helpful to our fullness:: body, spirit, and mind, together. We're invited to sit outside, breathe in the fresh air, and experience life's magic in the most uncomplicated ways we can. Taurus as the bull isn't the Hemingway bull, but rather, the bull who's hanging out in the pasture, chewing the cud, enjoying the wind blowing the hairs on his back. This is the most physical of all the signs of the zodiac, and as such, we are reminded of the importance of being comfortable in our own skin, connected with the inherent wisdom of our bodies. In a culture that's not monumentally amazing at honoring the body's innate knowing, this Taurus New Moon is a time that can provide healing in this regard. For example, as someone who works for myself, I can be quite good at "pushing through" my body's need to stretch, walk, eat, drink, etc., in order to finish a project, plan, or complete a task that my mind is just so set on finalizing, and right now. Yet when I give myself the opportunity to stand up from whatever it is I'm doing, move and stretch for a couple minutes, close my eyes and breathe, eat a snack or a meal, or drink some water, I am amply more productive than if I hadn't listened to the simple yet ever-present wisdom of my body. And of course studies confirm this:: after 20 minutes of sitting in front of our computers, we should technically give ourselves and our eyes a little break in order to come back with more energy and health to accomplish the task at hand.

Music is also an amazing way to connect with this sense of inner peacefulness that Taurus carries with it. Putting on a soothing melody that invites us to move, to meditate, or to chill the heck out is Taurean medicine. So is Nature and returning to our animal instincts. Being in the garden and communing with the plants, walking barefoot on the earth, or going on a nice hike and experiencing the energy of the earth are all lovely experiences and expressions of the wisdom of Taurus.

Taurus invites us to calm down and experience the tranquility that is available when we remember its presence and allow ourselves to attune to it. Being in school is an awesome invitation to do this! I cannot count the times over the past couple of years that I've been in my head, trying to get information to stick in my brain, and perhaps feeling overwhelmed by the process. Yet when I've taken the time to settle into my being and sink into a space of inner content, the stress does melt away, at least for as long as it needs to, and my brain is actually more able to absorb the information I'm wanting it to! Amazing how that happens ;) A calm and easeful mind, body, and heart are key to most things in life, and accessing information is certainly included here. 

Taurus is associated with the goddess Venus, and the aspect of her that inherently values what is available in this present moment. In yoga, Lakshmi can be likened to Venus, as both goddesses remind us that there is always something right here, right now, in this experience that can be valued and honored, even if it's uncomfortable. In this moment we can find something that is Shri, or inherently beautiful, and cultivate more of it in order to honor the abundance of Life. Because the mind can often be addicted to negative thought patterns or what it doesn't want, it might take us for a ride here and there to keep us in this cycle of negativity and thus disconnected from the abundance of life. Yet, this is coming from a place of thought and mind, a place that is truly disconnected from the experience of being in our bodies, connected with presence, right now. What happens when we allow the negative thoughts to drop away, if only for a moment? There is an opening for the innate beauty of the moment, the universe, the ever-present divine, to express itself, regardless of what we're thinking. And while we must eventually get to the root of the negative pattern appearing in and taking up our mind space, weeding it out for good, the practice of seeing what's going on in our minds, and choosing to reconnect with our bodies and hearts can be an amazing one for connecting with the power of the present, represented here by inherent value (Venus), inherent beauty (Lakshmi), and the simplicity of dropping in (Taurus). So if this is 'all' you do to mark the New Moon in Taurus on Saturday, I'd think you'd be up to something amazing.

This Beltane and Taurus New Moon, I hope you connect with the flowering of nature and of your own consciousness in ways that celebrate life, abundance, and tranquility. May you listen to your being's deeply-rooted wisdom, may you flourish, may you add beauty to what is innately present right here, right now. The Force is with you! Enjoy.