Happy Beltane for those in the Southern hemisphere! (And while there are no pumpkins in our gardens here, we can say Happy Halloween to the Northern Hemisphere folk! Have fun trick-or-treating! We’ll be doing that at the end of April!)
The traditional date for Beltane is 31st October, and astrologically this year it’s on the 8th November. By paying attention to the tasks of each season, we optimise our growth and flow more easily with what’s arising.
Diurnal cycle: Morning, 9am,
start of the work day
Lunar phase: Waxing Gibbous Moon
Archetypal Season: beginning of Summer
Indigenous Season: Warra Warrap/ Garrong/ Buath Gurru, Grass Flowering Season, warm & wet (Yarra Valley area, more info here)
Sabbat: Beltane, the mid-point (cross-quarter) between the Spring Equinox (Ostara) and the Summer Solstice (Litha)
Life season: 25 years old – vital youth – our culture idolises this time of life.
For some, an extension of wild freedom, for others a stepping into the ‘parent’ phase, birthing babies, careers and/or creative projects.
Fertility cycle: urgent creative feelings, sexual energy increasing,
follicular stage – rise in estrogen, follicles ripening, endometrium thickening in preparation to receive an embryo.
Themes: sacred sexuality, blossom, pollination, promise, warmth, bloom, flourishing, fertility, growth, desire, anticipation, building momentum, intoxication of the senses, dancing round the Maypole (hello, phallic symbol!), liveliness, beauty and creativity!
This is what’s happening in the garden, Nature the best teacher of these natural cycles: seedlings growing, roses budding, fruit trees blossoming or fruiting already, flowers blooming, winter brassicas going to seed, asparagus shooting, berries gunning it, comfrey thick again under the trees after a winter fallow period, and, of course, the sun shining more warmly!
The Lunar-Solar Journal asks these questions:
How can I best nurture what is blossoming in my life now so that it will bear fruit?
What do I know I must do? And if I am not doing it, why not?
Where is my desire leading me?
We anticipate Christmas and all the fullness of the preparations, climaxing around the Summer Solstice, and then the out-breath of holidays to come! Make the most of this fertile time!
Indigenous Season in the Yarra Valley: High Summer ~ November, December, January
“WARRA WARRAP/GARRONG, late Black Wattle, with pale yellow blossoms, flowered in November. As the summer advanced, the land began to dry, and people congregated around the reliable water-sources, the creeks, rivers and billabongs. Fish was an important food – Galaxias moved up the river from the sea. Where rocky falls blocked the river, as in the Prince’s Bridge area and at Dight’s Fails, fish would accumulate in large numbers, and could be easily taken. Eels started to come downriver. Fish traps were set. Water sources were important for the wildlife, so large animals such as Kangaroos and Emus would come to drink and could be caught. Lizards and snakes were active. Grasses flowered – Kangaroo Grass, Wallaby Grass, Spear Grass, Tussock Grass and the Common Reed. Fruits ripened -, MORR – Currant-bush, GARRAWANG – Apple-berry, White Elderberry, Kangaroo Apples and sweet LAAP – Manna, could be collected beneath the WURUN – Manna Gums The small tuberous plants died back, but the women still knew where they could dig for their roots, which at this time were at their best. . When people went up into the mountain gullies to get firedrills, they ate the pith from the centre of the treeferns. In the warm weather, big shelters were not needed unless it rained.
As food was plentiful, large gatherings of the tribes and clans took place. With permission from Bunurong clans, people went to the sea-coast to swim and gather shellfish and the fruits of Pigface and Coast Beard-heath. Flounder and Flathead could be speared or netted in the shallows, and shellfish were gathered.
The Dandenong Ranges were the hunting grounds for both the Bunurong (Western Port tribe) whose land lay to the south, and the Wurundjeri (Yarra Yarra) tribe whose land lay to the north and west. When the first pastoralists came: Blacks from the Western Port and Yarra Yarra tribes were frequently seen during the summer months, hunting in the forest for wallaby, possum and koalas.” (see source)