Reflections: Beltane 2018

As we move into the third year of the Temple Project, we’re focussed very much on learning from our work so far. Reflection is vital for this project, as we consider what’s worked and what hasn’t, what we enjoyed and what didn’t quite align to our goals. We’ll be sharing these reflections as we continue our Temple Gatherings into 2019, and as always welcome feedback and suggestions!

Our most recent Gathering was at Beltane, which is typically a very high-energy sabbat. Coming off the back of the amazing Wildwood ritual, and the past six months of quite intense Gatherings, we expected the Beltane Temple would be more of the same. Unfortunately, we were both feeling depleted after the public ritual, experiencing the natural come-down after engaging so strongly with the wild energy of the season.

So we were both surprised and delighted when we opened Temple and found it permeated with a beautiful, gentle, soothing energy. Instead of wild, frenetic intensity, we sat within quiet peace. There was a strong sense that we were pausing. That it was time to breathe. The energy was about stillness rather than motion.

The message was clear.

Exhale.

Breathing is a two-step process. Inhale. Exhale. You can’t breathe without the exhale. The moment of release, of letting-go of tension. The pause before a new breath is taken, the moment of stillness before we create again.

Beltane seems to be all about the inhale, the beginning of something new. This sabbat is about creation and the combining of powerful principle energies into something new. As we dance the Maypole, we’re symbolically combining sperm and ova, merging the DNA strands and weaving them into something new. This is the season of the (re)generative principle, the merging of soil and seed to create something new – to bring life.

Inside the interface with our Temple, we found a new aspect to this creative force. The need to release what has already been stirring, to empty your arms of what you’re carrying so that you can fill them with something new.

Our goal for this Gathering was to create, to weave into the world support for the Temple that it could continue to grow. Very clearly, the approach we needed to take was to breathe. Exhale. Let go of the frantic rush-rush-rush to build, construct, begin. We needed first to release what has already been built over the last six months, to exhale our held breath into the world.

Since Samhain we have been building this creative energy within the Temple. Each Gathering, we work with others in the community, absorbing their style and needs and ideas into the Temple goals. At Beltane, we articulated those desires for what our community wants from a Temple, and sacrificed them to the Hestia flame that we light at all our events. We found a triple-echo of these fires in Otherworld and inside ourselves.

The flames of the Sun, searing overhead.

The flames of our hearts, bright within.

The flames of the Temple’s sacred fire.

We wove these three flames together, crystallising our intent and creating the future of the Temple by releasing what we had built over the last six months. We wove these three fires together into a talisman to each take back with us, to carry into our world and daily lives, to spread wide the energy we had built and let it cast itself upon the shore.

We are in our second year of the Temple Project and (surprisingly) relatively on track with our original timeline. But everything we do is about building on what has gone before. Growing the Temple energy out in the world and into the community, leading us to a point of permanency where other followers of the old gods have a physical sanctuary and place of communion.

We give thanks, in gratitude and wonder, to all those who joined us for this Gathering and offered up their energy and their love with open hearts and willing spirit. May the three flames burn bright as they light the soul of the Temple and bring it to birth within our worlds.

Blessed Beltane!

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