My idea of the perfect ritual involves women showing up to a calm, clean, well-ordered space, where wine is poured, tensions are dropped, flowers release their scent into the ritual air, muscles relax, women remember who they are and from whence they came. I want intent clearly specified, ritual supplies laid out, incense alight, and grounding done right.
LikeAnne, I prepare like hell for the strike, and then I let that sword just fall as it will.My Younger Selfresponds better that way.
But, that's not THE only way to do ritual. I've been reading Barbara Ehrenreich's Dancing In The Streets every day at lunch, four or five pages a day. She talks about how women left their spinning to run into the streets to follow Dionyisis, how ecstacy can overtake even the most repressed, at times. Beltane is all about living in the moment, all about feeling, after a long winter of parsing out the left-over seeds and saving enough back for planting, that it's ok to let go, ok to burn fires on the high hills, ok to have sex in the fields, ok to act without thinking it all through. About finding what Anne calls the "middle ground between worrying and controlling something on the one hand, and ignoring it on the other."
As you prepare this week for Beltane, for the fire festival on the high hills, for our religion's most important celebration of acts of love and pleasure, I hope that you feel free to let go. Goddess knows, I mean to.
I'm a woman, a Witch, a mother, a grandmother, an eco-feminist, a gardener, a reader, a writer, and a priestess of the Great Mother Earth. Hecate appears in the
Homeric Ode to Demeter, which tells of Hades who caught Persophone
"up reluctant on his golden car and bare her away lamenting. . . . But no one, either of the deathless gods or of mortal men, heard her voice, nor yet the olive-trees bearing rich fruit: only tenderhearted Hecate, bright-coiffed, the daughter of Persaeus, heard the girl from her cave . . . ."