05.01.94 - Beltaine Fires
Take him and cut him out in little stars,
And he will make the face of heaven so fine
That all the world will be in love with night
And pay no worship to the garish sun.
I now know how Juliet must've felt as she waited for night to come on and bring with it her Romeo. Of course, I am all too well aware of how pathetically cliche that sounds, but I don't suppose I care.
I lit a candle in front of my Goddess figure just before sunset. This was partly done as a prayer and partly as a small observation of the holiday. I couldn't bring myself to cast the circle and perform ritual - not when my heart was so heavy.
Last year I made Beltaine bread and Sean brought home potted wildflowers to fill the flat with spring and life. The contrast was suddenly awful as I realized my home now held the stench of death and despair. I wondered how long a person could sit around wishing for death before the Grim Reaper stretched out his fingers.
As those thoughts were entering my head the sun was falling fast into the horizon, and I suddenly felt him standing behind me. I turned to look at him, a tear silently rolling down my worn face. He was wearing the same clothes I had buried him in - a black shirt under his wool coat and an old, comfortable pair of blue jeans. My first instinct was to run to him and wrap my arms around him as tightly as I could. And then I remembered that I couldn’t touch him anymore.
"Hello Aleigh," he said.
I couldn’t breathe, let alone speak.
"I have a surprise for us. It is Beltaine, you know?" He was smiling as usual. How could he always be smiling when I could do nothing but cry for him?
I stared at him, still unable to speak - still wondering if the ghost in front of me was just my imagination.
"Do you have any mugwort?" he asked.
"Why, do you want some herbal tea?"
"Sort of, but it's for you, not me."
"Okay." I gave him a questioning glance. I had learned a long time ago to just trust Sean without question, so making mugwort tea for myself on Beltaine did not seem like such a strange task.
A short time later I was lying on my bed with a crystal medallion around my neck. Sean had hid the medallion inside a drawer in my wardrobe, apparently for just such an occasion. It was a circle split into three parts - each of moonstone, amethyst and aquamarine. Inside each third was tiny illegible incantations written in ancient scripts. A tiny hole had been cut through the center of the circle to allow it to be strung on a cord. Sean closed his eyes and started to talk in a hushed voice - actually it was more like chanting. Within moments I was standing amidst an ancient forest and the moon was smiling down.
"Well, what do you think?" Sean was standing beside me, but not too close.
"It's lovely," I said. As I looked around I noticed that all of my favorite trees and plants were placed around with care. There was lavender and chamomile, my favorite herbs. There were also fruit trees including wild apples - I have always loved the tangy taste of a wild apple. Along the forest edge was a hedge of red and white English Roses - Sean's choice - and just by the roses was an iron garden table and two matching chairs. I was aware that I was simply traveling on the astral, but everything seemed so real. Then again, I suppose to my astral self, things on the astral are indeed real.
"You can come here whenever you like and you will always be safe. I will not be able to visit you here except on this day every year. It is the only day that the demon has no power over our connection. The rest of the sabbats will be like Ostara. Do you understand?"
I nodded and moved closer to him. There was warmth coming from him and his scent was strong and intoxicating. I reached my hand out to touch him and found his body solid and full of heat. I must have given him the most astonished look because he let a chuckle escape him.
"You see, on this day, the demon is blinded by the sacredness of The Great Rite. Nothing can come between the Goddess and Her King. That includes the earthly incarnations of them as well. All women are of the Goddess as all men are of the God. A demon can have no power…"
"Be quiet Sean," I said as I kissed him with all of the pain and love in my soul. My hands flew freely up his shirt and to touch his skin was like going home again at last. He picked me up in his arms and carried me over by the roaring ritual fire. I could've sworn there was the sound of primal drums all around us as we lay together in the sweetness of the grass.
There on the astral plane, in a place of my lover's creation, I found a spark of life still left in me - I found a small piece of what I once was just a few months ago. For a short time I found peace in Sean's arms once again.
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