Beltane is still here: you haven’t missed it.
I like the idea of the structure and cyclical nature of the ‘8 fold’ year. Is a common them in Pagan/neopagan thinking and many, many ancient and world wide cultures and religions. From a Wildcraft(y) point of view its about marking and observing cycles in nature, connecting what is going on and how that feels in us.
Dividing the year up into the 4 equinoxes/solstices (which are astral/sun-focussed / ‘heavenly’), and the 4 ‘fire’ festivals (human, season focussed/‘earthy’) halfway in-between, seems a more natural set of ‘months’ than the ones we normally use. I’m bilingual in both.
And the heavenly equinoxes and solstices really do happen almost in an instant; it is an exact time that the sun is positioned in the sky, marking a point in our year.
For me the other 4 ‘fire’ festivals (of which, we are now in Beltane), are different. More indefinable, they happen over many days, tied to the seasons, sort of … approximate, depending on the state of the earthly season: in contrast to the heavenly exactness of the solstice/equinox. They are a pause, where you cannot pin down the start or the end, and will change from year to year.
They are celebrated on the first of May, August, November and February, and being an occasional pedant, I worked out that the 1st is not halfway in-between. It’s a bit early. Try 5,6,7,8th (depending on how you count it). So if we say it starts on the 1st, well it could keep going till the 15th…. or anywhere in-between. All I know is that Beltane is still here: you haven’t missed it.
So there is time to still feel and contemplate the pulse of life that is happening all around us, all washed in (and emitting) the greatest display of spectroscopic verdancy at any time of year.
yours in Wildcraftyness