Many people associate Early May – Beltaine-tide – with fairies and nature spirits, believing this to be one of the two magical points in the year when the veil between our world and others is at its very thinnest. The other time is Samhain (Hallowe’en), which sits opposite Beltaine on the wheel of the year.
I certainly find that, at this time, I see a lot of shapes, faces and figures in nature – in trees in particular. On a family picnic last week we walked and played in a little wild area by a stream where these tree roots made me think of fairy arms reaching out from the bank –
– whilst one tree in particular displayed forms that seemed very in keeping with the Beltaine theme of sexuality and sensuality:
I’m quite aware that one explanation for me perceiving these representations in an old tree’s lumps and bumps is perhaps found in the fact that more than one of my old school reports state: “Morwenna has a vivid imagination”. Some people may suggest a residual effect from past chemical recreational pursuits. My own explanation is that these are a medium through which nature speaks to us. Nature, who has in recent months awoken from sleep and started to stretch out and get to work. Nature who, right about now, is looking beautiful and luscious. The message that I hear from these forms is one reminding me of my own creativity and fertility; am I nurturing it as I need to? Is it blooming in the ways that it could? I also hear a call to connect with my body, with my femininity, with my sexuality. I hear a reminder of the approaching time of the maiden-mother transition as the goddess’ pregnant belly gets fuller and rounder.
It’s my personal belief that there are spirits who reside in trees, rivers, caves and wild places. I feel that these spirits may deliver the messages that Nature wants to remind us of – after all, we are all part of Nature; we are Nature. I believe those spirits show themselves to us through forms and faces like those in the photos above, they may appear as fairies or phantoms or they may whisper and sing to us if we listen closely to the wind and the waves. I feel that, at Samhain, Nature and the spirit world encourage us to turn inward to listen to and learn from our inner selves, to reflect and to study. At Beltaine, the invitation I receive is one to hear and see messages from outside. Not that I don’t reflect or study at all, but that the emphasis is on conscious activity, on my physical senses being open wide and on receiving external wisdom and inspiration.
And of course this beautiful tree with all its many sturdy branches very, very clearly invited us to come connect with it through the medium of climbing!