Happy Beltane!

Today is May 1st, making it the traditional day for Beltane, a Pagan festival. (Or, okay, well, my traditional day for Beltane.)

In the Neo-Wiccan Wheel of the Year, Beltane is one of eight sabbats (solar festivals; the others are the solstices, equinoxes, Imbolc, Lughnasadh, and Samhain). It is based off older traditions from various parts of Europe and the British Isles, but its modern-day celebrations are a mishmash of these traditions. Like Wicca, today’s Neo-Pagan Beltane is new.

Celebrations of Beltane can include jumping the fire for fertility (of any sort; not just baby-making), dancing around the May-pole (which, yes, is supposed to be a phallus), making lewd motions with ritual implements (or perhaps that’s just me), candy shaped like genitalia, getting married or handfasted for a year and a day, and unbridled coupling in the woods. Or your bedroom; whatevs.

Beltane is also known as the sex holiday, and for good reason. 

For me personally, Beltane is sacred to Morrigan, who is so much more than a “goddess of war and death”. She’s the goddess of sovereignty, which is inherently tied up with sexuality and being a warrior. (For more on my take on the Morrigan and many other topics related to paganism, check out my writings under the name Morag Spinner at Innocence and Immanence.)

Also, the sex celebrated at Beltane is, to me, more than just what I do with my boyfriend (though that is quite awesome, don’t get me wrong). If you were to ask me to define “The Force” or the divine source of life pulsing through the universe, I would say “sex”. Sex is what makes us; sex continues the cycle of life. The earth is teeming with the life force, and it’s inherently sexual — if you do energy work, you may know what I mean. There’s a thrill that comes with really great connection during ritual or magic.

What am I doing for Beltane this year?

I’ll be doing a small ritual re-affirming my bond with the Morrigan and re-opening my connection to the land and its life-force. I’ll also be writing, hard at work on The Jade Star of Athering.

If you want to do something to commemorate the day but you’re not sure where to start, you could consider downloading Bellica on the Kindle. Today is the last promo day for Bellica, and it’s full of pretty sexy prose. (Check out my SSFSat snippets if you don’t believe me.) Besides, what better way to celebrate a pagan holiday than by reading some pagan fiction?

If you’ve been waiting for Bellica to come out on other formats, today is your lucky day! My Kindle select period ends tomorrow, and as soon as possible I’ll be releasing Bellica through Smashwords (I’m working on the file right now). I’m also working on the proof from Createspace, so if you prefer a paperback version that will be available this month as well.

Friday Reads: The Forever Girl by Rebecca Hamilton

(Yes I realize this post is late SHUT UP I haven’t slept yet SO IT COUNTS.)

I won a game of hangman on Twitter with Rebecca Hamilton and she gave me a free Kindle copy of her book, The Forever Girl. I’m only about half-way through, but I wanted to share some quick thoughts about it.

  • I like what she’s doing with the vampire mythology.
  • Wiccan main character who is an adult, college graduate and working is very refreshing, and I’m happy to see it. I’m also happy to see the character’s flaws and watch her start to grow as she gets introduced into this strange new world of supernatural beings.
  • The attraction/sexual tension is very well-written and very good at making me hot and bothered. (Or that could be me not being able to have sex while my back is on the mend, yes I’m going crazy, regardless I enjoy the sexual tension in The Forever Girl.)

So, yes, overall I’m enjoying this book very much and I recommend you go take a look if paranormal fiction is your thing. (Also available in paperback from CreateSpace.)

30 in 30: Day 18 (Wiccans in Space, female-dominated societies, and the family Jewels)

Cover of "Daughter of the Blood (Black Je...
Cover via Amazon

Favourite Opening Scene to a Book

This is honestly something I haven’t given a lot of thought. Either the opening scene of a book is interesting enough grip me and I read the rest of the book, or it’s not and I don’t. I don’t rank the opening scenes as “favourites”.

A few books’ opening scenes that stand out are Daughter of the Blood by Anne Bishop, The Fifth Sacred Thing by Starhawk, and an as-of-yet unpublished work the name of which I can’t remember by Kara Smith, an old friend of mine from high school. It was science fiction — Wiccans in space, basically, except way better than that phrase would lead you to believe. I need to find my copy back and reread it — Kara is an excellent storyteller, and the work is unfinished (well, the copy I have is), so it’s really the biggest clit-tease in the world to read the story over and over again. I should try and look up Kara again. Haven’t spoken to her in ages.

I digress. Aside from those opening scenes, I don’t know. Like I said, it either grips me or it doesn’t, and beyond that I really don’t think about it.