Issue 18 - Bealtaine 2014


Working Ahead ...

LIKE any publication, Brigid’s Fire works ahead of itself, anticipating deadlines and dates on which its readers will be sitting down with a coffee or a glass of wine to enjoy the latest edition.


cover18 240x338Which makes it difficult on this rain-sodden day in April, with the wind frightening the buds on the cherry tree is to imagine the promise which is Bealtine and the smell of summer coming.
But it’s the nature of our practice to experience the wheel as it turns and to live with the certainty that the only certain thing is change.
By the time anyone outside of the Brigid’s Fire team reads this, it’s to be hoped that we have all begun to draw the breath of summer.
To help with writing the editorial – or perhaps as a distraction from being asked to do any real work – I decided to try to recapture the hope, promise and joy of Bealtine by watching the original production of The Wicker Man.
Many people who have seen the movie have said that it’s not great spin doctoring for Paganism. Luckily, we’re not big on spin-doctoring as an art form. We prefer to dig deeper.
There are many stunning moments in the film but one that always makes me smile is when Sgt Howie sees the young women jumping the bonfire naked and Lord Summer Isle says that he hopes the policeman finds the sight of the naked revellers refreshing. Howie looks as if he would spit bullets.
The girls, Sgt Howie learns, are seeking conception of a child to the God – Parthenogenisis – which was possible in terms of evolution, as anyone who has seen that other movie, Jurassic Park, knows.
The kernal of the message is that with Bealtine, there is the sensual luxury of allowing our battle for survival with Winter, the treacherous frosty roads, the endless storms, to cease.
We can nurture hope and faith in the future.
It gives us time to renew our relationship with growth, with sensuality, with the promise of outdoor rituals, feasts eaten in the grass, chilled wine sipped beneath the sun’s caress, lovemaking in the meadow, annointed with the smell of wild herbs.
Change is constant and there is no knowing how many more Bealtine feasts any of us might see. Samhain is Bealtine’s dark twin. Enjoy.

Bernie English


View the list of contents for Issue 18 here.

Purchasing this Issue

Click on the button below to purchase the digital version of the magazine. A download link will display once you have paid. The download file is in pdf format and comes in at ~13Mb.

You will need Adobe Reader to open the file - this is available for free from Adobe. If you are downloading Adobe Reader make sure to untick the optional offer to install MacAfee before you download.