Liminality: that delicious state of being in-between, neither here nor there. It is an uncomfortable condition to be in. Leaving known and familiar structures can be exciting. We set off on our adventure full of enthusiasm, eager for what awaits us, and desirous to journey into a new situation or phase. This state of vigor may last weeks, even months if we are lucky. Yet, there is a span of time after which psychologically, perhaps even neurologically, we desire to re-establish routine and familiarity. Our being, confronted with extended dissolution of order, experiences discomfort.
We enter a threshold state.
These liminal spaces are powerful. In fact, many uncomfortable situations and experiences are: such as graduating college, getting married, childbirth, changing careers, moving away from home, etc. A well known Reclaiming chant reminds us, “Where there’s fear, there’s power.” and we do well to acknowledge this. Too often, instead of standing in our uneasiness and opening to our own power ,we attempt to escape the ordeal of the threshold. Occasionally, these transitional times extend well past our comfort zone and can take on a permanent quality, which can be dangerous. Reintegration is a vital component to any right of passage, or life journey. Yet…for the witch, as for many Hedge Walkers, liminality is intentionally extended, even though madness may ensue.
The Ring behind the house is taking on a decidedly personal flavor. Its earthen embankments, covered in Black Thorn and gorse, hide an interior dotted with bluebell in a maze of trees. A large Hawthorn on its slope is clothed in pure white. One low Black Thorn sprawls in the southeast, and yesterday I spent the afternoon in his arms. Limbs reclining to hold me, I stretched myself out on his mossy bough: suspended, in-between. The foxglove within the Ring are tall, their buds full, poised on the edge of bloom. The birds sang clear as they darted from perch to perch, tending nests of young ripe with expectancy.
Nature, here in Ireland, is in a transition phase: moving from Samhain into Bealtaine – from the dark to the light. And just as the Fianna roamed the liminal space between tribal lands during this time, performing their Great Deeds, so too is it our time to rouse ourselves. Summer is the time of movement., not of storytelling. Whether your movement is taking the cattle up the mountain for summer pasture or running with the hunt in the woods, the energy of the season is all about us. The liminal time of Bealtaine is here.