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Beltane and Sex

As anyone who has read The Mists of Avalon and its sequels already suspects, Beltane was once observed with bawdy parties and revelry and lots of sex. It's the traditional wedding date of the Goddess and the God, after all. And by wedding we mean mating, and by goddess and god, we mean form and force.

When the Maypole is inserted into the earth, the sexual symbolism is obvious. The pole is phallic, and so symbolizes the male. The earth is round and abundant and so symbolizes female. But it's not about gender, it's about energy.

There are two kinds of energy;

Receptive energy or Form is the seed. It is pure potential.

Projective energy or Force is bolt that shoots forth to awaken it.

So the seed and the soil are form. The sun and the rain are force. It takes both to create life.

The egg and the womb are also form. The phallus and sperm are also force. This is why our ancestors equated the energies of form and force with female and male. I think it's time for us to use the more accurate terms of form and force, receptive and projective energies.

These two kinds of energy are also why the act of sex is equated with the act of the sun shining onto the earth, and the earth bursting forth with life in response.

The lesson of the High Holy Day of Beltane, May Day, is that it takes both the form and force to create life.