adar dà theine Bhealltainn, which in Scottish Gaelic means, ‘Between two fires of Beltane’. There are many reasons why it is my favourite holiday of the year, none of the least of which it signifies, at least in the land of my mother, the beginning of summer, and it also is the anniversary of my wedding to my husband, le Comte de Rochefort, Sebastien.
The festivities begin at moonrise on the night before May first. This festival metaphysically algins with the Earth’s reproductive energies – all things sexual, all things regarding the regenerative properties of Life itself culminate at this time. The celebrations mark the end of winter and the awakening of all the creatures of the Land into the Bright Half of the year. Even on the Fortunate Island, where we do not know winter, we feel the sap begin to rise and flow forth within the world around us. When the Bale fires are lit, the world raises it’s voice in rejoicing.
It was also at this time that I gave up my maidenhood and entered into the next stage as mother with the conception of my first daughter, Maeve. Though such children conceived at this time and born on or near Imbolc, are blessed as being powerful and blessed by the Great Goddeess Herself, we were not blessed with the happiness of a traditional mother and child. I know that she dwells with her guardian, Nuada, now. She was favoured by the Sidhe, and so I wonder that so much time has passed if she would not either remember me, or care to know of me. It is a wound that I have no idea if it can ever be healed or not. I did what I did to defeat Morgienne – I did what I had to do in order to keep Maeve (and myself) safe.
But when my thoughts turn to Maeve and those times, I quickly turn my thoughts to happier subjects that happened after. Beltane’s promise, fulfilled when looking into the face of my husband, underneath the towering columns of the Temple. That night was wrapped in a blanket of stars, the air heavy with the scent of orchid and jasmine, the voices of the Priest and Priestess intoning the rites of marriage, and I do not believe that neither Sebastien nor I even listened to a single word outside of those that were being spoken within our hearts. In that night, our Souls were bound as One, for a Fae sovereign can marry but once. And for me, he was and is my ‘once’. All other paramours, all other liasons and alliances are of lesser import – even those that are still as yet difficult to let go of. And though I try to explain this, my words fall short of adequate. Few know what such bonds consist of, let alone having experienced them. I know of only one, the other half of this equation, who truly does understand and know. And I know that it is not easy for him, either.