For thousands of years, societies everywhere have held rituals to celebrate the changing seasons and energies of nature. In Qi Gong, this plays an essential role in how we practice and live our lives.
Not surprisingly, many of the seasonal lessons in Qi Gong are also reflected in various cultures. Even though each culture has its own way of celebrating, there are remarkable similarities between many of them.
At Holden QiGong, we welcome the opportunity to understand how various traditions honor the changes in the natural world. Like languages, each way of celebrating has its own unique gifts to share with the world.
This post will discuss the ancient tradition of Beltane, as well as how it relates to Qi Gong.
What Is Beltane?
Beltane is a Celtic festival that celebrates the coming of summer. It is generally held halfway between the Spring Equinox and the Summer Solstice. In the Celtic language, Beltane means “fires of Bel.” Bel, also known as “Belenus,” is the Celtic Sun God.
As in most cultures, the coming of summer holds a special importance in the Celtic tradition.
Beltane is the day when Celtic communities drive their cattle to their summer pastures. After the long and cold winter, cattle herders are eager to get their animals to warm pastures where they can roam freely and graze.
The Beltane festival includes elaborate rituals which are performed to keep both people and cattle safe as they transition to their more expansive summer activities. With more activity on the horizon, communities want to make sure that they are well prepared and in good favor with Belenus, the Sun God.
Fires are an important part of the rituals and festival. Their flames, ashes, and smoke are believed to have protective qualities for the cattle and people who participate in the festival.
Beltane rituals also focus on growth, fertility, and community connection. In addition to staying safe and healthy, Celtic communities also recognize that the summer is a time for connection and creation. Fires, feasts, and laughter are a big part of the festivities. Yellow May Flowers are also used as festival decorations.
Connection Between Beltane and Qi Gong
Those who are familiar with how Chinese Medicine and Qi Gong view the season of Summer will notice remarkable similarities to Beltane.
In Qi Gong, summer is connected to the Fire Element. As Qi Gong practitioners, we recognize that the summer is an ideal time to welcome the gifts of Fire, which happen to be the same qualities that are celebrated during Beltane—activity, connection with others, fertility, and growth, to name a few. In Qi Gong, the Fire Element is connected to the heart organ.
In addition to the similar qualities celebrated in Qi Gong and during Beltane, there are also similarities in how they relate to the Fire Element.
As mentioned above, Beltane is a festival that celebrates Belarus, the Sun God. To cultivate the gifts of Belarus, people build fires and celebrate as a community.
In Qi Gong, we don’t exactly recognize a specific deity as the Sun God, but we do recognize the existence of the Fire Element. Of course, the Fire Element embodies all of the same qualities that you would assign to a Sun God.
Even though Beltane celebrations don’t include the kind of Qi Gong practices that Lee teaches in his classes, Beltane activities are in direct alignment with our intentions in Qi Gong. Their fires and festivities are just another way of cultivating the Fire Element and welcoming the gifts of the season.
In Qi Gong, instead of creating external fires, we generally use Qi Gong practices to experience the same transformations within ourselves.
In other words, Beltane and Qi Gong are simply two different ways to cultivate the same energies of nature. They are two languages that express a similar message and intention.
Pre-Recorded Qi Gong for Summer Workshop
Summer is just around the corner, which means that it’s time to prepare to welcome the season’s gifts. Love, joy, passion, and friendship are all waiting within us to be expressed.
Just as plants blossom in nature, the energy of the heart expands to its fullest potential during Summer. By cultivating our heart Qi, we can experience all of the wonderful potential that lies within us.
Qi Gong offers us powerful practices for awakening the wisdom of the heart and letting go of past pain. By listening carefully, we can harness the guiding power of the heart in order to make better decisions and live in true alignment with who we really are. This also helps us to stay protected against negative energies we might encounter around us.
This pre-recorded workshop focuses on heart-opening Qi Gong exercises that allow us to cultivate love, compassion, and inner strength. It includes a rich blend of spoken instruction and guided exercises, allowing you to gain an intellectual and experiential understanding of the practice. Because it’s pre-recorded, you can practice whenever you want, and you can go back to rewatch those lessons at any time.
If you’re interested in harnessing your inner potential for love, connection, and joy this Summer season, click on the banner below to learn more and start practicing today.