For more about Beltane, read this from our archives, and guest blogger Jane Galer.
Let this Beltane Full Moon stimulate your senses and draw you into the magic of your ordinary world. Do you feel a quickening in your body? A desire to experience even more earthly delights? Ritual is a time-honored way to attract invisible assistance in manifesting your desires. And it’s a wonderful way to deepen play with the creative earth energy of the Sun transiting Taurus. That’s why every Spring, on an auspicious Friday, during the Venus-ruled Taurus season, I perform the Santeria ritual for Oshun. As the Yoruba goddess of fresh waters, Oshun oversees the same delights that Venus does. I call “Venus” with Oshun’s ritual and neither goddess seems to mind the confusion.
The first time I did the ceremony as a lark. Venus rules pleasures, money and love—who wouldn’t be eager for more of that! To ensure a powerful result, I knew I needed to be as specific as possible. I meditated on my desires—they seemed faraway, perhaps impossible, but I knew exactly what I was dreaming of: I wanted a fabulous new home and a man to share it with. Given the magnitude of my request—wouldn’t it take time to bring such bounty!—I figured it wasn’t too soon to let Venus know.
I gathered the requisite ingredients: a dinner roll, a nickel, my desires written down on a piece of paper, some honey, and a candle. I prepared them as instructed. The ritual was supposed to conclude with tossing the combined ingredients into a body of fresh (not salty) running water. This was not easy to find in my suburban neighborhood. And I was not going to toss my dreams in the toilet—the common suburban substitute for ritual running water. Thankfully, a receptionist at the local water company told me of an unmarked spot three miles north of the main road. There, in an unnamed stream moving briskly through a forgotten oak grove, I surrendered my dreams to Venus. She could help me or not!
Just six weeks later I found myself in escrow on a home so beautiful, with waterfalls, French windows, breath-taking views, it was grander than my wildest dreams. And guess what—the man arrived too, bringing a loan for the down payment and a desire to move in with me!
I was stunned.
I’ve performed the Santeria Oshun ritual many times since. None of my subsequent rituals have surpassed the sheer drama of that first result. Yet my repeated petitions to Venus have brought something far more profound: Venus is now a living presence in my life. My exquisite dream house has since been sold, its profits funding a prosperity of ease and playfulness that was once only a dream of mine. The man who materialized after that first ritual has since moved on, allowing another man, even more passionate, to join my life. My days are more pleasure-filled than ever before. No longer is Venus just a figment of my imagination. She’s a real being whom I actively serve, by celebrating what she loves.
It’s not the desire to pile up Venusian goodies that prompts my annual rituals. The sparkle and rush of running streams in my neighborhood, the teasing bowers of new Spring growth—they stir me to it. One time, after preparing our rolls and burning our candles, my partner and I drove to a local creek. I could sense Venus dancing in the water and among the leaves. I could feel her within, a rising joy. “Oh let’s pick a good spot, so we can watch our rolls float awhile downstream!” I focused into the pleasure of the moment and flung my bread into the water. I watched as it swiftly sailed through the sun-lit current, until it went out of view.
Exhilarated, I turned to my partner. His face was glum. There was his bread, inches away from where he’d thrown it, pinned against a rock. Every moment in ritual is a telling one. If what shows up is contrary to our desires, it indicates what might be in our way, or what is unclear about our current state of mind. My partner had been feeling stuck in his life for awhile. He shrugged his shoulders and turned toward the car. “No! We must free it!” Was it Venus speaking in me? We tossed stones, laughed, nearly fell into the water, and then his roll sprung free and went on its way. At home that night, we honored Venus deliciously.
Gods and humans need each other. We love their magic. They love our acknowledgement. It is through us that they live! I hope you spend this Taurus Moon cycle living the joy of Venus. Use the Santeria ritual, or any other means!
Santeria Venus Ritual
“The invisible world wants to help us,” declares visionary activist and astrologer Caroline Casey, “but spiritual etiquette requires that we ask.” One of the best ways I know to ask for Venus blessings is the Santeria Venus ritual (described by Casey in her Making the Gods Work for You. I make sure I perform this ritual every year during the Taurus cycle. I encourage you to do the same!
- It’s best to perform this ritual on a Friday—which is Venus’ day. You’ll need a round piece of bread, like a dinner roll. Make a hole in it and put a nickel or five pennies inside (the number five is sacred to Venus).
- On a small piece of paper, clearly state your desires. Fold this paper and put it into the bread, on top of your nickel. Then pour a little honey on top of that (as Casey always says, “for obvious symbolic reasons!”).
- Finally, place a small candle in the hole (bigger than a birthday candle, but smaller than a taper). Casey suggests a yellow candle, though I’ve found different colors fun to play with.
- Light the candle. As it is burning, honor Venus: take a luxurious bath, go shopping, make love. Do something that makes you feel juicy, beautiful, pampered, prosperous, and happy. Like attracts like—a delightful like-minded mood attracts Venus like nothing else!
- When the candle is completely burned down, so that only melted wax is on the bread, take it to sweet flowing water—a stream or a river, but nothing salty like the ocean. Toss this now ritually potent (and fully bio-degradable) roll into the water, reciting an invocation, poem, or prayer of your choice.
- The goddess will respond to your desires in the coming weeks. She might fulfill your dreams in miraculous ways. Or she might play the trickster—revealing a blind spot that still stands in the way of your desires.