Beltane Encounters with the Otherworld

The energy of the ritual still hung in the air, shimmering in the light of the Beltane full moon. I was alone in the garden, tidying up the lanterns and getting ready to put the fire to bed. As I walked down the garden steps, my offering of milk and honey in my hands, I made my way across the lawn to where the altar and offering place lay beneath the canopy of an old beech, its leaves just beginning to bud. I said a quick prayer as I entered that sacred space, with nine small stones delineating the boundary of this “faerie circle”, a minilithic stone circle that I built last year.

As I walked into the circle, I felt the air thick with the magic of the evening. I knew something was about to happen. I laid the food and drink upon the altar, and gave my thanks to the spirits of place, and to the Good Folk. No sooner had the words left my mouth, than a rustling in the hedge all around me began, as if some strange wind was shaking just the coniferous boundary of my garden, or a small army of badgers were all coming through the little holes in the hedge at the same time. My heart pounded in my chest as the moon shone through the branches of the beech above me. Frozen in place, excited and both frightened to see what happened next, I tried to see into the darkness of the hedge, shadowed from the moon’s light, but I could perceive nothing but the inky blackness.

The rustling all around me stopped, and I found I was able to move. I knew that something had come through the hole in the hedge, but I could not see it. Slowly I walked towards the firepit, hoping to see what had come through by the light of the fire. I cautiously approached the dying flames, and peered into the shadows about ten feet away. I could see very little, but I felt a presence, someone – male – standing by the birdfeeder and the hole in the hedge, standing shoulder-height to me, dressed in shades of brown. Suddenly, even as I looked and felt his presence, he moved without a sound like a dark shadow in the blink of an eye back into the hedge, and there from the depths of the green and black two eyes shone a whitish/green, reflecting the light of the fire. Whatever that being was, he had changed into the form of a badger in the blink of an eye, to watch me from the depths of the back hedgerow.

“Beltane blessings,” I murmured. Unsure of what to do next and still very much afraid and alone, I curtseyed and then covered the firepit with its iron mesh guard, walking back slowly towards the house. I had wanted to ask for his friendship, and for that of all the Good Folk, but my courage failed me on that night of the full moon, as the powers of Beltane and the Otherwold flowed through the land.

I only hope that he will return, and soon.

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7 thoughts on “Beltane Encounters with the Otherworld

  1. Wow! What an amazing encounter and experience. You did not run away. You did not scream. You stood and were respectful in his presence. I have every faith he will return. I also love the idea of a minilithic circle. x

  2. WOW! What an incredible encounter! Do you have any sense, or ideas, about what it might have been? I don’t doubt that shapeshifters are real, but I’ve never had a real-life situation unfold with one. I would also have been equal parts terrified and excited beyond belief.

    I actually did just go out onto our deck (apartment, on the second floor) and look down at the creek and trees below last night, asking any of the Fae/Elementals and Pan and Green Man to visit our deck as they like, and that I’d make it a cozy space for them if they help point me toward what would make them feel most at home. I know it’s on the second floor, but I saw Pan clearly in my intuitive vision *in* the apartment minutes later, and I swear I saw a little white light orb dart off to my right after that! They really can be anywhere…may the magic continue!

    And I haven’t heard of “Good Folk” before. I wonder if it’s UK versus US terminology? Off to look it up either way. Thanks so much for sharing!

    • Hiya – yes, I think it is a UK/European term 🙂 And I do believe they are everywhere, and we close ourselves off to them intentionally for most of the time, forgetting the magic. But when we open ourselves again, and honour them for who/what they are, we also honour the entirety of nature, for nature is so much more than we can ever imagine or know 🙂

  3. It is so wonderful to read that you felt a touch of fear during this experience. My home merges with river and woodland, and I tend it with love and respect, but at night time I’m a little ashamed to admit that I feel timid, and almost overwhelmed by the energies circulating there. My daughter, however, feels more comfortable walking out in the darkness, and has done so since she was ten years old. It was she who informed me that it is the man with antlers who is the steward of the place. She knows this because she has encountered him on several occasions by the ancient copper beech. Blessed be.

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