Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Beltane Safety

I wanted to project a happier message than I did last year, and also not talk about myself very much in a Beltane article. So here it is. (We don't all party as hard as suggested below, but I wanted to be inclusive.)

Before you jump those balefires--or each other--consider these safety tips so you can make it to the next Beltane, too!

Hike up your robes. I'm not even talking about after the ritual. The fire does not care that you are Lady Impressive, 3rd Degree Awesomechilde of the Very Big Deal Coven. Be aware of those loose flowing garments when you are near an open flame.

Be honest with your partner/s. Let them know if you are in a relationship, whether it is open, and under what terms. Your lovers may not know unless you tell them. Do it as much for your own safety as theirs!

Wrap that Maypole. Use protection. Talk about birth control and disease prevention as appropriate. Make sure everyone in the bed really wants to be there and what they want to do, and respect their limits.

Know your own limits. Decide roughly how much you will drink before you take that first sip. If you don't think you can control it, don't start. Know ahead of time whether overnight is an option, or arrange a safe, sober ride. It will end better and everyone will have more fun.

Prepare for a good morning. If you imbibe, remember to drink plenty of water and eat something with protein.

Let the bugs bug off. Remember to use insect repellent if you are spending time outside, especially at night. It doesn't have to contain DEET to work. Some very effective repellents contain essential oils instead and just need to be reapplied occasionally.

Know where your friends are. Nobody's suggesting you babysit adults on what could be the sexiest night of the year. Just keep an eye out for each other. If you think someone is receiving intimate attention they don't want--or if they're in no condition to consent--stand up for them! Just go up and ask her (or him) if everything is all right. You could change the course of your friend's life.

Pick a location you can trust. If you don't feel safe at a certain party, ritual, or camp, you're allowed to vote with your feet. Go celebrate the season in a way that makes you feel good.

Have fun!  Open yourself to the fullness and joy of this sunny season.

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