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BELTANE: From Crossroads to Clarity

Happy Beltane!

Beltane marks the transition from Spring to Summer, and the transition from air to fire on the Medicine wheel. 

It’s a time of celebration, joy, and fertility, and a transition point. 


In shamanism and animism, there is a particular interest in transitions, in the “betwixt and between” places, the cracks between the worlds. This is where the really interesting stuff can happen, where the veil between the physical and non-physical realms is at its thinnest.


DIRECTION: from East to South
SEASON: from Spring to Summer
TIME OF DAY: from early morning (6 am) to mid-morning (9 am)
TIMELINE: from thinking about the future, to being in the present
CHAKRAS: from heart chakra to solar-plexus/umbilical chakra
PLANT CYCLE: from shoots & buds, to leaves and flowers
ANIMALS: from flying animals to hunters
SENSES: from touch and sensation, to sight
STAGES OF LIFE: from new life, to infant to adolescence
HUMAN: from head and mind, to will-power
CHALLENGING EMOTIONS: from anxiety and worry, to anger
ACTION: from thinking and considering, to action & doing
LEARNING CYCLES: from theory & ideas, to action & experience

Beltane teaches us about moving future plans in the present-day reality.


Getting stuck at the Beltane point on the Medicine Wheel is about getting stuck at a crossroads and being afraid to move forward, out of a fear of making the “wrong” decision or closing off any possibilities. This can lead to a life spent stuck in indecision and procrastination, never making any progress. Ultimately, to move forward is to let go of other options, and to take the risk of pursuing something new. Every decision we make leads us down a certain path, and not all paths can be walked on.



To tune into Beltane energy, try to see past the modern human world and notice what is around you. Nature is the best teacher for getting unstuck and letting the energy flow around the wheel freely. At Beltane, spring is in full swing, and nature is at its most vibrant and colourful. The trees are lush with new leaves, and flowers are blooming in abundance. The air is filled with the sweet scent of lilacs, cherry blossoms, and other fragrant smells. The sun is shining bright, and the days are getting longer, providing ample time for outdoor activities. Birds are busy building nests and singing their songs, while butterflies and bees flutter from flower to flower, pollinating the plants. 

Spring is a time of growth and renewal, and at Beltane, the seeds of potential that were sown at the beginning of the season are now starting to sprout and take root. However, it’s essential to focus on what truly matters and prioritize the efforts that will yield the greatest rewards. By carefully evaluating our progress and deciding which pursuits are most valuable, we can ensure that we make the most of this season of growth and lay the foundation for a fruitful future.


Revisit the goal-setting exercise we did at the Spring Equinox and honestly look for any parts of you that are resistant to doing it. Then, do shamanic journeys to ask for help – for help with your goals, and equally importantly, for help in healing any wounded parts of you that would otherwise get in the way. 

You might draw from the focus of Falcon or Heron, the courage of Lion, the industry of Bee, the steadfastness of Wolf, the cleverness of Fox or Raven, the perspective of Eagle, or so on. Or be healed by the joy of Spring Flowers, the abundance of Pollen or Insect, or the persistence of River in finding a way to the Sea. The healing and teaching is all there, if you just seek it out, ask, and learn from it.

Remember: It’s crucial to remember that healthy goals should not be a burden or source of stress. Rather, they should provide motivation and a sense of purpose. If we allow ourselves to go with the flow without any direction, we may feel aimless and unfulfilled.


Although Beltane marks a transition to Summer, it’s still Spring! Spring is connected to Air element, so those familiar with shamanic journeys can still significantly benefit from sky burial journeys. Also, go and be Spring in a journey – be Wind, be Animals waking up from hibernation, be Plants emerging from the ground and bursting into leaf, be Birds nesting. Remember, from an animist perspective, Nature is our greatest teacher and healer, and Spring in particular brings new life, new energy, and hope. Do all you can shamanically to immerse yourself in it.

Learn how to do a shamanic journey through our online training course here.


Paul Francis

P.s. You can read more about the Medicine Wheel here.

Upcoming courses:


Our essential introductory course for anyone wishing to study shamanism and animism. The next course is in May, and will be repeated in September. More details here.


  • The history of shamanism and animism. What they are, and what this tells us about where we find ourselves today. 
  • How to do a shamanic journey (a step-by-step method).
  • How to do a Power Animal retrieval journey and find your own Power Animal.
  • Other shamanic nature-based practices. 
  • Why we nearly lost shamanism and lost our way in the process, and how we can recover.
  • Therapeutic Shamanism – the differences and similarities between ancient shamanism and modern psychotherapy, and what they might learn from each other.
  • The basics of how to do simple shamanic healing for other people (including not just humans, but pets and other animals too). 

Dates: 4 Sunday sessions: May 21, 28, June 11, and 18.
Times: 4 pm start (UK time), each online meeting is 3 – 4 hours long.

Flexible study. You can either attend the sessions live, or do the course at your own pace and time by watching the recordings of the online sessions (recordings are made of all the theory presentations, shamanic journey instructions, and the Q&A discussions, and are available for a further year after the course ends). Once you have done our First-Steps course, you can apply to repeat the course whenever it is repeated and as often as you like, all entirely free and at no extra cost.

Online shamanic community. Interest in shamanism and animism is growing all the time. However, our students often say that finding people to walk the shamanic path with can be hard, and so how much they come to deeply value our online community. Joining our online courses allows you to join our thriving and growing international community, where you can share your experiences, ask questions and discuss things, and gain support, encouragement and inspiration. 



July to September 2023. THE TREE OF LIFE (SOMETIMES CALLED “THE TOTEM POLE”): Shamanism, the Chakras, and the Human Body. A Further-Steps course. This course is usually very popular. It contains a huge wealth of information, and really helps anchor shamanic and animist practice in a highly somatic, grounded and experiential way. More details here.

November to December 2023. FINDING YOUR WILD SOUL. A Next-Steps course. Discover practices to connect to your authentic, fully alive, wild and free Lower-World Soul. Learn how to come back to “right-relationship” with your true self, with other humans, and with the Other-Than-Human too. More details here.

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