Posts Tagged With: May Day

Celebrating Other Spirituality 365 Days A Year – May Day

Beltane Comments & Graphics

May Day

“Nature is often hidden; sometimes overcome; seldom extinguished.”

–Sir Francis Bacon

 

Common in Europe and North America, May Day is celebrated by the crowning of the May Queen; dancing around the maypole; and mumming from house to house carrying blossoms and soliciting gifts of food. Most of the activities that take place on May Day symbolize Spring, relating human fertility to crop fertility and rebirth. In the past it was common for young people to pair up, often by lot, and then gather in the woods all May Eve night.

In English folklore, May Day, Bringing in the May, and Going-A-Maying refers to the practice of going out into the countryside to gather flowers and greenery, much of which was used to adorn the May Queen. Bringing in the May remained a staple tradition throughout most of the 16th century, before it was banned by the Protestant reform-fundamentalists who took moral outrage at the unchaperoned activities of the young people. May Day was banned along with other traditional customs in the Commonwealth period, but returned after the Restoration.

Today, many of the old customs still prevail, such as woodland weddings and the gathering of morning dew for skin renewal. Horse racing, parades, and dancing around the maypole have made a comeback as have garland parties and mumming.

 

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Celebrating Spirituality 365 days a Year – June 25th

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June 25th

Midsummer Bride’s Day

In Sweden, June 25 is May Day and when the people of the province Blekinge choose their Midsummer Bride or May Queen. A bride is chosen from the town’s young women, who will then select a bride-groom. Money is collected for the couple, who are, for the time looked upon as husband and wife. After the day-long festivities, the money that has been collected is given to the local church and charities.

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All About the Merry Month of May

May

Traditionally May is the “Merry Month,” from the old German murgjaz or mirth. It was named after the Greek Maia Majestas, Goddess of Spring, of which the Irish Celtic Queen Medb (Maeve) was an incarnation. The Anglo-Saxon name for May was Thrimilcmonath, thrice-milk, due to the abundance of milk that the cows gave at this time.

This fifth month of the Gregorian calendar, and third month of Spring, was when fertility was at its peak, a time of ritual promiscuity in old Pagan Europe. In ancient Rome, it was the custom for girls to be given menstruation parties by their mothers to welcome them into the community of women. In Greece, girls who reached puberty at this time were expected to give their dolls in offering on the altar of Aphrodite.

Despite the return of light and life that May brought, many ancient people considered May to be an unlucky time of the year. Mythologists believe this attitude originated with the Romans, who celebrated Lemuria at this time-a festival dedicated to placating the discontented dead.

As the days grow longer, May is the perfect time to nurture and work toward achieving those goals inaugurated during the Winter months.

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Good Thursday Afternoon to all of our dear friends!


Well good day to everyone. How was your Beltane and May Day? We celebrated late into the night on April 30th. We even got Lady Abyss a chair and parked her and she was able to celebrate also. It was so late by the time we got through fellowshipping and celebrating. Lady Abyss told us just to take May 1st off. We had a great time. I have a few pics for you to see. I was trying to find some where there wasn’t any nudists running loose. It was hard to do, lol! But it’s Beltane, what do I expect.

Today is not going to be a normal day. We might have some horoscopes and we might not, who knows! But we are going to have some super old Ancient curses. These curses are something else and I know you will raise an eyebrow or two at them. They are curses to give people the mumps, the measles, chickenpox’s and so on. When we run across unusual stuff we like to share it with you. I hope you enjoy them as much as we did.

Now the Beltane Photos

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Revellers take part in the Beltane Fire Festival on Calton Hill in Edinburgh, Scotland

 

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Really I celebrated too much! Thank the Goddess, Lady A gave us the day off, lol!

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Beltane and Its Holiday’s Significance

Beltane

Witches usually celebrate Beltane on May 1, although some prefer to mark it around May 5, when the sun reaches 15 degrees of Taurus. The sabbat is named for the god Baal or Bel, sometimes called “the bright one.” In Scottish Gaelic, the word bealtainn means “fires of Belos” and refers to the bonfires pagans light on this sabbat. The joyful festival celebrates the earth’s fertility, when flowers bloom and plants begin sprouting in the fields. The Christian Church adopted this ancient holiday as May Day, and some of Beltane’s old rituals (sans the overt sexuality) are still enacted today.

The Holiday’s Significance

The second fertility holiday in the Wheel of the Year, Beltane coincides with a period of fruitfulness. To ancient and modern pagans alike, this holiday honors the earth and all of nature. In early agrarian cultures, farmers built fires on Beltane and led livestock between the flames to increase their fertility.

Sexuality is also celebrated on this sabbat—the Great Rite has traditionally been part of the holiday’s festivities. In pre-Christian days, Beltane celebrants engaged in sexual intercourse in the fields as a form of symbolic magick to encourage fertility and a bountiful harvest. Children who were conceived at this time were said to belong to the Goddess.

Ways to Celebrate

It’s best to celebrate Beltane outside in order to appreciate nature’s fullness. Because Beltane is a fertility holiday, many of its rituals contain sexual symbolism. The Maypole, around which young females dance, is an obvious phallic symbol. Witches often decorate the Maypole with flowers in recognition of the earth’s beauty and fruit fruitfulness. Sometimes a woman who seeks a partner will toss a circular garland over the top of the pole, signifying the sex act, as a way of asking the Goddess to send her a lover.

Another fertility ritual utilizes the cauldron, symbol of the womb. Women who wish to become pregnant build a small fire in the cauldron, then jump over it. If you prefer, you can leap over the cauldron to spark creativity in the mind instead of the body.

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THE MAYPOLE AT BELTANE

Beltane Comments & Graphics
THE MAYPOLE AT BELTANE

In the spirit of Spider woman,
Who wove the earth and the universe
We weave this Maypole of desires
Come true at Beltane.

Dance the Maypole for the
Beauty of the earth, the Goddess
And all of her people.

Weave the Maypole to make all wishes come true.

We are the flow, we are the ebb
We are the weaver, we are the web.

We are the weaver, we are the web
We are the spider, we are the thread.

We are the spider, we are the thread
We are the witches, back from the dead.

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Celebrating Spirituality Through Out the Day, April 29th

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April 28th – May 3rd

Floralia

On April 28, 238 B.C., the Romans dedicated their first temple to the Goddess Flora. At the time there had been a food shortage, and, according to the Sibylline Books, the dedication of a temple to the Goddess would ward of the impending famine.

The festival was designed to ensure that the crops blossomed well, so that the harvest would be good. The games and festivities lasted for six days, to May 3. It began with theatrical performances and ended with circus games and a sacrifice to Flora.

The Floralia came to be regarded by prostitutes as their feast. The games drew crowds of commoners, and prostitutes were more licentious than during the Saturnalia-December 17 to 23.

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MAY EVE

MAY EVE

Walpurgis Night, the time is right,
The ancient powers awake.
So dance and sing, around the ring,
And Beltane magic make.

Walpurgis Night, Walpurgis Night,
Upon the eve of May,
We’ll merry meet, and summer greet,
For ever and a day.

New life we see, in flower and tree,
And summer comes again.
Be free and fair, like earth and air,
The sunshine and the rain.

Walpurgis Night, Walpurgis Night,
Upon the eve of May,
We’ll merry meet, and summer greet,
For ever and a day.
This magic fire be our desire
To tread the pagan way,
And our true will find and fulfil,
As dawns a brighter day.

Walpurgis Night, Walpurgis Night,
Upon the eve of May,
We’ll merry meet, and summer greet,
For ever and a day.

The pagan powers this night be ours,
Let all the world be free,
And sorrows cast into the past,
And future blessed be!

Walpurgis Night, Walpurgis Night,
Upon the eve of May,
We’ll merry meet, and summer greet,
For ever and a day.

Doreen Valiente
“Witchcraft For Tomorrow”, pp. 192-193

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