May Day

May Day traditionally marks the return of spring.  Agricultural rituals are held to ensure fertile and bountiful crops.  Despite attempts by the church to turn May Day into a religious holiday, the pagan roots hold fast.

Traditionally, in celebration of the return of the sun and in hope of a bountiful and fertile crop, fires were lit the night before at sunset and continued to burn until the setting sun on May Day.  Cattle were led through bonfire gates and couples jumped the campfire flames in hopes of prosperity, love and happiness.

Celebrations included singing and dancing all through the night.  Eligible women wore crowns of flowers in their hair.  Wreaths were made of spring blooms.  A large tree was stripped bare so just a tall pole remained (phallic symbol) and it was purposefully and ritually placed into a hole dug deep into the Earth (symbol of the vagina).  Every maiden and young man ‘not yet spoken for’ received a ribbon that was attached to the May Pole…. they began singing and dancing with the ribbons, sometimes high above and sometimes low, all twisting around the pole which turned into a dizzying and intoxicating fertility dance.  The May King and Queen were crowned and promptly left the festivities to go make love in a nearby field.  The fertility ritual had been completed and surely, in time, the season would tell if the ritual had been a success.

As I fire scry, I can see.  I can see it, smell it, taste it.  And in my ear, I hear the whisper of the ancestors.  For a moment, it is now.

The Wheel continues to turn.  I wish you peace.

 

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