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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in May Day

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

I am the blossom, I am the beemay-2017-124
I am the branch, I am the squirrel
I am the acorn, I am the oak
I am the breath, I am the words
I am the space, I am the fullness
I am the song of the May.

Happy Beltane to all! We brought in the May by the wild, flooded creek and river. I have never seen the water so high and intense! We offered our flower blessings to the churning, deep water, and sang together as we faced the wildly swirling torrents of water, accompanied by its music, awe-inspired at how quickly a landscape can change after several days of heavy rain.

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Broom Lore for Walpurgisnacht and Other Holidays

Every year in late April, I thoroughly clean my back porch for the first time since the descent into winter. Over the winter and early spring, things tend to collect -- dust, dead bugs, spider webs, tree pollen from early spring. The latter (especially from the pines that surround my house) makes it futile to do this any earlier because all of my hard work -- sweeping, hosing it down, vacuuming, and mopping -- would be nulled a few days later by a thick film of yellow powder. But by mid-spring, everything seems to calm down enough to make the deep cleaning worthwhile, which ends up putting this ritual right before Walpurgisnacht and May Day, which I celebrate to honor my German and Scandinavian roots. I won't go into the history of Walpurgisnacht here because it's already covered on a wealth of websites and books; I'd rather focus on one household tool that has a significant place in the lore of this holiday (especially to me personally): the broom.

Brooms are often featured in many spring holidays. At Easter in Sweden and Finland, the festivities take on a more Halloween- or Carnivale-esque character than in other places, and little girls dress up as Easter witches, wearing kerchiefs on their heads and carrying small brooms in their hands. On Walpurgisnacht, a Wild Hunt of witches and specters rides across the night sky to hold their revels on the Brocken. It's common knowledge that the broom as a flying implement is a development of the magic worker's staff. For hundreds of years, it has served as a symbol of feminine power masked as a common, humble household tool.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Maypole or Bonfire?

The Maypole and the Bonfire have long been the two ritual foci of Beltane celebration.

The logistical problem being that a ritual can't have two centers.

I remember running into this difficulty decades back while planning the community Beltane down at the old River Circle by the Mississippi. We wanted both a Maypole and a Bonfire, but (unless you want to burn the Maypole, which is wrong) they're mutually exclusive options and only one of them can be in the middle of the circle.

In the end we settled for a central bonfire with the Maypole off to the side of the circle. After the Maypole dance, as darkness drew in, people (of course) clustered around the Bonfire, leaving the poor Maypole deserted.

I.e. not really a satisfactory solution.

Historically speaking, the Maypole is a relative newcomer to the Beltane celebrations (there's no documentary evidence for it until the early modern period), while the Mayfire is clearly prehistoric (the name Beltane itself originally meant “bright fire”).

But the tension between Fire and Tree is more apparent than real. Our problem is trying to cram both hands into the same catskin glove.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Jön Upsal's Gardener
    Jön Upsal's Gardener says #
    Maddeningly, Ronald Hutton in Stations of the Sun (p. 233) doesn't give the title of the poem or the quote, only the author; Adda
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    I'm intrigued, Jon: which poem is that? Clearly time to to brush up my Middle English. So: we find Maypoles in England. We find Ma
  • Jön Upsal's Gardener
    Jön Upsal's Gardener says #
    And just as an aside, written evidence for the Maypole goes back to the 14th century. As it's entirely unlikely it was invented co
  • Jön Upsal's Gardener
    Jön Upsal's Gardener says #
    Actually, we call that Sumarmál. :-) And you're entirely correct; modern society and its artificial cycles of weekday-weekend is
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    A bat needs two wings to fly. Bwa ha ha.

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
My 2 Weddings, Part 3: May Day with Loki

May Day 2014 was the first ritual I attended after Loki started skinriding me almost every day. Because he could be present in my body at any time, I have to be sure that every ritual I go to is a Loki-friendly one put on by Loki-welcoming people. If Loki isn't welcome in main ritual space, and he's in here with me, then I can't enter main ritual space.

It would not make any sense for me to put a lot of time and effort into getting to a ritual if I can't be sure I'll be able to participate in it. Luckily, there was a ritual I could attend right in my local area. 

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Bealtaine in the Streets

If you've ever wondered what it would be like to experience a pagan holiday in a pagan city, well, you don't have to wait until your next incarnation to find out.

Just come to pagan Minneapolis for Bealtaine.

For 42 years, the magic and artistry of Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theater has brought the joy of May to Witch City. 50,000 people line Bloomington Avenue for the Parade and then follow it, dancing, in unbridled celebration of the Coming of the Sun and the melting of Winter's icy heart.

In Powderhorn Park, we call the Sun, which sails to us across the lake in its winged boat. By its power, the Tree of Life rises renewed, and the city-wide party begins.

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A Celebration of Life and Fertility!

Happy Beltane / May Day, fellow Witches and Pagans!

Beltane, which bridges the seasons of spring and summer, is arguably one of the most important and/or popular Celtic festivals out there and we’re doing all we can to help you celebrate. With that in mind, we’ve gathered the most relevant articles from across PaganSquare for your perusing. Additionally we’ve also gathered other pieces from across the web to inaugurate your summer celebrations as well as a few pieces about Earth Day, which passed earlier last week.

We hope you all enjoy your Beltane and have a wonderful summer!

-Aryós Héngwis

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Recent comment in this post - Show all comments
  • irene boyce
    irene boyce says #
    Hi Aryos, I have only recently discovered you beautiful people on this site...although I'm still struggling to figure out how it

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
SEXY MAY DAY PARTAY

The elements of sexy: a clean house, a clean you, light tasty finger food, and good drink. These four basics will engage your senses. Added extras would include some groovy tunes and fresh flowers, of course. You really cannot have too many good smells, sounds, and visuals today.

When cleaning, throw in about five drops of Bergamot essential oil in the mop water and/or for polish on wood. Bergamot is known for it's uplifting qualities, and also blends nicely with lavender. It is always a wise idea to take care of this the night before, so that you can wake to a clear and pleasant space – setting the tone for the day. Decorate your altar in vibrant reds, whites and florals as the last order of business before getting a good sleep. Don't forget to put some clean sheets on the bed (wink wink).

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