Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Happy Beltane (May Day)

My elementary school held a dance every year on May 1st.(or as close to that day as the school calender allowed) Each grade did a different dance. I was probably in the 4th or 5th grade when I first remember seeing the older kids dance around the Mayple. Oh how I wanted to grab one of those brightly colored ribbons and dance with it around and around that pole. Something inside me stirred even then. I couldn't wait until I reached the 6th grade so my turn to dance the Maypole would come. The year I was in the 6th grade we moved just before Christmas. I never got to dance around the pole.
For the last few years our local Pagan communtiy has held a May festival. Dancing the May Pole is one of the activities. Every year I have to work. Sigh....
In my heart today on Beltane I am dancing around the Maypole.

Just so you know:
Beltane is one of the four major Sabbats in the Celtic tradition, the other three being Lammas, Samhain and Imbolc. Beltane's traditional date, May 1st, was chosen as the midway point between the vernal equinox and summer solstice (two of the four minor Sabbats). Beltane, like Samhain, is a time when the veil between the worlds is thought to be thin, a time when magic is possible. Whereas Samhain revelers must look out for wandering souls of the dead, Beltane merrymakers must watch for Fairies. Beltane is the night when the queen of the fairies will ride out on her white steed to entice humans away to Faeryland. If you hear the bells of the Fairy Queen's horse, you are advised to look away, so she will pass you by; look at the Queen and your sense alone will not hold you back

Rise at dawn and wash in the morning dew: the woman who washes her face in it will be beautiful for the forthcoming year, and the man who washes his hands will be skilled with knots and nets.

Go a-Mayin' by going to the woods and fields to gather flowers. Take a picnic.

Make love in the woods. Beltane is the time of year when the Goddess and God consummate their passions. Traditionally it is a time when lovers pledge to live together for a year and a day. At the end of the period, they may part ways if things haven't worked out. If all has gone well, they may make plans for a Handfasting at Midsummer. This activity must only take place between two consenting adults, and is not to be taken lightly.

If you live near water, make a garland or posy of spring flowers and toss it into stream, lake or river to bless the water spirits.

Prepare a May basket by filling it with flowers and goodwill, then give it to one in need of caring, such as an elderly or sick friend.

Beltane is one of the three 'spirit-nights' of the year when the faeries can be seen. At dusk, twist a rowan sprig into a ring and look through it, and you may see them.
Make a wish as you jump a bonfire or candle flame for good luck-but make sure you tie up long skirts first!

Commune with the faeries.

Make a May bowl -wine or punch in which the flowers of sweet woodruff or other fragrant blossoms are soaked-and drink with the one you love.

Begin the day with a hearty bowl of Irish oatmeal topped with cream and brown sugar or country butter. Oatmeal brings good fortune and encourages the power and magick of the faeries. Dairy, bread, cereals, May Day bread, Cherries, Strawberries, Wine punches, Green salads, Ice Cream and Red Fruit. Warm oatmeal cookies and vanilla ice cream are great as a Beltane treat

Blessed Beltane Everyone



Blogger miss*R said...

a Blessed Beltane to you, Autumn.. from down here where it is Samhain (ps- sent you an invite ;) )

May 1, 2007 at 1:26 AM  
Blogger "Early Bird" said...

I've enjoyed your post about "May Day"...as a child I had heard of the May Pole but have never ever seen one...they are as elusive as faerie is to me...sigh!
I've got a "recipe" for a garden faerie chair if you would like it :)

May 1, 2007 at 4:33 AM  
Blogger Meow said...

Happy May Day, Autumn !!
Hope everything is well in your world
Take care, Meow

May 1, 2007 at 6:15 AM  
Blogger Ligeia said...

A very Merry Day to you, too.
They stopped the May Day celebration in our town - held by Christian Scandinavians. Why? Some "better" Christians thought it was too pornographic - scantily clad young girls dancing around a phallic symbol.

May 1, 2007 at 8:52 AM  
Blogger peppylady said...

I remember making May Day Baskets in school taking them home an placing them on my parents front doorsteps and ringing the doorbell and running on the side of the house and hiding.

Have a wonderful "Mayday"

May 1, 2007 at 1:39 PM  
Blogger PEA said...

Happy May Day to you Autumn:-) We don't celebrate that here so I'm having fun learning about all the traditions! It all sounds so very interesting!!! xox

May 1, 2007 at 1:42 PM  
Blogger TurtleHeart said...

Beltane Blessings to you, Autumn!

May 1, 2007 at 1:58 PM  
Blogger Carrie said...

My mom went to some Beltane thing a week ago.

Happy May Day!

May 1, 2007 at 3:16 PM  
Blogger Sacred Suzie said...

Blessed Beltane Autumn! And what a lovely and informative post, thank you for that. I didn't realize that the veil would be thin like at Samhain, that's excellent to know.

You are so lucky to have had those pagan community experiences, I've always been a solitary because I have no community in that way. I hope that in my mind and spirit tonight when you dream you get to dance around the maypole.

May 1, 2007 at 3:36 PM  
Blogger Granny said...

It seems like May 1 here. Lovely warm weather and sunshine.

May 1, 2007 at 5:52 PM  
Blogger Sandi said...

I like the making love in the woods part! Great info!

By the way, I tagged you on my post. Something my daughter put me up to.

May 1, 2007 at 9:02 PM  

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