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Take a walk in Blue Bell Woods listen to the sounds around you, of bird song and bees. Smell the flowers and the scent of Spring in the air. Every year is a new beginning and every day a blessing

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Monday, May 1, 2017

May Day......................................

From Beltane to May Day. Half way between Spring Equinox and Summer Solstice.
" Beltane honours Life. It represents the peak of Spring and the beginning of Summer. Earth energies are at their strongest and most active. All of life is bursting with potent fertility and at this point in the Wheel of the Year, the potential becomes conception. On May Eve the sexuality of life and the earth is at its peak. Abundant fertility, on all levels, is the central theme. The Maiden goddess has reached her fullness. She is the manifestation of growth and renewal, Flora, the Goddess of Spring, the May Queen, the May Bride. The Young Oak King, as Jack-In-The-Green, as the Green Man, falls in love with her and wins her hand. The union is consummated and the May Queen becomes pregnant. Together the May Queen and the May King are symbols of the Sacred Marriage (or Heiros Gamos), the union of Earth and Sky, and this union has merrily been re-enacted by humans throughout the centuries. For this is the night of the Greenwood Marriage. It is about sexuality and sensuality, passion, vitality and joy. And about conception. A brilliant moment in the Wheel of the Year to bring ideas, hopes and dreams into action. And have some fun....."
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The May Queen. Innocence, dressed in white with crowns of flowers. Actually the Godess, the Mother is celebrated on Mothers Day also. Yes we look at it a bit different. We honour our Mothers and that is a nice thing to do but.............it does have ancient and pagan roots.
The Beltane celebrations are practical as well as spiritual
"The Fire Festival of Beltane
This festival is also known as Beltane, the Celtic May Day. It officially begins at moonrise on May Day Eve, and marks the beginning of the third quarter or second half of the ancient Celtic year. It is celebrated as an early pastoral festival accompanying the first turning of the herds out to wild pasture. The rituals were held to promote fertility. The cattle were driven between the Belfires to protect them from ills. Contact with the fire was interpreted as symbolic contact with the sun. In early Celtic times, the druids kindled the Beltane fires with specific incantations. Later the Christian church took over the Beltane observances, a service was held in the church, followed by a procession to the fields or hills, where the priest kindled the fire. The rowan branch is hung over the house fire on May Day to preserve the fire itself from bewitchment (the house fire being symbolic of the luck of the house)."
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The May Pole represents The Lord and the Flowers his lady. It is a time of handfasting (marriage) and love. When you think of it all of nature celebrates Springtime. I am a Christian and it's difficult sometimes to reconcile traditions that I can not help but love and my faith. I do not believe certain rituals are harmless but if I were not a Christian I would indeed be Pagan. It is the love of Nature, I love the Creator of nature and believe that the "old ways" were a symbol of what was to come. I once read somewhere that they were the "bearers of the light in the world until Christ came" I do know, many many Pagan rituals were incorporated into Christian traditions. A way of bringing them into the fold so to speak.
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Whatever else, it is a beautiful time of year. May, the sun is warmer and the world is new again. The animals have their babies and June is traditionally the month of Weddings. Love is in the air. How can that be bad?
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It used to be the tradition of taking a May Basket and hanging it on peoples doors.
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A lovely tradition. It's a great pity that some of those traditions were lost because now May Day seems to be a time for countries to show off their military might. Parades of armies and weapons rather than Morris Dancers and The Green Man, The Goddess and flowers.
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I was talking to Sarah who lives in my old home village of Houghton Regis today, she says they will have the village Fete on Saturday and have the May Pole and things like that, she will send pictures. It's good to know that those things do still happen.
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The beginnings of Maytime rituals can be traced back many centuries. The festival Floralia was celebrated in early May by the Romans, who believed Flora, the goddess of spring, spread flowers across the land with her warm breath. The month of May itself is thought to be named after the Greek nymph, Maia.
Hawthorne flower, May blossoms.
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Anyway, it's May it's May the gentle month of May............and all is well with the world.
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4 comments:

NanaDiana said...

Janice-This post was beautifully written and I did not know half of what you wrote about...having never read it anywhere before. It is beautiful in its simplicity and its depth. Thanks for sharing it here...and the pictures are wonderful. I hope you have a blessed May 1st night. xo Diana

Lisa Isabella Russo said...

What a beautiful post and images too. It was very interesting.

Debbie-Dabble Blog and A Debbie-Dabble Christmas said...

What a beautiful post!! Thanks so much for stopping by!!
Hugs,
Deb

Magic Love Crow said...

Beautiful post Janice! Really enjoyed it! I hope you are well! Happy May! Big Hugs!