But we accept your invitation, and would bring you Beltane's flower.
For the May Day is the great day, sung along the old
And those who ancient lines did ley will heed this song
that calls them back."
"Songs From the Wood"
If you've never listened to Jethro Tull's "Songs From the Wood,"
|The Green Man|
The origin's of what we now call May Day began as an ancient
|The Hierophant from Stephanie|
Pui-Mun Law's fae deck, "Shadowscapes"©
Beltane also kept the Druid tradition of setting bonfires ablaze at midnight. Historically built on hilltops, these fires were constructed from nine pieces of wood, gathered by nine different men from nine different trees. Fetching the hawthorn blossoms was called, "bringing in the May." Villagers would go into the woods on Beltane Eve (April 30th) to blow cow horns and gather hawthorn blossoms to bring back to their homes. The revelers stayed out all night, probably enjoying cup after cup of May Wine, a wine flavored with herbs and blossoms. They returned home with their blooms in the wee hours before dawn. Eventually, Christian church doctrine outlawed the wild over-night trips into the woods. I'm guessing because of the significant increase in unwed mothers nine months later.
|This oracle card comes from "The Druid Plant|
Oracle"© by Philip and Stephanie Carr-Gomm,
illustrated by Will Worthington. Beautiful depictions
On May Day, the villagers declared the prettiest girl in the village "Queen of the May," She sat on a throne decorated with flowers and her Green Man sprang out of the bushes to claim her as his dancing partner at the May-Pole. Beltane, or May Day celebrations as they became known, were outlawed in England during Oliver Cromwell's time along with just about anything else that sounded like fun.
May Day returned to England with the return of Charles II- a historical player whose exploits in the bedroom were the stuff of legend. However, the festivities were more sedate - at least in mainstream society. The May-Pole became a fifty foot log with long ribbons attached to the top. Dancers wore costumes and though they still danced clockwise, they twisted ribbons down the pole in what was probably a much more artistic way than anything their forefathers designed. Soon May Day became a day for children to tie garlands of flowers to willow sticks and take them from houses to house for people to admire. Sometimes their efforts were rewarded with cakes and coins. The garlands eventually gave way to baskets of flowers left anonymously on doorsteps and even today it's not unheard of to honor special friends and neighbors with flowers on May Day.
I think it's a nice tradition to celebrate May Day. I make up my
|April 30, 2014 adds up to #14,|
Temperance - seen here in the fae world
of "Shadscapes"© by Stephanie Pui-Mun Law
Watch your consumption of May Wine!
The Beltane Fire Festival in an international celebration hosted in Edinburgh, Scotland. Here's a link to explain the history and majesty of this event. Enjoy!
Other names for May Day:
Rood Day, Rudemas
Disregard the following "Green Man" product links, as they have been de-googlized