Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Beltane / May Day - Celebrating the turn of the year

I like to think about different ways of celebrating the turning of the  year, and am especially drawn to those that are linked to natural cycles.

Beltane, or May Day, is all about the rising fertility of the earth.  April showers give way to warm sunshine (we hope!) and all those seeds and seedlings in the garden suddenly begin to flourish.

Over time, this festival has been celebrated in many ways, all focusing on fertility, but not necessarily just on the fertility of the soil if you know what I mean!  The maypole is certainly a pretty symbolic image, and there was a fair bit of sharing the love going on during this festival.

What you can do:

  • join in or set up a Maypole dance - may be too late for this year, but try it next time
  • make a floral crown by twining together lengths of willow and weaving in the stems of spring flowers, and coloured ribbons
  • make a mini Maypole.  Get hold of an old kitchen roll stand (a piece of dowelling stuck into a stand) from a car-boot sale or charity shop.  Use a glue gun to attach pretty ribbons to the top and pretty flowers around the base.
  • Make a fairy chair for the garden (I love this idea and will definitely try it next year!).  Get an old wooden chair (again, junk stores or second hand furniture shops are your friend).  Sand it down and paint it with exterior primer and then exterior paint in pastel colours, you can also paint on flowers and leaves to attract those fairies and then seal with polyeurathane.  Place in your garden in a likely spot for the fairies, and press down into the soil.  Plant seeds for climbing flowers such as sweet peas and honeysuckle around the base.  As the summer progresses your chair will be awash with flowers and the perfect place to spot a fairy.
  • Have a bonfire.


  1. Emerging Visions visionary art 'zine #22

    In celebration of Earth, our Gifting Gaea has emerged.
    Share our Gift; Enjoy our Earth; Blessed Be

    Sense caressing meadow
    Green grain and brilliant petals
    Lovely buzzing, lively hopping
    Warm, yellow light at play
    Luscious wash of pleasure
    Fragrant, rolling, mellow
    Miles of flowering moments
    Celebrate today

    Imagine May Day

    Brazen witches fly, legends say,
    dark Moon nights; arise, stealthy, silent
    in their joyous revelry.
    Bonded to Earth's creation;
    learning at mother's breast
    to manage life's gifts and lessons.

    Historic Man may proclaim, may murder
    for fealty, to swear allegiance to
    their hunt's command.
    They may elevate their One True King
    to kneel and obey. They may employ
    counting measure, ceremony and sacrifice,
    taunting and torture or other trials
    thus finding for each loyal swan a pond
    to plunder, to parade in royal colour,
    their place of pride.

    Cruelty descends, more master than tactic;
    it is the enemy of joy, of flavor,
    bonding, works of love and honor.

    Yet men, on real ground, work companions
    to soil and rain, engineers trained to each
    moment's urgencies, philosophers of stone and mud,
    reason and toil, persist. Their sinew and bone feed
    the ages, build clay and richness on which
    wealth relies.

    Wisdom knows the sweat of practiced movement,
    flexible to unexpected obstacles, able to modulate
    quiet or loud as the crowd ebbs
    or grows in credulity.
    Where wisdom seeps through, counters
    prevailing poisons, invigorates blood to nourish
    minds and hearts, look there for blessing.

    Arise, lovers! Bring forth better days,
    ours to play in open revelry,
    neighbors enjoying shared labors and our fruit.
    Accept truth of magic; imagine life into this world.

    Beltane 2012

  2. Thank you! Ace poem.. Beautiful blog.