Monday, April 30, 2012

Celebrating Beltane!

Celebrating Beltane!
Since ancient times, the May season has been a time of celebration and merriment, a time to acknowledge the return of growth.  Certainly, the rites of May are rooted in ancient fertility festivals traced back to the Hellenistic era of Greco-Roman religion.  May 1 was a time to honor the Roman goddesses Flora and Maia with offerings of flowers and garlands ~ the month of May is named for Maia.  Decorated wreaths were mounted on a pole adorned with flowers, garland and colorful ribbons  and carried in street processions in honor of goddess Maia so that she would bestow her fertile bounty on fields and flocks.  The flower garlands were a symbol of the inner connectedness between all things and a worthy gift in anticipation of the coming summer and harvest season.

Traditional Maypole dance

The maypole was traditionally made from a hawthorn tree, which is the third magickal tree in the triad of fairy lore of oak, ash and thorn.  In ancient times, springs of hawthorn and hawthorn flowers were taken home to banish evil.  In ancient Greece, wedding couples wore crowns made of hawthorn blossoms while the wedding party carried torches of hawthorn wood.  May is decidedly a fertile time - for the plants, the pollinators, and the community at large.

As herbalists have long known, Hawthorn  berry (Crataegus monogyna) is a trophorestorative for the heart, and now 'Science' finally agrees, too!!   A trophorestorative is a medicinal botanical that nourishes, tonifies and supports a specific organ or body system. ...Maybe 'science' will catch up on some other trophorestoratives that Wise Women have known about for generations:  milky oats for the central nervous system, stinging nettles seed for the kidneys, etc.  Here is the link to that article:

Whatever your late spring holiday traditions, rituals, celebrations and/or spiritual practices may be ~ enjoy the warming days and the splendor of abundant new life and growth that this season celebrates in such vibrant colors!  Be sure to take a moment to appreciate the gifts that each season brings.  Blessed Be!