I remember clearly back in my junior school years the May Day celebrations. The First day of May was made more special because this was the day I started out on my Earth Journey
So learning to dance around the Maypole was part of our village school tradition.. We would learn the various dances, weaving in and out to plat the brightly coloured ribbons in spiders webs and close weave patterns.
Girl and Boy alternatively skipping around in and over each other to the lively Maypole music.
The Boys would also practice separately with their own special dance which many Morris Dancers do with Wooden swords which after weeks of practice they perfected to bring their swords together to hold aloft in a magical star.. The origins of Morris Men is ‘Mary’s Men’ dancing in honour of the ‘White Goddess’ of Spring
We would have floats covered in flowers both real and paper ones and the prettiest girl in the village would be picked to become May Queen..
The May Queen represents the ‘Maiden’ aspect the Feminine, beauty and youth. Living as I do in Robin Hood country. One of the best known maids is Maid Marian. which could be denoted as manifestation of the Maiden Goddess of the Greenwood.. And Robin Hood the Green Man, whose lively spirit goes around robbing the rich to give to the poor, Symbolising again that all should be equal under the Sun.
The Maypole is the symbol of returning life connecting to living matter of Earth, the colourful ribbons and dances which weave in a spiral represent the eternal spirals of energy which come from the Sun..As we danced around the pole we would then unwind reversing the dance symbolising the returning of energy to the Universe in a never ending cycle or loop.. Of course back then as children we had no idea of its origins we just danced and enjoyed the lively music and had no concept of its Pagan history.
Once upon a time Maypoles stood upon most village greens but the Roundheads and Reformation put a stop to anything that bore a mark of Paganism or Popery.
I wasn’t until Charles II that the Maypole was reinstated and the tradition was taken up again on village greens..
May Day is the Ancient festival of Beltane. Beltane was the start of Summer and on the eve of May 1st Bonfires would be lit to herald in the return of fertility to the land. Fires meaning Life and Transformation,
One tradition was that young men and women would leap over the flames of the fires to get husbands and wives. Married women would leap to help them be more fertile and conceive and those who just wanted good luck would also jump.
It was also the practice to drive cattle between two bonfires which was to help ensure a good milk yield ..
In our present day lots of our traditions are being lost and we have lost much respect for Nature. In our village as children the community spirit held us all together a post I did previously on this subject can be found here
We forget the power nature holds until we are faced with her floods, winds and storms.
For many people have lost touch with Nature,forgetting names of wild flowers and herbs. They have substituted breathing in the healing energy of happiness of Fresh air to taking Happy Pills thinking this will help them find joy in their lives..
Those ancient rituals not only served to honour the gifts Nature freely offered, but they also served in lifting the community up to a higher level of consciousness.
The rites of passage are honoured throughout many cultures and our Ancient indigenous brothers and sisters knew that to honour our Earth Mother by living in balance within her seasons also meant that there would be a better chance for all to succeed and prosper. Some thing I think many have forgotten how to do today.. For many see Nature without a soul as science seems to be meddling within its boundaries which are having a knock on effect to how Nature itself is now acting..
We are witnessing more storms, more unseasonal weather patterns, and I just hope that we wake up soon to the damage we are doing to our beloved Mother that has held us in her eternal arms for so long…
May you all reflect in Nature
May Your Sight be Clear
May you all walk in Love
Happy May Day.
Blessings Sue Dreamwalker