The turning of the year from Winter Darkness to Summer’s Light was and still is marked with flowers, fire, and fucking. (Maybe I should have said fertility? It’s also an ‘f’ word, so the alliteration would stand, but fucking just felt more honest.)
Luck and protection, health and happiness are the themes, and everything done as an individual or as a community focused on these important drives.
Originally we had two seasons, Summer and Winter, Sam and Gam in sean ghaeilge (old Irish). These were the times when everything changed – people, herds and flocks moved from winter to summer dwellings and pastures. Work focus changed. Women got pregnant at this time to ensure that come the third trimester they could be safely tucked up with indoor jobs beside the fire, preparing for a Spring birth with fresh foods available for essential sustenance. So, fucking in the fields was not just for fertility fun folks, this is a serious scheduling issue right here.
Today, I did not go out and get pregnant. There’s dedication to the old ways and all, but that’s going a step too far at my time of life.
I did wash my face in the morning’s dew. Hey, I just turned 37 - I’ll take what I can get with regards to ancient traditions to impart a fresh faced glow. The sun’s rays piercing water, shimmering on a liquid surface this morning gives the blessing of beauty to those in the know. Or so they say.
There will be flowers strewn on my doorsteps, front and back, once the kids get home from school and go a-gathering. Technically, flowers should be gathered on May Eve. But the girls were busy doing their hair and I’m not sure it matters all THAT much, long as it gets done. Interestingly… I just realised that my teen sibling daughters spent May Eve together, one changing her hair to bright light blonde, and the other to darkest midnight black. Talk about unconscious balancing forces and appropriate timing?
I will make a trip to the well at Rathcroghan and tidy up around the Hawthorn Maybush there; make sure it’s secure and growing well, even pretty it up a little. Also, clean out the inevitable rubbish that collects round the triple spring. Because people are idiots. Sigh.
My Nana told me a story years ago about a cousin of hers in County Clare, who would go out on May morning with rotten eggs, and mix them into the soil of her neighbours’ fields. Bealtaine is a time for magic and mischief, and if you don’t look out you’ll be on the receiving end of all that.
So last night and today my protective fires were lit, my boundaries and thresholds re-walked and reinforced, and I did a general magical tidy up round the house and land. Checking the fences, as it were. I pity the May Fool who tries to cross here uninvited *summer smiles*.
All is well, and as it should be, and I wish you that and more, mo chairde.
Bealtaine shona dhaiobh, chun solas is beatha a fháil. Beir Bua!