Daily Stuff 5-2-14 Florifertum

Beltane Open Circle tonight! 7pm at Ancient Light.

Waves tide Minus Tide at 9:36 AM of -0.7 feet.

The sky is blank with low cloud this morning. “Clouds at 800 feet” says weather cloudthe computer. Yesterday the humidity was 43%. Today it’s near 80%. There’s a miniscule chance of rain, but that’s climbing as the day goes on. Yesterday I was overheating as I was getting the newsletter out. This morning I’m thoroughly wrapped up in my fuzzy bathrobe. I prefer this kind of weather. It’s much easier to put clothes on than take them off!

050114 set tree of lifeI didn’t start yesterday at all well. I got the newsletter out and was so exhausted that I crawled back in and Tempus let me sleep. I don’t do well with heat, at all. I finally woke around 1pm, and got my iced coffee (Bless him!) out of the fridge, then got a shower (and I felt human at that point), then my breakfast, then headed for the shop. I tripped over a supplier delivery. …and then managed to “tipsy” myself into the rosebushes. Ouch!

050114 New productTempus headed out right away to pick up the other deliveries. Yes, today’s clipart is new product!!! We had a delivery of candleholders and incense burners, another one of pottery and a 3rd of miscellaneous “stuff” for the compounding station. I was busy for quite awhile, most of the day, in fact, unpacking and pricing.

050114 honeypot pentacleI worked on packaging stuff for the sanity savers section after that, while Tempus went out to water, since it was getting cooler, finally. It was still 70F at 7pm, but that’s not 86f! We stayed late, since we had *no* *one*  in at all. That’s pretty weird for a good weather day.

I stopped at the park on the way home to watch the sunset. Although overhead the sky was blue, there was a line of cloud on the horizon and 1/2-way from horizon to shore a band of mackerel cloud that was being shredded into mare’s tails. Weather change. A tiny fingernail paring of a Moon was hanging just above the band of cloud.

050114 honeypotmoonI came home and processed photos, waiting for Tempus. Some of the designs on these pottery pieces are adorable! Click on the picture for full size. This pic and the one right above are honeypots!

Tempus was doing paperwork stuff. He got home fairly late and we turned in right away.

050114 mug foxToday we’re both going to be at the shop at various times. I have to get some things ready for the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party tonight, some shortbread and maybe tea cakes and to find all the teapots and such. The shop will be open, but late in the afternoon we’ll be starting to move things around for the ritual, and we’ll officially close at 7pm.

Mount-st-Helens-homeLooks like Mt. St. Helen’s is gearing up , but 1981 isn’t likely again. It’s more likely that we’ll see bits of ash and steam at some point in the not-too-distant future. http://www.wunderground.com/news/mount-st-helens-eruption-20140502 For some real-time information and access to monitoring equipment here: http://volcanoes.usgs.gov/volcanoes/st_helens/

220px-Polystichum_munitum_(Jami_Dwyer)_001Today’s Plant is Sword fern, Polystichum munitum. It grows all winter on the coast, getting greener and lovelier every year as the new fiddles come up out of the center of the plant and develop into fronds. I’ve been enjoying those, watching them for months, now. they can get to be 6 feet tall and some of the ones down in the park where the stream crosses through are that size! The indigenes used the rhizome as a poverty food (baked and peeled), and the fronds are one of the best remedies for relieving the pain from the sting of a Stinging Nettle. It is also commonly used by florists as an ornamental plant. – Masculine, Air, The God, the Puck. – This is an herb of masculine power, protection and luck. Use in spells to guide to treasure. Burn to drive away pests.…and as any fern, burn for rain…. More here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sword_fern

plant poppy wheatThe Florifertum is a wheat offering for the end of the Floralia, the feast of the Goddess of plant life, Flora, held on this day. This Goddess in England (and in most of Europe by other names) is known as Helen or Elaine. Sarn Helen means a straight track, a ley-line road, which existed from Pre-Celtic times through to the take-over of Christianity and can still be seen connecting sacred placesmotif plant flower red poppy. Being that these are roads, that also makes them sacred to Hecate, who is honored both now, and at the opposite station on the Wheel of the Year, at Samhain. More here on the Floralia:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Floralia#Observances

Beltane PentacleThe shop opens at 11am! Summer hours are 11am-7pm Thursday through Monday. Need something off hours? Give us a call at 541-563-7154 or Facebook or email at ancientlight@peak.org If we’re supposed to be closed, but it looks like we’re there, try the door. If it’s open, the shop’s open! In case of bad weather, check here at the blog for updates, on our Facebook as Ancient Light, or call the shop.

Love & Light,
Anja

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Today’s Astro & Calendar

Dianas Bow MoonThe Moon is in Diana’s BowWaxing Moon Magick – The waxing moon is for constructive magick, such as love, wealth, success, courage, friendship, luck or healthy, protection, divination. Any working that needs extra power, such as help finding a new job or healings for serious conditions, can be done now. Also, love, knowledge, legal undertakings, money and dreams. Phase ends at the Tide Change on 5/14 at 12:15pm. Diana’s Bow – On the 3rd day after the new moon you can (weather permitting) see the tiny crescent in the sky, the New Moon holding the Old Moon in her arms. Begin on your goals for the next month. A good time for job interviews or starting a project. Take a concrete step! God/dess aspect: Daughter/Son/Innocence Associated God/dess: Vesta, Horus. Phase ends on 5/3 at 11:14am.

Astro

Goddess Month of Maia runs from 4/18 – 5/15
Celtic Tree Month of Saille/Willow, Apr 15 – May 12
Rune Runic Month 09 Lagu LaguzRunic half-month of Laguz/ Lagu4/29-5/13 Representing the flowing and mutable forces of water, Lagu symbolizes life, growth and waxing power of this time of year. 

Sun in TaurusSun in Taurus
Moon in GeminiMoon in Gemini enters Cancer at 11:13pm.
Saturn, Mars, Pluto, Vesta,  and Ceres Retrograde
Color: Pink

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©2014 M. Bartlett, Some parts separately copyright

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plant tree willow Celtic Tree Month Saille Salix_alba_MortonCeltic Tree Month of Saille/Willow, Apr 15 – May 12  The Willow in the Tree alphabet stands for the female and lunar rhythms of life. She is water-seeking, thriving from preference on the damp margins of lakes and streams or across the low-lying water meadows. Water and the tidal movements of the sea are governed by the pull of the moon. The moon in its monthly rhythms is female, contrasting with the male sun’s daily and yearly turnings. In several ways, the Celts held women in higher regard than we do today. On the material level, women were property owners, and whoever controlled the property controlled the marriage. Women of all types and ages appeared in the Celtic pantheon, the spiritual strength and life-giving qualities given by both female and male recognized equally. There were colleges of Druidesses – learned women and teachers – respected equally for their gifts of see-ship, often expressed through dreams, or night visions. Magical Associations: Romantic love, healing, protection, fertility, magic for women.
plant coast willow celtic tree month saille Salix_hookeriana_USFWSSaille – Willow Ogam letter correspondences
Month: February
Color: listed only as bright
Class: Peasant
Letter: S
Meaning: Gaining balance in your life
celtic tree month saille furze ohnto study this month – Ohn – Furze Ogam letter correspondences
Month: None
Color: Yellow Gold
Class: Chieftain
Letter: O
Meaning: Information that could change your life

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WavesTides for Alsea Bay
Day        High      Tide  Height   Sunrise    Moon  Time      % Moon
~           /Low      Time    Feet    Sunset                                    Visible
F    2     High   2:41 AM     7.8   6:05 AM    Rise  8:45 AM      7
~     2      Low   9:36 AM    -0.7   8:22 PM     Set 11:51 PM
~     2     High   4:05 PM     6.5
~     2      Low   9:35 PM     2.6

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Affirmation/Thought for the Day – Duct tape is like the force; it has a light side and a dark side, and it holds the universe together.

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Newsletter Journal PromptJournal Prompt – Expository – Write everything you know about your ancestors on your mother’s side of the family.

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Quotes

~  Do not fear going forward slowly; fear only to stand still. – Chinese Proverb
~  Honor and dishonor both move us, because we are troubled by having a self. – Tao Te Ching
~  A little simplification would be the first step toward rational living, I think. – Eleanor Roosevelt (1884-1962) US first lady (33)
~  When will our consciences grow so tender that we will act to prevent human misery rather than avenge it? – Eleanor Roosevelt

Lute Music

The Earth will be going on a long time
Before it finally freezes;
Men will be on it; they will take names,
Give their deeds reasons.
We will be here only
As chemical constituents—
A small franchise indeed.
Right now we have lives,
Corpuscles, Ambitions, Caresses,
Like everybody had once—

Here at the year’s end, at the feast
Of birth, let us bring to each other
The gifts brought once west through deserts—
The precious metal of our mingled hair,
The frankincense of enraptured arms and legs,
The myrrh of desperate, invincible kisses—
Let us celebrate the daily
Recurrent nativity of love,
The endless epiphany of our fluent selves,
While the earth rolls away under us
Into unknown snows and summers,
Into untraveled spaces of the stars. – Kenneth Rexroth (Sacramental Acts)

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Beltane BorderBeltane Magick – Beltane and May Lore

Oak before ash, we’re in for a splash, ash before oak we’re in for a soak. – Traditional British weather prognostication saying

Fair Flora! Now attend thy sportful feast,
Of which some days I with design have past;
A part in April and a part in May
Thou claim’st, and both command my tuneful lay;
And as the confines of two months are thine
To sing of both the double task be mine. – Latin poet Ovid, Fasti; for Flora (Floralia) April 28-May 3

Hoar-frost on May 1st indicates a good harvest. – Traditional English proverb

The later the blackthorn in bloom after May 1st, the better the rye and harvest. – Traditional English proverb

 

Nut for the slut; plum for the glum
Bramble if she ramble; gorse for the whores.
Traditional English saying; one should preferably leave hawthorn at a friend’s door for their luck, but other plants are an insult. I suggest you leave the gorse at home. At Philip and James, away with the lambs;
That thinkest to any milk of their dams;
At Lammas leave milking, for fear of a thing,
Lest in winter they sing.
To milk and to fold them, is much to require,
Except ye have pasture to fill their desire;
Yet many by milking (such heed do they take)
Not hurting their bodies, much profit do make.
Five ewes allow to every cow, make a proof by a score,
Shall double thy dairy or trust me no more:
Yet may a good huswife that knoweth the skill,
Have mixt or unmixt, at her pleasure and will.

Be sure thy neat have water and meat;
From bull, cow fast, till Crouchmas be past;
From heifer bull bid thee till Lammas bid thee,
Leave cropping from May to Michaelmas-day.
Thy brake go and sow where barley did grow;
The next crop wheat is husbandry neat.
Fine basil sow in a pot to grow;
Watch bees in May for swarming away.

 

Thomas Tusser (15241580), Five hundreth pointes of good husbandrie: as well for the champion or open countrie, as also for the woodland or severall ; mixed in everie month with huswiferie, over and besides the booke of huswiferie, London: ‘Printed in the now dwelling house of Henrie Denham in Aldersgate Street at the signe of the starre’, 1586

And forth goeth al the court, both moste and leste, To feche the floures freshe. – Chaucer, referring to the practice of gathering flowers on May Day

[The hawthorn’s] later orgiastic use … corresponds with the cult of the Goddess Flora, and.. accounts for the English medieval habit of riding out on May Morning to pluck flowering hawthorn boughs and dance around the maypole. Hawthorn blossom has, for many men, a strong scent of female sexuality; which is why the Turks use a flowering branch as an erotic symbol. – Robert Graves (1895 – 1985), The White Goddess, p. 176

 

Sin no more, as we have done, by staying
But, my Corinna, come, let’s go a Maying. – Robert Herrick (b. 1591)

I shall never forget the delight I felt on first seeing a May-pole … My fancy adorned it with wreaths of flowers and peopled the green bank with all the dancing revelry of May-day. – Washington Irving (1783 – 1859), American author, after a visit to England in the early C19, Sketch Book

 

For the May Day is the great day,
Sung along the old straight track.
And those who ancient lines did ley
Will heed this song that calls them back. – Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull

More May quotes at the May page at the Scriptorium

Perhaps it’s just as well that you won’t be here … to be offended by the sight of our May Day celebrations. – Lord Summerisle to Sgt Howie, from The Wicker Man  Anthony Shaffer, 1973

 

Let’s Celebrate!

May 1 is the 121st day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (122nd in leap years), with 244 days remaining.

May birthstone: Emerald, signifying success in love; hope and immortality; chrysoprase.

Who first beholds the light of day
In spring’s sweet flowery month of May,
And wear the Emerald all her life,
Shall be a loved and happy wife. – Goddess Month of Maia

 

Lord Summerisle: They do love their divinity lessons.

Sgt. Howie: But they are … are naked!

Lord Summerisle: Naturally! It’s much too dangerous to jump through the fire with your clothes on.

Lord Summerisle to Sgt Howie, from The Wicker Man  Anthony Shaffer, 1973

 

May Day, Beltaine

It’s the merrie, merrie month, as the English have long called the beautiful month of May.

Their ancestors, the Anglo-Saxons, called it thrimilce, because at this time of year cows can be milked three times a day. The modern name is thought by some scholars to come from the Latin Maia (consort of Jupiter, mother of Hermes, or Mercury), the goddess of growth and increase. It is also connected with major, because in the Northern Hemisphere, May is a beautiful time of Spring growth.

Despite the congeniality of the month, it was also an old belief that May is an unlucky month in which to be married. This superstition, current even today, is Roman in origin and was mentioned by the poet Ovid. Lovers should wait until the propitious month of June before tying the knot.

Those born in the first three weeks of May were born under the sign of Taurus, and from May 21 to June 20, Gemini is the ruling sun sign and represents the mythological twins Castor and Pollux, the twins of Leda, who appeared to sailors in storms with fires on their heads.

Many old sayings refer to May, but of course one must remember that they generally refer to the month in the Northern Hemisphere, where the climate differs completely from Australia. One old proverb goes, “Cast not a clout till May is out”, meaning do not shed your winter clothing (clout) too early in the year, because cold weather can still come. Another says “Wash a blanket in May/Wash a dear one away”, indicating that death will strike the family or friends of those who do so.

Some other May proverbs are:

Be it weal or be it woe, Beans blow before May doth go.

Come it early or come it late, In May comes the cow-quake.

A swarm of bees in May Is worth a load of hay.
A swarm of bees in June Is worth a silver spoon.
A swarm of bees in July Is not worth a fly.

The haddocks are good, When dipped in May flood.

Mist in May, and heat in June, Make the harvest right soon.

A hot May makes a fat churchyard. (Meaning that many people will die.)

 

Festivals in May

The Northern nations have many festivals in May because the weather turns to a suitable temperature and Mother Nature turns on her most beautiful colours and fragrances. For example, the Macedonians, on the Orthodox Feast Day of St George (May 6), dance the hora and perform various ancient rituals and games associated with eggs, as we do at Easter.

At Helston, Cornwall, on May 8, the townsfolk have for centuries celebrated Furry Day, with dances, songs and rites whose origins and purpose have long been lost in the mists of time.

The English for two hundred years or more celebrated Shick-Shack Day (or, Oak Apple Day) on May 29, the birthday of King Charles II who brought back monarchy to Britain after the strict Puritan regime of Oliver Cromwell.

May, however, is known especially for May Day, the first day of the month, which in olden times was celebrated as the great, colourful Spring festival, with May poles that were danced around, and fairs at which dramas, often featuring Robin Hood and his “merrie men”, were performed. Morris dancers were and still are a delightful part of the English May Day.

In the Celtic tradition, now popular with neo-Pagans, the day is called Beltaine (or Beltane). The Scots used to light bel-fires on the hilltops and drive their cattle through the flames in a ritual which was either to destroy vermin and protect the cattle from disease, or to prepare the beasts for sacrifice.

May Day commenced in ancient Rome, with youths going into the fields, dancing and singing in honour of Flora, goddess of fruits and flowers. The goddess Bona Dea, too, was celebrated at around this time, in women-only rites. There is also a connection with the ancient pagan feast of Beltane, the first day of May, when bel-fires were lit on the hilltops and cattle were driven through the flames, either to protect them from disease or as a pre-sacrifice ritual of purification.

In recent years, May Day became an annual celebration not so much of the glories of Spring but of the traditions of the labour movement. This is because on May 1, 1886 in America, workers held the first nationwide strike, struggling to win an eight-hour working day. Three years later, in 1889, the anniversary was held as the first International Labor Day. On May Day, still, in towns and cities all over the world, workers’ organizations stage rallies and marches …

Sir James George Frazer (1854 – 1941), The Golden Bough, 1922, Ch. 62. The Fire-Festivals of Europe. Section 4. The Beltane Fires

 

Hobby Horse (Obby Oss) Parade, Padstow, Cornwall, UK

Every May Day since time immemorial the people of Padstow, Cornwall have enjoyed their Hobby Horse (or, Obby Oss) parade. The first written reference to this ancient procession of the Obby Oss was written in 1502. The Hobby Horse might come from ancient fertility rites (horses are a potent symbol) or from the legend of the Cornish saint, Petroc (f.d. June 4), who led a monster into the ocean as banishment.

Preceded by white-clad men (teazers) is the horse, forty kilos of stick, cloth and horse’s head with big red eyes and snapping teeth. The men prepare for their singing procession for days before and sing an ancient song with special words that change for each householder they are serenading.

The world famous custom has roots at least as far back as the 14th century, but is probably derived from a more ancient Summer fertility rite, and annually welcomes people who travel hundreds of miles, even further, to attend.

May Day in Padstow officially begins at midnight, when a groups of ‘mayers’ meet outside the Golden Lion Inn and serenade the owner and family with their ‘Night Song’:

Arise up Mr —- and joy you betide
For summer is acome unto day,
And bright is your bride that lies by your side,
In the merry morning of May.

Arise up Mrs —- and gold be your ring,
For summer is acome unto day,
And give to us a cup of ale the merrier we shall sing,
In the merry morning of May.

Arise up Miss —- all in your gown of green
For summer is acome unto day,
You are as fine a lady as wait upon the Queen,
In the merry morning of May.

The ‘oss’ itself looks as little like a horse as can be imagined. One might say ‘osses’, for more than one of these creatures parades around the town of Padstow – there is even a children’s oss.

The nursery rhyme, ‘Ride a cock horse to Banbury Cross’ hints at ancient memories of this custom, while its second line, ‘To see a fine lady upon a white horse’ might be a reference to the annual ride of Lady Godiva though the streets of Coventry.

Traditionally, after the hobby horse had been taken round the town, it was submerged in the sea, recalling St Petroc and the monster, or phantom, whose name was Tregeagle (pronounced ‘Dree-gaygle’). The ancient lore is inconsistent on this, and the monster or serpent seems to have become confused or conflated with an actual wicked person of the name Jan Tregeagle, although in a Latin tale, the serpent was one originally inflicted on the locals by a savage man named Teudur (Tendur; Teudur; Tendurus). Petroc made a chain, forged with his own hands, every link of which he welded with a prayer, and bound the monster, banishing it (either into the sea or to Berepper beach). (More)

In olden times, people believed that the obby oss ritual preserved the cattle of the inhabitants of Padstow from disease and death, and the ritual has strong elements of the banishment of Satan. The water-horse is a common Celtic tradition, and we also find it in the Arabian Nights, and in the stories of southern European countries.

 

Maid Marion’s day

From Wikipedia: Maid Marian is the female companion to the legendary figure Robin Hood.

The earliest Medieval Robin Hood stories gave him no female companion. The Robin Hood character at this time was rather brutish woodsman and a female companion would have been out of place.

Maid Marian was originally a character in May Games festivities (held during May and early June, most commonly around Whitsun) and is sometimes associated with the Queen or Lady of May of May Day. It has been suggested that she became associated with Robin Hood in this context, as Robin Hood became a central figure in May Day, associated as it was with the forest and archery.

Marian is likely derived from the French tradition of a shepherdess named Marion and her shepherd lover Robin (not Robin Hood). The best known example of this tradition is Adam de la Halle‘s Le Jeu de Robin et Marion, circa 1283.

In narrative terms, Maid Marian was first attached to Robin Hood in the late sixteenth century as Robin was gentrified and given a virginal maid to pine after. Her biography and character have been highly variable over the centuries, being sometimes portrayed as a pagan or Saxon and other times as a high born Norman. (Marian’s role was not entirely virginal in the early days. In 1592, Thomas Nashe described the Marian of the later May Games as being played by a male actor named Martin, and there are hints in the play of Robin Hood and the Friar that the female character in these plays had become a lewd parody.)

Maid Marian’s character evolved, becoming conflated with the Goddess Diana as she became portrayed as a skilled huntress that fought alongside Robin. In the Victorian Era she reverted to her previous role as the dainty maid. With the rise of modern feminism in the 20th Century, the character has often been depicted as an adventurer again, sometimes as a crack archer herself. In modern times, a common ending for Robin Hood stories became that he married Maid Marian and left the woods for a civilized aristocratic life. See also Maid Marian and her Merry Men for a modern role reversal.

Some May Day folklore snippets

Chimney sweeps’ festival

May Day was in olden times the first day of the London chimney-sweeps’ festival, a three day revel in which chimney sweeps wore gold paper and flowers on their clothes and hats. They also had their shovels and faces lined with pink paint and white chalk. They chose a grandly-dressed lord and lady from some other profession, the lady often being a boy in extravagant female attire.

As part of chimney-sweeps’ revels it was customary for a boy to move about in a framework of branches covered in leaves. He was called Jack-in-the-green. Jack, a Green Man sometimes also showed up in London suburbs, hailing from the country, amusing the public with rustic dancing. He carried a flower-decked walking stick.

Bonfires

From time immemorial, bonfires have been associated with May Eve and May Day in Britain. Originally dedicated to the pagan solar god Bel, or Balder, in Ireland these fires were once called Balder’s balefires. Until the nineteenth century, May Day bonfires were still lit in the Scottish highlands, Ireland and the Isle of Man, among the peasantry.

A-Maying

In Britain it used to be customary today to go a-Maying, or gathering flowers and branches, particularly of the May bush.

May Queen

In old Britain on May Day, folk elected the Queen of the May, a pretty girl to preside over the day’s events, which usually meant sitting in a garlanded bower all day and being admired by the whole village.

The old British (and French) custom the Queen of the May today came from the ancient Roman veneration of Flora, goddess of flowers and youthful pleasures, for whom a sexually licentious festival was held at this time of year. In some villages, children carried around a finely-dressed doll called the Lady of the May. With little copies of maypoles, they went about the village asking for a halfpenny.

May cows

Up until the early nineteenth century in Britain, on May Day milkmaids would dress up a cow in garlands. They, too, dressed in flowers and danced around the cow. In earlier times they were accompanied by a man wearing a bulky frame on which were hung flowers, silver flagons and dishes. The silverware was rented out at an hourly rate by pawnbrokers.

May cosmetics

On the morning of May Day, Scottish lasses used to go out early and wash their faces in dew, a sure potion for preserving beauty. In Edinburgh the favourite place to do this was Arthur’s Seat. Similarly, at Anhalth, Germany, girls did the same to get rid of freckles.

Royal May Day

In medieval England, even the king and queen joined in with the May Day festivities. Chaucer wrote that early on May Day Forth goeth all the court, both most and least, to fetch the flowers fresh.

May scapegoat

In old Scotland and Ireland, May Day rituals were, among other things, an attempt to stop the spread of witchcraft. Whoever received a piece of cake marked with charcoal served as scapegoat for witches, becoming a figure of terror and being pelted with eggshells. (By way of comparison, in Germany it was customary to throw eggshells at a disagreeable stranger.)

Bannock rolling

Up till about a hundred years ago, Beltane (the old pagan name for May Day) was celebrated in Scotland with bonfires to which eggs and dairy products were brought as sacrifices. Beltane was also celebrated with bannocks (cakes) which were marked with a cross and rolled downhill. It might be that the custom of Easter egg rolling came from this practice, as Easter is about this time of year.

Garland Dressing, Charlton-on-Oxmoor, Oxfordshire, UK – A wooden cross is bedecked with Yew and Box tree leaves.

Callander custom

At Callander, a town in Perthshire, Scotland, on Beltane (May Day) boys used to meet on the moors, where they lit a fire and cooked a custard and bannock cake. After eating the custard they divided the bannock, one piece of which was marked with charcoal. Whoever drew this slice had to jump through the fire three times, a relic of ancient bonfire (bone-fire) sacrifices to Bel the god of Beltane.

Unlucky weddings

From as early as Roman times comes the tradition mentioned by Ovid, and still prevalent in Europe, that May is an unlucky month in which to be married. This is probably because in Rome this was the month for the festival of Bona Dea (the goddess of chastity), and the feasts of the dead called Lemuralia.

Samhain, Southern Hemisphere

“The festival in honor of the departed spirits and the New Year is celebrated through the previous night and today. Also known as Halloween, Hallowmas, All Hallow’s Eve, All Saint’s Eve, Festival of the Dead, and the Third Festival of Harvest. Often celebrated with traditional Pagan feasts, bonfires, and rituals honoring the spirits of deceased loved ones. Divinitory arts such as scrying, rune casting, and Tarot are practiced on this magical night.” Source: Earth, Moon and Sky

Rodonitsa, Traven, Slavic Pagan

“This is the third great day of worship of our ancestors, a day of remembrance. Today we bring beer, vodka, and food to our dead. During the feast, celebrants call their guests to stir from their sepulchres and eat and drink in remembrance of Trisna. This day is named ‘Rodnitsa’ to honor the God Rod, the God of Family and of the Cosmos.”
Source

Rowan Witch Day, Finland

On or around this day in old Finland, today was a festival in honour of Rauni, the goddess of earth, Nature, weather and ceremony. To gain her blessings on the weather and to ensure a bountiful harvest, reindeer were sacrificed to this goddess.

La baillée aux roses, France

Long ago, in France, the Count de la Marche fell in love with the beautiful Marie Dubuisson. Rejected by Marie, he serenaded beneath her window, but she reproached him, saying he should have been at his desk doing his parliamentary homework. So the ardent count went home and studied his case, which he won the next day in the House. Queen Blanche asked “Who inspired you to do so well?”  to which the young nobleman replied, “The voice of an angel descended from Heaven to recall me to my duty”. In 1227, Queen Blanche instituted a charming tribute that young parliamentarians had to pay to parliament every May 1, consisting of a gift of roses, to remind them that they ought “like the Count de la Marche, turn their most tender feelings to the advantage of justice”. The custom lasted till 1589.

 

May Day news

 

 

Festival of Floralia, or Floral Games in honour of Flora, Roman Empire (Apr 28May 3)

Exaltation of Wine, Ribeiro Region, Spain (Apr 28 –  May 1)

La Folia Festival, at San Vicente de la Barquera, Spain  (Apr 28 –  May 1)

Maidyozarem, feast of mid-Spring, Zoroastrianism (Apr 30May 4)

Beltane, Lá Bealtaine, the first day of Summer in modern Ireland was celebrated by the Celts, and now also celebrated by Neopagans and Wiccans

Feast day of SS Acius  and Aceolus (Acheolus), martyrs, of Amiens

Feast day of St Aldebrandus of Fossombrone

“In art, Saint Aldebrandus is portrayed as an old, ill bishop in bed raising to life the cooked partridge which has been brought to him on a fast day. (This tale is also told of Saint Benedict, while Saint Hugh of Grenoble is said to have turned the roast partridges at the Grande Chartreuse into tortoises.)”   Source

Feast day of St Amator, Bishop of Auxerre

Feast day of St Andeolus, martyr

Feast day of St Asaph, abbot and bishop at Llanelwy, in North Wales
In a Welsh monastery that was established, according to legend, by St Kentigern (Mungo) of Glasgow, and St David, lived Asaph, a young monk who became a favourite of Mungo, who placed the monastery in his hands. Later Mungo resigned his bishopric of Llanelwy, to return to Scotland, and Asaph took it over. He wrote a biography of Kentigern/Mungo, but it has never been found.

Feast day of St Augustine Schoffler

Feast day of St Brieuc (Brioc; Briocus), of Wales
Patron saint of purse-makers.

Feast day of St Ceallach

Feast day of St Cominus

Feast day of St Evermarus of Tongres, martyr
Murdered by robbers at Rousson, near Tongres, Belgium. Each year the villagers of Rousson hold a procession in his honour.

Feast day of St Grata

Feast day of St Isidora

Feast day of St Jeremiah

Feast day of St John-Louis Bonnard

 

 

Feast day of St Joseph the Workman
Joseph (main feast day March 19), carpenter and father of Jesus. May 1 was established as the Feast of St Joseph the Workman by Pope Pius XII in 1955, chosen to coincide with Labor days in many nations and to counterbalance the May Day celebrations of the Communists.

 

 

 

 

Feast day of St Marculf (Marcon; Marcou; Marcoul),
Abbot of Nanten (Nanteuil), in Normandy

Marculf, a 6th Century French saint,  baptized St Helier and sent him to an island in the English Channel called Gersut, or Agna (Jersey), which was all but depopulated due to repeated attacks by Vikings. (One of the invaders found St Helier and cut off his head (cf Saint Denis, or Denys), which the saint picked up and walked towards the shore, causing the Vikings to flee in great terror, and the island was saved.)

The Marcou

The French epithet Marcou would seem to be derived from the abbot of Nanten. In old France it was believed that if a seventh son was born into a family, and he had no sisters, he was called a Marcou, and a fleur-de-lis was branded on him. If anyone with the King’s Evil (scrofula) touched the tattoo, it was supposed that they would be healed. One particular Marcou, a cooper (barrel-maker) named Foulon, set up a business in Orleans, and on Good Fridays the cure was supposed to be most efficacious. Hundreds of gullible people would gather, but eventually the police stopped the practice.

“In art, Saint Marculf is portrayed as an abbot touching the chin or elbow of a suppliant (curing the king’s evil). At times he may be depicted (1) confirming the king with power to touch for scrofula; (2) holding a plantain (herbe Saint Marcoul); (3) as a woman with devil’s foot stands before him or is put to flight as he blesses bread; or (4) with Saint Cloud (Clodoaldus) (Roeder). His relics lie at Corbigny. Marculf is invoked against scrofula and all skin diseases (Roeder).”   Source

More on scrofula

 

Feast day of St Panacea

Feast day of St Peregrine Laziosi

Feast Day of SS Philip and James the Less, Apostles, Anglican  (May 3 in Roman Catholic Church
(Tulip, Tulipa gesneri and Red campion, Lycnis dioica rubra, were designated today’s plant by medieval monks. They are dedicated to St Philip and James the Less, respectively, who share this feast day.)

More at the Book of Days, May 3, which is the Roman Catholic feast of these saints

 

Feast day of St Richard Pampuri

Feast of St Sigismund, King of Burgundy

Feast day of St Theodard

Feast day of St Thorette

Tour of the Trasona Dam
Held each year is this modern celebration at Corvera de Asturias, in the province of Oviedo, Spain. It was established by workers and includes Asturian folk celebrations, a contest between wooden shoe makers and artisans, and sports events.

 

International Labour Day

Today is a Labor Day holiday in 119 nations.

From Wikipedia: The May 1 date is used because in 1884 the Federation of Organized Trades and Labor Unions, inspired by Labor’s 1872 (http://www.nupge.ca/news_2003/n01se03a.htm) success in Canada, demanded an eight-hour workday in the United States, to come in effect as of May 1, 1886. This resulted in the general strike and the U.S. Haymarket Riot of 1886, but eventually also in the official sanction of the eight-hour workday.

May Day is designated International Workers Day. It is indeed a thoroughly international holiday; and the United States is one of the few countries in the world where pressure from local working classes has not led to an official holiday. In the 20th century, the holiday received the official endorsement of the Soviet Union; celebrations in communist countries during the Cold War era often consisted of large military parades and shows of common people in support of the government.

“History has almost forgotten Peter McGuire, an Irish-American cabinet maker and pioneer unionist who proposed a day dedicated to all who labor. Old records describe him as a red-headed, fiery, eloquent leader of the Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners.

“McGuire introduced his idea formally at a meeting of the Central Labor Union on May 18,1882. ‘Let us have, a festive day during which a parade through the streets of the city would permit public tribute to American Industry,’ he said.

“The following September New York workers staged a parade up Broadway to Union Square. Few, if any, workers got the day off. Most were warned against marching in the parade with the threat of getting fired. Despite the warning, more than 10,000 workers showed up for the march. Led by mounted police, bricklayers in white aprons paraded with a band playing ‘Killarney.’ The marchers passed a reviewing stand crowded with Knights of Labor: a holiday was born. McGuire’s holiday moved across the country as slowly as did recognition of the rights of the working man.

“Twelve years later, on June 28, 1894, President Grover Cleveland, long a foe of organized labor, but under voter pressure, signed a Labor Day holiday bill.”
Source: How labor won its day

Bring back May Day! Time for the return of the 8-hour day and 5-day workweek

Dewey Day , USA
This day honours Admiral George Dewey and is observed mainly by American veterans’ organisations.

Law  Day, USA
To promote understanding of the law, Law Day in the USA is sponsored by the American Bar Association. Recognised by presidential proclamation, the day is observed by legal societies, schools and the media.

Lei Day, Hawaii
Lei Day is an Hawaiian flower festival, congruent with European and ancient Roman May Day (Floralia) traditions.

Loyalty Day, USA
Observed by presidential proclamation, Loyalty Day features ceremonies by veterans at Cooch’s Bridge, Delaware, where the American flag (Old Glory) was first displayed in battle.

May Day, Turkey
The Turkish people, like the people of Europe, enjoy today as a Spring festival.

Tammany’s Day, or St Tamenend’s Day
During the American Revolution, native soldiers wanted a patron saint to compete with St George, patron of England and thus of their enemy soldiers. They chose for this purpose the 17th-century Delaware Indian wise man, Chief Tamenend, or Tammany, as their saint, and made this his feast day. Tammany, the patriotic organisation behind the Democrat Party, was founded in New York City in 1789 by William Mooney, a former soldier.

Punch and Judy
Every May Day, a thanksgiving service at St Paul’s Church, Covent Garden, London is held for practitioners of an unusual and ancient craft  – the Punch and Judy operators.

Rowan Day
Practising pagans know today, May Day, as Rowan Day, a worldwide (or, Northern Hemisphere at least) celebration of Spring and fertility.

Thrimilce
Today is the first of May, the month that the Anglo-Saxons called thrimilce, or Tri-milchi, because in this time of good pasture, cows can be milked three times a day. One theory is that the name comes from the Latin Maius, which probably comes from Maia, the goddess of growth and increase, the mother by Jupiter of Mercury.

May and the Roman Senate
Several theories exist as to the derivation of this month’s name. One says that the month in ancient Rome was assigned in honour of the Majores, or Maiores, the senate in the original constitution of Rome, and June to honour the Juniores, or inferior branch of the Roman legislature.

Revolutionary May
In the French Revolutionary calendar, May was called Floréal because in the Northern Hemisphere it is a time of flowers.

First weekend in May: Old Dover Days
Observed in Dover, capital of Delaware, USA, a festival to recreate the history and customs of Old Dover, a town formed by William Penn in 1683.

Bangtail Muster, Alice Springs, Australia
On May 1 each year at Alice Springs in Australia’s Northern Territory, they hold the Bangtail Muster festival. The name comes from the outback and refers to the annual round up of cattle, at which each animal when counted has its tail docked and becomes a bangtail.

Takaoka Yama Matsuri, Takaoka, Sekino Shrine, Toyama Prefecture, Japan
This annual festival features the procession of seven traditionally-designed yama floats. Each of seven surrounding towns enters a yama, and each town presents its own traditional music at the festival.

Uesugi  Matsuri, Yonezawa, Uesugi Shrine, Yamagata prefecture, Japan
An annual shrine event held today features a costume parade from the feudal days, and a mikoshi drawn by an ox.

Big Kite-Flying, Hamamatsu, Suwa Shrine, Japan (May 1 – 5)
In about 1550, a Japanese feudal lord had a baby son and flew the baby’s name on a kite for all to see. Thus began the Hamamatsu Odakoage kite-flying at Hamamatsu, Suwa Shrine, Japan, part of the annual Suwa Shrine Festival. For the five days, young men compete in a magnificent kite battle. On May 5, the competitors battle with blades attached to the kites.

Dainembutsu Kyogen, Shinsen-en Shrine Kyoto, Japan (May 1 – 5)
Today is the first of five days of a festival of masked pantomimes called Dainembutsu Kyogen.

 

First Saturday in May, Aboakyer (Antelope Hunt), Central Region of Ghana

“This Festival is celebrated by the people of Simpa or Winneba in the Central Region of Ghana.

“The festival is a celebration to mark the migration of these people from the ancient Western Sudan Empire where they were led by 2 brothers and a god called Otu. Upon consulting their god, they were instructed by their traditional priest or mediator between the people and the god to sacrifice a young member of the Royal family every year to their god.

“This was not good news so they made an appeal to their god who asked for an animal from the wild cat family to be caught alive and beheaded before the god.

“Before the festival began they settled the god at a place called Penkye hence the god became Penkyi Otu. When the people went out to hunt down the wild cat they lost so many men before capturing it alive. This caused the second appeal. Penkyi Otu decided to accept a mature bush buck this looks like a deer.

“The people of Simpa sang this story in their war chants and told it during moonlit nights. It was kept and protected till it could be written in English for all to read.

“Today, the Aboakyir festival is celebrated in May each year and is a major event in Ghana.”   Source

Ghanaian Adrinka symbols    Festivals exploited for tourism

First Saturday in May: Kentucky Derby Day, Louisville, Kentucky, USA – Held at Churchill Downs. The first derby was May 17, 1875.

TV Turnoff Week, Apr 25 – May 1 (2005; dates vary annually)

******

motif Silliness SmilieSilliness – GEOMETRY TEST – What do you call more than one L?

A Typical
A Vertical
A Transversal
A Parallel
Answer: A Parallel

 

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