Monday, May 1, 2017

Beltane - May Day


Beltane, May Day - April 30 - May 1



Beltane or May Day, to me, is one of the sexiest days of the year, conjuring images of unabashed promiscuity, the wild abandonment of going a-maying in the woods, lustful dances to drums around a bonfire. This holiday is all about fertility, the union of the God and Goddess.

I’m visiting The Wheel of the Year (as they occur in the Northern Hemisphere), the eight seasonal festivals or pagan holidays, also called Sabbats. A lot of rituals, symbols, and folklore revolve around these pagan holidays, and several of the elements, symbols, and themes can be used in gothic storytelling. Hopefully, you’ll find some inspiration.

Here are some of the themes, symbols and story elements conjured by Beltane, that you might want to explore.

Themes:
Hedonism
Challenging societal mores
Lust
Marriage and Betrothal
Chastity vs Promiscuity
Adultery
Fertility
Blessed Children – (Merry-Be-Gots)
Conceiving out of wedlock
Eternal beauty
Morning dew would be collected on Beltane morning to wash in for beauty.

Symbols:
Fire and Bonfires
Passion
Trial by fire
Purification
Rebirth - Destruction of the old

Bees
Messengers to the other world
Wisdom
Pollination (hints at promiscuity)
“Tell the bees” when someone dies, the bees will spread the message.

Butterflies
Transformation
The soul - the ability to fly between this world and the hereafter.
Luna Moth – not technically a butterfly, but mistaken for them often enough, and associated with the moon and intuition.

Phallic symbols
      Knives and Swords
      Antlers

Womb symbols
      Flower wreaths and crown
      Chalice - I can't help but think of poisoned wine.

Spring water and morning dew - The Fountain of Youth.

Flowers and Gardening

Places:
Forests and pastures.

Weather:
Misty
Dew

Mythology and Fairytales:
Cernunnos, Pan, Aphrodite, Maid Marion (Robin Hood), Guinevere (Arthurian), Tess of d’Urbervilles (Literary reference to May Day)


What impressions to do you get when you think of May Day? Have you found references to May Day in other books?

♥  Shadow.


Reading Recommendation: Beltane: Rituals, Recipes & Lore for May Day by Melanie Marquis

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