Changing with the Seasons
At Imbolc (February) we see the spring maiden - Bride, Brigit, Brighde – young, fresh, just beginning to awaken with the first stirrings of life, the first green shoots.
By Bealtaine (May), she has grown to a greater, rounder fullness, maturing, awakening to her fertility, creativity, sensuality. She is blossoming into form, just like the flowers opening around her.
By Lughnasadh, (August) she is bearing fruit, and we celebrate the beginning of her bountiful harvest.
By Samhain (Hallowe'en), she has grown old, bent, withered and become the Cailleach, the crone, the old one, she who spins, the old wise woman capable of seeing into the dark and hidden places. Like the seed, she sleeps in the cold and dark of winter, awaiting the growing light that calls her back to new growth and the cycle repeats itself.
The festival of Beltaine
Beltane honours Life. It represents the peak of Spring and the beginning of Summer. Earth energies are at their strongest and most active. All of life is bursting with potent fertility and at this point in the Wheel of the Year, the potential becomes conception. On May Eve the sexuality of life and the earth is at its peak. Abundant fertility, on all levels, is the central theme. The Maiden goddess has reached her fullness. She is the manifestation of growth and renewal, Flora, the Goddess of Spring, the May Queen, the May Bride. The Young Oak King, as Jack-In-The-Green, as the Green Man, falls in love with her and wins her hand. The union is consummated and the May Queen becomes pregnant. Together the May Queen and the May King are symbols of the Sacred Marriage (or Heiros Gamos), the union of Earth and Sky, and this union has merrily been re-enacted by humans throughout the centuries. For this is the night of the Greenwood Marriage. It is about sexuality and sensuality, passion, vitality and joy. And about conception. A brilliant moment in the Wheel of the Year to bring ideas, hopes and dreams into action. And have some fun...