Beltane, May

May fairyMay fairyOn the 7th day of May 2011 we met at the Meadow Orchard to celebrate Bel'tane an ancient May celebration meaning 'goodly fire', when traditionally friends and couples 'jumped' the fire to celebrate their connection. Union is generally the theme at this time of year and is also the symbolism of the maypole that is danced during the celebration.

The pole itself represents the 'masculine' powerful energy of the sun penetrating the powerful 'feminine' womb of the earth, resulting in an abundance of blossoming fertility in May.
MaypoleMaypoleThe colourful ribbons spread from the top of the pole are weaved by pairs facing each other and dancing their way around the pole in the directions they are facing, alternating the ribbons under or over the next person.

The dance symbolises and celebrates the unity that creates all life.

Traditionally people come together as a community to release and make wishes for their hearts desires.

At the idyllic beauty of the Meadow Orchard in the glorious sunshine, interspersed with light sprinkling of rain, 22 of us gathered. We began by making May crowns with Willow and Hawthorn, then decorated the maypole with greenery and added our personal ribbons. We jumped and danced to our hearts content. Individually, as couples, as friends and finally all together we jumped the fire, asked for blessings of the season, made commitments, then weaved and spun our wishes around the maypole. We made space to remember those who weren't able to come and also to remember the places and issues globally which need the energy of unity.

Afterwards we feasted on soup and cake provided by Food Cycle and other shared provisions. We had a display of traditional Morris dancers, poetry and singing around the fire until the midnight bell chimed over a beautiful wild-hearted magical afternoon and evening gathering.