Beltaine – one of Earthaven’s favorite celebrations!
by Melissa Lemoing (aka River Otter)
On Sunday, April 30, we celebrated Beltaine, or May Day, the holiday mid-way between the Spring Equinox and the Summer Solstice, which celebrates the full flowering of the powerful energy of Springtime. In lighting the Bel-fire together we take part in an ancient and universal ritual of community healing and intention. These sacred magical fires were found in cultures from Europe to China, from Africa to the Middle East, and across Native America.
Maypole dancers at Earthaven, 2017
Native peoples on this continent had a version of the Maypole to celebrate the awakening springtime before the season of the planting of the corn. For both young women and young men, it was symbolic of their commitment to care for and nurture each other and the Web of All Our Interconnected Relations, honoring the gifts each brings.
Early European Maypoles used strips of red and white cloth ribbon. Their entwining represents the union of the creative forces that rise within us, and was considered a spell for the healing and balance of the community. There is no Christian equivalent for Beltaine; it is “the people’s holiday,” established in nations around the globe as the ultimate workers’ holiday.
River Otter (aka Melissa Lemoing) is our Outreach Coordinator, among her many other gifts and talents. Let her know if you’d like to come for a visit, at least by Beltaine next year!