Posts Tagged ‘Beltaine’

First of all, Beltaine blessings to you all! Second, this is a bit serious of a card for such a frolicking holiday, but here it is. But it is May Day, so let’s all avoid asking awkward questions, eh? 😉

Wild Rose: A Thorny Question

Keywords & Phrases: Difficult decisions, something troublesome that needs to be sorted out, making tricky choice, bothersome issues, rather worrying enquiries, awkward questions being asked.

Meaning: In Grandville’s engraving, Wild Rose is a lady who looks less than comfortable. She has a wild rose in her hair and others at her great, but thorny stems wrap her round in a rather nasty embrace. Two reships dangle from her wrists as if she has been handcuffed. She is also wearing a rather tight reship necklace.

This card tell you that a difficult decision may need to be made. The pros and cons of each possible course of action may be whirling round your headed morning, noon, and night. Someone may be pressuring you to make up your mind right now.

Of course, this feels stressful, but an over-hasty decision must be avoided. It sound simplistic, but writing it down can help. Set it out like a chart: Pros, Cons, Likely Outcomes. Then leave it for a day or two. Sleep on it. Go to the cinema, meet up with a friend who has nothing to do with the issue. Over these two days, your path may become clearer. Thorny questions should not be answered in a rush.

The Victorian Flower Oracle by Sheila Hamilton, art by JJ Grandville, Karen Mahony and Alex Ukolov

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Today is Beltaine, the day of the flower bride and the sacred marriage of myth, as well as a season to honor the blooming and fertile Earth. It’s also the season that the Green Man comes to the forefront. Though I keep planning to write an in-depth post about this nature spirit, I’ll suffice for now with the mossy rock face that brings him to mind for me. Do you see it?

I’m a May Taurus and adore this season, though perhaps that doesn’t have as much to do with my birth month as I imagine. Digging hands in the dirt, smelling green grass and blossoms, walking in the sunshine with dogs and cats – these are just a few joys of springtime in full bloom.

As a little something, here’s an older post taking a quick look at the Flower Bride and some small charms of the Beltaine season. Enjoy the day and the season.



A statue of Mary in southeast Kansas

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It’s a gorgeous day here in Southeast Kansas, so we started the day with a short walk. Then, I perused the yard to see what needs done – it’s spring, so there’s always a lot to do. Tommy the Neighborhood Cat joined me in admiring the overgrown pretty “weeds” in the yard and how even the grapevine buds looks like flowers. As it is Beltaine Eve, I hope you all find some beauty in your world too.

Today’s card comes from one of several Arthurian-inspired decks, and it could prove beneficial for many I know who are in flux or indecision. Trust your instincts and know the universe will help you.  Blessings!

The Universe

Meaning: Liberation. The attainment of a long-sought goal. The culmination of events, efforts, and experiences from the past. Completing a task with honors. Trumps and prosperity. Winning the admiration of others.

Attainment bringing change that still retains stability. Security and assurance. Synthesis bring a sense of peace and wholeness. May refer to travel, a new home, or graduation. The ability to direct one’s life. Confidence, success, and lasting happiness.

The card could also indicate regret, lingering doubts inserting with decision making. Delays; lack of support. Losing interest or enthusiasm after beginning a new project. Failing to follow through on plans. Loss of direction; scattered energies.

Description and Symbolism: Under the heavens and amidst the stones, the dancer celebrates life in her victory dance of being. This ecstasy comes from deep within, when the conscious and subconscious work in unison. This leads to encounters, however brief, with the superconscious and its lasting gifts of faith. This synthesis opens many doors to understanding. The woman’s dance represents embracing and enjoying life, living it to its utmost. Her iridescent veil drapes about her but does not restrict her movement, representing a flexible lifestyle and environment. She is the perfectly natural, unencumbered self, free to dance in rhythm with the universe. The wand held in her hand symbolizes that she is the mistress of her own fate, not living by the dictates of others. She carries the wand with ease, representing self-confide ice and faith; there is no desperate battle for control.

As the woman dances, she travels the ditch that surrounds the stones. It has been theorized that rituals at these sacred sites involved the king, chief, or druid walking a protective circle, a Path of Blessing. This was thought to harmonize the four energies of the earth, the quaternary powers depicted on the foreground stones. These are the four evangelists traditional to the card, symboling the culmination and balance of energies. These figures correspond to the zodiac as: the man/Aquarius, air; the bull/Taurus, earth; the lion/Leo, fire; and the eagle/Scorpio, water. The qualities they bring to the card are, respectively: intelligence and independence, determination and stability, strength and enthusiasm, and intuitive knowledge and great spiritual heights. The evangelists in the painting are as they appear in the famous Book of Kells. The church associates the man with Matthew, incarnation; the bull with Luke, passion; the lion with Mark, resurrection; the eagle with John, ascension.

Legend: The Arthurian Tarot by Anna-Marie Ferguson

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Just had to share a strange moment I had earlier this evening. I was Googling ab0ut flower brides and trying to drill down to the abduction motif. Quickly scanning the results, I did a double-take when I saw this blog listed as the fourth entry on the page! It had connected to my Beltaine post from last year. It’s such a little thing, but it seemed so weird.

As you might have guessed from this disclosure, you can anticipate a post (or two) regarding the Flower Brides of Celtic lore in a few days.

Bright blessings!



© 2013 PJ Graham

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I sleep so sound all night, mother, that I shall never wake,

If you do not call me loud when the day begins to break:

But I must gather knots of flower, and buds and garlands gay,

For I’m to be the Queen o’ the May, mother, I’m to be the Queen o’ the May.

– From “The May Queen” by Alfred Lord Tennyson

A blessed Beltaine to all!

Also known as May Day (or the day after Walpurgis Night), May 1 is the day that the Flower Bride is crowned with a garland of spring flowers and takes part in the Sacred Marriage to celebrate this fertile season. Or as Guinevere sings in the musical Camelot:

It’s May! It’s May!

The month of ‘yes you may’

An illustration of a May Queen from William Hone’s “Hone’s Everyday Book” published in 1826.

And this is fitting for in the Arthurian legends the Flower Bride is Guinevere, though she is usually abducted on May 1 and must be rescued. However, in Celtic lore, there are many ladies or goddesses, such as Creiddyled and Bloudewedd, who fit this role.

Though Beltaine celebrates fertility, which of course requires both sexes, this day does seem to give a lot of attention to women. The Roman Catholic church even chose May to be Mary’s month, and many of their faithful celebrate May Day as a celebration of the mother of Jesus.

Though I’m more interested in Flower Brides of Celtic myth, a statue of Mary at the local Catholic Church, Our Lady of Lourdes, fascinates me. Different than most art that shows the demure mother with her head bowed and covered, “Our Lady of Pittsburg” by artist Linda Dabeau shows a Mary that is strong and forward looking – she looks as much like a goddess here as do many statues of Diana or Aphrodite. In fact, a good friend and I have often joked that we should go in the wee hours of Beltaine and dress the Mary statue with flower garlands. As yet, we haven’t done it – but you never know what the future holds!

A statue of Mary in southeast Kansas

Those interested in more Celtic history and British folk traditions regarding this time can check out sources such as Alexei Kondratiev’s excellent The Apple Branch and Mike Nichols’ The Witches’ Sabbats as well as web sites such as Waverly Fitzgerald’s The School of the Seasons or today’s post on The Wild Hunt blog.

But here I’d like to focus on the beauty and charm of the Beltaine season. Here are some things I’ve enjoyed over the years:

  • As a child, learning about May Day flower baskets in school and then making some to give to the neighbors.
  • The scent of honeysuckle and peonies.
  • Several years ago, being part of a group of adults leading a group of children in dancing the May pole when only one adult actually knew how to do it. It was good tangled fun and I can’t wait to try it again!
  • Waking early on a May morning to walk barefoot in the dew.
  • Just this past weekend, seeing that someone had made a garland of old fashioned roses for my great niece on her seventh birthday. Some classics never go out of style!

So what is your favorite part of the Beltaine season? Or the month of May?

Until next time, bright blessings!



© 2012 PJ Graham

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