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The Cottage April/Beltane 2002
Tbe Merry Month of May

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Tbe Merry Month of May
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The Crones would like to welcome our newest member to the cottage. Welcome Donni! Donni will be supplying our readers with information on the upcoming Month in each issue.

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The month of May is the time when flowers seem to be in a wonderful,
colorful riot.  May taunts us not to go to work, school, or where ever
we need to go.  May is also a time of mating.  The flowers are in bloom
and the animal kingdom is a bound with little ones.  Humans took note,
and created holidays, rituals, and activities in honor of the merriment
of May.
For the year 2002, the lunar dates for May are as follows.
3rd Quarter:  4 May
New Moon:  12 May [Mother's Day]
1st Quarter: 19 May
Full: 26 May
Lunar Position:  Sagittarius and in the element of Fire.

May is named for Maia, grandmother, the Goddess of death and
fertility.  Her name changed as it traveled to other cultures, but her name is
still pretty much intact. 
Herbs, trees, gems, and other such stuff for Maia:
Hawthorn:  This tree has long been used for fertility.  It is a
favorite amongst the fae.
Color:  Green
Incense:  Lilac

Another, Goddess for May is Iris.  She has many names and many jobs. 
She is mentioned, by reference in the First Testament of the
Judeo-Christian faiths.  She is the Mother of Love.  Her symbol is the rainbow. 
In Japan, Iris is a Goddess of the Union of male and female, based on
the flower, the iris.

In May, there is Beltane, the Fire and fertility ritual in honor of
the Celtic sun god, Bel [or Bael] and the more modern holiday, Labor Day
[Europe].  Traditionally, Beltane is observed on the first of May. 
Celtic traditions place Beltane as a solar cross point, the mid point
between the spring equinox and summer solstice.  If it is observed
according to its astronomical principles, then Beltane will fall around the
fifth of May.  Beltane was a time when cattle were driven between huge
bonfires to bless them and priestesses rode brooms around the fields to
bless them for the coming planting season. 
The May Pole, and the famous May Pole dance reached its height in
Shakespearean times when the dancers would retell the story of Robin Hood. 
Young maidens would compete for the honor of May Queen, Maid Marion. 
While, the young men would compete for the honor of the May King, Robin
Hood.  However, if you take a closer look at the retelling of Robin
Hood and Maid Marion, you can see that it is really a celebration of the
joining of The Green Man and the Maiden aspect of the Goddess.  From the
May Queen, comes the tradition of beauty contests, which are often held
in the spring.
Today, Labor day is celebrated in some European countries.  This is
because The Church has never been able to fully be rid of the holiday and
has thus ignored it.  Thus the pagan traditions of playing, contests,
etc turned into a wonderful market day and day off from factories.

However you celebrate May, enjoy the abundance of the season.

                          compiled by Donni

For more information:

www.holidayinsights.com