Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Queen of May

The wheel of the year has turned, and we find ourselves on the verge of Beltane. Opposite to Samhain in both cycle and purpose, this festival celebrates the pleasure and fertility of life. One of the traditions I love best about this holiday is the idea of the May Queen. Dressed in white, the May Queen is the Maiden ripe with fecundity, at the moment she is to become the Mother. Over the centuries, the May Queen has been associated with the Queen of the Fae, with Maid Marian, and with Mary, mother of Jesus.

In ancient Celtic festivals, the May Queen was the embodiment of the Goddess, giving herself to the May King, the embodiment of the God in the moment of divine creation that brings forth all life. Modern pagan traditions often reflect this role with rituals and celebrations featuring sex and sexuality, and this is fitting on a day that celebrates fertility.

However, the May Queen also symbolizes the power of change: the change, or growth, that causes a seed to sprout, or an egg to grow into that most complex beast, the human being. The power of this change is with in us all, as it is in the May Queen. We posses reserves of strength and growth untapped. Because of this, I see all of us as 'May Queens and Kings' this Beltane. Celebrate the fertility of your mind, of your life; celebrate the power of your prayers, the power your words have, the strength and fecundity of your own spirit. Honor that within you which is the embodiment of the God and the Goddess, year round.


JJ Beazley said...

Did you know that Oliver Cromwell banned Mayday celebrations during his time as Lord Protector? It's generally seen as having its root in his severe, Protestant sensibilities, but I heard recently that his reason was quite different. It was because the Mayday celebration had descended into an orgy of drunkenness and violence - especially towards women. Who knows? Complicated world.

Lynelle said...

Well, there is a long history of people wandering off into the dark in random couplings. I could see how, after the true meaning and purpose of this has been lost, it could get totally out of hand.


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