Thursday, May 01, 2008

Happy May Day 2008!

Happy May Day! May 01, 2007
Happy May Day! May 01, 2007
(Above: The Green Me)
Happy May Day!

Lord Summerisle: Perhaps it’s just as well that you won’t be here ...
to be offended by the sight of our May Day celebrations.”

Sgt. Howie (shocked): "But they are naked!"

Lord Summerisle: "Naturally. It's much too dangerous
to jump through the fire with your clothes on!"
(From The Wicker Man)

(I have much more accurate/traditional photos of the May Pole Dance,
but this one will have to suffice because many people are offended by nudity)

May Day is sacred and important to many different people! This may be the most universally observed holiday of all. At Beltain Pagans of all varieties Dance the May in honor of Mid Summers and the Lady Day. Traditionally they do so nude, or "skyclad," but today most Neo-Pagans have seemingly embraced Christian "modesty" and so often shun the human form. Nonetheless:

"Listen to the words of the Great Mother, She Who was of old called among men Artemis, Astarte, Diane, Melusine, Aphrodite, Cerridwen, Dana, Arianrod, Bride, and by many other Names.

"At Mine alters the youth of Lacedemon in Sparta made due sacrifice. Whenever you have need of anything, once in the month, and better it be when the Moon is full, then ye shall assemble in some secret place and adore the Spirit of Me Who am Queen of the Witcheries.

"There shall ye assemble, ye who are fain to learn all sorcery, yet have not won its deepest secrets. To these will I teach things that are yet unknown.

"And you shall be free from slavery. And as a sign that ye be truly free, ye shall be naked in your rites. And shall dance and sing, feast, make music and love, all in My praise.

"For Mine is the ecstasy of the Spirit, and Mine also is joy on earth, for My Law is Love unto all beings.

"Keep pure your highest ideal. Strive ever towards it. Let naught stop you nor turn you aside.
For Mine is the secret door which opens upon the door of youth. And Mine is the cup of wine of life, and the Cauldron of Carridwen, which is the Holy Grail of Immortality.

"I am the Gracious Goddess Who gives the gift of joy unto the hearts of man. Upon Earth I give peace and freedom, and reunion with those who have gone before; nor do I demand aught in sacrifice, for behold, I am the Mother of all the living and My Love is poured out upon the Earth.

"Hear ye the words of the Star Goddess, she in the dust of Whose Feet are the host of the heavens, Whose Body encircles the universe. I Who am the beauty of the green Earth, and the white Moon amongst the Stars, and the mystery of the Waters, and the desire of the heart of man call unto they soul: Arise and come unto Me.

"For I am the Soul of Nature Who giveth life to the universe, from Me all things proceed, and unto Me all things must return, and before My face, beloved of gods and men, thine inmost divine self shall be enfolded in the rapture of the infinite.

"Let My worship be within the heart that rejoiceth. And thou who thinkest to seek for Me, know this: Thy seeking and yearning shall avail thee naught, unless thou knowest this mystery:

The origin of the "Charge of the Goddess" is uncertain. It appears to be post-Christian, at least in its present form. The references to freedom seems to indicate liberation from both Christian oppression and so-called morality. Charles G. Leland, in his Aradia: Gospel of the Witches was, to my knowledge, the first to make the Charge available to the general public but I do not believe he penned it.

The earliest May Day celebrations appeared in pre-Christian Europe, as in the Celtic celebration of Beltane, and the Walpurgis Night of the Germanic countries. Although the Pagan-oriented celebrations faded as Europe became Christianised, a more secular version of the holiday continued to be observed in the schools and churches of Europe well into the 20th century. In this form, May Day may be best known for its tradition of dancing the Maypole and crowning of the Queen of the May. Today many Neo-Pagans, especially Wiccans, celebrate reconstructed versions of the old Pagan holidays on May 1.

(A photo I took in Argentina)

Socialists and Communists remember the Haymarket martyrs of 1886 and the International Socialist Movement generally. The latter event is an important holiday in Communist and Socialist countries. This tradition continues and today mass marches on various worker's issues are taking place across the globe.

For Roman Catholics, May is the Month of the Virgin Mary. Much could be said here about which Mary! The Church says it is the Virgin Mother's Day but there is plenty of evidence showing it is the day of Mary Magdelene who, according to many evidences, was honored (and even worshipped) in her own right as the wife of Jesus.

May Day is also the Feast of St. Joseph the Worker. The feast was established by Pope Pius XII in 1955 in order to Christianize the concept of labor and give to all workers a model and a protector.

However you honor this day,
May you find it a blissful and joyous time!

For Your consideration:

Various May Day Events


May Day Births

May Day Deaths

May Day Holidays and observances

May Day Liturgical Feast days

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