30 April 2017 – Astro-Weather: These spring evenings, the long, dim sea serpent Hydra snakes far across the southern sky. Find his head, a rather dim asterism about the width of your thumb at arm’s length, in the southwest. (It’s lower right of Regulus by about two fists at arm’s length.) His tail reaches all the way to Libra rising in the southeast.
As twilight fades, look above the crescent Moon in the west for Pollux & Castor, & to the left of Bella Moona is Procyon.
ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY
Walpurgis Night, In Germanic folklore Walpurgisnacht, also called Hexennacht, literally “Witches’ Night” – the eve of the feast day of Saint Walpurga, an 8th-century abbess in Francia. In Goethe’s Faust we see 2 scenes: ‘Romantic Walpurgis Night’ the night of a witches’ meeting on the Brocken, the highest peak in the Harz Mountains, a range of wooded hills in central Germany; and later in Part 2 a ‘Classical Walpurgis Night’ is featured.
65 – Seneca, teacher of Nero, murdered
1789 – On the balcony of Federal Hall on Wall Street in New York City, George Washington takes the oath of office to become the first elected President of the United States
1812 – Birthday of the enigmatic Kaspar Hauser
1877 – Birthday of Alice B. Toklas, an American-born member of the Parisian avant-garde of the early 20th century. Life partner of American writer Gertrude Stein
1885 – The Niagara Reservation becomes New York’s first state park, ensuring that Niagara Falls will not be devoted solely to industrial & commercial use
1939 – The 1939-40 New York World’s Fair opens
1945 – Adolf Hitler commits suicide
1963 – The Bristol Bus Boycott is held to protest the Company’s refusal to employ Black or Asian bus crews, drawing national attention to racial discrimination in the United Kingdom
POD (Poem Of the Day) for Flora on Beltane:
May Day Maya
Bright light of the 7 Sisters
Mountain Nymph transformed,
We ascend your beacon mound
& kindle there
The oakwood of the Bel-Fire
To rival the Sun
& call the Summer heat.
Of chimney sweeps & milkmaids
To leap the healing flames
& sky-clad singing:
“Ride a cock horse to Banburry Cross
To see a fine lady on a white horse”
Walk the circuit
& beat the bounds
With the young Summer King
& the Queen of the May
For the feast of flowers
Is calling forth the consort
Come, come, come unto me
& celebrate with the orders of Elementals.
Bold maidens bathing in the dew of May morn
Sword dancing & singing
In deep forest frivolity
Striking open ancient ley lines in bulls-eye archery
Marking the unrestrained tryst,
A Maypole in Holy-Rood-Mass
Wrapped & weaved in ribbons & ivy
For the May-Eve rites.
Robin Hood makes ready the hunt,
Maid Marian has gone-a-Maying.
This is the Eve of Beltane or May Day. Beltane, the old Celtic name for May Day, means bright fire or fire of Bel, the name of the Solar force, whose feast marks the beginning of the 2nd half of the year.
Wood from 9 sacred trees is gathered, & the great Bel-fire is built & ritualistically ignited by the High priestess or Arch-Druid. People would jump these ‘need-fires’ for fertility, healing & protection.
Torches lit from it were carried home to re-light the hearth fires. The folk would walk their animals in-between them to ensure a productive season – this is the mating season after all for man & beast.
There were other May Day customs, like walking the circuit of one’s property, repairing fences & boundary markers, processions of all kinds, archery tournaments, Morris dances, sword play, & of course making merry with music & drinking.
May morning is a time when the veil between the worlds can easily be pushed aside; but instead of the spirits coming into our realm from the other side, which is the case with Halloween, the polar opposite of Mayday on the wheel of the year -the fairies can enchant us over into their mystical realms.
This is a magical time, perfect for gathering ‘wild’ water, especially the May morning dew, or water from hidden wells & springs. These wild waters were collected & used to bath in for beauty, or to drink for health.
May Day is considered the start of summer – the time of milk & honey. This sensuous fertile energy is totally universal, & can be applied on many different levels. When we acknowledge these creative forces in the dance of our lives, it takes us to our own personal, modern-day version of dancing around the maypole, where we weave & combine the opposing energies within ourselves, blending them into one balanced source.
So yes, whether you know it or not, there will be at least one song that plays in your sub-conscious head on this eve of the 1st day of May, when you become perhaps, the Queen of the May, or Jack-in the Green. Our body like the body of the earth instinctively knows its Beltane, the time of vitality & passion & new growth. And the wisdom of our spirit seeks the natural union of polarities that occur at this time, giving us the opportunity for integration, in the alchemical dance of our souls…
Because under all the sexual innuendo & frivolity, it’s really all about the inner mystic marriage, the union of fire & water -opposites complimenting each other, to become one, bringing all the elements into balance.
You’ll just have to go dancing naked in the forest preserve on your own time…
For now, let’s work to unify the polarities of our being, by sparking the new fire of creative fertility & passion, & marrying it with the beautiful, healing waters of compassion & pure love. So we can truly celebrate the marriage feast of our lives, with a grounded, mindful joy.
So if it is your will – light your Bel-fire, marry it to the water, by floating it in the chalice of your choice. Take the time you need there…To do or not, what you will…Whisper your marriage vows into the water…or dance the 1st dance…or smash the glass…whatever your ceremony calls for…short simple or silent…it doesn’t matter…a 3 day bacchanal, with dancing puppets…it’s all good…cause it’s all about what’s inside…
Peace & Love