Today is the feast of Beltane / May Day in old Europe. It was/is a sacred time of year positioned between the spring equinox and summer solstice. It represents the peak of Spring and the beginning of Summer. There are many ceremonial ways the indigenous celebrated this ancient fertility festival. It began at nightfall on the 30th and ran through the day and longer in many villages.
We hear of the stories of The May Queen and King – Green man and Goddess coming together in the Sacred Marriage (Heiros Gamos) the alchemical merge. This story grew out of an older ritual predating the language of such titles, but the knowledge is carried through safely, so that we have it today. Our ancient ancestors lived lives steeped in what we refer to as magic but what was natural for them. They were in communion with the seen and unseen worlds and their reverence for the elemental forces held great power. All of which lives on within us, waiting for our re-membering.
Beltane is known as a fire festival, so there would have been purification rituals, themes of transformation and lots of passion, dancing and heat! Some likely wore less clothes while others dressed in shamanic animal heads and skins. They foraged for herbs and flowers to adorn and paint their bodies and faces for ceremony. There were hand fasting ceremonies (marriages) ~ jumping the broom, sacred sexual mating rituals, hunting and gathering. Clans/tribes would gather together to both celebrate and ensure good relations with their communities and the natural world.
They weaved baskets and made offerings to the Gods and to one another. Over time the May Pole arrived and they weaved their prayers, hopes and well wishes through dance and song. Thousands and thousands of years of traditions, like a lost love story of a sacred people and their relationship with the land cut short by invasion and genocide.
It is miraculous that our Mother has held the stones as the bones of the earth to remind us of our past, and to generate the power which may be essential for our futures. I bow my head in gratitude to the Northern/Western Celtic clans/tribal nations for being the sacred keepers of ancient Indigenous Europe. I feel they fulfilled a great promise as they held on to stories, passing on the legacy and medicine ways that have helped many of us to reclaim our own. To all of those that gave their lives, we honor and thank you!
Much of the Mediterranean Ancestral Matriarchal Goddess cultures are also still in tact, a vibrant landscape with memory and maps for those with eyes to see. Glastonbury, France, Spain, Scotland, and Italy – All of Europe holds deep pockets of memory for those willing to take the sojourn. There were many similarities across cultures/tribal peoples and also many differences based on climate and terrain which shapes the relationship one has with life. For example if you lived by the sea there would be likely more water Deities while those in the mountains would honor earth or sky Gods.
What land do your people hail from? Have you visited the place of your indigenous ancestors? If not, can you tune into the land? How can this connection heal you? How can this connection heal your people? I invite you to drop into your blood and bone memory and journey into the living records of your people. As you call upon the wisdom, let the colors, stories and songs reveal themselves to you. Then let your imagination take you home. Then write it all down and offer it to the living world as a legacy of love.
Let us reclaim our languages, songs and become strong in our own medicine so that we can share with reverence and respect for all life. More rituals, rites of passage, more connection with nature! When we heal our selves/through our ancestors I believe it’s the place where spiritually becomes a living breathing integration. Where all of the mundane is an act of beauty lived with purpose. Let us live in the modern world with the wisdom and technology of the ancient ones. They are calling us all home now!
I feel so blessed to have had the privilege to partake in Beltane Rituals in Switzerland France and last year We birthed one in New York. Today as I sit in quarantine in New York I reminisce about Sacred France, the love of my soul family – my relationship to the land and the fragrance of Lily of The Valley. This sacred flower is offered to women on this Holy Day. I both smile with gratitude while equally feeling a deep grief that my feet are not kissing my soul soil and I am making peace with all that is.
On this Beltane I honor indigenous Europe and her magic. This piece started as one thing and ended with another, as is life. I send out a prayer for all peoples to remember who they are and where they come from. Let us all wake up to the past because it lives within us – while using our gifts to move us forward united. Let us see the truth and injustice alongside the beauty and joy and let’s allow the broken system to collapse while we birth a new world. Let us gather all our courage and resilience for what is to come and gather in the East!
For those seeking to dive deep into the power of your lineage and do the ancestral repair work through your entire 4 lines. I am here and in for it! We start by doing it with our own self interest at heart and then for our families and then for the living world. This work is the work of our times and I am committed to it! Write to me if you feel the calling and want to drop in for a discovery call. http://www.ourfemininelegacy.com