If we were having coffee right now… We’d be in a Garden, and I’d be Naked. After all, the air of May is full of life and joie de vivre – so much that it has been associated with celebration, release, and even some kinky stuff for hundreds of years.
#WorldNakedGardeningDay #WeekendCoffeeShare #Mayday # Beltane #Walpurgisnacht
The first week of May – beginning with May Day itself – has quite a history. After all, May Day is not only a day when Communists decided to celebrate the common working-man. (Which, by the way, was countered by The Pope of the time making it the day of St. Joseph, the patron saint of Hard-Working People, in a mixture of retaliation and solidarity.)
It’s also a festival marked by happy people dancing around a “May Pole” – that is, a Really Big Log standing straight up out of the ground, and guess what that represents? According to Hobbes – a Giant Dick.
Ok, actually, we literally don’t know – that’s how old the custom is. It was an ancient Germanic custom, and may be linked to the worship of sacred trees (like Thor’s Oak, or Yggdrasil the World-Tree). Like a Christmas Tree, but for Spring… Apparently young men in Germany in Austria will put mini-ones in the front yards of girls they like, with a card attached.
But you know what – You do you, Germanic-Influenced-Culture.
If you want to celebrate the fertility of Spring by having children dancing with ribbons around a giant symbolic phallus, then go for it. After all, May 1st has a colourful past…
The Fires of Beltane
The roots of the May-Day holiday are even cooler than dancing around a giant wooden dong. The Ancient Celts celebrated May as the start of summer, when the herds of cattle and sheep would be taken out to the summer pastures. The summer pastures were verdant, but also dangerous, containing things like wolves, viruses to be contracted, and under-sexually-stimulated shepherds with needs to fill …
So on the first of summer, the Celts would build bonfires to channel the power of their God of Light and Fire and Summer, Beil (possibly Belenos) and get cows and people to walk around them (or jump over them) so that the Power of Beil would protect them (like magic fiery cough syrup.)
To this day, the Irish still light bonfires (actually if Seamus Finnegan from Harry Potter was a viable stereotype than they just light everything on fire they can.)
And to this day, the first week of May is when many Canadians take out their barbecues. If that’s not a tribute to the fiery summer sun, then The Crone, The Maiden and The Matron were not the same goddess. (Hint: they were. but also were not. They were a 3 in 1. So in a way, when St Patrick told the Irish that God the Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit were like a 3 – in – one kind of a god, I imagine they were like “[whatever’s gaelic for] We Totally Get You, Bro!”)
Meanwhile, it was a Celtic Equinox – and as all you trendy Wicca-enthusiasts know, on the
Equinox the Veil between stretches a little thin between the worlds of humans, spirits, and the “Old Gods” (yeah, we went there). Apparently modern druids also have this weird cycle, where the Matron gives birth to The Baby-God (I’m paraphrasing on the names) but by Beltane he’s old enough to get Jiggy with her (but she is now “The Maid” and no longer his mom as much). This – along with it being spring, and I guess watching bunnies mate gets humans going – is part of the association between Beltane, and Sex. Young men and women, released from their snow-packaged homesteads at last, would meet up, trade flowers, and make fires together, often leading to relationships and marriage.
Are there any Beltane-specific sexual rituals? I’ve looked (Obiv.) At a glance, I couldn’t find much – although I am sure various Pagan/Wiccan/Free Spirits celebrate it however they want… That being said, The Mists of Avalon – which is a Great movie, and obviously an even-way-better book – contains a beautiful and creepy sex-scene wherein a young man and young lady (I won’t say who, that would be Mega Spoilers) wear masks and take the symbolic places of the two gods to get intimate.
So who knows. Maybe next May 1st, you and the SO should wear masks and antlers and make sweet Celtic-Fertility Ritual-Love.
Apparently the Celtic Bael was linked to the Mesopotamian Baal as well, a diety of fire and light and summer, and they celebrated a similar festival around May 1st – but one with ritualistic sex between the King and Priestess of Baal, and lots of weird Orgies. This is coming from a site on Satanism … but then again, it sounds kind of similar to the German May Day (oh those crazy Germans)
In Germany, May Day is for Witches Consorting with the Devil
In the German Provinces, May Day was known originally as ” HexenNacht ” or “Night of Witches.” This was the night that all the witches in Germany would celebrate the coming of Spring/Summer by meeting on Mount Brocken, the highest peak of the Hartz mountains, and consorting with the devil and his legions.
I assume they were naked and had sex outdoors – as one does when consorting with the devil and his minions to celebrate the spring time. (Plus, they were German.)
Later it was semi-Catholicized to be named “WalpurgisNacht,” the night of Saint Walpurga, a german woman who became a christian and – apparently – catholocized much of Germany. But it never lost touch with those cute, demonic roots…
In Estonia they dress as witches/demons and parade through the streets, and students get drunk and go visit each others’ Fraternity and Sorority houses (if that’s not a fertility ritual than neither is tinder). In Finland it was a rich-person holiday until the students got hold of it, and now everybody goes for picnics and drinks sparkling wine. Sweden‘s was apparently more like Beltane, where they burned bonfires to protect the flocks from predators out in the pastures, and to this day they all go out to public bonfires to celebrate. It even made an appearance in Bram Stoker’s Dracula, wherein a daft Englishman ignores local warnings and goes on a walk on WalpurgisNacht to be beset by all kinds of unholy denizens.
But my favourite is Czech Republic: where they still burn massive bonfires to commemmorate the burning of witches ( … the good ol’ days ?) and when a big cloud of smoke goes up, they say “look, another witch has flown away!” They also – and this is the good part – have this thing where “If a woman is kissed beneath a cherry tree after midnight, she will not go dry for a whole year.” I kid you not. I mean, I imagine its a bit less of a thing, now that modern Lube has been invented…. Yup, that’s actually a custom though.
All this to say …
what is it about May?
The flowers? The fresh spring air? The plants growing, the grass greening, the animals coming out to make baby bunnies?
Something about this season is full of hope, and life, and joy de vivre. Is full of embracing our biology, our connection to the earth, and our sexuality. Is just so full of G.D. Life.And its Wonderful.
In our busy modern world, we lose touch with that sometimes… So in addition to May Day and Camping Trips and Barbecues, society has brought us a new holiday to channel the wild freedom of Walpurgisnacht, the celebration of summer of Beltane…
World Naked Gardening Day
A day invented by nudists, in collaboration with gardeners, about being free, fun, happy, naked, and able to laugh at ourselves and feel comfortable in our own skin – with nothing else. Apparently they chose gardening to get people outside, and also because ‘studies showed’ that next to swimming it was the activity the most North Americans were willing to do all’ nekkid.
The motivation was to get us feeling better about our bodies and body image: but apparently the founder, Mark Storey, “cited fringe benefits of bare, unabashed recreation: the satisfaction of exercising in the great outdoors; the attractiveness of an all-over tan; [and] more Vitamin D on your whole body.” *(Wikipedia) .
Hey, what could be better than a full-body dose of Vitamin D!
So this WNGD (yes, it has an acronym, its on Wikipedia so I know its legit) Head outside and take some time to enjoy … Yourself.
Feel the dirt between your toes, and the sun on your genitals!
Take it off, and take out the trowel.
Get out there – maybe in a garden, maybe on your porch with some potted plants. Maybe in a back yard, maybe in a front yard, they’ve apparently done naked flash-mobs in a public park.
Get naked – or maybe just in underwear… Or atleast take your shirt off. (Thats to men And women, btw, its legal now folks.)
And above all, take a moment – away from our laptops and houses and fancy clothes – to enjoy what we are.
Because Who we are is a complex web of our personality, jobs, interests, hobbies, personas, social-media-pages, innermost thoughts and emotions, and relationships.
But What we are… is just beautiful, emotional, communicative, and highly intelligent animals, living in the same ancient world where once the Beltane fires were lit, the Hexen danced their wild dance on Mount Brocken, and dinosaurs roamed the earth.
Just be you.
I leave you with this:
Have fun Gardening!
May Pole: https://ourc.wordpress.com/english-lessons-maypole-and-mayday/
Beltane Fire: https://edinburghfestival.list.co.uk/festival/edinburgh-beltane-fire-festival/
Cattle on beltane: http://wildeyedsoutherncelt.com/the-fires-of-beltane/
Beltane Courtship: https://www.pinterest.com/earthgrl/sabbat-beltane/
Mists of Avalon: https://warriorwithoutawar.wordpress.com/tag/the-mists-of-avalon/
Witches dancing around a fire: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/359865826446658793/
Witches Kiss Devil’s Butt: http://antiquecannabisbook.com/chap2B/Church/Witch.htm
Naked Witches: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/559783428654739008/
WNGD Banner: http://www.wngd.org/
WNGD Hippy COuple: http://thedailysouth.southernliving.com/2015/04/26/hooray-time-for-world-naked-gardening-day/
WNGD No Watering Can, No Problem: http://www.mymaturespace.com/annu/annual-world-naked-gardening-day.htm
That weird Sadist Site: http://www.angelfire.com/empire/serpentis666/Beltane.html
The BBC on Beltane: http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religions/paganism/holydays/beltane_1.shtml
Everything else: Wikipedia (on various articles