The Rites of Spring: Beltane, May Day, Greenman Awaken the Earth Spirit Within
Here in the Northern Midwest, Spring takes her time. The weather becomes welcoming and then slips back into winter from March through late May at times. Regardless, we all reach towards the sun by getting in the spirit with yard work, starting seeds, prepping the garden. You hear the mowers and big machines roll in, and you know winter is breaking.
As I write this, we are close to Beltane, or May Day, May 1st or 2nd, depending on the calendar you use. Traditionally, celebrated as a fertility day, with bonfires, dancing, and celebrations. Today one might plant a little fairy garden, leave an offering of some sorts for our wee’ friends, share in some May wine, and plant seeds. Beltane is in Taurus season, so lady Venus (the planet) is happy in her most favorite sign and feeling lusty. She wants to go for a ride, so let the lovefest begin. Even today, you may (no pun intended) see dressing the May Pole with a festive dance of ribbons bright. Spiral dancing, drumming, singing, drinking, weddings. Herbs are strewn around for love and loyalty like rosemary, thyme for truth.
The power of Beltane thrums through us, telling us to get outside, telling us to prepare for the energy and build-up of Spring. Heavy planting is needed to obtain all of our goals for survival. This resonates metaphorically as well. There is also the presence of the mysterious figure of Greenman. Usually depicted as a face of gorgeous foliage of oak and other leaves, branches, berries, and other bits of forest, sometimes smirking, smiling, or looking a bit grumpy. He is the keeper of the forest, of woodland mystery, and guardian of the earth. Also known as the Jack in the Green, among other names, the common theme to his folklore is life, death, and rebirth.
The Romans might be celebrating Flora, goddess of, you guessed it, flowers and of course spring, growth, and new beginnings, making it a suitable topic for an aromatherapy blog. Garlands of flowers flowing from her fingers, that reminder of all the blossoming yet to come. It is important to be reminded of this. Modern culture restricts this absolute need to spend more time outdoors—the absolute need for clean air and water. We must put ourselves back into the rhythm of seasonal cycles, as we reduce important populations of insects, animals, and plants, we are harming nature, which is harming ourselves.
Let a little magic enter your life this Flower Moon, which is always the May full moon. Celebrate by planting, reducing your carbon footprint, losing the screentime, planting something, celebrating something without creating so much waste… really, just do something. Beltane is a day to take action, in a fun way, an exciting time. Make merry, make happiness however you like, but if it is to celebrate the new growth cycle, let it be without waste.
I am clearly inspired by plants. When I blend, I have many intentions or approaches to a blend. My latest creation was in honor of Spring, in honor of her beautiful wildness. To send a message of earth, trees, herbs and sacred plant energy vibrating through us. Sacred Rosemary, primitive Black Spruce, Wild Thyme, quiet and cool Juniper, and sweet rich Tangerine.
Hence, the birth of Wild Nurturer aromatic essence, to support the earthy wildness within you. Take it outdoors with you and find a quiet grove, roll it on before you head out for a gathering, or run it in the diffuser with some fantastic Celtic or Irish music with bold drumming, piping or whatever lights your fancy like Cullann’s Hounds, Loreena McKennitt, or Laboratorium Piensi as you work a loaf of bread with your bare hands. Feel the pages of an old book between your fingers, play in the dirt, make a mess with flower… ok now get on with it!