The cold days of winter are fading and summer has not yet begun but we can see its shadow in the rising heat of Beltaine or May day. Beltaine is one of eight high days celebrated in the neopagan and ADF calander and its main funtion was and is to insure the continuation of fertility throughout the coming year and harvest. Beltaine is the “springtime festival of optimism”(wikipedia) and for the celts it was a time to drive the cattle up from the winter fields and into the summer pastures. One traditon was to drive them between two fires to add protections both magical and mundane, along with the symbolism of the fire the addition of herbal peticides helped keep the cattle healthe throughout the year.
Personally, this time of year was a time to celbrate my parents and grandparents, my father was born on may 1st, my mother on the eithteenedth and between that is mothers day and while it isn’t intentional , it fits quite nicely in the theme of the season.
Since my mother and grandmother’s passing this month has become more associated with ancestors and family than ever, even if its perspective has changed. I have been going to visit my mothers grave during this time of year, especially on her birthday or mothers day. Pouring a libation and sharing a meal keeps the memories alive. I plan to go down this year with sunflowers, my mothers favorite flower as well as very apt symbol of the fires between which I continue to pass through to the coming year.