14 Maia/May 1
May Day is one several names for this ancient holiday which celebrates the beginning of Spring. In Gaelic countries, it was also called Beltane, which means Lucky Fire. Others believe that Beltane meant Bel’s Fire, after the sun god, Bel .In ancient Rome, it was the celebration of Bona Dea, the Good Goddess.
In Gaelic culture, the evening of April 30th was the celebration of Beltane (which translates to “lucky fire”), the start of the summer season. First attested in 900 AD, the celebration mainly focused on the symbolic use of fire to bless cattle and other livestock as they were moved to summer pastures. This custom continued into the early 19th century, during which time cattle would be made to jump over fires to protect their milk from being stolen by fairies. People would also leap over the fires for luck. (1).
For May Day Crafts, Poems and Recipes, please scroll down to the end of the article.
[Holy Spirit, Mother Sophia. Notice in this painting that Sophia is expressed in all Her Forms: She is the (non-Fallen) Gnostic Aeon (spiraling wings); She is the Veiled/Hidden Christian Goddess; (veil); She is the Holy Mother Spirit (dove/wings/She is clearly with Child); She is Our High Priestess (chalice); She is the Queen of Heaven (crown and moon), the Mother of Creation (moon); for Sophian Christians, She is the Mother of the Supernal Moon Who is the Holy Daughter (moon), She is Divine (royal halo).]
May, in the Roman Catholic Church, is traditionally the month of Mary. It is a celebration of both her motherhood and her queenship. In our Sophian Tradition, May Day is the celebration of the Motherhood of Sophia. We crown Her Daughter, Janah Sophia, as the Queen of Heaven on 28 Maia/May 15.
We celebrate this day both spiritually and culturally. Spiritually, we may celebrate it by reciting litanies and rosaries, singing hymns, celebrating liturgy or the Rite of Veneration (RoV), (2). We may offer Our Heavenly Mother flowers, incense, devotional candles and other gifts. Spending time before Her image and speaking with Her in our own words is probably the best gift of all.
The Divine Feminine side of religion has close ties with folk cultural folk traditions and the celebration of Nature. Nature has always been associated with the Divine Feminine, going back to ancient times.
For Sophians, the Holy Daughter, as the World Soul, is the Divine Feminine Presence within Creation, within Nature. By celebrating and keeping sacred Her Seasons, we are celebrating Her Immanent Presence through-out Creation.
We may celebrate Her Presence in Nature by taking simply taking a walk, hiking in the woods or kayaking on a quiet river or lake.
Learning about the local trees and wildflowers of your area can be a fun project. It’s always fun to spot those first Mayflowers or find an unusual mushroom (do not eat!)!
At Twilight, my favorite time of day, I love sit by the campfire and listen to the music of Nature; the deep-throated croaking of the bull-frogs in competition with the slightly higher-pitched tree frogs; the peeping and twitter of zillions of unseen insects; the rustling conversation of thousands of leaves on the soft breeze that is gentle swirling the air around me.
And then the magick starts to happen, the first glow of the rising new moon across the lake from me as the first owl shouts her hoot out into the night. The owl always reminds me of Mother Sophia. The soft cooing of the mourning dove, which greets me each dawn, brings to my heart, the Holy Daughter.
I love to watch the sky. I’ve always watched the sky. I have always watched the moon.
I have made a pact with myself to take the time to re-learn the constellations of each Season and their brightest stars.I remember some of them, but not many. After a while, when you watch the stars and moon each night, they feel like your friends, your guardians.
Antares, the brightest star in Scorpio.
I remember when I first saw my own constellation, Scorpio, shimmering along the late summer horizon, Antares shining its light across the cosmos with its reddish hue. It was truly thrilling for me to see that constellation, my constellation, for the very first time. It was deeply personal.
Another way to honor Nature/Creation is through the use of correspondences. Correspondences are important, not just for casting spells and magick; they resonate with us on a subliminal level. Being highly symbolic, each correspondence has something to teach us on a subconscious/soul level which, in turn, enables us to intuitively relate to and connect with the subject at hand.
For example, some of the correspondences for Maia/May are:
Stones: Emerald and Carnelian.
Flower: Lily of the Valley and the Mayflower.
Moon: in different Traditions it is known as the Fairy Moon, the Flower Moon, Corn Planting Moon, Milk Moon, among others.
Elements: Earth and Air.
Animals: Beaver and Elk.
Incense: rose, sandalwood and lily of the valley.
Trees: Hawthorn and Apple.
Astrological signs: Taurus and Gemini.
Angels: Amatiel Spring) and Haniel (June and so, part of Maia).
When we research the spiritual significance of each correspondence, a greater picture is painted, like putting together the pieces of a dazzling bejeweled puzzle. The significance of the Apple Tree, alone, is immensely significant to those who are familiar with the sacred writings of the greater Deanic religion. (See the Seed of Truth, aka, the Sermon of the Apple Seed: http://filianicstudies.racemochridhe.com/blog/publishing/ece/download-ece/
Crafts and customs for the day might include:
Plant a Mary or Sophia Garden: http://catholicmom.com/2011/05/23/how-to-plant-a-mary-garden/
Beauty: Tradition has it that if you take the morning dew and spread it on your face, you will preserve your youthful beauty.
Maypole dance: http://www.maypoledance.com/maypoledance.html
May Day Crafts for kids: https://www.greenkidcrafts.com/may-day/
Poems and songs: http://umich.edu/~ece/student_projects/mass_entertainment/page5.html
Happy May Day!
- (our prayer and rituals pages are currently being revised. Meanwhile, forms of our prayers and the Rite of Sacrifice may be found on http://deanic.com. Our liturgy is not currently published.