When I was young and the community was in its infancy we celebrated May Day with great exuberance. It was a celebration of spring and a welcoming of the sun and longer, warmer days. The tetherball pole that stood on the church/school playground was transformed into a May Pole. Children were hand selected to participate in decorating the May Pole, adorning it with ribbons and wrapped in joy. The spring I was invited to participate in decorating the May Pole was one of the happiest days of my young life. Following the decorating of the May Pole the members of the community celebrated with pot luck picnic and free play. Not long after that particular event one of the members pointed out that May Day was Pagan holiday and that joyous occasion was replaced each spring with Field Day. The celebration of spring was replaced with a day of personal strength and competition.
I recently went in search of the history of May Day and found that what it represents is magical and beautiful, based in the celebration of mother earth and the feminine energy. Its original tradition became lost to religion and masculine energy. Just as it was lost to the masculine energy in our community to the field day competitions.
The celebration of spring is among the most ancient of all celebrations and among the most joyous. It is the celebration of life. It is the celebration of all creation. The right and passage of spring has been celebrated since long before recorded time as recognition of the feminine Creator. It became the apple tree in the Garden of Eden. It was the food and fruit of life and source of wisdom. It was a celebration of the wisdom and beauty of the Divine Feminine at a time when it was recognized that wisdom and abundance came from women. The strong, beautiful and fertile apple tree became the symbol of the tree of life and was celebrated each year as the giver of life. It was the must beautiful and abundant of all the Mother’s creations. The story of Adam and Eve was twisted to make Eve appear foolish, but women have always been wise and understand the value of wisdom, which is not the same as education. Wisdom comes from experience, from listening to the voice of intuition and following its guide. The woman’s ability to share from her inner truth was once revered. The apple tree was a symbol of feminine wisdom and creation. The birth and beauty of spring and the promise of a fruitful and abundant harvest. The celebration of spring was a celebration of the earth mother, the creator and giver of all life. Her wisdom provided a bounty that sustained life. Her wisdom and nurturing ensured that all creation was strong, healthy and abundant.
The celebration of life in full bloom was celebrated around the world for centuries as a celebration of the Divine Feminine until male domination turned the fruit tree into a symbol of strength and virility. The tree of beauty and life was replaced by a pole, turning it into a phallic symbol and erecting it for all the world to see. The Romans introduced their Goddess Flora into the celebration as they moved across Europe. The Romans were an integral part of holding space for and recognizing the Divine Feminine. Sadly She was lost almost entirely to the God of Abraham and our world nearly destroyed to the lustful and greedy desires of men.
Fortunately there are many of us who recognize that there is masculine and feminine in all creation and that both are necessary to create and sustain life. We are coming together in re-awaking and resurrecting the Divine Feminine and returning Her to Her place in balance as Oneness in creation. As we celebrate the feminine in creation we are able to heal the damage that has been done to our planet. I celebrate May Day as a joyous occasion to revel in the beauty of life and the abundance of Mother Earth. I celebrate the birth and rebirth of spring. I celebrate the potential and possibilities that come with planting seeds of gratitude and the potential for a fruitful harvest.