Popular Pagan Holidays
Well, You Don’t Celebrate Christmas...
Autumn: The Croning Time
Daily Goddess Awareness
Imbolc: Traditional Celebrations for a Modern Time
Samhain: A Time for Introspection---and Activism
Anti-Witch Bigotry: Still As Popular and Deadly As Ever
The Dark Half of the Year
The Halloween Witch: Sense of Humor or Sense of Ire
Ah...To Be A Witch...
Traditional Yule: Make your Own Homebrewed Mead
Winter Solstice By Any Other Name
The Beltaine Storm
Spiritual Aspects of Yule
Yule and the New Year
Lughnasa: Festival of the Harvest (A Druid's Perspective)
Lughnasadh: The Deeper Meaning
A Celtic View of Samhain
A Meditation on Samhain: How Lucky You Are.
The Solstice Flame: A Yule Story
Alicia Meets Grandmother Autumn: A Children’s Story
Witches Lost in Halloween
Samhain and the 'Witch Questions'
Winter: A Joyous Holiday Season
The Best Thing About Death
A Summer Solstice Primer
Imbolc...or As The Wheel Turns
A Story For Autumn
Thanksgiving Memories of a Native American Witch
The Samhain Experience
Imbolg - A Lesson of Positive Change
A Yule Story for Children ~ The Tiniest Fairy ~
Bealtine: Blessing the Summer In
Imbolc Musings: We're All Broken
The Summer Solstice: A Time for Awakening
Mabon..Balance and Reflection
Yuletide Thoughts, Life and Death
At Samhain, Meet Bilé, God of the Dead of Ireland and the Danu, the All -Mother
Brighid's Healing Sword: Imbolc
The Blood is in the Land
Parting the Veils and Opening to Ancestral Wisdom
Lascivious Lupercalia: Why Valentine's is a Vital Pagan Holy Day for the Modern World
Yules Lessons from Days of Yore: Perfect Love, Perfect Trust
"The Horn of Plenty": A Pathworking for Lammas
Lammas: The Sacrificial Harvest
The Call of the Crone
Sandy Was The Name Of the Dark Goddess This Samhain
Opening to the Anima Mundi – The Gift of the Equinox
Thanksgiving Memories of a Native American
The Light Within the Shadow of the Winter Solstice
The Serpent's Kiss: Beltane's Fire
Back to Basics: Imbolc
The Lover's Flame-Beltane
Parting the Veils of Beltane's Quickening
Ode to Ostara
Gaia's Mantle:The Greening of the Earth
Beltane and Samhain: Reflections of Life and Death
The Maiden's Breath: The Vernal Equinox
The Light of the Harvest: Lammas
Flashbrewing: Traditional Yule Ginger Beer/Ale
Ole Old-As-The-Hills (A Yule Story)
Anthesteria, the Hellenic "Samhain"
The Hermit's Light: Celebrating the Autumnal Equinox
The Gift of Yule: An Illuminated Wheel
The Quickening Wheel: Imbolc
Observations for a MidSummer's Eve
Mother's Flowering-The Summer Solstice
Are Holiday Decorations and Spending A Cloak for Guilt?
The Meeting at the Crossroads-Samhain
Reconsidering a Historical Eostre
A Samhain Selfie
New Years' Resolutions for Witches
Holiday: All ...
We Want them Back! (A Pagan View of the Holidays)
Turning The Wheel By Choice
Holiday: beltaine ...
Beltane -- Holiday Details and History
You Call it May Day, We Call it Beltane
Beltane -- Enlightening Links
Beltaine - Our May Morn
Beltane: Return To Feeling
NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.
Beltaine - Our May Morn
Article ID: 4297
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 6,434
Times Read: 14,491
Author: M Macha Nightmare
Posted: May 5th. 2002
Times Viewed: 14,491
Beltaine - Our May Morn
by M. Macha NightMare, ©2002
My partner Corby and I (long-time committed, but not exclusive, relationship with a person of the male persuasion - I was born female and always liked that fact) arise in the dark to drive over from our home in Marin County, California across the Bay to Berkeley to sing up the Sun with the Berkeley Morris Dancers at Inspiration Point in Tilden Park.
We gather at a vista parking lot that faces East towards the hills of Contra Costa County. I've been doing this for close to 20 years, and the Berkeley Morris Dancers have been doing it longer. The death a few years ago of the dance master Terry O'Neill engendered great sadness, but his legacy lives on with the dancers.
Although as I understand it, Morris dancers in England are male, this troupe has dancers of both genders who dance all the dances together. There are no men's dances and women's dances that I can see. They are dressed in white shirts and pants, with red vests, and wear multicolored streamers and bells around their legs just below the knee. A fiddler and other musicians accompany them. One of the dancers is a little blond boy of about five. There's also a bear -- a "Cal bear"? -- and a clown/fool dressed in harlequinish black-and-white striped leggings and black-and-white geometrical-patterned clothing.
The sweetest thing this year is a baby -- boy or girl I could not tell -- sitting on a blanket with hir parents at the edge of the circle. She or he is a round-faced, rosy-cheeked tyke dressed in a white fuzzy overall garment, like a sleeper only with a hood with ears. S/he looks like a bunny rabbit. S/he keeps being drawn to the dancers, crawling off the blanket towards the music and the action. Eventually the dance master takes hir in his arms for a turn or two with the other dancers.
Morris dancers dance in sets, often making patterns and rhythms with sticks, and sometimes even with swords. They're loud and festive, encouraged by the appreciative crowd of Pagans encircling them.
There is one dance that everyone is invited to participate in, a large circle dance, very sprightly and enthusiastic, if a bit confused. Corby and I laugh and dance in the triple circle we have to arrange ourselves in because there are so many of us.
During the dancing, a member of the troupe passes through the assembled crowd offering bites of a tasty poppyseed May cake. Another passes the hat for cash donations.
Parents bring their little babies all bundled up in the cold. (Relative, of course. This is, after all, California). Toddlers, children, tweens, teens, young adults, mature adults, oldsters in chairs or walking with staffs - about 200-300 Pagans in the predawn air. Some of the younger folks have been awakened in the dark and driven to this annual rite every year of their lives. These events will be in their memories of their childhoods. Now there are third generation babies coming with their parents and grandparents.
By 7:00 a.m. or so it's all over. The Sun has risen, we've cheered its return. We've sung a few May carols together. Those of us who must work day jobs on this sabbat can leave in time to get to work. Some may join others at a restaurant for breakfast before going to work. Many years that's what I did. This year, however, Corby and I have taken the day off.
Most years we've taken over one or more restaurants, where we continue to sing May carols now and then, and generally party up the place. Some restaurant staff stress over this, but most enjoy it, especially when we leave generous tips for all the bother we've put them to.
This year, however, Vicki, who regularly attends with her three daughters, decides to offer her own solution to the restaurant dilemmas - dealing with morning rush-hour traffic, looking for parking, pushing tables together, keeping the coffee brewing, overwhelming the kitchen and wait staff. She lives with her family in a huge house in the Oakland hills. So she invites us to a huge buffet breakfast of crepes, fresh red strawberries, sausage, coffee and other tasty comestibles she'd prepared ahead of time and which is all ready and waiting for us as we drift in from our outing in the hills.
All the downstairs rooms fill with Pagans. Teens seem to congregate in the breakfast room. Crones like me balance our food on our laps while we gab about all manner of topics in the sunken living room. It's just great fun all round.
Last April 30 I had a hysterectomy (fibroids) so wasn't up on the hill. That makes this year's pilgrimage all the sweeter. Beltane is a year and a day since my surgery. Corby and I, having taken the day off work, spend much of the afternoon in traditional celebration, Not in the furrowed fields, not in the orchards, rather in our own cozy bed.
Although this year it's too dry to find much May Morn dew to wash our faces, and I'm too sleepy to gather fresh mugwort to put in our pillows to facilitate dreams and visions like we usually do on Beltane, we share a most joyous turning of the Wheel. We hope you did, too.
M Macha Nightmare
Location: San Rafael, California
Author's Profile: To learn more about M Macha Nightmare - Click HERE
Other Articles: M Macha Nightmare has posted 9 additional articles- View them?
Other Listings: To view ALL of my listings: Click HERE
Email M Macha Nightmare... (No, I have NOT opted to receive Pagan Invites! Please do NOT send me anonymous invites to groups, sales and events.)
Web Site Content (including: text - graphics - html - look & feel)
Copyright 1997-2019 The Witches' Voice Inc. All rights reserved
Note: Authors & Artists retain the copyright for their work(s) on this website.
Unauthorized reproduction without prior permission is a violation of copyright laws.
Website structure, evolution and php coding by Fritz Jung on a Macintosh.
Any and all personal political opinions expressed in the public listing sections
(including, but not restricted to, personals, events, groups, shops, Wrenâ€™s Nest, etc.)
are solely those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinion of The Witchesâ€™ Voice, Inc.
TWV is a nonprofit, nonpartisan educational organization.
The Witches' Voice carries a 501(c)(3) certificate and a Federal Tax ID.
Mail Us: The Witches' Voice Inc., P.O. Box 341018, Tampa, Florida 33694-1018 U.S.A.
of The World
NOTE: The essay on this page contains the writings and opinions of the listed author(s) and is not necessarily shared or endorsed by the Witches' Voice inc.
The Witches' Voice does not verify or attest to the historical accuracy contained in the content of this essay.
All WitchVox essays contain a valid email address, feel free to send your comments, thoughts or concerns directly to the listed author(s).