The World Turns To Ice

Tuesday, 30 April 2013

May Eve, the coming of Summer

'The evening being May Eve I ought to have put some birch and wittan (mountain ash) over the door to keep out the 'old witch'. But I was too lazy to go out and get it. Let us hope the old witch will not come in during the night.  The young witches are welcome'.

Kilvert, i.119-20, Saturday, [1870]

Divinations on May Eve in Ireland

'If a young woman wishes to know who is to be her future spouse, she goes, late on May Eve, to a black sally-tree, and plucks therefrom nine sprigs, the last of which she throws over her right stocking. She then, on her knees, reads the third verse of the 17th chapter of Job; and on going to bed she places the stocking, with its contents, under her head. These rites duly performed, and her faith being strong, she will, in a dream during the night, be treated to a sight of her future husband'.

W.R.Wilde, 53 (1852)

To the Celts the winter sun Grianon reigned from sunset on 31st October (Samhain) to sunrise on the first of May (Beltane), and today his daughter Cailleach Bheur (Scots Gaelic) or Cally Berry (Ulster) or Caillagh my Groamagh (Manx- The Old Woman of Gloominess), the goddess of winter, turns to stone. The two great fire festivals of the Celts, Samhain and Beltane, in honour of the sun, are thus six months apart.

                                                          Unite, unite, let us all unite,
                                                          For Summer is a-come unto day
                                                          And whither we are going, we will all unite
                                                          On the merry morning of May.

                                                          Padstow Night Song - Trad. Cornish

Rise before dawn and wash your face in the dew tomorrow to receive the blessings of the season.

Saturday, 6 April 2013

Signs of Spring

Yesterday I saw snow on the mountains, two major rivers, beautiful lakes, forests and a herd of deer, landscape so stunning that it took my breath away and I went no further than twenty miles from my house. All this and sunshine too. Lovely.