MatriFocus Home Page
Seasonal Inspirations from Hestia's Hearth
by Renee
Beltane 2003, Vol 1-3
Subscribe Now
MatriFocus, a Cross-Quarterly Web Zine for Goddess Women Near & Far
potted plants
Couitesy of FreeFoto.com

May and June

By the time you read this, the sun will be warming us all with her light. The crocuses have grown up and bloomed, the sedum is green and growing, daffodils and tulips are showing their colors. Plantings done at Ostara are growing towards Her, and soon we will be able to plant them in the earth. If you haven't already, now is the time to get out your rakes and clear away any autumn leaves from flower beds and gardens. Clear away the old and begin again, growing each day.

May was named for the Greek Goddess Maia, a midwife who brings what is hidden to the surface, a goddess of womancraft, magic. This is the time of year we remember Kore/ Persephone growing from girl to woman,
and some of us honor Diana now especially as a woman who knows herself. From courage comes freedom. Spring is one of Hestia's favorite times of year - so much to do and prepare, such freshness!

windows open wide
Couitesy of FreeFoto.com

It is appropriate to honor creativity in all its forms at this time of year, and to honor young women and passion, the desires that drive us all. Remember your dreams? Remember what you wanted to do...

Spring invites us to open our windows and breathe in Her freshness. Let the light in! Let the air in! Our diets are changing as more fruits and vegetables are available. Starchy vegetables give way to lighter fare. Even if you abhor cleaning the rest of the year, you may experience cravings to do so now -- go ahead, give in, it's ok. Take those sweaters out of your closet and drawers, making room for tee shirts, shorts, and sandals. Ahhh, SPRING has arrived! Summer is coming!

MAY DAY
On the first day of May, festivals were held across Europe to celebrate the Winter melting into to Summer. Children would spend the night in the meadows and forests collecting leaves and flowers to make garlands
and baskets, which they would then bring to their neighbors' doors in song. It was perhaps not a fertility rite, as is sometimes thought, but a festival of hope, community, and celebration. As one author puts it, May Day was "a rite of social solidarity". Viewed in this way, the maypole, the center of such festivals, could represent all our
individual colors coming together into one beautiful design - community, togetherness, survival, joy.

MAY ACTIVITIES:

  • Make MayDay baskets - fill them up with flowers and leave them on the doorstep of family and friends.
  • Make a list of 10 things you love to do. How many of them are you doing? This may be a good marker of how authentically you are living your life, and how close you are to living your dreams.
  • Go on a picnic with some friends or a special someone. Pack finger foods, napkins, a book of poetry.

A MAY RECIPE: 'GARLIC' WRAPS
This is a recipe we've enjoyed for years, and can be improvised to include whatever you have handy. The 'garlic' in this recipe depends on what you include for fillings - we like our hummus and baba ganouj (pronounced 'babaganoosh') with lots of it!

'Garlic' Wraps
  • flour tortillas
  • schmears: baba ganouj (eggplant spread) or hummus or sliced avocado or guacamole with mayo
  • shredded carrots
  • thinly sliced cucumbers
  • shredded lettuce
  • black olives
  • chopped tomatoes
  • whatever you like!

Spread your schmear of choice all over the tortilla, top with what you love, and roll it up! You can roll each one in its own plastic wrap, or put them in a container for a snack on the go or a picnic in the park. Serve with grapes, baby carrots, brownies, or by themselves.

I like them as I've described above, but you could also make peanut butter and jelly this way or tuck in some banana slices with honey! Make them a meal, snack or desert. Ingredients can be made by hand or picked up at the store and put together quickly.

wheelbarrow and lawn & garden tools
Couitesy of FreeFo to.com

SUMMER SOLSTICE
Full light, Mother Earth at her height of abundance, our gardens and our lives growing out of control..... just as plentiful as the tomatoes, cucumbers, and zucchini in our gardens.
As Kim Duckett of Whisper Mystery School in Ashville, NC stated at a recent workshop here in Madison - "This is the season of overwhelmedness. Isn't it great that there is a holiday for that feeling?"

This is a time of succulence. Fresh fruits are again available, juicy and ripe. When was the last time you ate a peach and let the juices run down your hand and arm? The earth is alive with colors, shapes, sizes! It is also a time of busy-ness for us - watering and weeding the garden, tending herbs and flowers, going on picnics and social gatherings. It seems there is always so much to do. Enjoy it now, for the Wheel will turn again, and the dark time is coming.. It is a time of beauty. so many colors in our gardens, such a variety of fruits and vegetables to choose from at the market.

Our word for June comes from the Greek Goddess Juno, Goddess of Wisdom or Genius. Aphrodite is often honored this time of year in ritual, remembered for her passion, love of pleasure. In some traditions, marriage is and was common this time of year.

strawberries
Courtesy of Strawberry Facts Page

When I was growing up, my grandmother would take me to the fields to pick strawberries. It was always the second week of June, a day or two after school let out for the summer. We'd get up early and spend hours picking, and Grandma always told me not to eat any until we paid for them! After we filled our baskets, we'd take them home and spend the rest of the day cleaning them for freezing, and for jam.

JUNE ACTIVITIES:

  • Visit the Farmer's Market near you and see what is seasonally available in your area this time of year.
  • Bring home some flowers for your table and something delicious to eat.
  • Spend time in your garden. Paint a pot for one of your favorite herbs and put it in a sunny window or just outside your door. Every time you walk by, you'll smell it and see it. Snip herbs with a scissors for salads and your other favorite recipes.
  • Notice beauty in your yard, your home. Notice what makes you beautiful. If you don't know, ask around - answers may surprise you!

A JUNE RECIPE: STRAWBERRY JAM

Strawberry Jam
  • 4 pints strawberries (5 cups crushed)
  • 7 cups sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon margarine
  • 1 (1/3/4 ounce) package fruit pectin

Wash strawberries and remove stems. Crush by hand or in food processor. Measure 5 cups of strawberries into an 8 quart pot. Add margarine and fruit pectin to strawberries; mix well. Bring mixture to a full, rolling boil over high heat, stirring constantly. Quickly add sugar to strawberry mixture. Bring to a full, rolling boil and boil 1 minute, stirring constantly.

Remove from heat; skim off foam. Fill clean jars quickly to 1/8 inch of tops. Wipe jar rims. Cover with lids and screw bands tightly. Put one in the fridge to enjoy right away and the rest in the freezer. OR to seal: Invert jars 5 minutes, then turn upright. Check seals after 1 hour or process in boiling water canner for 5 minutes. Yield 4 1/2 pints.

Resources
+ Mountainwater, Shekhinah: Ariadne's Thread: A Workbook of Goddess Magic.
+ Spencer, Kara: "Maia's Moon", SageWoman #57, Spring 2002.
+
May Day Info
+ Susanville.com

Graphics Credits
+ potted plants, Ian Britton, FreeFoto.com
+ windows open wide, Microsoft Design Gallery Live
+ wheelbarrow and lawn & garden tools, Ian Britton, FreeFoto.com
+ strawberries, Strawberry Facts Page

Contributors retain the copyright to their work; please do not take art or words without permission. All other graphics and reference materials are used and attributed as per the Fair Use Provision of The Copyright Act and individual terms of use.
Sponsor, Matrilocal Circle