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!
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!
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.
- Make MayDay baskets
- fill them up with flowers and leave them on the doorstep of family
- 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
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!
- flour tortillas
baba ganouj (eggplant spread) or hummus or sliced avocado or guacamole
- shredded carrots
- thinly sliced
- shredded lettuce
- black olives
- chopped tomatoes
- whatever you
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.
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.
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.
- 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
- Notice beauty in
your yard, your home. Notice what makes you beautiful. If you don't
know, ask around - answers may surprise you!
RECIPE: STRAWBERRY JAM
- 4 pints strawberries
(5 cups crushed)
- 7 cups sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon
- 1 (1/3/4 ounce)
package fruit pectin
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
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.
+ Mountainwater, Shekhinah: Ariadne's Thread: A Workbook of Goddess
+ Spencer, Kara: "Maia's Moon", SageWoman #57, Spring
+ potted plants, Ian Britton, FreeFoto.com
+ windows open wide, Microsoft
Design Gallery Live
+ wheelbarrow and lawn & garden tools, Ian Britton, FreeFoto.com
+ strawberries, Strawberry