By Kristin Olsen
A time when life and fertility was honored and revered!
Welcome the Way of the Celts, land of myth and fantasy. Let us discuss the ringing in of the Summer Season for the Emerald Isle and the Celtic Lands. After the spring begins a time when the flowers flourish, the grasses grow, the harvest thrives, and the Emerald Isle is alive and teaming with life and love. The ancient tradition of Beltane normally celebrated around April 30 to May 1, also known as May Day, rings in the warm and life giving season of summer. The magic and majesty of the universe and the celtic lands are alive and visible. Renewal is in the air and the wee folk are sprinkling magical fairy dust to all that enter their realm. Love and Magic can be felt all over the lands, if you simply open your eyes to the possibility. Summer is the time to relax and renew and breathe the clean fresh air that is life. Come join me now as we dance along green emerald paths past lilies, dandelions and daisies into the world of Celtic rebirth. Open your eyes wide as we explore, learn and grow and discover that all things are possible if you see it so.
Many celebrations occurred, as this was the beginning of the summer season. The Otherworld and Fairies were magickal and prevalent in the celebrations during this time. There are many ancient traditions for the celtic lands that are still practiced and associated with Beltane today. The best recognized of these events is the Maypole. The Maypole is decorated and on the very top is placed a Hawthorne wreath. The Hawthorne wreath is a very time-honored occurrence in Ireland. Also, present at the May Day celebrations are maidens adorned with flowers and the May Queen high atop her white steed. In ancient times the May Queen was associated with Freya, the Norse Goddess of Magic, Love and Fertility. She is most befitting because this is a day of Magical renewal.
There are other enchanting events associated with Beltane and May Day celebrations. The traditional lighting of a bonfire is a long held custom. The fire represents renewal and rebirth and cleansing and magical awareness. In the ancient days of Ireland when fairies and other wee folk roamed freely, the traditional fire was lit on the ancient hilltop at Tara. Tara was considered the ancient ritual center of the Celtic Lands. Can you not see the glorious sparkle of firelight glowing as maidens adorned in flowers danced with long flowing locks and young men watched them in adoration. Wee leprechauns and fairy folk alike stood in between the veil of both worlds to watch the magic play forth in the red fire embers.
Another delightful tradition is the May Basket. You can make your own basket or pick one up at a craft store and fill it with fresh herbs, soaps, teas, cookies, candies and bath salts or anything else you would like and give it to someone in need of love and kindness or even a stranger on the street. Passing on the blessings of life and magick to someone else is a truly enchanting gift for you and the recipient. It need not be expensive, just from your heart. Remember to decorate the basket with flowers and maybe even a Rowan twist. Take a Rowan sprig and twist it into a ring and then as dusk appears on the horizon, look through the circle and you might just catch a glimpse of those wee fairies dancing and singing the ancient melodies of Ireland past.
Enjoy the Tea & Cookie recipes below to renew your spirit and tantalize your taste buds as you dream of renewal in your life and work toward fulfilling your hopes and dreams. Bake your cookies & brew your tea, relax in your lawn chair in the Mid Summers sunshine and let the rays wash over your body and clear your minds eye to all of life’s fantastic possibilities.
Mid Summer’s Tea
1 pinch Rosemary
2 pinches Thyme
2 tsp. Black Tea
3 fresh Mint leaves
5 fresh Rosebud petals
5 fresh Lemon tree leaves
3 pinches Nutmeg
3 pieces Orange peels
Place all ingredients into teapot and boil with 3 cups of water. Add fresh honey to sweeten, if desired. Serve hot.
Norwegian Tea Cookies
1/2-cup confectioners` sugar
2 1/4 cups flour
1/4 teaspoons salt
3/4 cup finely chopped nuts
Mix all the ingredients except for the sugar and form into 1 balls Bake 14-17 minutes at 400 degrees. While the dough is still hot roll in sugar. Let cool and roll in the sugar again.
Join me again for more tales of the Celtic Lands. We have much to discuss, The Book of Kells, Celtic Mythology, The Claddagh, Gaelic, Poetry and Prose and perhaps even a way to see Fairies in your everyday world or how to obtain the pot of Gold from that dreaded Leprechaun. Magic and Adventure is all around you, just close your eyes, open your heart and listen to your soul. Celtic Magic is everywhere. Visit me at http://www.celticattic.com