I had a quick look to see when we were talking about May flowers last year. On May 29th we have a post welcoming the arrival of May Blossom at last. This year? Here it is only the 18th April and already the hedges are aglow with sheets of white. Is this a good omen? Is this a bad omen? Is this just weather? Well you might ask! As an aside our first mention of May Blossom the year before last (2012) was on May 11th. That must prove something. Luckily we needn’t concern ourselves with what.
But that brings up a different issue. It’s still a couple of weeks (we have to fight our way through the Grand Cross in the Cardinal Signs first) until May Day or Beltane – Beltane was actually an all night party starting on the last day of April. May Day was more about the morning after. Of course, in the days when only the Romans bothered with months – they needed them to name after emperors – Beltane would be when the May Blossom appeared. It was when you turned the cattle out to pasture, but I digress. In those days it was common to have a May Bush. This could be a personal thing or it could be a community thing. A bush would be stuck up in a communal area and decorated with ribbons, flowers, shells and things – a bit like a Christmas tree.
The Hawthorn, or May tree was sacred to all sorts of spirits – both good and bad, conveniently they would permit you to cut the May only at this time of year. (Hence ‘Here we go gathering knots of May’ – a story in itself.)
You can see the problem now though, can’t you?
How can you weave all those patterns as you dance round a very prickly bush?