This is an extract from an article on Beltane from the latest issue of the Raven Newsletter:
This is the time of year when flowers and trees burst into life. It is no wonder that the Saxons named the month of May Thrimilch, which means Three Milk, in other words the pastures are so lush, rich and verdant that cows could be milked three times a day, instead of the usual twice a day.
The Green Man is the symbol of this green fertility. He is the spirit in the trees, the rising of the sap, the filling of the forest.
Beltane is one of the times of traditional folk festivals, which includes dancing around a flower be-decked Maypole, and the appearance of the magical Morris Men. The Morris Men dance out evil and dance in good. They are often accompanied by strange creatures from both christian and Pagan myths. There is St George and the Dragon - St George's Day 23rd April has acquired many traditions originally associated with Beltane - there is the Green Man or the Fuzzy Man, who can be hidden in a costume of greenery, or covered in prickly burdock burrs. And in some places there are the strange mares, the horses which may be a horses skull on a pole, which lunges and snaps as it passes by. Or it may be a strange, drum shaped creature which swoops and swirls through the crowd. These are creatures of our native Dreamtime, the mare of nightmares, the steed of the Lord of the Dead, Arawn who may be the King of the Fairies, or Lord of the Underworld.
At Beltane the doors between the worlds grows thin because this is one of those occasions when worlds and times collide.
What is dream, what is nightmare, what is Fairy what is spirit, what is ghost? What is night, what is day, what is now, what is then, what is yet to come?
These are the magical cracks between the worlds, these are the places where Witches live and work, this is a time when magic is nigh
Happy Beltane !