Beltane for me is marked by the first blossoms of hawthorn opening around Glasgow. It’s a time when Rigantona has returned to the Land and taken back the cup of sovereignty from the Cailleach. A time when the Cailleach rests and restores Herself. To me it is also a time to remember our descendants just as Samhain is a time to remember our ancestors.
It’s also a time when the Land begins to look lush and green, when the last trees begin to come into leaf and shades of green cover the land once more. Sometimes it’s also a time of warmth but at least if not warmth there is more daylight here in Scotland.
On the evening of Saturday 5th May I shared in a triple toast for Rigantona, Her return to the Land and the tribe that honours Her. On Sunday 6th May I celebrated Beltane in Pollok Park with others from Glasgow and the surrounding area.
This was a special ritual for me for several reasons. One is that it was written and led by one of the regular members of the group and it was the first time she had taken this responsibility on. She’s come a long way since she first started with us and she did a great job. Secondly it was the first Beltane ritual in Glasgow for Neil and I together and marks a half cycle since Neil moved to Glasgow and first joined with the group in Pollok Park. Thirdly Neil and I were asked to be the Greenman and May Queen and it was an honour to be asked to to this and a first for both of us.
It was a lovely day, perhaps a little on the cool side but not much. The skies did cloud over and drop a few spots on us but nothing significant until the ritual was over and we were all walking back through the woods to either head home or to the cafe at the Burrell Collection for a warm drink and a chat. The ritual went well and had a lovely energy to it.
I had made ivy circlets for both Neil and myself. The ivy came from a plant my mum has growing at her flat. In mine I wove in three sprigs of flowering hawthorn and two heads of lilac flowers. The lilac and hawthorn came from a part of the river Kelvin that I have walked beside for many years. The hawthorn in particular came from a tree that has been a special friend of mine for many years and one I have performed solo Beltane rituals beside in the past. And I twisted both circlets together at Neil’s flat. I wore other things that had come from the house I live in (which I hope will soon be fully mine) so in what I was wearing I had woven together strands from around Glasgow.
After the ritual the circlets were left in the woods as an offering. I had not used anything other than the plants themselves to make them and it felt appropriate to leave them behind when we left.
I am hoping that this Beltane will bring some more positive changes into my life.
May Queen and Greenman, Beltane at Pollok Park, Glasgow 2012