Flowers in ceremony
Shakespeare's Hawthorn: "Through the sharp Hawthorn blows the cold wind." King Lear, Act III, Scene 4
It blooms the beginning of May, when Spring is passing into summer, and is also known as May, May Tree, May Bush, May Blossom and Queen of May. It is associated with the heart, protection, fertility and love.
This hawthorn was the fairy tree on Hill of Tara but split and decayed over several years. Read more about the tree at Faery Tree - Hill of Tara
Creating a centre inside? You are unlikely to use hawthorn flowers. It was considered extremely unlucky to bring Hawthorn flowers inside the house, as it was a portent of illness and death. Botanists have discovered that the chemical trimethylamine in Hawthorn blossom is also one of the first chemicals produced when an animal body starts to decay.
|Lughnasadh focus on hawthorn berries and rose hips.|
Creating a centre outside? Now you can celebrate the whole tree.
Honourable Hawthorn, full of ease, all beings respect you. Blessed are you amongst the trees of the woodland and blessed are your blossoms and fruit. We thank you for your presence throughout our lives and for reminding us of our moment of death.
Wear something white:
Bealtaine – fresh green leaves and foliage burst forth in hedgerows and fairy hawthorn trees' white flowers form drifts across the land, as if the snow had returned. Under the still bare woodland canopy peaceful bluebells nod, releasing a subtle scent. Most flowers bloom in the Spring and our attention is heightened as they call to us for admiration and praise. Read more about colours and the seasons here... Colour
The fairies nearly always hide their gold under a hawthorn bush, inspiring us to consider what treasures are we hiding?
You may write on a tea candle one word that recalls that treasure then light the candle and watch the flame as you invigorate your hidden treasure and share it with the universe.
Choose 4 different coloured ribbons to tie on your May Bush (see below). Pick up 3 and consider what they represent to you, what gift or skill that you have. Now pick up the 4th ribbon and consider what you are hiding, something you do not share. Consider what you would like to find, about a situation, about yourself, something that maybe you do not wish to share. Finally, tie all four ribbons of the bush and remember that 'what will be will be'.
Bringing in the May:
As recounted above it is said to be unlucky to bring hawthorn into the house. However... this is from the Duchas School's Project.... Bringing in the May
On the eve of the 1st of May the man of the house brings in some branches of hawthorn. This is known as "bringing in the May". It is not considered lucky for any female bring the "May" in. The branches of hawthorn are left in the house until the end of the month, and then they are burned.
This gorse served as our May Bush at Bective in 2012. Go to Pishogues for May Eve & May Day to read more about yellow flowers at Bealtaine.
- You can introduce yourself to the bush / tree by giving it some water.
- Tie a ribbon (degradeable) on a branch of the tree, asking that the summer be fine and growth and crops abundant, or that something in your life may blossom and bear fruit.
- Put some yellow flowers in it's branches.
These quotes from the Duchas School's Project give ideas of how we can celebrate with a May Bush.
On the eve of May day a May bush is made. It is erected in honour of the Blessed Virgin.
A white thorn bush is got and (with) wild flowers are tied to it in small bunches with coloured ribbons. Sometimes a picture of the Blessed Virgin is hung on it. This is a very old custom.
On May day morning the person who is up first places it in front of the door or over it. Long ago people believed that no thunder nor lightning nor evil spirits would interfere with the house that had a May bush placed before it.
Long ago the May bush was set on fire and the people would dance round it and pass the young children through the smoke to protect them from the power of witchcraft.
Another custom of "May day" is the making of the May "tree". This was done by cutting the branch of a lone bush and by putting a primrose on every thorn of the branch.
Overcoming difficulties (daffodils),
luck and wealth, rebirth and creativity (eggs),
potential, as you plant so you reap (packet of seeds),
structure and order of life (geometric symbol),
homeland (earth in pots),
tipping into summer (balance),
May the strength of the daffodil inspire us, may the wisdom of the daffodil inform us, may the presence of the daffodil brighten our days, may the beauty of the daffodil reflect our own beauty. We give gratitude to the daffodil this day and for evermore.
Wear Spring Equinox colours:
- joyful golden yellow or deep royal purple of crocus and merry daffodils, naturally yellow but also in pinks, whites, creams and orange, remind us of what has lain waiting in the ground, the bulbs ready when the time is right to burst forth.
We can bring our own cheer by wearing bright yellows to connect with the exuberant energies of the season.
Be aware of the labels we put on things:
At one celebration Martin told us that "to me the English language isn't poetic enough to describe the daffodil."
Lus an chrom chin an Irish (and Scottish, I think) translation into golden headed lighted one, name for the flower.
In England they are often called Lent Lilies and in Welsh Peter's Leeks.
Consider what you have put a label to. Does it really describe the object, situation, person, event?
Colouring is the new meditation.
Yellow is optimistic, cheerful and happy.
Focus these values as you colour colour into your life.
Hidden assets come to light
Daffodils store assets in their bulbs, in the darkness of the soil they wait for the right time to burst forth.
Imagine you are that bulb and write down all the assets you have that you do not share or express outwardly. A time for inner contemplation. Now ask yourself, can I use any of these to enrich my life and the life of other beings?
Take the list and wrap it around a plant bulb, with a seed, with anything that will grow roots and send up a shoot, into the open air, later in the year. It will act as a reminder in the months to come.
Brigit patron of Fire in the Hearth
the brave and bold leader of Spring (Snowdrops),
healing (Bhrat Bríde).
Brave snowdrop, who lives within the
earth, honoured be thy name. Your time does come to gladden all
lives, on earth and in the universe.
We appreciate your beauty and purity, and we learn that rebirth after hard times is always possible. That hope is eternal. Thank you for symbolising innocence and sympathy, that we may recognise those qualities in ourselves and others. For this time of transition is yours. From winter to spring, from the bleak to the bountiful, your power and your glory is revealed. For ever and ever.
Place snowdrops in a room (some regard bringing the flower into the house as unlucky, so do what feels right to you). Focus on the white, cleansing colour of the blooms. You can also walk around your space, bringing this energy of white purity into all areas, blessing and thanking your home for it's protection.
Snowdrops break through the frost and ice of winter. It is possible to buy their essence on line or to make your own. You can use this to melt a situation that has become stuck or frozen. They look fragile and delicate but hold the energies of strength and resilience.
Snowdrops remind us of the victory of
Brigid and the return of light and life over darkness and death.
Looking at the flower we thank all realms that we have survived to see this promise of Spring.
Smile in your heart centre.
Planting a labyrinth or other symbol in the garden.
Eilish spent long hours planting the labyrinth with snowdrops.
|Focus on creating an origami snowdrop.
Be fully present in your thoughts. Notice every move you make.
|Paint twigs and branches white for a winter tree and add snowdrop ornaments.|
|Snowdrops bring a positive energy - |
write on the petals of your drawn flower words that you recognise as your strengths and gifts
but most of all set yourself free and be in a place of joy, be grateful.
I close the circle to the apparent world, thank the guides, guardians, beings, times and realms that have joined in this celebration. Sin sin, that's it.