Sunday, 25 April 2010
Summer is i'cumin in
"Oh, do not tell the Priest of our Art,
Or he would call it sin;
But we shall be out in the woods all night,
Aconjuring summer in!
And we bring you news by word of mouth
For women, cattle and corn
Now is the sun come up from the South
With Oak, and Ash and Thorn!"
Beltane began early for some of us with a celebration at Caer Corhrain in Kent. A big thank you to Lynn Gosney and Touch the Earth for being such excellent hosts. On saturday 24th april we gathered on a truly beautiful day, family, friends and children to welcome the beginning of summer. The beginning of a week of celebrations which will end for us on May 1st.
And if we began as strangers, we were friends at the end of the day!
Beginning with a leisurely picnic with stunning views of the countryside around us and children playing. We built the fire for the evenings sweatlodge and prepared the circle. The women retired to choose the Queen of the May and make the flower garlands for the maypole, the queen and each other. The men - to choose and make the Green Man and choose the Oak King. To beautiful singing the women proceeded back into the ceremony carrying the huge flower garlands and escorting Sarah our fantastic Queen to meet her King. At the same time the menfolk drumming and singing met us at the maypole.
Then came the time to find the hidden Green Man, to whoops and calls the children ran crazily round the garden to find him, at last discovering him behind a garden summer house. He was brought out where the children delighted in ripping the greenery apart to cries of 'wake up summer!' And so released the spirit of the summer!
A toast of Mead and sharing of the Bread and an offering to the Great Mother calmed things down but just for a brief moment. Then came more fun with rounds of dancing round the maypole to the wonderful playing of Touch the Earths music, tying the Queen and King together.
The evening drew on and the sun began to lower on the horizon. Finally and with some reluctance it was time to leave - with my little Rhiannon falling asleep on my shoulder as those who were to lodge began their preparations. To the echo of music a final touch to the day was a lone balloon drifting in the distance, as we wended our way home...Blessed summer to all.....
Summer is a-coming in
Loudly sing cuckoo
Groweth seed and bloweth mead
and springs the wood anew
Ewe bleateth aft-er lamb,
Calf loweth after cow,
Bullock starteth, buck farteth,
Merry sing cuckoo!
Well singest thou cuckoo,
Nor cease thou never now!
Sing cuckoo now, Sing cuckoo!