Wheel of the Year
Beltane - 1st May
The Wheel of the Year goes back to a time when life was celebrated as a multidimensional interconnected web. The Earth was respected and seen as a fertile life-force.
The Wheel of the Year begins and ends at Samhain (31st October- 1st November).
Here we are halfway around the Wheel of the Year. We’ve left the dark half of the year for good. Celebrating 4 of the Sabbats since Samhain. The days are lighter, longer and warmer. Here in the UK it felt like Spring and Summer would not arrive. With storms, snow, frost, winds and sudden changes in temperature. But the wheel always turns. The old Yorkshire saying ‘Ne’er cast clout till May be out’ (Don’t take your coat off till the end of May) is well worth keeping in mind still though.
Beltane takes place halfway between the Spring Equinox and Summer Solstice. Beltane is one of the four fire festivals, held on 1st May, the festivities often beginning at sunset the night before. The word Beltane is said to come from Old Irish, and means ‘bright fire’. This time of year is akin to mid-morning. Bonfires were lit on Beltane Eve, a celebration of the end of Winter, the heat of Summer still to come.
It's time to turn outward, mentally and physically. A time of renewed energy, and embracing the joy of life as we watch nature renew herself for another year.
Try not to take these daily miracles for granted, turn your face to the sun when you can, and feel the breeze on your skin. Plants and trees have begun the amazing process of transforming the energy of water, air, sun and earth. We benefit from the oxygen they produce and the food they give. A time of high energy can sometimes make people feel off kilter, so much to do, high days and holidays. Seeking simplicity and joy in the small things of nature can keep us grounded. Feeling gratitude, and reciprocity towards the plant world is good for us all.
The May Day holiday has a long tradition in the UK, today we still have Morris Dancers, May Queens and Maypole dancing. The Maypole has ancient origins, originating as a dance around fruit trees, as a way to imbue them with energy for the coming harvest. No need to chop a tree down to create a pole, why not dance around a living tree?.
Have you sketched or passed by a special tree on any of our other seasonsketchers challenges? Maybe it’s time to revisit the tree or trees, check in, how has it begun to change? Has it been looked after? Maybe pick up any litter that has been left nearby. Have you felt a stronger connection to your patch since taking part in seasonsketchers? Have you spotted plants and trees that you have passed by before? Has that led you to find out more about them, to keep an eye on them when you pass by? I’d love to know. If you message me on here or over on Instagram, I’ll share them in my stories.
Would you like to know more about how you can use the Wheel of the Year and Nature Journaling to connect deeper with nature where you live? Join my Patreon membership community, where I'll go deeper into using art and the wheel of the year as a way to connect with nature and the seasons. I provide a new tutorial every month, on nature journaling, painting, drawing, bookbinding. As well as extra behind the scenes posts, close ups of my current nature journal, and exclusive blog posts.
You can also join as a supporter to help fund the #seasonsketchers project and the content I provide here and on Instagram.
Click on the link here or image below to find out more.