Beautiful Beltane

Outside Beltane Altar
Blessed Beltane to you All! 

As you may have noticed I'm tinkering with a slightly different format time wise at the moment so please bear with me! Phew - what a busy few weeks in general and a particularly hectic weekend for Beltane.
We started off on Saturday with a long overdue trip to the allotment - to tidy up and dig the beds over again. Our lovely neighbour in real and allotment life had run his petrol strimmer over the grass paths so it really wasn't too bad but the beds themselves needed a thorough dig over. As well as that we had psyched ourselves up to dig out a new big border that we had previously treated with a natural mulching plant, allowed to die down and covered over to put some goodness back into the ground. This new bed may only be about 10 feet by 12 feet but it felt like an acre! 
Not for first time I felt the combined force of 
Beltane Eve Fire
generations of ancestors shaking their heads with mirth at my huffing and puffing whilst I was digging and woefully rubbing my sore palms! How they did this day in day out, I seriously don't know! Aching, muddy and tired we didn't need much persuading to light our Beltane Eve fire early and gladly sat around it talking and enjoying the peace and warmth of the fire with a drink or two, I opened my Spiced Lindisfarne Mead that my Cousin had bought me which was dangerously pleasant! You'll be pleased to know there were no attempts despite the mead to jump over the Beltane Fire as is custom as I wasn't up for a late night trip to A and E!
Dode Church Grounds
A seriously early start the following morning required an early night, so by 10 I was tucked up and probably snoring. For the record it was freezing cold at 4 o'clock on May Day morning! There was ice on my car and the temperature dipped to minus 0.5 as I drove down the lane muttering to myself about my sanity and asking myself exactly what I was doing, thinking I could just stay in bed and get up in the daylight and just light a candle for Beltane - surely Goddess wouldn't mind? Just then I was greeted by the wonderful sight of a pair of beautiful badgers running up the lane, probably thinking the same thing. I slowed and let them cross in front of me - I think that's the only time I've ever seen any in the wild that weren't dead.  Okay so that alone was worth getting up for! 

So, twenty minutes later I
Dode Church
found myself bundling into a convoy of cars with my friend Shelley's group Wicked Belly Morris and heading for the site of Dode about quarter of an hour away.  Dode was a hamlet with a Norman church believed to be built on a man made mound, the ancient site of a meeting place that pre dates Christianity, apparently the local lanes Holly (Holy) Hill and Wrangling Lane point to it being this as well as it being on the cross section of local ley lines. It is also in the middle of the sweep of standing stones and tombs in Kent known as the Medway Megaliths..... The community was wiped out by the black death in 1349 and the church hasn't
Wicked Belly Morris
been used for worship since the 14th Century. Now restored, it's a popular site for handfastings and weddings, the stones are a recent addition by the current owner. It has a beautiful atmosphere, spiritual and calm.

Unusually for May Day morning there was a thick frost, I really can't think of a May Day so cold and everyone was hopping from one foot to the other whether they were taking part in the Morris dancing or not! The Kent Gorsedd Beltane songs, invocations and ritual was accompanied by hoarse calls from hidden pheasants in the undergrowth and a solitary circling bird of prey, the sun came up slowly, warming and illuminating the peaceful valley
Lady Moon Lingered...
and even Lady Moon lingered to watch us wake the Jack or Jackie and the land. Normally I wash my face in the May Day dew to keep my ahem, youthful looks as legend has it, this year to avoid frost bite I didn't!

The group performed a dance to awake the Jack, with a girlie twist which satisfied my inner Goddess, and made an offering of cake and Mead  to the spirits of the place and the land - I'm sensing a bit of a pattern here..  After this we all headed off to a local Biker/Transport Cafe  for a much needed cooked breakfast to warm up, before I headed back home for an even more needed 3 hour catch up of sleep. 
Beautiful Dode Church
There were so many moots. gatherings and ceremonies this weekend that I couldn't possibly attend all of them even with a time machine, my facebook page abounded with messages of 'Beltane Blessings!' and photos of friends doing their own particular Beltane thing which was wonderful.

We spent the rest of the afternoon as my parents with all the family, attempting to devour one of my lovely Mum's "eat four plates full please, you can't go until it's all gone" buffets, this random family gathering unusually at the request of my Brother 'just because' he hadn't seen us all for a month - good timing Bro, even if you do 'lovingly' call me 'dirt worshipper' - a name that I seemed to earn even more yesterday by turning up barefoot as my sandals had broken and I wanted to use Dad's glue as we had run out!  A beautiful sunny afternoon in the garden with all the family ensued, lots of chatting and laughter, attempting to consume the buffet, followed by the  important and technical business of the team effort to repair of the swing-ball, the ensuing serious swing ball wars, numerous dogs attempting to eat the swing-ball ball, swing-ball ball entering next doors garden, more than once ....  followed by everyone piling into the lounge to watch video, yes video camcorder footage of the 90's and early noughties accompanied by much rewinding, hilarity, squealing, laughter, cringing,  and embarrassment.... oh dear  the haircuts and the glasses - perfect!

 Have a Blessed Week x x 


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