Morris, Maypoles and Mischievous Masons
Blessed Beltane to Everyone!
|Beltane Eve Celebrations|
Some serious Morris going on...
|Zodiac Floor Tiles at the Cathedral's High Altar|
As I said it hailed, and then some. We weren't sure if it was actually snow at one point, like the good pagans we are we took refuge in well, the Cathedral (you thought I was going to say pub didn't you?!) There has been a place of worship here since 604 AD and probably a place of pagan worship long before that. The high Altar has a beautiful zodiac tile floor restored in 1870 but they are copies of the medieval ones that were there...
Once the hail stopped and we ventured outside another friend showed us this Sheela-na-gig on the main entrance of the Cathedral, sadly like a masonic labiaplasty the lips have been filed away (ouch) and there is no hint of a vulva so it's a more modest and tame version and certainly not as out there and 'cop a look at this!' as some I some I have seen, but one nonetheless complete with an ear of corn signifying fertility and ripeness in pride of place. Again as much as I like the thought of a cheeky mason who follows the Old Ways designing this as a fiesty rebellion, it has obviously been included as a nod to the beliefs and customs of the people. Must have raised a few eyebrows and pulses though!
Dancing The Maypole
After exploring the city walls we came across the Maypole dancing - the ancient mayday fertility ritual and tradition that was first documented* in the UK in the mid 14th century but is believed to pre date this by many centuries. All in all, a fantastic blend of old traditions, cultures and beliefs, topped off with a visit to an amazing crystal shop called I Dig Dinos! That's enough celebration for me, thank the Goddess it's a bank holiday and I can have a lazy pyjama day today!
Have A Blessed Week x x
* Hutton, Ronald (1996). The Stations of the Sun: A History of the Ritual Year in Britain.