Tides of Time

SUBHEAD: Today while swimming and musing on May Day, I began to think of the seasonal changes as the Tides of Time.

By Linda Pascatore on May 1 2013 for Island Breath- 

Image above: A traditional Maypole dance for youth on May Day at a Waldorf School in Orange, California.  From (http://pitchengine.com/journeyschool/journey-school-welcomes-spring-with-colorful-may-day-celebration).

Today is May Day, or the holiday called Beltane in Old England.  May Day is a Cross Quarter Day.  It is the midpoint between the Spring Equinox, when days and nights are equal in length, and the Summer Solstice, which is the longest day.

May Day was a time of passion.  It is the height of spring, when trees bud, flowers bloom, and love is in the air.  Time to go "A- Maying", romping through the woods to collect flowers, dancing around the May Pole, and crowning a young girl as May Queen.  It was traditionally a time of marriages or handfasting, when young couples jumped together over the Beltane fire to seal their unions.

Here in Hawaii, we see flowers blooming and leis made.  Our schools have elaborate May Day celebrations with dancing and singing, a King and Queen, and a whole royal court.  It is a time for planting.  The weather is getting hot, and people are having beach parties and camping out, spending more time outdoors in nature.

The seasonal changes have many parallels.  The pagans called their calendar the Wheel of the Year, beginning with Spring Equinox, moving to Summer Solstice, Autumn Equinox, and ending with Winter Solstice.  There is the Daily Round; with Dawn corresponding to Spring Equinox, Noon to Summer Solstice, Sunset to Fall Equinox, and Midnight to Winter Solstice.   The cycles of our lives would begin with Birth as Spring, move to Early Adulthood as Summer, Middle Age as Fall, and Old Age and Death to Winter.

Today while swimming in the ocean and reflecting on May Day, I began to think of the seasonal changes as the Tides of Time.  The tide would be just coming in at Spring Equinox, high tide at Summer Solstice, and the tide receding at the Autumnal Equinox, and low tide would be Winter Solstice.  The tides are driven by the Moon's rotation around the Earth, with New Moon as Winter, Waxing Moon Spring, Full Moon Summer, and Waning Moon Fall.

Cross Quarter Days are the height of each season, and were the most celebrated in Old Europe.  While the Equinox is the very beginning of Spring, by May Day we have the embodiment of the season.  We see the Solstice beginning Summer, but Lammas on August 2nd is much hotter and evocative of the season.  Halloween or Samhain is the essence of Fall, and Candlemas or Imbolc on February 2nd is the coldest part of the winter.

I intend to fully enjoy this Spring!  To celebrate May Day, get outdoors to play and enjoy nature, kiss your sweetheart, and plant some seeds!  I found a Beltane piece in my We'Moon 2013 Calendar that says it all:


The hills are greening, flowers bloom; there's birdsong, nestmaking and gardens waiting for blessing.  With the Maiden Earth in ovulation creatures are enlivened, inclined to entwine!  
Warm hearted, we stretch in the sun, walk barefoot in the new greass, 
bear the spring rains with good cheer and gratefulness.  
Passions stir--flashes of sweet desire, hot lightning of anger, 
gusts of giddiness, heartbreaks of grief and fits of unbearable joy.  
How to meet these relentless tremors?  

In circles, growl and flirt, wail and strut and yip!  
Exaggerate feeling until laughter or tears claim you--and keep dancing.  
No matter the furies unleashed in the world, 
a circle of women dancing out passions is a potent alchecmical mandala.  
Shakers sing it this way: 
"To turn, turn, will be our delight, Till by turning, turning we come 'round right."  
Weaving in and around one another, we thread our passions in the web.  
Warp and woof, spokes and runners, take u your strands with clear intent.  
Weave what you want into being, into Life!

Marian Spadone, copyright Mother Tongue Ink 2012

See related articles:
Spring Fever


Gelfling said...

I love May Fair! As a kid it was my favorite festival, in White Salmon WA. That magical feeling is still with me in the memories.

Juan Wilson said...

Aloha Gelfling,

I participated in May Day celebrations just like the one pictured here back in the 1950's at the Waldorf School in Garden City, Long Island.

I agree, they were magical.


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