Today I wanted to start a new series of blog entries. They are called pagan rites.
Specially with this entry today, I wanted to give the love of my life, the father of my girls, my beloved Berno, the opportunity to at least fucking once get me a may tree as it’s tradition.

Now, well. After this bizarre introduction I shall concentrate on giving you the facts, and the facts only. It’s a very nice tradition. And it is also a good idea if you want to get involved with someone.
Truth is that this rite is very old and has many meanings. Apart from that, it is super nordic because it is celebrated specially in all the countries where you won’t find the sun during the winter months. It exists in Sweden, many northern countries, the Baltic, in Germany, in England and in Scotland.
Now I will explain you: the providence, the tradition etc.

The tradition of a may tree has something to do with Beltane, which is a Celtic fire festival, and also of fertility, of life and new beginnings. This festival is absolutely pagan. It is the eve of May Day. April 30th.

There is a legend that says that during that night all the witches and wizards come around to gather in a witch meeting on the mountain “Brocken” which is the highest mountain of the Harz mountains in Germany. This night also is called Walpurgisnacht and also is celebrated on April 30th.

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The interrelation between may tree cutting and giving the may tree to the beloved girl, the may pole, Walpurgisnacht that also is called witches night (just a Little like the Saint John’s night celebrated in Catalonia), and the indisputable connection to a phallic rite and fertility rite is evident. Walpurgis night, the night between 30th and 1st of May is also the night of pranks, also “Freinacht” the night of freedom, because here everyone could show their desire – with fervor – to the lady of their dreams, no matter which status he or she had, wherever she might be, just as she herself.

The idea is that a guy who has fallen in love with a girl, goes out and wants to give her sneakily and stealthily (very important, she must not know anything about it) a may-tree, which is traditionally a birch tree, place it in front of her house, in front of her bedroom window. This birch is usually adorned with many, many colored bands which means basically the variety of life and strength of love and the interrelationship between life and love.

This tradition has to do with the socalled May pole as well but whereas putting up a may-tree is a very personal thing, the May-pole is something official, something done by cities and villages to mark the start of the summer season. Of course the May-Pole also contains the phallic notion in order to remind us of the carnal desires that we should have.

Fine. So far, so good.

Beltane (Scottish Gaelic), May Day (England), or Calan Mai (Welsh Gaelic), has to do with life but at the same time with fire, and death. Here is a brief description of the etymologies and is a member to the languages ​​and traditions of the Celts, the Slavs and the Balt. Basically it refers to the beginning of the summer where a struggle between winter and summer is staged, but it also contains the idea of burning the old and the liberation of oneself for a new era. Very interesting is the linguistic nexus with the Indo-European gelH the Lithuanian tenth Beltane, which means gelH “death and suffering.”

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Since the early 20th century it has been commonly accepted that Old Irish Bel(l)taine is derived from a Common Celtic *belo-te(p)niâ, meaning “bright fire” (where the element *belo- might be cognate with the English word bale [as in ‘bale-fire’] meaning ‘white’ or ‘shining’; compare Anglo-Saxon bael, and Lithuanian/Latvian baltas/balts, found in the name of the Baltic; in Slavic languages byelo or beloye also means ‘white’, as in Беларусь (White Russia or Belarus) or Бе́лое мо́ре [White Sea]). A more recent etymology by Xavier Delamarre would derive it from a Common Celtic *Beltinijā, cognate with the name of the Lithuanian goddess of death Giltinė, the root of both being Proto-Indo-European *gʷelH- “suffering, death”.[32]
According to Dáithí Ó hÓgáin[year needed], the term Céad Shamhain or Cétshamhainin means “first half”, which he links to the Gaulish word samonios (which he suggests means “half a year”) as in the end of the “first half” of the year that begins at Samhain. Ó hÓgáin proposes that this term was also used in Scottish Gaelic and Welsh.[citation needed] In Ó Duinnín’s Irish dictionary (1904) it is referred to as Céadamh(ain) which it explains is short for Céad-shamh(ain) meaning “first (of) summer”. The dictionary also states that Dia Céadamhan is May Day and Mí Céadamhan is May.

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Yet. The tradition of giving a tree, a birch, full of colored bands to your girl is a very German one. It came up in the 16th century in Germany. Truth is today it is very connected with the region Cologne, Bonn, the Rhineland but also Bavaria. It must be a birch tree. It should be on the night of April 30th to May 1st. And there is also the possibility of rivalry between two boys because two guys might have chosen the same girl and so one wants to steal this tree because the only girl encounters his tree and not the other one.

The truth is that I find this tradition very sweet and fun although only once I got a branch of birch … During my punk days everyone knew that I wasn’t as focused in traditions;) So I hope that this year will be a start to feel more loved, and more pagan.

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I wish you one night of a witch and a wizard, one absolutely unforgettable and enchanting night. With the boy or the girl of your heart.
Their charm for crazy and mad ones out of love. Love is like that, a challenge, a maze and a treasure.

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Happy Beltane! Happy May Day!

P.S. One piece of advice for the boys/men among my readers. A girl/woman can never have too many signs that she is being loved. Fact, not fiction. 😉

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