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Days of the Month for May

 

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May 1 : The Day of Ironic Insight
‘May Day’ : This day is believed to have been a replacement of the ‘Beltaine’ or ‘Beltane’ when Celts celebrated the beginning of Spring often by the building and burning of huge bonfires to honour the Sun. In later times young people would collect any greenery and flowers from the woods and forests to decorate their homes (See also Mystical WWW Trees & Plants). This was to indicate the power of nature to fertilise and rejuvenate the land and so affect the prosperity and health of a community. The festivals that still continue can be seen to be examples of the fertility of the earth with many prevalent in the UK with May Pole dancing which was based around the White Hawthorn later substituted by the garlanded Maypole (a pole decorated with bright ribbons and flowers which was to show the transition of fertility from Winter to Spring), and Morris Dancing (See Mystical WWW Arts : Dance, Morris).

Padstow, Cornwall, England : Traditional ‘Obby 'Os’ Ceremony (See Mystical WWW Arts : Dance, Morris).

Minehead, Somerset, England : Traditional ‘Hobby Horse’ Ceremony (See Mystical WWW Arts : Dance, Morris).

Oxford, Oxfordshire, England : Traditional ‘May Carol’ on Magdalen Tower.

Southampton, Hampshire, England : Traditional ‘May Carol’ at the Bargate.

Knutsford, Cheshire, England : Traditional ‘May Day’ Ceremonies.

Wicca : ‘Beltane’ or ‘Bright Fire’ pagan celebrations, half-way between Midsummer and the vernal equinox. The first day of summer. Focus of the celebrations was courtship and love, and also of mating/fertility, being a time to start new relationships. The bee and the cow are symbolic of the goddess at this time being able to create an endless supply of milk and honey. Oats too are connected with the goddess at this time. The ‘Green Man’ is also associated with Beltane as are the Goddesses Aphrodite and Maia. Brigid (1 February) and Columcille (7 June) were joint protectors of cattle and it was practice to ask for protection during the periods of Samhain, Imbolc to Beltane:

‘Everything within my dwelling or in my possession,
All kine and crops, all flocks and corn,
From Hallow Eve to Beltane Eve.’

‘Bealtaine’ : Gaelic celebrations of ‘Fires of Bel’.

Slovakia : day dedicated to ‘Kupula’, a ‘Goddess of Fertility’, and ‘Poludnitsa’, honoured as ‘Goddess of the Fields’. Similar in traditions to that of Beltane.

It was traditionally believed in many parts of rural England (UK) that a beautiful complexion could be achieved by collecting dew on this day and gently smoothing it over the face (See February 1 for further information).

‘The fair maid who at first of May,
Goes to the fields at break of day,
And washes in dew from the hawthorn tree,
Will ever after handsome be.’

Want to know more about the Mystical Hawthorn Tree
OR
Mystical Glastonbury and the Hawthorn

USA : ‘Mother’s Day’.

Christian festival dedicated to ‘St. Philip’ and ‘St. James’.

Dr David Livingstone, explorer, died on this day in 1873.

Celtic feast day of ‘Asaph’, travelled with Kentigern (13 January) on missionary work, helping him to create a community at Clwyd.

Celtic feast day of ‘Brioc’, Patron Saint of purse makers. Born near to Cardigan, Wales, died 530. Lived fifth-sixth century, travelled to Cornwall, England and later Brittany where he was revered as on of the seven saints. The pagan prince Conan is said to have requested that Brioc baptise him after having witnessed Brioc sit calmly amongst a pack of wolves when reciting psalms. The wolves moved away strangely calmed by their meeting. Known for his charitable works and generous nature. Reputed to have accompanied Mawgan (24 September) to Cornwall from Wales.

Celtic feast day of ‘Asaph’, Bishop of Llanelwy, a disciple of Kentigern (13 January).

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May 2 : The Day of Human Observation
‘Bona Dea Fire Festival’ : Roman day of celebration.

Theodor Herzl, Zionist leader, born this day in 1860.

Celtic feast day of ‘Gennys’, also suggested to be Genesius (25 August).

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May 3 : The Day of the Social Realist
Traditionally beans are associated with the month of May (For more information on vegetables see Mystical WWW : Plants).

Celtic feast day of ‘Gluvias’. Nephew of Petroc (4 June), and the son of Cadoc (25 September).

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May 4 : The Day of Nurturing Support
‘St. Monica’s Day’ : Traditionally an Irish day of remembrance.

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May 5 : The Day of Practical Awakening
Spring ‘Beltane’ (Bel, the Sun God), sun at 15 degrees in the house of Taurus (May 5-8). Festivities in ancient times included lighting fires on top of hills across the British Isles to signal to the people ‘Bel’s’ return to bring fertility back to the land, accompanied by the ‘Earth Goddess’ who would ensure a bountiful harvest. One of four major fire festivals (5-8 May, 2-7 August, 5-7 November, 2-7 February).

Napoleon Bonaparte died on this day on the Island of St. Helena 1821.

Celtic feast day of ‘Hydroc’, believed to have been associated with the community of Hydroc on Bodmin Moor, England.

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May 6 : The Day of Materialised Fantasy
Spring ‘Beltane’ (Bel, the Sun God), sun at 15 degrees in the house of Taurus (May 5-8). Festivities in ancient times included lighting fires on top of hills across the British Isles to signal to the people ‘Bel’s’ return to bring fertility back to the land, accompanied by the ‘Earth Goddess’ who would ensure a bountiful harvest. One of four major fire festivals (5-8 May, 2-7 August, 5-7 November, 2-7 February).

Sigmund Freud, psychologist and writer including ‘The Interpretation of Dreams’ being well known, was born this day in 1856.

Celtic feast day of ‘John the Evangelist’, the ancient date commemorating the work of the first Patron Saint of Scotland (before St Andrew). Also December 27, John the Evangelist.

Celtic feast day of ‘Eadbert’, seventh century, a devotee of Cuthbert (20 March), Bishop of Lindisfarne. Died on this day in 698. When Viking raids were frequent upon the British Isles, his remains, together with that of Cuthbert were moved around the country to avoid capture

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May 7 : The Day of Devotion
Spring ‘Beltane’ (Bel, the Sun God), sun at 15 degrees in the house of Taurus (May 5-8). Festivities in ancient times included lighting fires on top of hills across the British Isles to signal to the people ‘Bel’s’ return to bring fertility back to the land, accompanied by the ‘Earth Goddess’ who would ensure a bountiful harvest. One of four major fire festivals (5-8 May, 2-7 August, 5-7 November, 2-7 February).

Celtic feast day of ‘The Eve of Indract’ : a holy vigil is held on this night for Indract and his companions upon the Somerset Marshes near Polden Ridge to commemorate their martyrdom (See Celtic feast of ‘Indract’, May 8). Lights are said to be seen to appear on this night at the site of the old church (where Indract was reputedly buried), and on the marshes where he was murdered.

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May 8 : The Day of the Outspoken Spokesperson
Helston, Cornwall, England (nearest Saturday) : The ‘Furry Dance Event’ (nearest Saturday) (Morris, See Mystical WWW Arts : Dance, Morris).

Spring ‘Beltane’ (Bel, the Sun God), sun at 15 degrees in the house of Taurus (May 5-8). Festivities in ancient times included lighting fires on top of hills across the British Isles to signal to the people ‘Bel’s’ return to bring fertility back to the land, accompanied by the ‘Earth Goddess’ who would ensure a bountiful harvest. One of four major fire festivals (5-8 May, 2-7 August, 5-7 November, 2-7 February).

World Red Cross Day

Gustav Flaubert, novelist, died on this day in 1880.

Celtic feast day of ‘Indract’, Irish saint, martyr. (St Patrick was reputed to be buried on the right side of the old church at Glastonbury, whilst Ina, the King of Wessex ordered that Indract’s body be buried on the left side of the altar, and that it should be placed in a pyramid of stone). (For more information on Glastonbury see Mystical WWW Glastonbury). The church is reported to have been destroyed in a fire in 1184. Indract was highly revered, particularly in Glastonbury which perhaps explains why this has been suggested to be the place of his burial. The medieval monks of Glastonbury chronicled his life. He is also known for founding a community at Tamerunta, near Plymouth, after he was given a vision of the place. He stuck his staff into the earth and a sacred oak tree sprouted forth. Legend has it that these was an infinite of fish to be found in a pool nearby. It is suggested that he was murdered along with his companions upon the Somerset Marshes near Polden Ridge, and that on this day each year a ceremony is held on the eve of the night before as a holy vigil. The exact place is never the same, as to this day, it is said that there is great difficulty in finding the location of the previous year’s ceremony, symbolic of the search for the body of Indract.

Theosophists commemorate the death of Madame Helena Petrovna Blavatsky (1831-1891). Russian born mystic and co-founder of the Theosophical Society. She died on May 8, 1891.

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May 9 : The Day of Moral Courage
‘Lemuria’ : Roman day of remembrance.

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May 10 : The Day of Lone Movers
Fred Astaire, great American dancer, singer, actor, born on this day in 1899.

Celtic feast day of ‘Catald’, seventh or eighth century monk, Irish, travelled around France and down to Italy.

Celtic feast day of ‘Conleth’, hermit, sixth century, County Kildare, Ireland. As a highly skilled craftsman he worked with metal and is believed to have made Finbar’s crozier (25 September), and also to have been responsible for the creation of the holy vessels used at the monastery established by Brigid (1 February).

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May 11 : The Day of the Frequent Flier
‘Ascension Day’ and ‘Rogationtide’.

Folkestone, Hastings, England : ‘Blessing Sea and Fisheries’.

The ‘Rain Ceremony’ is commenced in Guatemala.

Irving Berlin, composer and song writer born this day in 1988.

Celtic feast day of ‘Tudy’, monk, Abbot, one of the seven saints of Brittany.

Celtic feast day of ‘Comgall’, instructed Moluag (25 June). Associated with Blane (11 August), Fintan Munnu (21 October), Columbanus (21 November) and Mirin (15 September). Established a church and oversaw the spiritual development of the thirty-thousand strong community, in 559, at Bangor, Ireland. Only one meal a day was permitted in the evening according to the doctrine. Instructed Columbanus (21 November) who travelled with Gall (16 October) to France, Italy and Switzerland, and Moluag (25 June) who founded the Lismore monastery in Scotland. Disciple of Fintan of Cluain-Edrech (17 February). A great advocate of spiritual counsel and of the need and importance of friendship.

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May 12 : The Day of the Mischievous Maverick
Under research. Mystical WWW welcomes submissions for this day. See Mystical WWW email details on ‘What’s new’ Main Index.

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May 13 : The Day of Natural Appeal
Day dedicated to ‘Our Lady of Fatima’ in Portugal, with processions and decorated floats in her to honour.

Traditional date for Celtic feast of ‘May Day’.

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May 14 : The Day of the Modern Irrepressibles
‘Isis Day’ : Ancient Egyptian day of remembrance.

Christian festival dedicated to ‘St. Matthias’.

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May 15 : The Day of the Dream Wavers
Roman festival dedicated to ‘Mercury’ : it is said that water played a significant role in this festival. Those in business were advised to sprinkle water over themselves to encourage fortune and over the goods to ensure prosperity. Mercury was the patron of all merchants being associated with commerce, and also of science. Associations were also made with rogues, travellers and thieves.

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May 16 : The Day of the Outrageous Flair
Celtic feast day of ‘Brendan’, Irish, fifth-sixth century who searched for the Promised Land of the Saints. There are many versions of this journey indicating he did not travel alone, but with fourteen companions. The story is an allegory of the spiritual journey. He is said to have consulted Enda (21 March) about the imminent journey for advice after fasting for forty days in total (three days at a time) with his companions For his journey Brendan is also said to have sought counsel with Ita (15 January) who told him to make his boat of wood only, as animal skins would not be appropriate for the task about to be attempted. Some believed that Brendan had seen the Promised Land when looking west from County Kerry (there is now a mountain named to indicate the spot which is a place of pilgrimage, with a sacred well and the ruins of an oratory). This version took him seven years to complete. His voyage was also reported to be planned whilst staying at Bantry Bay on Hungry Hill according to other versions. He is said to have made a craft from a wooden frame and tanned ox hides, carrying sufficient materials to make another two boats according to the Latin version. Believed to have been born around 489. Died around 570. Associated with Jarlath (6 June) and Colman of Cloyne (24 November).

Celtic feast day of ‘Carantoc’, monk, Irish, sixth century, uncle of David (1 March), travelled to Wales after missionary work in Cornwall. He is said to have been greeted by the young King Arthur (See Mystical WWW Glastonbury for more on Arthur). It was said that God had given Carantoc an altar which he cast into the River Severn, the legend telling that where it landed was to be his place of work as directed by God’s divine will. At the spot it came ashore he was met by Arthur who agreed to lead him to the altar only if he would quell the dragon that was marauding the country. Carantoc is said to have found the dragon and tamed it, enticing it to the royal hall at Dunster where its threat was diminished.

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May 17 : The Day of the Bottom Line
The Siege of Mafeking, between the British and Boers, ended in 1900.

Celtic feast day of ‘Madron’, sixth century. There is a sacred well at Madron near Penzance, Cornwall where the tradition is to hang ribbons or rags upon the trees during services to maintain the healing properties of the waters which are said to cure rickets. To effect a cure the child it had to be dipped into the well on the first three Sundays of the month of May whilst the parents had to remain silent facing the sun until the ceremony was over.

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May 18 : The Day of Established Activism
Christian holy day : ‘Pentecost’.

Bertrand Russell, philosopher, born this day in 1872.

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May 19 : The Day of Heartfelt Persuasion
Anne Boleyn, second wife of Henry VIII, executed in 1536.

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May 20 : The Day of Prolific Expression
Christopher Columbus, explorer, died on this day in 1506.

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May 21 : The Day of Unfailing Vision
Tower of London, England : ‘Ceremony of Lilies and the Roses’ to commemorate the death of King Henry IV.

Ancient Egyptian : various activities on this date known as the ‘Day of Tefnut’.

Alexander Pope, poet, born this day in 1688.

Celtic feast day of ‘Collen’, legend has it that Collen slain the evil giantess at Llangollen to save the lives of the people there, and as a sign of thanks he was made their Patron Saint. Suggested that the giantess was a metaphor for the pagan practice and beliefs often associated with such events and the mother goddess. Believed to have travelled to Glastonbury.

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May 22 : The Day of the Serial Epic
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, writer, born this day in 1859

Celtic feast day of ‘Helen’ of Caernarvon, also known as Elen Luyddog, fourth century, Welsh princess, wife to Emperor of Britain Magnus Clemens Maximus (who was said to have received a vision indicating his intended bride). Her popularity is noted across Wales as there are many places named in her honour including Sarn Helen, the Roman roads which connect the north to the south. Also thought to be the mother of Constantine (18 August). See also Helen (18 August).

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May 23 : The Day of Energetic Transmission
‘Semik’ : Russia.

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May 24 : The Day of the Magnifier
Under research. Mystical WWW welcomes submissions for this day. See Mystical WWW email details on ‘What’s new’ Main Index.

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May 25 : The Day of the Bold One
Approximately 200 AD it was reported that Hippolytus wrote that Jesus Christ was conceived on this day.

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May 26 : The Day of the Stalwart Protector
‘Memorial Day’ : USA.

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May 27 : The Day of Driven Dedication
Nicolo Paganini, violin virtuoso, died on this day in 1840.

Celtic feast day of ‘Bede’, Anglo-Saxon monk, eighth century, born 673. Known for his study of the holy scriptures and for his extensive writings on the Celtic church, the life of Cuthbert (20 March), and the English church, twenty-five books in total. Also known for his work on the life of Columcille, also known as Columba (9 June). Was working on the last line of St John’s gospel, translating it to a scribe when he died in 735. Buried initially at Jarrow, North East, Scotland, then moved to Durham. Associated with Tuda (21 October).

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May 28 : The Day of the Innovative Trailblazer
Under research. Mystical WWW welcomes submissions for this day. See Mystical WWW email details on ‘What’s new’ Main Index.

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May 29 : The Day of Quicksilver
‘Oak Apple Day’, also known as ‘Royal Oak Day : British Isles, holiday begun in 1660 when Charles II claimed the throne (named after the fact that he was supposed to have hidden in an oak tree during the Worcester Fight in 1651). Traditionally day of begging food and beer by labourers:

‘Shig-shag, penny a rag,
Bang his head in Cromwell’s bag,
All up in a bundle.’

Worcester, Worcestershire, England : Traditional ‘Oak Apple Day’ at The Guildhall.

Castleton, Derbyshire, England : Traditional ‘Garland Day’.

Great Wishford, Wiltshire, England : Traditional ‘Grovely Procession’.

Aston on Clun, Shropshire, England : Traditional ‘Arbor Tree Day’ festivities.

Sir Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tensing reached the summit of Mount Everest in 1953.

Celtic feast day of ‘Buryan’, also known as ‘Bruniec’, ‘the Irish Lady’, Irish princess, said to have accompanied Piran (5 March) to Cornwall from Ireland. There is a village named in her honour near to Penzance, Cornwall, England.

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May 30 : The Day of Nimble Time
‘Frigg’s Day’ : Odinist, (See Mystical WWW Days of the Week : Friday).

Joan of Arc burnt at the stake after being declared a witch on this day in 1431. She became a saint in 1920.

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May 31 : The Day of the Cutting Edge
Franz Haydn, composer and teacher to Beethoven, died on this day in 1809.