May Day Origins
May Day is one of the most powerful days in the pagan calendar. Modern pagans refer to it as Beltane. To ancient Europeans it was a day for celebrating the return of the growing season and fertility in general. Ancestors were honored and divination was performed. Some of those traditions still survive today although much of the original meaning is lost.
May Day Traditions
Weaving ribbons while dancing around the Maypole and May Baskets are some of the ways May Day is still celebrated around the United States, usually by children. In Germany May Day is a national holiday where celebrating spring is combined with taking to the streets to protest. France and Russia are other countries where May Day is also a day that people demonstrate for worker’s rights. It seems appropriate as this is the time of year people would return to doing the hard work of what was necessary to survive such as planting and building.
The May Basket is filled with early blooming flowers, usually dandelions and violets, maybe a tulip or daffodil plus some little candies and left on the door handle of a neighbor in secret. The exact origin of the May Basket is unknown but we could think it as representing the Earth Mother’s womb which, of course, represents abundance. That is definitely something to symbolically and magically share with your neighbors via a pretty May basket!
May Day is Playful
All of this would make it seem that May Day is a day for some pretty serious magic – and it is – but it’s meant to be done with a light heart. Enter the Dandelion. You may want to get out the mugwort and sweet woodruff as seen in pagan articles (mugwort we have available at Illuminations), but if you’re new to magic you might want to start with something more familiar. And friendly! Dandelions are unpretentious and happy. It won’t blow out your energetic fields or unground you (although it can if you want it to). Dandelion is very much connected to The Fool card in Tarot. It seems very simple but it can still help you access a lot of power.
Dandelion Magic Ideas
Here are some ideas for how you could use Dandelion in your May Day spells and rituals.
- Envision a network of dandelions encompassing the earth. Call on them to protect you before you do any magical work.
- Start with a dandelion root. Create a ritual where you see the root as the root of your problem, then cut it up to make the problem into manageable pieces that are more fun-filled.
- Need to expand your own network? Ask every dandelion you see to help you do that. The more times you ask, the stronger the field of attraction you’ll create.
- Braid a “wand” of dandelion leaves and use it to cut through heavy energy with the sawtooth leaves.
- Set your intention about a goal you want to accomplish on the seed head of a dandelion, then blow the seeds to the wind, imagining them as being the seeds needed to accomplish your goal.
- Make some May Day punch with dandelion wine.
- Eat a dandelion leaf salad. Envision the leaves cutting away obstacles to prosperity as you eat.
May Day Sources