Friday, May 2, 2008

Polly Blesses Dark Moon Designs

This beautiful painting which was sent to me by Jane Brideson of
Dark Moon Designs*
says it all ...

Yesterday was May Day or Bealtaine, an event which has been celebrated down the centuries; welcoming the beginning of Summer and the hope of a good harvest later in the year. Various traditional activities include erecting a temporary May Pole on the village green; maidens dancing around the May Pole and Morris Dancer's performing their quirky fertility dances.

Here in Ireland the month of May allowed for the open practise of Maryolatry; the worship of the Virgin Mary. It is a tradition exclusive to followers of the Roman Catholic Church; which sets it aside from all other Christian doctrine's. The adornment of alters dedicated to the Blessed Virgin with spring blossom's plucked from the garden; or more likely the hedgerow's, was common in schools country wide, when I was a girl.

A much older practice, dating from darker times is the decoration of a May Bush; usually a whitethorn; or hawthorne, with items such as ribbons, shiny tin foil and (coloured egg) shells. This was one of the more common ways of celebrating May Day; occasionally you still see these peculiar displays at the roadside as you travel through the country lanes. Sadly; like so many traditional ways, it is fast becoming a rarity as the old people pass on from this life...

Going a little further back into history Bealtaine otherwise known as the Fire Festival was traditionally celebrated on the 5th May by Druids. Supplicants would leap and dance through the naked flames in search of purification from disease and protection from otherworldly spirits and misfortune.

The ritual is said to have continued for fifteen days and fifteen nights; as a good friend of mine remarked "...I certainly don't have the stamina for that...!" Originally villager's would also drive cattle and other livestock through these fires before herding them to lush summer pastures.

On a modern note the 1st of May is also known as International Worker's Day; commemorating the Haymarket Massacre in 1886 with mass demonstrations by workers and their labour unions in countries across the globe.

As I said before, the picture says it all; just enjoy the festival of Bealtaine and have fun!

*Oops: Please note that this beautiful painting is most definitely NOT one of Jane Brideson's paintings. Rather it appears to be one of Mickey Muller beautiful peices instead! I am sorry if I have misled anyone; it was anything but intentional... (interested parties; please view apologetic comment. Thanks)

Lots of Love

Polly Peirce
Purveyor of Fine Irish Hand made Greeting Cards & Wedding Stationary

3 comments:

Jean said...

OMG - Have you looked at your Google PR recently??? How do you do it? Well done.

Mel said...

That most definitely is not a painting by Jane Brideson !

Polly Peirce said...

OMG is right!What a lovely surprise and thank you for letting me know about it Jean. I've absolutely no idea how this has happened; although I did spend a few minutes tweeking code, etc the other day.

Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that I erroneously stated that beautiful the Bealtaine Blessings painting was by my friend Jane Brideson.

To all parties concerned; especially the two artist's ie Jane & Mickey Muller, I am absolutely mortified to have made such an error and hope that each will accept my humble apologies.

Love Polly x