May: Flower Moon
*Also known as: Blossom Moon, Budding Moon, Corn Planting Moon, Planting Moon, Milk Moon, Merry Moon, Dyad Moon, Bright Moon, Frog's Return Moon, Run off Moon, Pink Moon,
* Colors: Bright colors, red, oranges, yellows, greens and blues
* Scents: floral scents, Dragon's Blood, Vanilla, Patchouli, Sandalwood
* Gemstones: Ruby, Amber, Garnet, Apache Tear, Sunstone, Emerald, Malachite, Carnelian, Peridot
Trees: Willow, Hawthorn, Apple
* Gods: Flora, Cernunnos, Venus, Maia, Diana, Pan, Green man, and Horned God, Blodeuwedd, Llew Llaw Gyffes, Saravista, Aranya Shasti, Pan
Herbs: flowers of all kinds, Sweet Woodruff, Roses, Lilacs, Violets, Cinnamon, Yarrow, Mint, Thyme, Mugwort, Elder, Dittany of Crete, Broom, Phlox, Foxglove, Lily of the Valley, Nettle
* Foods: May Wine, berries, sweet cakes, mimosas, salads and desserts made with flowers, dairy
* Animals: Hares, cattle, sheep, goats, large cats, swallow, dove, swan
* Element: Fire
Now, we enter the magickal and powerful month of May. Named after the Greek Goddess Maia, a goddess of Spring's growth, warmth and sexual passions. She is both a Goddess of the Earth and of the sky. She is the eldest and most beautiful of the Seven sisters, or the Pleiades, whose name means “dove.” These sisters are children of Pleione. and Atlas. They were originally mountain nymphs who followed the trail of Artemis until Orion came upon them and their mother, and became enamored with them and made chase. After years of running Zeus took pity on them and turned them into doves that flew high into the sky and became the Pleiades star system, located in the constellation of Taurus. Another version of this story tells that the sisters all decided to take their lives because of the cruel fate that befell their father Atlas, who was punished to spend eternity holding up the Earth. Zeus commemorated their lives by placing them in the sky.
Maia is the mother of the Iris and Hermes and foster mother of Arcas; after Classisto was transformed into the great bear Zeus left his son in her care. Maia is sometimes called the “Grandmother of Magick,” as she is the mother of Hermes who was said to be the first to master the magickal arts. She is often considered a great mother and midwife Goddess. Her sacred days were May 1st and 15
The full moon in May is a a very powerful Moon, it is a time of transition from unreliable Spring weather, to the beautiful long days, and warmth of Summer . All seems alive and awake the Earth is in full bloom, the air is perfumed with flowers. Animals are more amorous, and humans are restless with pent up energy and excitement. The Flower Moon is an intense time and a great time for magickal workings dealing with reaffirming and working towards goals that you have nurtured throughout the Spring. Due to the high energy of this month, goals even those that are difficult and lofty are easier to work towards now. Now, is the time of growth and action, now, is time to actively presume what you want! This Moon is a good time to tie up loose ends and complete projects and is especially fortuitous for creative endeavors. The May Moon is also a great time to work with all make and matter of nature spirits, ancestors and to do divination work, as the veil is thin. The May Moon is a great time to work on issues of the heart and sexuality, love, healing, passion and physical stamina, It is a good time to cast spells to attract love into your lives and is a great time to work on nurturing friendships that you may have neglected over the solitary Winter months. The fertile, abundant energy also lends itself well to prosperity magick.
Within the specular American calendar the Month of May contains two holidays Mother's Day and Memorial Day . Mother's Day falls on the second Sunday in May, and is when children of all ages honor their mother with appreciation and gifts, sometimes taking their Mother out to dinner or making them breakfast. Honor the Mother's in your life today, you may also wish to honor, and give offering to the Great Mother today as well. You can also use this time to heal any issues you may have with your Mother. If your Mother has passed away a fitting tribute would be to give money to a woman's charity or shelter. Memorial Day falls one the last Monday in the month of May and what started as a solemn commemoration of fallen soldiers has became a holiday to honor and decorate all your beloved dead and a holiday that marks the unofficial beginning of Summer. Many people go camping for the first time this year, or host a family BBQ. During the month of May, when the weather may be less than ideal but the desire and energy of action is still there, it is a good time to make plans, reservations and do research for things you'd like to do this summer. Think about going to beaches, public pools, camping, hiking, botanical gardens, farmer's markets, etc. Make these fun little trips a priority, maybe making them a bi-weekly adventure! Plan ahead so you can get he most out of Summer, which always has away of coming and going so quickly!
It is very curious that our modern Memorial Day celebration takes place in the month of May, a time of Spring and life and not death. But death is the other side of the coin, no life is possible without death, and nothing alive will not die. It is interesting that another culture celebrated their dead in the month of May. The Roman's held the festival of Lemuria were they would purify their houses and take gifts to graves make offerings of beans and flowers to the Lemures or wandering spirits of the dead. A fitting tribute would be to make sure to decorate the graves of those who have long passed and those who may not have any family left to decorate them.
This month's Moon is called the Flower Moon due to the abundance of flowers of all kinds that bloom at this time of year. Many of these blooms will become fruit and grain for the harvest and many will,bask you in their beauty and their scent for a short time and then wilt and fade, not to reappear until next year, this is especially true for wildflowers and a suggested activity for this month would be to go on wildflower and foraging hikes. Bring a camera and a plant almanac and see how many plants you can identify, and those you cannot you can later research and see what folklore, medicinal or magickal uses they have. I would advise against taking any of these plants home with you unless there is an abundance and unless you can positively identify them. I would instead leave them for others to enjoy, and allow the blooms to become seeds for next years blossoming.
Another activity you could perform is as part of a Full Moon ritual or party, have each person who attends bring flowers and herb snippets from their gardens or which they have gathered and use them to cast the circle, as offerings to the Gods, as a way to build ones garden. With any extras you could craft head wreaths and make May baskets that can be distributed to neighbors, hospitals or use this baskets to decorate graves.
Another fun activity to celebrate flowers and their energy is to use flowers in culinary preparations. Many flowers are edible and are quite tasty, they also add a touch of novelty and beauty to a dish. You can simply add a teaspoon of dried lavender flowers to a batch of shortbread or sugar cookies, add rosepetals and candied violets to cakes, or stuff squash flowers and add pansy and nasturtium flowers to a green salad. A good reference on how to use edible flowers can be found here:
Just be cautious make sure you can positively identify these flowers, never gather flowers from roadways, or you will be consuming , many chemicals due to air pollution and never use flowers that from florists shops, as they might have been sprayed with chemical fertilizers, pesticides and other chemicals. Some organic and specialty stores may also carry edible flowers in their produce sections next to the fresh herbs.
The Flower Moon is a perfect time to work on an herbal, to take pictures to press flowers and to make Spring and Goddess art. I like to honor the Goddess of flowers, especially the Goddess Blodeuwedd who was made out of the blossoms of 9 sacred herbs by making goddess art, of a goddess figure made of pressed flowers, leaves and feathers. In fact the story of the creation of Blodeuwedd for Llew Llaw Gyffes is a perfect myth to focus on this month.
Another name for this Moon is the Planting Moon. May is usually the last month that contains any Wintery weather and by the end of this month it is usually safe to plant even the tenderest of garden plants and herbs. Planting Melons, squashes, tomatoes, peppers and corn is usually reserved for the end of this month.
The May Full Moon is also called the Milk Moon. Milk the liquid of prefect nutrition, health and mothering energy, and it is in abundance at this time as pastoral animals give birth and are moved to summer pastures were the grasses nourished by May's moisture and abundant sunlight grow tall, and nutritious. Celebrate this Moon by consuming some dairy products, make our own yogurt, cheese or iced cream, consume milk fermented with Kefir grains, use yogurt dips for fruits and vegetables
The Full Moon in May is also called the Dyad Moon, Dyad stems from the Greek word “Dyas,” meaning “two,” or “pair,” and prefers to the union of the Goddess and God, the Earth and Sky and the polarities and dualities of these energies. Through their uniting, their love and fertility all these are balanced and made possible.
The month of May is a great time for cleansing and preparing It is a good time to finish up Spring cleaning and organize. You may also wish to participate in a custom that dates back to ancient Greece. It was called the Kallyhtaria and Plyhteria, it was typically observed around May 19-28, it was a time to clean the temples and to ritualistically wash the temple statues., many times in a moving body of water. You can observe this custom by cleansing your altar, cleansing and blessing your magickal supplies and organizing your tools, so they can be easily found. You might also wish to replace any old cleaning supplies that may need it, to make more healthy, natural and environmentally conscious versions of these cleaners and even consecrate and bless these tools.
The Full Moon in May brings with it the holiest day in Buddhism, Wesak or Vesak commemorates not only the birth of Siddartha Gutama, but his enlightenment or Buddhahood, and his death at the age of eighty. The festival is celebrated in many ways throughout different countries, each country adding its local customs and flair. Common themes are pilgrimages to the temples, chanting, attending religious services, offering of incense, food, flowers and special lanterns made of bamboo to the temples and the monks, cleansing and decorating ones home and charitable acts of giving food, blood, money, or handing out religious literature. During Wesak participates are encouraged to observe a vegetarian diet and the slaughter of animals and the selling of meat and liquor is prohibited. It is a tradition to free cages birds. Some countries have candlelit processions to the temples, complete with floats. Many have devotees dressed in pure white. Wesak is a time to contemplate the impermanence of life, the true meaning of existence, to give charitably to others and to sit in contemplation and devotion. Observe Wesak by arranging a food drive for your local food bank, many people give furring the Winter months but forget the need is still there in Summer. Volunteer at a homeless shelter, or soup kitchen, give blood, go through your closets and donate clothes you do not want or need. Help out your elderly neighbor by mowing their lawn. Spend some time away from the distractions and noise of the modern, material world and sit in quiet contemplation and meditation.
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