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Friday, May 01, 2009

Friday Five- celebrating the seasons of life

It is the first of May, or as I have been concentrating on dialogue with folk interested in the new spirituality movement this last week, it is Beltane, a time to celebrate the beginning of summer. The BBC web-site tells us that:

Beltane is a Celtic word which means 'fires of Bel' (Bel was a Celtic deity). It is a fire festival that celebrates of the coming of summer and the fertility of the coming year.
Celtic festivals often tied in with the needs of the community. In spring time, at the beginning of the farming calendar, everybody would be hoping for a fruitful year for their families and fields.
Beltane rituals would often include courting: for example, young men and women collecting blossoms in the woods and lighting fires in the evening. These rituals would often lead to matches and marriages, either immediately in the coming summer or autumn.

Another advert for a TV programme that has caught my eye on the UK's Channel 4 this weekend is called Love, Life and leaving; and is a look at the importance of celebrating the seasons of life through ritual and in the public eye, hence marriages, baptisms and funerals.

I believe that we live in a ritually impoverished culture, where we have few reasons for real celebration, and marking the passages of life;


1. Are ritual markings of birth marriage and death important to you?

2. Share a favourite liturgy/ practice.

3. If you could invent ( or have invented) a ritual what is it for?

4. What do you think of making connections with neo-pagan / ancient festivals? Have you done this and how?

5. Celebrating is important, what and where would your ideal celebration be?

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  1. Can't believe I am the first today. Thank you for this thoughtful Friday Five, Sally. I played amid the lilacs over at my place.

  2. "Unite and unite, oh, let us all unite, for summer is a-come in today..."

    In Padstow, Cornwall, the common folk are celebrating the season's turning today with great ritual indeed. The town is everywhere bedecked with flowers and a boisterously joyful all-ages parade goes up one street and down another, singing the Padstow Maying Song.

    Thank you for posting this FF theme. I'm off to celebrate the day with a pilgrimage to Maine's beloved co-operatively run Fedco tree nursery, where I'll pick up the fruit trees and berry bushes I ordered in The Bleak Midwinter. I'll be back to play much later today, but Oh! I DO intend to PLAY!!!

  3. Another fabulous Friday 5, Sally! Thank you!

    I loved dreaming here

  4. Quick answers... I'm off to do some therapeutic weed-pulling in between showers. I blogged Here!:)

  5. Thanks for this fun and celebretory F5, Sally. My thoughts are here.

  6. Sally, this is a gorgeous meme. I'm going to mull it over a little, and post later.

  7. Perfect perfect perfect Sally! Thank you - today is my 5th wedding anniversary, and I ritually played with that here :).

  8. I need lessons in how to celebrate. My ineptitude at all things ritualistic is revealed here.

  9. Happy May Day!This is surprisingly relevant for me today. Wishing all of you flowers and sunny days - neither of which is true in Wisconsin.

  10. I reveal my push-pull with tradition here. My iris are up about 8" - so looking forward to the blooms!

  11. I played here , en route to playing outside with dirt and a trowel!

  12. Happy May Day and Beltane everyone! My celebrations are here.

  13. This was just the kick start my poor neglected blog needed Sally. Thanks so much

  14. Sally, I absolutely love this topic and want to play (fabulous for some blog revival!) but will need to wait until Saturday or Sunday...leah / desert spirit / river song

  15. I finally got here.

  16. I have taken part in the ritual of teh Friday 5I'll read some other responses later, coffee time calls

  17. Back from the annual in-gathering of fruit trees, with a pear, apple, and linden to add to the orchard. After a bit of ritual tree-hugging, I wrote this!

  18. It is very late, actually it is Saturday in the UK, Sally, but I finally posted for the first time in a month here Thank you Sally! Good night all!

  19. I wrote 95% of a doctoral, DMIN thesis on ... Ritual, Pastoral Care and Women in Midlife transitions.
    I had a falling out with the major professors and didn't complete my DMim at that Seminary and finished another one On Using the Internet to connect Isolated Women Clergy. Anyway...
    Ritual and women is close to my heart and I keep trying to finish up the paper in my own way.
    It's eseential.. I believe for women to mark the changes in their lives with an 'action' that derives from their own experience and symbols in community.
    God bless us all


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