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Mayday: a black and white doodle drawing of a branch with three blossoms on it. the petals are in the shape of hearts

1. May: Mayday, Beltane, Workers’ Day

The creative potential of reconciliation

Mayday is among the four feast days that are not based on astronomy but are spaced in between the solar feast days. On a secular level we celebrate International Workers‘ Day, in one of the German federal states celebrates a „Day of Peace and International Reconciliation“. Culturally we still observe traditions of lighting bonfires or dancing around a maypole. For some people today is Beltane, or for those on the southern hemisphere it is Samhain. The latter will be the subject of another blog post between October and November.

You surely already have an idea of the themes that, at least to me, are reason for celebration today. Going back in history far enough we can see fertililty rites. Fertility from our perspective sound a bit banal and frivolous. However, back then it was of existential importance that your seeds grew into a harvest that kept you from starving during winter. In those days fertility was more than a romantic occasion for dacing around a big fire.

Endless possibilities in genetic recombination

Where I live Nature now shows itself most prominently in fruit trees exploding into countless blossoms. Female plant parts wait for fertillisation by male parts. Sexual reproduction mixes up the genetics of two parental organisms leading to a wide range of potential new qualities in the offspring generation. The coming together of two halves to make a new complete entity is an evolutionary advantage. On the other hand, each half depends on finding the other on time and the success of fertilisation is not guaranteed.

I do not want to limit this day to the biological categories of male and female. In any case it does not seem especially helpful to me to permanently assign properties to either of them. I am more interested in what happens when two apparent opposites in general connect to synthesize something entirely new which with a bit of luck can be even more than the sum of its parts.

The hope for peace

As an example, the reconciliation of two nations afters years of conflict can release large amounts of energy and resources. What before had been absorbed by war activities can now be invested into projects to benefit everyone. Two (or more) people fighting can create synergies by not focussing on what separates them but looking at common ground between them. This may even benefit people not directly involved in this controversy. Reconciling seemingly conflicting qualities, needs or dogmas inside of me can have a similar effect. If for example in some contexts I am happy to take risks while in others I like to play it safe, these two sides of myself can come together and create a new view of things, ideally taking care of all needs involved and also uncovering completely new options on a higher level. You can exchange my examples with an almost endless number of other notions. The fights we keep going within our own minds are very individual after all.

Thematically Mayday picks up the threads of the Spring Equinox. Back then seemingly opposite concepts were brought into balance. Now they find a way to create something new. The blossom and the pollen turn into an apple, warring nations start collaborating and the inner conflict in my head turns into a more relaxed attitude towards myself.

In the end I would like to go back to being romantic again and say it is basically all about love. Love, which can bridge divides and shine a light on what both sides have in common. If that is not a reason to celebrate, I have no idea what is. To be able to connect we have to open up or to actively go searching for blossoms and take the risk that maybe things may not fit together in the end. Dancing around the Mayday fire does not guarantee fertility. But not even dancing at all is sure to prevent any connectionn from the start.

What about you?

How does Nature currently present itself where you live? Is there conflict in your life, either internally or externally? How do you create new concepts out of apparent contradictions? Is there space in your life for blossoms, pollen and love? In which areas are you willing to take the risk of being open or looking for connection? What would be the alternative option?

Meditation and looking forward to the wheel spinning onwards

I have uploaded a short meditation about finding inner peace for you to try another approach to this holiday. You can find it here.

This post refers back to this main article and is part of a series on each of the eight holidays of the year. During 2020 I will write another post for every one of those date so stay tuned for the 21st of June!

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