Three years ago I went to England and married the land inside of Stonehenge…I had just finished a 3 year course in Druidry with the Green Mountain Druid Order and visiting sacred sites in the UK was our graduation trip. I like to refer to our 15 day trip as the Pinball Wizards tour of Sacred Sites. I call it this because we visited stone circles and holy wells throughout England and Wales in a high speed, energetic miasma that seemed out of time and space. We drove throughout the countryside in a 12 passenger van listening to Hindy music, often visiting multiple stone circles & holy wells daily. I had overwhelming personal experiences that confirmed for me that the land had accepted my proposal. (Read my blog article the Cloutie tree if you want to hear more about my personal experience). This trip took place over Beltaine as it is a traditional time in which one does such things.
What does it mean to Marry the land?
As a Druid I follow a Nature based Spiritual practice in which I see all life as sacred and myself as a steward of the planet. In simple terms, I believe God/Goddess is in everything and everyone and the Earth/Gaia is my temple. Marrying the land is an ancient practice in which one is bonded to the land, similar to a priest giving vows to the Divine, when you Marry the land you make promises to the Earth as a caretaker and partner. The practice of Marrying the land can be followed back to the ancient Celts, whose Kings made a practice of bonding the land. Along with the Kings and their high seats the peasant folk too married the land, most traditionally at Beltaine.
Beltaine or May Day as it is sometimes called is a Celtic Fertility holiday that takes place on May 1st. It is located between the Vernal/Spring Equinox & the Summer Solstice. It is a holiday sacred to the Earth and the Green folk (Fae/Fairy folk)…like Samhain/Halloween is a time when the veil between the worlds is thin, a time Betwixt & Between. Where Samhain is a time of dying Beltaine is a time of fertility, new life and awakening. Traditional Beltaine ceremonies are symbolic of the union between man & woman. The Maypole which represents the phallus is placed into a hole in the Earth to cast blessing on the land that it may be fertile. This is a traditional blessing of the crops and livestock. In the celebration a queen is often picked from among the participants. A new May Queen is chosen every year at Beltaine, during her reign the May Queen is closely connected to the Earth, a human representative you may say. Many old pagan traditions are quite bawdy at Beltaine, but in modern practices are usually pretty PG-13.
My vows to the Earth are ever evolving, like any marriage they change with time. I personally am not much of a gardener so my vows rely little on me planting things and the like. I see my voice as the most important thing I have to offer my Bride. I believe by spreading the importance of being ecologically conscious and educating others I am serving my love in the way I best can. I make personal vows to be respectful, to be conservative in my use and to remember always to think about the impact of my actions. The Native Americans had it right…what we do will effect the next 7 generations. We need to start thinking like that every day. What we do does impact the Earth, our home and the generations of our children that follow us.
Today on Beltaine I am reminded of my commitment to Gaia/Earth and my love of the world I walk upon. I am appreciating the
rain that is washing away the last of the snow that sits on the wood line of my little mountain home & the mist that so embodies the Betwixt & the Between. Tonight I will lay my blessing upon the Earth and set fourth my offerings for the fairy folk. The grander celebration of the first of May will take place on Saturday as I join my Druid friends at Dreamland in raising the Maypole and singing to the Earth.
Try this at home…
Tonight leave out a bit of honey water for the spirits of the Green/fairy folk. Say a blessing on your land, whether it is a batch of grass in the front of your door or acres of farmland. If you have no land to speak of say your blessings in the park, or by a tree that stands out to you. Remember folks Intention & Will=Magic. If your feeling a bit spunky, sprinkle some glitter on your cheeks or wear a crown. Celebrate the coming of spring and the warm weather that is just around the corner. Love…spread it all around, we just can’t get enough of that stuff.
spreading Beltaine blessings & Juicy Love-Salicrow