Bringing in the May

cherry blossoms

The tides shift and change, which is how is should be. I am much more grounded this week.

Ronna & AndreaI spent last weekend with a lovely group of women I’d never before met in person, at a beautiful house on the water near Gig Harbor. We were artists and teachers and writers and coaches, all devoted to women’s development in one way or another. Before I arrived, I wasn’t quite sure how I’d fit in — perhaps all the newcomers felt that way — but I did feel at home, right away. The conversation flowed all weekend from one topic to another, ranging from feminist activism to Biblical heroines to our favorite online business courses to the best way to tell teenagers they’re not ready to have sex (it’s nothing to do with religion or prudery). I found myself telling the story of how I became a born-again christian at age 20, then left the church around age 30, and found the Goddess spirituality movement.

I have to say I seriously love discussing the difference between patriarchal religion and Goddess-centered religion, and our experience of God/dess as transcendent and immanent (both/and, not either/or) — all before breakfast — with such smart, well-read women.

Photo by Heather Plett.

One of the women brought a bowl with her (photo by Heather Plett above); it is part of an art project based on giving and receiving. Each recipient of one of the 108 bowls gets to keep it for up to 4 months before she or he passes it on to someone else. (You can read more about it at The Patra Passage.)  I loved holding the bowl off and on throughout the weekend. On Saturday night, we held an impromptu ritual where we all wrote our dreams down on pieces of paper, then burned them in the bowl. The smoke of our prayers wafted up like incense, carrying our prayers into the heavens.


Most of the rest of the week was taken up with physical work like washing windows and floors, scrubbing bathtubs, decluttering closets, and weeding. (I did however manage to get started on my plans to teach an online course, “Gaian Tarot for Tarot Beginners,” later this month.) Luckily the weather turned warm, and it was a delight to spend a day outdoors washing windows, even with climbing ladders and out onto the roof!  That was my May Eve rite this year.  Clean windows, clean soul. Open up the door and let the fresh air in!

sweet woodruffI woke early on May morning and went outside to wash my face in the dew. I was delighted to find the sweet woodruff in bloom, ready for May wine!  Later that morning I went to a friend’s home (Sunflower Herb Farm), where she was hosting the children from Wheels of Life School for a Maypole dance and celebration.

Seeing these little ones play with the ribbons lit a fire in my heart. I couldn’t stop smiling the rest of the day.

Maypole dance

And such a beautiful day for Beltane! The temperature was in the upper 70s all day, such a warm welcome after a long wet winter.

Heart overflowing with gratitude. Such an auspicious way to bring in the May!


4 thoughts on “Bringing in the May

  1. I also got to watch children dance the Maypole yesterday: from the youngest, like Lucian, with their carefully practiced, buoyant, joyous songs and dances (ribbons round the pole deosil only), to the early grades dancing forward and back, to the oldest children weaving the ribbons deftly, all accompanied by their schoolmates on recorder, hand drum, fiddle, and bells. It was one of the happiest, most poignant visions I’ve known.

    1. Love that, Sara. If I lived in your town, I would have invited myself over to see it!

  2. What a lovely series of activities, Joanna. Reading them grounds me, somehow, in the truth of life being a mix of all things – the out-of-the-ordinary, as well as the mundane. I’ve been been playing with tarot and oracle decks lately and keep thinking of you, being glad for your site and your way in the world. It’s lighting just that much more of my path.

    1. Thank you Kristin, that’s so lovely to hear . . . all of it. You know I am a big fan of your work. Blessings to you.

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