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1 May 2007

May Day 2007 News

MAY DAY 2007

We’ve been out in the woods all night, gathering in the May.


I remember as a child in a rural public school, the typical project each May 1st was making the May Day basket—a basket full of flowers—to hang on our front doors. Generally, this was done more as a craft (tissue paper blossoms affixed with rubber cement to a construction paper square and handle) than a ‘gathering.’ None the less, I now appreciate the exposure to, and continuation of, this folk tradition. It must have seemed innocuous enough, this observation of a Heathen holiday not yet squelched, even in the bible belt. How ironic, the seemingly innocent collection of flora symbolized one element of an ancient, powerful, fertility rite. And then, this practice continued by children, right under the noses of stern mennonite teachers with thick legs and calf-length skirts. Spring is our reminder: the tenacious old ways—even after a cold, stark winter—will always bloom.

~A. von Rautmann

* * * * * *

If they would eat nettles in March, and drink mugwort in May,
So many fine maidens would not go to the clay.

~Funeral song of a Scottish Mermaid

Mugwort or Moxa (Artemisia vulgaris):
This old rhyme obviously refers to mugwort’s function as a uterine stimulant, or emmenagogue. Emmenagogues help bring on delayed or suppressed menstruation, and mugwort in particular, aids in regulating the cycles of women just entering their menses. The simultaneous drinking of, and bathing in, an infusion (tea) of mugwort will help bring on a late moon cycle and relieve cramps.

You may also use mugwort tea medicinally by drinking one cup before dinner. This tones the stomach, relaxes the nervous system, and stimulates the liver, thus promoting digestion. The infusion may also be used for colds, bronchitis, fever, sciatica, kidney disorders, hysteria, epilepsy, acute nervous tension, and as a diuretic. (NOT recommended for pregnant women, due to the above mentioned stimulating effects on the uterus).

“Mugwort under your pillow is supposed to produce vivid dreams…Some students even get vivid dreams if they steep mugwort in vinegar and use mugwort-flavored vinegar in salad dressings. One woman who misunderstood me and ate some mugwort with her dinner, reported the most colorful, dramatic dreams ever. Even after I corrected the mistake, she continued eating mugwort and experiencing exceptionally vivid dreams. Apparently there is more to this common plant than we know.” ~Steve Brill

This account is not surprising, since the herb contains absinthin, and is used, along with wormwood, as a major ingredient in the distilled beverage absinthe. Mugwort is also rumored to be useful in divination, prophetic dreams and astral projection. The name mugwort comes from the the old english word ‘wort,’ meaning plant or herb, with ‘mug’ referring to the mug of beer it was used to flavor. Its addition, no doubt, added to the warming, intoxicating effects of the brew.

* * * * * *


(Money) is a comfort
to everybody
although every man ought
to deal it out freely
if he wants to get approval
from the lord

~Old English Rune Poem

Fehu is one obvious choice for meditation or sigil on a day meant to celebrate and ensure fertility. New beginnings, creative fire, and abundance of all sorts, are represented by this, the first rune of the futharks. Don’t limit your ideas, thus limiting the manifestations, of fertility to just the monetary or reproductive. Knowledge, joy, love, and energy in general—all things that feed us and then expound when we consciously ‘deal (them) out freely’—are aspects of Fehu. The organic flow of creative thought, emotion, or shared physical comfort, cause an incalculable, positive ripple effect on the people and environment around us. By effecting our wyrd with our will, we make true the German American proverb:

Jeder ist seines Gluckes Schmied.
Everyone is his own luck maker.

* * * * * *

Sumer Is A-Cumen in

Sumer is a-comin in
Loudly sing cuckoo
Grows the seed and blows the mead
And springs the wood anew
Sing cuckoo!

Ewe bleats harshly after lamb
Cows after calves make moo
Bullock stamps and deer champs
Now shrilly sing cuckoo
cuckoo, cuckoo
Wild bird are you!

Sumer is a-comin in
Loudly sing cuckoo
Grows the seed and blows the mead
And springs the wood anew
Sing cuckoo!

popularized by Heathen cult classic The Wicker Man

* * * * * *

Until Summer Solstice, may you and your
household be blessed and kept. Hail!

-HEX Magazine

Due date for Spring 2008 submissions
is Autumn Equinox 2007!

>I< HEX >I<

> Please forward to all interested and relevant parties <

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