Fires of Love (Beltane)
by Ian R Thorpe
Embrace the purifying flame,
throw off the cloak of inhibition.
Stoke the good fires of Beltane
and let flames fuel love's fission.
The sun climbs high to summer glory,
unfolds the leaf and swells the bud,
delivering all of nature's dowry
and a promise, now misunderstood.
From atom's heart to human heart
spring passes the vitalizing flame
and in each nucleus a spark
sets passion's ardent torch aflame.
Goodfellow lies with Queen of Mai,
the goddess smiles on merrybegot.
Fires of love join earth and sky,
reaching where men and gods cannot.
"Beltane, which falls halfway between the spring equinox and summer solstice, means literally "good fire." It is a purification festival associated with immersion in water, smoke baths for animals and with renewal in the home. It is also a fertility festival, dancing round the maypole, crowning the May Queen and well dressing are all part of the ancient Beltane traditions. Goodfellow or Robin Goodfellow, sometimes an alias of Robin Hood is an English woodland spirit of generosity and inclusiveness (robs from the rich, gives to the poor) He can be mischievous but is not bad. The Queen of Mai (old English spelling) comes from the practice of placing garlands of haw or mai flowers on the heads of available girls at Beltane.
Amid all the dancing and festivity there are many pre-marital and extra marital couplings and a merrybegot is a child resulting from one of these."