This weekend we have three events that seem to run into each other. On April 29, 2018, you can enjoy the Pink Moon, The next night is Hexennacht (Walpurgis Night), followed the next day with May Day / Beltane. Let's take them one at a time.
Pink Moon -- The Pink Moon in April is also know in pagan circles as the Wind Moon. Both names allude to the changes in nature that take place at this time of year. The Pink Moon reminds us the budding plants, and around here of the pink, flowering trees. The name, the Wind Moon reminds us of the breezes of April that stir up seeds and pollen from newly budding plants. With regrowth everywhere you look, it's only natural to focus on new and exciting things coming your way, too. The Pink Moon is a good time for spell working for new beginnings, just like spring is a new beginning.
Hexennacht (Walpurgis Night)-- Walpurgis Night is the christian name given to what was originally Hexennacht or literally "Witches' Night". In Northern European countries, and especially Germany, it was believed to be the night of a witches' meeting on the Brocken, the highest peak in the Harz Mountains, a range of wooded hills in central Germany between the Weser and Elbe rivers. I prefer the old name, Hexennacht, and use the night to celebrate being pagan.
May Day -- I still remember how I celebrated May Day in the 1950s as a young boy. My younger brothers and I would weave small baskets out of construction paper, fill them with wild flowers from the pasture behind our house in Colorado, and place them on the porches of the homes of old ladies in the neighborhood, knock on their doors, and then run like the wind. May Day, again, is a Northern European celebration of Spring. It is well known for the May Pole which may be a remnant of the Germanic reverence for sacred trees, as there is evidence for various sacred trees and wooden pillars that were venerated by the pagans across much of Germanic Europe, including Thor's Oak and the Irminsul. It is also known that, in Norse paganism, cosmological views held that the universe was a world tree, known as Yggdrasil. (Here is the first of a series of my blog posts on Norse Cosmology) May Day leads up to the Beltane celebration.
Beltane is the anglicized name for the Gaelic May Day festival usually held on 1 May, or about halfway between the spring equinox and the summer solstice. It is one of the two most important Gaelic pagan festivals of the year, the other being Samhain. Beltane marked the beginning of the pastoral summer season when livestock were driven out to the summer pastures. Rituals were held at that time to protect them from harm, both natural and supernatural, and this mainly involved the "symbolic use of fire". There were also rituals to protect crops, dairy products and people, and to encourage growth. Thus you might think of it as a fertility festival which again makes it a great time to initiate new projects.
If nothing else this weekend with the Pink Moon, Hexennacht, May Day and Beltane are wonderful times to celebrate the life of a pagan.
I'm Dr. Dave, a modern druid. I lived and worked in Bolivia and Peru for over six years, where I and was trained by Andean Shamans, and today practice modern druidism and contemporary shamanism.