May Celebrations That Aren’t About Sex

  Hooray, hooray, the first of May
Outdoor fucking begins today!
             —old saw

So, Atheopaganism is a pleasure-positive path. That’s Atheopagan Principle #10: so long as others and the Sacred Earth are respected, we believe that joy and fun and feeling good are our birthrights as humans.

And that includes sex. Not for us, the furtive shame around sexuality that characterizes our Abrahamic brethren and sistren! We seek to be healthy in our boundaries, communications and behaviors, and happy in our enjoyment of our appetites. Sexuality—the ritual by which each of us is created—is Sacred, and it is a Good Thing.

And.

And that’s great, and all, but some of us are either asexual, don’t have a sex partner at the moment, and/or aren’t interested in a solo sexual celebration. May Day is coming and such folk don’t want their celebration centered on sexuality.

If that’s you, this post is for you.

So, how do we celebrate May Day  without the overtly sexual overtones that so often characterize such observances?

To start with, let’s visit themes.

In the context of the cycle of the year*, May Day is about adulthood, and that means not only sexuality but agency, responsibility, and freedom: freedom to make choices and freedom to enjoy pleasures.

So dancing around a May Pole is not out of the question. Toasting the season with May Wine, perhaps with a ripe strawberry in the glass, likewise. Choose—responsibly—pleasures to enjoy and share with your friends. Perhaps serve a multi-course dinner of sensuously delicious food?

Or cut loose and do something that feels freeing and wild! Dancing seems obvious, but what about renting a trampoline? Or going zip-lining?

Or river rafting, or skydiving?

Fires are traditionally associated with celebrating this time of year. Have a bonfire, and dance around that. Later, settle down around the fire, pass around tea or May wine or chocolate, and share between yourselves what freedom means to you–what makes you feel like an adult, and what you are working to create and achieve this year.

You’re a grown-up, with all the rights and privileges pertinent thereto. You have choices, so make them. Choose, for that one day, things that feel good and right to you, and share them with your community.

At a broader level, May Day has historically been celebrated as the International Day of the Worker. So another way of living in your power as an adult is to work to advance the causes of those who struggle and are oppressed. Because power is responsibility.

Celebrate being alive and living in your power as an adult. Feel the green blessing of the unfolding year, the beauty of Life returned to full flower, and know that you are yourself a part of that flowering.

Happy May Day!

 


* As I celebrate it, I should say. Atheopagans vary widely in how they celebrate the Wheel of the Year.

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Happy High Spring!

The vernal equinox is upon us, as of 2:58 pm PDT today! The days will be longer than the nights, and we will steadily grow in daytime through to the summer solstice on June 20.

Unless you are in the Southern Hemisphere, of course, in which case, happy Autumn!

A joyous holiday to all of you! For tips on how to celebrate, visit this post from last year. May your celebration of Spring be happy, silly, and childlike!

Shown: Ukrainian pysanky eggs, a tradition for spring going back thousands of years.

Shadow and Light

The equinox, which I name High Spring, is upon us.

To me, this is a happy time of innocence and play. A time for bright colors and candy and finally—finally—having light in the evenings and a sun warm enough to feel on my skin.

But today, I am so sad. So disturbed.

The white supremacist murder sprees at two mosques in New Zealand are simply sickening. That we have people so damaged, so filled with hatred in this world just breaks my heart.

Half light, half darkness. That’s the equinox.

And the world itself, it seems.

The extraordinary poet W.S. Merwyn died yesterday as well, after a long and productive life. In perhaps his most famous poem, “Thanks”, he reminds us of this, of the gratitude and the horror, better than ever I could.

Listen
with the night falling we are saying thank you
we are stopping on the bridges to bow from the railings
we are running out of the glass rooms
with our mouths full of food to look at the sky
and say thank you
we are standing by the water thanking it
standing by the windows looking out

in our directions

 

back from a series of hospitals back from a mugging
after funerals we are saying thank you
after the news of the dead

whether or not we knew them we are saying thank you

 

over telephones we are saying thank you
in doorways and in the backs of cars and in elevators
remembering wars and the police at the door
and the beatings on stairs we are saying thank you
in the banks we are saying thank you
in the faces of the officials and the rich
and of all who will never change

we go on saying thank you thank you

 

with the animals dying around us
taking our feelings we are saying thank you
with the forests falling faster than the minutes
of our lives we are saying thank you
with the words going out like cells of a brain
with the cities growing over us
we are saying thank you faster and faster
with nobody listening we are saying thank you
thank you we are saying and waving

dark though it is

 

 

And so I wish you the joy of the season, with the acknowledgement that the darkness comes, as well.

We sit, balanced on the knife edge of the year, before the long fall into light.