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Be present Mother of Flowers, honored with shows and plays…

…it came to me that this deity is no prig: the gifts of the goddess frame our pleasures*

Julie LeBrun as Flora by Elizabeth Louise Vigee LeBrun (1799)

Our family celebrates the Wheel of the Year for its seasonality, rather than the Wiccan mythological cycle of the the Goddess and the Oak and Holly Kings or the historical Pagan festivals of any particular culture. As such, our Spring Cross-quarter day is a celebration of Spring itself–Of new beginnings, of a last rest and celebration before the toil of summer, of April showers and May flowers. For us, particularly with children, a more “traditional” contemporary Beltane doesn’t always *quite* make sense, and last year we ended up going the more secular route of celebrating May Day. This year, we are in the process of re-making a more kid-friendly Floralia.

If you’ve never heard of it, Floralia is a bit of the Roman counterpart of Beltane–a celebration of Springtime and fertility, and historically, quite naughty too! But the pleasures of ancient Rome are a bit different than the pleasures of family life by the Bay…

Today, the plan is to celebrate in full abandon. We’ve even given up our normal school time, and we made a huge kitchen mess with French toast, our favorite breakfast. Next up is a trek to the beach, and around the neighborhood, to go begging for roses (which are in riotous bloom right now) to make rose garlands to dry for the summer (they make excellent offerings to Neptune for the upcoming hurricane season) and to collect some water to make ritual salt. This afternoon, we are planning cupcakes and tea in full dress-up with some out-loud reading and diva-tization (Chickadee’s new word) and making fried honeycakes (recipe below), and after dinner, we will likely wander our way back out to the beach to share a treat with Nature and, undoubtedly, Chickadee will want to try out her new “water bending” skills (we recently watched the entire Avatar series over the course of three weeks, and she’s obsessed with doing “Tai-chi” in the surf). And once the kids go to bed, mom and dad will engage in the most pleasurable act parents can engage in…falling unconscious until the morning (what, did you think I was going to say something naughty? Puh-leeze! Lets be realistic, after all that, I want some chocolate and 8 hours of shut-eye!!)

Fried Honeycakes
from Yorin, via Pagan Forum

1/2 cup sweet white wine
2 tablespoons sugar
1 egg
1 cup honey
2/3 cup flour
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
Oil for frying
1/8 teaspoon salt

Beat the wine & egg in a medium bowl. Combine the flour, cinnamon, salt & sugar in a small bowl. Stir into the egg mixture. Let stand 30 minutes. Combine the honey & nutmeg in a small bowl.

Heat 1/2-inch of the oil in a frying pan until hot, but not smoking. Drop the batter into the oil 1 tablespoon at a time; fry until golden brown. Drain on paper towels. Dip into the honey.

Yield: 1 1/2 Dozen.

Perhaps you think my rule is confined to dainty wreaths. My divinity touches the fields, too. If crops flower well, the threshing-floor churns wealth; if the vines flower well, Bacchus flows; if the olives flower well, the year shimmers and the season fills with bursting fruit. Once their bloom is damages, vetches and beans die, your lentils die, too, alien Nile. Wines also bloom, carefully stored in great cellars, and film seals the surface of the vats. Honey is my gift. I call winged honey-makers [bees] to violets, clover and greying thyme. We do the same thing also, when in youthful years our spirits riot and the body glows.*

…may you and your family have many Merry Merry May Blessings!

*quotes from Ovid, via theoi.com

(follow the link for more Beltane discussions, via The Witches Circle)