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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Beltane in England
Beltane's Flower: In Appreciation of Ian Anderson's 'Cup of Wonder'

If the modern Beltane has an anthem, it must surely be Ian (“Jethro Tull”) Anderson's Cup of Wonder.

When I first heard the song in 1977, it came as something of a revelation, managing (in what is surely the cultural and aesthetic touchstone of the New Paganisms) to sound both ancient and modern simultaneously. Of course, at the time we took it entirely for granted. Youthful arrogance has a beauty all its own.

If you haven't heard Cup of Wonder before, it's well worth a listen. If—like me—you haven't heard it recently, let me recommend a revisit. While very much of its own time, Anderson's sight remains true, his vision crisp, and his truth as deep as it ever was.

Wishing you joy of Beltane and a Merry May.


Cup of Wonder


May I make my fond excuses for the lateness of the hour,

but we accept your invitation, and would bring you Beltane's flower;

for the May Day is the great day, sung along the old straight track,

and those who ancient lines did "ley" will heed the song that calls them back:


Pass the cup, and pass the Lady,

pass the plate to all who hunger;

pass the wit of ancient wisdom,

pass the Cup of Crimson Wonder.


Last modified on

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Bring on the Blackthorn!

This wild and weird winter. It has been coldier and snowier than usual in Ireland. And what snow we got was POWDER, instead of the wet stuff that automatically turns our lane into an ice rink. Normally, winter is - should be, OUGHT to be - a time of going within and hibernation. But not the winter of 2018! This first quarter has rocketed. It has jetted through time zones and international datelines.

That's a metaphor actually. I have strayed no further than county Mayo at March New Moon. It's just been very, very busy.

Last modified on

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Beltane - Yesterday and Today

I'm looking forward to Beltane this year. It's one of the more fun public rituals that I participate in with my local Pagan Community and it's usually outside, which really sits well with my ritual sensibilities. I’ve celebrated Beltane for as long as I can remember, although I didn’t always know it by that name growing up. I have extremely fond childhood memories of May Day celebrations in south east London and Kent. Most of the celebrations were at my school (St. Mary Magdalene C of E) and on the church grounds themselves right on the banks of the River Thames.

Beltane celebrations happening on Church grounds weren’t particularly unique experiences. I went to lots of different May Day events at churches.  There was often a church fete with scones and knitted things and lots of elderly ladies that all sounded just like every Monty Python Character you can conjure up. What was special about these gatherings is that it felt like we were all engaging with something that was "always just done".  I even have pictures of my grandmother as a young girl in the 1930s dressed as the May Queen.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Gwion Raven
    Gwion Raven says #
    You know Annika, I think some of the very best rituals involve nothing more than gathering with beloveds around a fire, or for a p
  • Annika Mongan
    Annika Mongan says #
    I've always celebrated Beltane growing up in a Germany - well, mostly because it's my birthday - but we didn't have maypoles. Ever

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