...ditos, mitos & ritos...

sábado, 18 de abril de 2009

1º De MAIO _ As Celebrações


BELTANE
(Hemisfério Norte: 1º de Maio/Hemisfério Sul: 31 de Outubro)


(Beltane Fire Festival in Edinburgh)

Também conhecido como Dia 1º de Maio, Dia da Cruz, Rudemas e Walpurgisnacht, o "Sabbat"Beltane é derivado do antigo Festival Druida do Fogo, que celebrava a união da Deusa ao seu consorte o Deus, sendo também um festival de fertilidade. Nos parâmetros da "Religião Antiga/Ancestral", a palavra "fertilidade" significa o desejo de produzir mais, nos campos e quintas  e não a actividade erótica por si só.

Beltane celebra também o retorno do sol (ou Deus Sol), e é um dos poucos festivais pagãos que sobreviveu da época pré-cristã até hoje e, em sua maior parte, na forma original, conforme se festejava essencialmente nas regiões de cultura celta como a Escócia e a Irlanda.

Numa vertente ligada às tradições da civilização Romana, esta celebração relaciona-se ainda com a Floralia, um antigo festival romano dedicado a Flora, a deusa sagrada das flores. Em tempos mais antigos, esse festival era dedicado a Plutão, o senhor romano do Submundo, correspondente do deus Hades da mitologia grega.

O primeiro dia de Maio era também aquele em que os antigos romanos queimavam olíbano e selo-de-salomão e penduravam guirlandas de flores diante dos seus altares em honra dos espíritos guardiães que guardavam e protegiam as suas famílias e as suas casas.

No dia de Beltane o sol está astrologicamente no signo de Tauros, o Touro, que marca a "morte" do Inverno, o "nascimento" da Primavera e o começo da estação do plantio. Beltane inicia-se acendendo-se, segundo a tradição antiga _ e a neo-pagã _ as fogueiras de Beltane ao nascer da lua na véspera de 1 de Maio para iluminar o caminho para o Verão. Realiza-se o ritual do Sabbat em honra da Deusa e do Deus, seguido da celebração da Natureza, que consiste de banquetes, antigos jogos pagãos, leitura de poesias e canto de canções sagradas. São realizadas várias oferendas aos espíritos elementais (da Natureza), e ainda hoje os membros do coven neo-pagão dançam de maneira bem alegre, no sentido destrógiro, em torno do Mastro (símbolo fálico da fertilidade). Entrelaçam ainda várias fitas coloridas e brilhantes para simbolizar a união do masculino com o feminino e para celebrar o grande poder fertilizador do Deus. A alegria e o divertimento costumam estender-se até às primeiras horas da manhã, e, ao amanhecer do dia 1, o orvalho da manhã é recolhido das flores e da relva para ser usado em poções místicas de boa sorte.Os alimentos pagãos tradicionais de Beltane são frutas vermelhas (como cerejas e morangos), saladas de ervas, ponche de vinho rosado ou tinto e bolos redondos de aveia ou cevada, conhecidos como bolos de Beltane. Na época dos antigos druidas, os bolos de Beltane eram divididos em porções iguais, retirados em lotes e consumidos como parte do rito do Sabbat. Antes da cerimónia, uma porção do bolo era escurecida com carvão, e o infeliz que a retirava era chamado "bruxo de Beltane", e, segundo versões lendárias mais cruentas, tornar-se-ia a vítima sacrificial a ser atirada na fogueira ardente; claro que o cordeiro sacrificial é o actual visado desta celebração, e será o repasto que se segue, repartido por todos entre os tantos festejos.

Nas Terras Altas da Escócia, os bolos de Beltane são usados para adivinhação, sendo atirados pedaços deles na fogueira como oferenda aos espíritos e deidades protectores.

Incensos: olíbano, lilás e rosa.

Cores das velas: verde escuro.
Pedras preciosas sagradas: esmeralda, cornalina laranja, safira, quartzo rosa.

Ervas ritualísticas tradicionais: amêndoa, angélica, freixo, campainha, cinco-folhas, margarida, olíbano, espinheiro, hera, lilás, malmequer, barba-de-bode, prímula, rosas, raiz satyrion, aspérula e primaveras amarelas. (incírculosagrado-adapt.)
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May Day, or Beltane


May Day, or Beltane (Bel·tane) is an ancient Celtic festival at the beginning of May… There is much more behind it (Belltaine) (Bealltainn) marks the beginning of the summer season and traditionally heralded the start the grazing of cattle and sheep on the fresh grass in the hill pastures; from a long, dark winter spent mostly indoors, the beginning of summer marked the start of outdoor activities, looking after sheep that roamed the hills, herding and milking the cows, making butter and cheeses and so on.

BELLTAINE or 'May day' i.e. bil-tene, i.e. lucky fire, i.e. two fires. The Druids would drive their cattle between the two fires (as a safeguard) against the diseases. Additionally, May Day marks the passage from the giamos ('dark half' of the year to the samos ('light half' of the year. It can be considered of equal importance to Samhainn. The root meaning of its name from Old Celtic is 'fire of Belos (the Bright)'. Belos or Belenos, a God of solar healing, associated with cattle.

The day was marked by a variety of festivities such as the great procession to the hills, the lighting of the bonfires (which were used to ritually cleanse and protect the livestock and the people), decorating the home with flowers and ‘May bushes’, cooking special meals and observing particular superstitions and ceremonies. Since dairy produce was so vital to pastoral economies like Scotland and Ireland – especially in the months leading up to the harvest - the festivities were generally aimed at protecting and ensuring a plentiful supply of milk, butter and cheese for the coming year. Bealltainn was also accompanied by the renewal of rents between tenants and landlords, and the payment of tithes, along with fairs to secure work.

Many of the rites were also concerned with the reinforcing and redefining of boundaries – either within the physical space of the house and the farmland (such as the doorways, windows, and then field boundaries). These boundaries, liminal spaces of neither one place or another, were considered to be under particular threat by both physical (intruders or invaders) and supernatural forces that were believed to be at large on the eve of Bealltainn itself, and without the proper protection witches or evil spirits could enter and have away with the prosperity and produce of the household.

Unlike today, the failure of the crops or milk supply in any community would have had a very serious outcome indeed; the failure of the crops, disease of livestock or failure of the milk to come would have been devastating either in combination or on their own. Famine was a very real threat and the surviving lore associated with everyday activities such as milking, churning butter and making cheese, the making of the bannocks and the traditional preparation of the Bealltainn feast of a freshly killed male lamb “without spot or blemish” is testament to this.

Lore has it that the first fire of Bealltainn was lit at Uisnech, the draoi (druid) stronghold near Tara. Uisnech is said to be a place that represents the forces of the Land (Chthonic forces, the Fomoire, the natural forces we live with).

Within the Welsh Mabinogi is lore about a flower-maiden, Blodeuwedd, being created with three kinds of flowers, to later marry Lleu, the Maponos figure within the myth. This myth reasserts the tribal energies over the dark (giamos) energies of nature, thus escaping the cold of winter. This story is mirrored, although more developed, in the tale of 'Culhwch ac Olwen', where Olwen acts in the same role as Blodeuwedd. Her father, the Hawthorn Giant restricts her marriage and she has to escape it, once again representing the change of seasons. An Irish (Gaelic) equivalent story is the tale of Diarmaid and Grainne, including the divine influence of Aonghus Mac Og.

In the highlands of Scotland, the festival of Bealltainn primarily marked a sense of renewal, with fire, the rebuilding of fortifications and everyone returning to outdoor life, after winter. With great risk to the village, all the hearth fires were extinguished with the intent of relighting them from a sacred flame. This flame came from a specially kindled fire called a teine-èiginn (need-fire). It was build by a sacred number of men (nine, twenty-seven or eighty-one, a power of three), and formed two great bonfires side by side. The hearth fires were then relit from this need-fire and then the cattle that had spent winter inside were driven between the bonfires, to purify them, to cleanse them, to protect them from disease and the chthonic powers of darkness.

May Day was when the summer grazing started ('shielings', àiridhean) and their cattle are taken to the hill with sheep and goats. Women and children lived up with them, tending to herding, and dairy production. Men would visit now and again, sing songs and recite stories. The youths would court the girls. A lamb was killed as a sacrifice at this time, to later just be part of a meal. It should be noted that this practice had symbolic meaning behind it also, during the dark months (giamos energies) the livestock were kept close to home so the natural land spirits could re-grow the natural grazing areas, and keep the cattle away from their harm. During the warming light months (samos energies) the cattle were pushed away from the homesteads, to go into the outer grazing land, so that they could feed and be out of the way of the cultivation of crops.

Bealltainn marks a dangerous liminal time, like Samhainn, and 'An Saodhachadh.' There were (are) numerous ceremonies used to reinforce the boundaries between the natural and the spirit (Other) world. Households were protected from damage from beings from the Otherworld by displaying rowan (mountain-ash) branches upon the house, after carrying them three times around the Bealltainn fires. These branches were left upon the house until the next Bealltainn. Green plant life was brought into the house, as a reassertion of the forces of life, filling the house and householders with the strength of the season of Spring. The greenery was placed in doorways and windows (liminal spaces) as protective charms.






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