“You are led through your lifetime by the inner learning creature, the playful spiritual being that is your real self.
Don't turn away from possible futures before you're certain you don't have anything to learn from them.”

~ Richard Bach, Jonathan Livingston Seagull ~

Sunday, May 1, 2011

May ~ Mary's Month

May is traditionally the month set aside to honor the Blessed Mother 'Mary' as May is considered to be within the season of the beginning of new life. In Greek culture May was dedicated to Artemis, the goddess of fecundity. In Roman culture, May was dedicated to Flora, the goddess of bloom and of blossoms. The Romans celebrated ludi florales (floral games) at the end of April, asking the intercession of Flora for all that blooms.

At one time, the custom of having a Mary-month was independent from the month of May as such:

A very old tradition known as Tricesimum (Thirty-Day Devotion to Mary; also called Lady Month) was originally held from August 15th to September 14th. The exact dates or origin of this devotion are unknown, but the custom is still practiced here and there.

Mary Month, as yet unrelated to a specific period, has been known since baroque times (Sources: Johannes Nadasi; Theophilus Marianus, 1664; J. X. Jacolet, Mensis Marianus, 1724). This devotion was comprised of about thirty spiritual exercises in honor of Mary.

Since medieval times, we have had the combination between Mary and the month of May. Among the earliest witnesses are: Alphonsus X, "el sabio," King of Castille, Spain (1221-1284) with his "Cantigas de Santa Maria" ("Ben venna Mayo"). Here and elsewhere, both Mary and the month of May are greeted, welcomed and celebrated on specific days in May. Later, the whole month of May became the month of Mary. On each day of this month, special devotions to Mary were organized. This custom originated in Italy (Ferrara, 1784). It was spread widely during the nineteenth century, a century well-known for its monthly devotions (Heart of Jesus in June; Rosary in October).

Since Mary introduced herself to me several months ago and has since become my Patron Goddess, I have decided to honor her throughout the month of May. I have dedicated an altar to her and will periodically place and change out fresh flowers such as roses, Lily of the Valley and other spring flowering flowers. I have also written a ritual to honor Mary (my first ever and inspired by Mary herself) which I have posted on my 'Sabbats & Esbats Ritual Pages'. Feel free to change the ritual in any way that honors your path. I've also written a 'Rosary' that you can pray when the spirit moves you throughout the month and thought it would be a nice ending to the ritual I've written.

My hope is that you will use these as guides to honor the Goddess as you see her and your relationship with her. Blessings for a Happy May!

Plant in pretty blue pot is 'Lily of the Valley'.



Danica-Christine J/v Vuuren said...

Tereza, you and I share the same Matron Goddess -- Mary :) I call Her Maria-Hekate to integrate Mary and Hekate as my 2 Matrons. I simply adore your posts on Mary! There aren't many such posts dedicated to Mary as Goddess, so it's always a treasure to find. So thank you! Blessed be.

Anonymous said...

Happy Beltane and what a wonderful altar you have made. Thank you so much for sharing.

Love of the Goddess said...

Beltane Blessings to you! Lovely altar!

Terri said...

Beautiful post and your table set in honor of Mary is so lovely!

Christina said...

I was researching about "May is the Month for Mary "and found you. I was wondering if we may post on our museums website your photos of Mary's altars.
We ove what you are doing. God Bless, Christina