A Changing Landscape
The Myth and Magic of Spring
All the promises of a new season can be tangibly felt right now as each day the sun gets warmer, the days get longer and the air takes on the scent of freshly turned soil, green shoots and soft rains. Spring is a time of awakening, a season of regeneration and renewal as all around us the natural world is sweet and virgin again, like a young maiden.
On the Celtic Wheel of the Year, May 1 or ‘Beltane’, marked the last of three fertility festivals and ushered in the light half of the year. Similar to Samhain or Halloween, it's a time when the ‘veils between the worlds’ are thin and spirits from our world and the Otherworld can freely intermingle. The months of May through June especially are when faeries or ‘fey folk’ are said to return from their winter respite, carefree and full of mischief. Perhaps you've spotted them cavorting deep in the forest among the trillium or dancing on the spring breezes. And, if you listen amidst the jubilant song of the cardinals and robins, you may even hear the silvery tinkle of the bells on the Faery Queen’s white horse as she rides out each evening ...
As our own gardens re-awaken, there are many magical creatures raising their energy, right along with the birds and animals now happily mating, building nests and birthing their young. The mythical bird-creature known as the Phoenix is a symbol of regeneration that resonates with the natural magic all around us right now. Legend says that the Phoenix earned its immortality by refusing to eat from the forbidden tree in the Garden of Eden. The price it paid though is every 500 years it must build a nest of herbs and spices, rest upon it, then set itself on fire. When the fire dies down, an egg will be found among the ashes from which the Phoenix then emerges, resurrected and born anew.
Ancient peoples understood this resurrection concept well and worked in all sorts of ways with it. They also intuitively understood something mysteriously referred to as ‘dragon paths’, or, what we are more familiar with today as ‘ley lines’, lines of energy that carry an altered form of the earth’s magnetic field. It is believed these lines criss-cross the entire planet creating a sort of net or matrix. Ley lines were termed ‘Dragon Lines’ by the Chinese many centuries ago and are actually the roots of their practice of feng-shui, a system used to guide the arrangement and orientation of things in relation to the flow of ‘qi’ (energy) within the landscape.
Some claim that birds, fish and animals use ley lines as a sort of compass, helping them find direction back to breeding grounds in summer and warmer climates during winter months. Ley lines have also been said to mark vast prehistoric trade routes or straight tracks connecting prehistoric monuments and significant features in the landscape. This is of particularly note in the British Isles where several lines are well documented such as the St. Michael Line that runs from Land’s End in Cornwall to the Norfolk coast.
Where two or more dragon lines cross it is called a ‘node’ and produces a vortex of energy that can be tangibly felt. Several of these nodes have been located along the St. Michael Line including Glastonbury Tor and Avebury where megalithic stone circles were built. Today crop circles tend to mysteriously appear and concentrate around these sites and it is believed that Druid priests used these powerful nodes to ritually ‘summon the dragons’ back from their winter slumber deep beneath the earth, petitioning them to once more spread their energy and vitality throughout the land.
Also much revered in Celtic tradition was the Druid goddess of fertility, Blodeuwedd, the first of a long line of ‘Flower Women’ whose face and hair were depicted as being made of spring flowers. The Celts always knew the path of a Flower Woman by the patches of white clover that bloomed in her wake as she walked the land. To them Blodeuwedd was the goddess not only of fertility but also of magic, innocence, and the early dawn.
Of course, all manner of flowers and new greenery are synonymous with springtime and have been since time immemorial. While the Phoenix is the only creature known to put itself through trial-by-fire for the sake of longevity, perhaps what we are really hearing in its mythic tale is the echo of our own human longing to be able to wipe the slate clean and re-create our world anew, like the resurrection we witness each spring. I think this is truly what makes it such a magical time.
Similar to the dragon energy that slumbers beneath the earth, we too emerge each winter and ‘hatch’ like the Phoenix from its fiery egg. Seeing Nature’s first green blush, fresh and innocent as the dawn, we recognize energetically the time is ripe for the growth of new projects, new ideas and all manner of wonderful things we have been gestating patiently. Now, by practicing a little ‘sympathetic magic’ and harnessing the natural rhythms already present in the environment, it is easy to believe we can manifest whatever it is we desire as we dance like the faeries among the flowers in anticipation of a fruitful summer ahead.
Be sure to check out my full summer workshop schedule, especially my Garden Prayer Stick and special Watercolour Sketching Workshops that will let you 'play' and create like the faerys. Don't forget to preregister by emailing me to reserve your spots!
May you enjoy the dance!
Artist, Instructor & Healing Arts Practitioner
Dancing Moon Designs
Illuminating the Creative Spirit through
the Symbol of the Circle ...