May 1st is a new quarter day in the Celtic calendar – Beltaine (say BYEL-tin-uh) – a fire festival to celebrate “the force that drives the green fuse through the flower,” to quote Welsh poet Dylan Thomas. It’s a time of brilliance and heat. It was on Betaine that St Patrick lit a fire on the Hill of Slane near Tara in defiance of the High King as a sign of the New Faith succeeding the old religion.
With such a strong history of Catholicism in Ireland, there is a trove of Holy Week traditions. Completing your “spring cleaning” by Good Friday is important preparation for the priest to visit and bless your home on Easter. The old ban on alcohol this day is still in force in some areas. No work with tools is to be done to avoid bloodshed. You should get your hair cut (to avoid headaches) and shop for new Easter clothes.
April is a good month to think on trees. Monday, April 22 is Earth Day and Friday, April 26 is Arbor Day. We’ll be celebrating trees and all of the good gifts they so generously give us with a variety of fun activities and special promotions that week. Branch out, turn over a new leaf and feel the sap rising at The Celtic Ranch!
The White Rabbit in “Alice and Wonderland” is heard to say, “I’m late, I’m late! For a very important date! No time to say ‘hello, goodbye,’ I’m late, I’m late, I’m late!” (Perhaps he’s from Ireland?)
There are liminal times and liminal places; thin places where the veil between this world and the other world can be crossed with ease. A Super Worm Moon Equinox is certainly such a time and standing stones are such places.