You are in a circle. Protection from the Goddess or various spirits is invoked. The elements of earth, fire, air, and water are called in. You begin to dance slowly around the circle, then faster. There is chanting. The pace increases; the group is “raising energy”. Everyone is prepared for whatever ritual will be performed, whether to call for protection, healing, world peace, a special favor, etc.
— EXCERPT FROM “WITCHCRAFT, WICCA AND NEOPAGANISM” BY MARCIA MONTENEGRO
The origin of the May Day as a day for celebration dates back to the days before the Birth of Christ and like many ancient festivals it has a Pagan connection. By the Middle Ages, Maypoles were common in every village in England. Much merrymaking and rejoicing would accompany the Maypole as villagers brought it in from the woods.
“May Queen” Nicole Schmidt from Woodinville, WA dances around the Maypole as she dances with John Jensen from Kenmore, WA who was chosen as the Green Man. I’ve never done anything like it before” says Jensen who was chosen by other men for his pelvic thrusting and dancing. Schmidt, who chose Jensen out of around 35 other “single and available” males had no idea he was the Green Man. “Its a thrill to be chosen as May Queen” says Schmidt who was in the running last year but wasn’t chosen.
After the queen is wrapped in a white cape the crowd of around a hundred Pagans, artists and friends gather in a big circle, join hands and dance around the May Day pole. As the ribbons become twisted the circle becomes smaller “bringing the community together”. Put on by the Fremont Arts Council, this event, has been celebrated in seattle for about 15 years. It is also celebrated in other places in the city and country.
“This energy which serves to get people together is a really great thing.” says Peter Toms. “Everybody’s thinking about fertility.”
“It’s building community through art.”