An Extraordinary Time » How We Got to Where We Are and How We Are Shaping Our Future

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May Day

Dancing around a May Pole is an ancient Celtic tradition going back thousands of years. Signifying fertility and the beginning of spring, participants dress in white and adorn themselves with fresh flowers. Colorful ribbons attached to its top, representing the female, wind down into hundreds of hands. As they dance, the ribbons become twisted and the circle becomes smaller bringing the community together.  A rising pitched chant emerges as participants touch the pole, in a grande energizing finale. By the Middle Ages all English villages had a Maypole.

Put on by the Fremont Arts Council, this event has been celebrated in Seattle for over 15 years. For more information visit



Julia Wharton, 41, Seattle (right)

It’s the May Day celebration.  A celebration of love and happiness, springtime and we all get together as a community of Seattle and we weave beautiful ribbons on the May pole.

People are lying down, like it was a psychedelic experience. (laugh)  Its just fun to see all the ribbons around you.  We’re just resting from our labors.  We’re being silly elves.

It’s a very beautiful thing to celebrate the season changing.

The green man, Josh Rosenstein, 30, (back, center) lives in his truck. (“I sold my house on Friday”).  

The sweetest moment of the ritual was when we stopped participating in the dance around the May pole weaving together the colorful ribbons of this phallic object and instead sprawled on our backs right underneath the growing canopy of multi-hued ribbons with sun filtering down through it.  And she lay on my arms.  She was indeed a sweet, sweet maiden.  Very adorable and young.  She lay against my arm with her hair soft on my shoulder and we watched the Maypole weave in front of our eyes. And other people came and lay with us.  Then the ritual concluded.

I work with ritual both in my personal life and somewhat…  That’s the direction I’m heading in next to learn more about religion ….. It’s a lovely launching ceremony on the eve of my freedom from responsibilities of property ownership to I have 3 more weeks before I’m done with my job as a journalist.

I’m kind of setting off into the yonder to live kind of a less mainstream, urban, office-oriented existence and so this May Day ritual coming on the dawn of that transition is yet another beautiful transitioning ritual that adds meaning to this point in my life.

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