disjoint from Christianity is emphasised by the fact that the Gods
associated with Beltane are either Green Men, or semi-human goat or
deer Gods, like Pan. This image especially has been used to represent
the Christian devil. On the other hand, many churches feature Green Men
discretely carved into the rafters. I think in a rural community the
church recognised that fertility was still needed on the farm.
Beltane is the third of the
Spring festivals and is the one most
closely connected with fertility and especially the male aspects of
that. It's a traditional fire festival in the middle of an earth
Along with the Morris Dancing and Punch and Judy, May-poles are another
important aspect of this festival. They work on many levels, firstly in
that they have alternating young men and women dancing together.
Secondly on a symbolic level this is the intermingling of male and
female energies to create new life. Finally, it is also a phallic
symbol. Male energy is quick and instinctive, rising sharply before
dying off. When it meets the constant, nurturing female energy then
life is created.
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