• Caitlin Keely Gemmell

The Veil Thins

Tomorrow is Beltane, or May Day. It's one of my favorite days in the entire year - a magical day in which the veil between the worlds is lifted and fairies can be seen. One year, when I was back home in the New Forest, I gathered May blossoms with my neighbor/dear friend. She taught me and my mother how to make May Wine. I still remember the magic of foraging for hawthorn blossoms (May blossoms) and watching as the mix of ingredients slowly became the best wine I have ever tasted. That batch of May wine accompanied us on many midnight esbats. We soon learned a little bit goes a long way. We always had plenty to drink, and plenty to pour in libation.


These days, I don't have esbats with witchy friends in the woods, but I do still celebrate Beltane. Hawthorn doesn't grow around here, so I can't make a new batch of May wine, but the lilacs will be in full bloom soon, so perhaps I can try my hand at making lilac cordial.


My celebrations tend to be a lot quieter these days, but they're as full of magic as ever. I'll awaken early to collect morning dew, and then will come in to write my morning pages while I drink that first heavenly cup of tea. My son will help me gather flowers, which we'll twist into a wreath for the door. There will be a feast made with wild edibles. Violet leaves and flowers, garlic mustard, dandelion greens, wild onions, lungwort flowers, maybe even the first of the wood sorrel if we're lucky.


After our feast, we'll think of our wish ribbons (which traveled all the way to Glastonbury to be hung on the wishing tree at Stonehenge on Beltane for the Stonehenge Clootie Project) and add our magic to the group cauldron.


It will be a simple way of celebrating the start of summer. And perhaps, if we are quiet enough, we will spot a fairy or two.







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