Tag Archives: May Day

Nake Up

May Day is drawing near, so you won’t be a bit surprised to hear that I’m thinking about nakedness.  After all, I loves me a good May Day romp through the woods, what with them phalluses (uh … phalli?) and all.

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Naked is good.

Interestingly, naked isn’t just about not having any clothes on.  One of my favorite occult resources, Etymonline, has this to say about the origins of the word:

naked (adj.)  Old English nacod “nude, bare; empty,”

In the rush to May Day, it’s easy to overlook that “empty” aspect of naked.

I can take all my clothes off, but if I’m not in a receptive state — if I’m not empty — I’m not truly naked.

Okay, that sounded waaay dirty.

Let me try it another way.  For purposes of interacting with the Otherworld, if I’m not in a state of open receptivity, holding myself free of expectations, the quality of my connection to the unknown is going to be poor to none.

Which adds a new layer to the concept of “naked in your rites.”   For me, I find the perfect blend of nakedness to be:

  • having no clothes on (and thus no adjusting, fidgeting, stepping on hems or setting my garmets on fire, with that added pinch of naughtiness that makes my subconscious sit up and beg),
  • having my hair bound up (hair also being flammable, and mine being so very long a fair amount of wrangling is required to keep it out of the flame),
  • being a tabula rasa.  A blank slate.  Not that I don’t know what I mean to accomplish in ritual, but that I try to let the experience speak for itself.

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Tabula Rasa

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And what kind of witch would I be if I wasn’t curious enough to keep reading through *all* the entries Etymonline had for naked? As a result, I found this gem:

nake (v.) “to make naked,”

A wonderful new word to wield around the coffee shop.  Not to mention, the pith of a catchy post title, to lure other curious witches in for a visit!

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Bringing in the May

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The air is thick with smoke. Wisps of frankincense and benzoin, rose and vervain float by, and hands clasped, we follow. Cross right over left, to step to the right. The smoke swirls. Our steps quicken, and become a dance.

Ring around the Magister.

He sits at the center, decked in flowers and fresh cut greenery. Priapic wand in hand, he is the hub to our spokes. At his feet, a cauldron of wheat: the promise of crops we’ve sown.

The power builds, colored by the fragrant smoke. Well-watered with our sweat. Spiced with our merriment. We sing and chant, faster and faster, until we’re breathless. Now all there’s time for is “Horn rise! Crops grow!” The pressure builds to a cusp, and then a bit more. As we pass, we each take the garland from our head and thread it over the May Pole. And the Magister releases the energy of our dance — out and down — into the cauldron of grain.

The rite is worked; the tide turned.

Out and down we flow, into the soft night. Silent at first, still entranced, but soon coming back to earth. We pick up the threads of our separate lives. We laugh and talk and eat, our feast washed down with woodruff-infused mead.

We turn to home. For those who will it, to the arms of our sweethearts.

Lucky sweethearts, who help us bring in our May.

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