Sunday, April 26, 2009

Hex fires

Now the ancient fire festival of Valborg/Walpurgis, (or Beltaine) is beeing prepared. I have seen many bonfires beeing stacked. Sweden is very secularised but all the old heathen festivals are still celebrated by almost all, but concidered just fun tradition by the majority. This makes it easy to be a practising heathen.
We usually travel to the summer house, clean up the lawn and spend Valborg there. So also this year... I love it. It is the first time of the year we go there. And now there is all the spring flowers. Yesterday and today it has been real summer weather, too. We also go there because the biggest bonfire is usually on the beach next to the cottage and we don't want it to be burnt down. It's traditional to get drunk at Valborg and that is a dangerous combination with fire and fire crackers, that are used to scare evil spirits away.

The tradition tell that the Hexes would have a party this night and then return from BlÄkulla "Bluehill", where they had resided since Easter or Ostara. From there they brought back the vegetation spirit to the land so the summer would be bountyful. The May Queen brought it with her in the shape of a seed like Persephone in greek tradition. The fires could symbolise the guiding light of the torches of Hecate who was known to the romans as Diana Lucifera or Diana Lucina. (Interesting that we in Sweden at midwinter have the Lucia tradition.) Since the Hexes flew in the dark the May fires made it easier to find their way back home. Of course they didn't really fly they were just high. It has old shamanistic roots. Now we just get drunk. :-)

Diana Lucina/Hecate is not forgotten...

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