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Beltane......or the May Day bank holiday

Beltane, May 1st 2017.



This coming weekend is the May Day bank holiday in the  UK and we are going off on one of our camping trips, to a new place we’ve never been that only caters for "off grid” campers. No generators, no electrical hook-ups and no fancy shower blocks, just composting toilets. Sheila and I like places like this where we can enjoy a weekend without modern distractions and where we can spend the evenings sitting around a campfire…..maybe for warmth but certainly for atmosphere. 


This got me thinking as this weekend marks the ancient festival of Beltane, a festival which is especially marked by the lighting of a fire.


So what is Beltane?


 It marks the beginning of the Summer, a time when cattle would be driven out into the summer pastures. Rituals would be performed to protect the cattle, crops and the family, especially to encourage growth. A special bonfire would be lit and the people and cattle would walk around the fire to invoke the protective powers of the Beltane fire. All of the hearth fires in the village or on the farm would be doused and then re-lit with burning wood from the Beltane fire. Feasting was carried out at these gatherings and some of the food and drink would be offered to the appropriate Gods. 

The doors and windows of the homes, the cattle barns and indeed the cattle themselves would be decorated with yellow may flowers to signify the fire. At one time it was believed that bathing in the Beltane dew would help maintain youthfulness.


The Beltane celebrations begin at sundown on the 30th April in the Northern Hemisphere and at sundown on November 1st in the Southern Hemisphere.

Along with Samhain, Imbolc and Lughnasadh it is one of the four Gaelic seasonal festivals and it is mentioned in some of the earliest Irish Literature being associated with some important events in Irish mythology.


Beltane is a solar cross-quarter festival, it is the mid-point in the Suns journey between the spring equinox and the summer solstice…..perfectly poised at the cusp of spring and summer. We see the Earth coming to life again, the trees are greening, blossom is flowering and there is a strong sense of the good to come. Pagans and Neo-Pagans believe that as the Power of the Sun strengthens and grows that the God has come of age and continues his courtship of the Goddess.

Beltane or May Day is directly across the wheel of the year from Samhain and marks a gate between the worlds, opening the way for spirits to gain embodiment in new life, as lambs or calves or other animal offspring.


The fire is a major feature of this festival, indeed in ancient times in Celtic lands the Druids would have lit two great fires between which the cattle would be driven and the people would walk. This ceremony would invoke purification, passion, fertility and blessings. Modern Wiccans use this time of year to work their magick for fertility, creative expression, abundance, success and well-being. 


Modern Beltane rituals take much from tradition. Many communities celebrate by dancing around a Maypole, but did you know that originally the tree trunk which makes up the Maypole with its tip buried in the Earth symbolises the Male God fertilising the Female Mother Earth. The dancing celebrates this union by decorating the Maypole with ribbons.

Other rituals don’t require a community but can be celebrated individually. One such ritual is to decorate the doors and windows of a house with May Boughs all the while invoking protection and blessings. In some parts of North America the homeowners decorate a May Bush, usually a Rowan or Hawthorn which they decorate with ribbons, flowers and decorated egg shells.


Whatever way you choose to celebrate Beltane do so with joy for this is really a time of celebration and happiness. The dark winter is over and the hard work on the land over the summer has yet to begin, rejoice in all of life’s pleasures……


Dance, Feast, Make Merry and above all celebrate love. All of these acts are nurturing to Mother Earth who in her turn is nurturing to us.



Have a brilliant Beltane!



Kevin, The Crystal Guy





©The Crystal Guy, London Fossils & Crystals 2017

Created On  27 Apr 2017 15:26  -  Permalink
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Time to get out and about

We have had some lovely weather lately in Central London, actually all over the UK, so Kevin and I are preparing for our first camping trip of the year this forthcoming Easter holiday weekend (so its bound to rain or blow a gale!) As well as looking after all of our visitors to the shop, we have started a partial re-fit of our display. This will enable us to display all of the lovely new items we have to offer and be sure that the shelves will stand up to all the weight of Fossils, Rocks and Minerals we have on show.  Please enjoy our precious world and the Seasons where ever you are, and should you find yourself in London we all look forward to seeing you in our magical little shop.

Sheila
Created On  11 Apr 2017 19:10  -  Permalink
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Oh no!

Apologies, I have been unwell which has been somewhat a shock to us all.  I have changed the hours the shop is open and sometimes the delivery of web orders may take one or two days longer.  

Kevin and Richie are looking after the shop and our other son Daniel is helping with buying trips, so stock at the shop is being kept to it's usually full selection.  Please check the opening hours on the front page before making a special trip.


Thank you for your understanding,  Sheila.


Created On  16 Nov 2016 14:16  -  Permalink
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Married 35 Years

Kevin and I are celebrating our 35th Wedding Anniversary this weekend,  so our bags are packed one again for a long weekend in our very much loved camping trailer.    We love being out and about in the countryside seeing the beauty of nature in our trailer, which we brought as a special treat to celebrate our 35 years married. 

We are looking forward to next years and future years of adventures,  Life can be very hard but it is special and should be enjoyed and appreciated.
'One Life Live it',  thank you to everyone with their support in the past, present and the future with my little shop, London Fossils and Crystals.
Sheila. 
Created On  20 Sep 2016 12:35  -  Permalink
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Never enough time !

I seem to be running short of time, Done even more buying of stock, beautiful rough Rose Quartz, tiny tiny tiny Diamonds and Herkimers restocked. New Tranquillityite and Ancestralite a Stromatolite, to name just a few.  Yesterday I brought some Amber necklaces and bracelets, drilled Quartz points and Black Tourmaline beads to make some bracelets.

The shop has been busy, so with time spent chatting with our lovely customers and pricing stock up, especially the tumbled stones take a long time to sort out, Facebook and the website entries have been slow, many thanks to Richie who works hard on adding items to the website and Facebook.  

We have had some time off during August, Richie is in Scotland at the moment and we are looking forward to time off during September. -  16th to 19th September we will be seeing lots of friends and 23rd to 27th September Kevin and I will have been married for 35 years, plus they are doing 'car free day' on that Saturday in the street where we live, which is a back street in Waterloo, so we have to move our cars from Friday midnight to Saturday midnight, lovely! Anyway I decided that as I do not want to listen to people making noise outside our bedroom window through the night while they set up,  we will go away for the weekend and our Anniversary.

Thank you for your support and understanding,

Sheila. xx



 
Created On  6 Sep 2016 12:07  -  Permalink
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Windy Yorkshire

Lovely holiday in a very very windy Yorkshire,  watching wood pigeons, Buzzards, Owls, Chickens!  with two days of buying stock, over 5 hours just sorting out tumbled stone which are beautiful.
Created On  9 Aug 2016 11:51  -  Permalink
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