The essence of Spring awakens our energies after a time of sleep during our wintry hibernation. Spring is a time of birth, which connects us with the Divine Feminine and the mothering experience.
In Roman Catholicism, the month of May is devoted to Mary, Jesus's mother. As a child, my grandmother would construct a May Altar. It was a white canopy, covered with pink tulle and pink roses, placed over the figurine of Mary. It was, in my eyes, the most beautiful of devotions, a dream of all things loving, and pretty. I discovered the secret of honoring the feminine nature in an otherwise patriarchal religion.
The May altar tradition has roots to the ancient Greek's dedication to Artemis, the Goddess of wild nature, and Flora. She is the goddess of May blossoms.
May is named for the Greek Goddess Maia, the goddess of fertility.
In Christianity, the May altar is a southern European tradition, dating back to the 19th Century. An 1842 report from France speaks of "Our Lady's" altar in the Church. Families decorated smaller altars in their homes at this time.
The handbook of Church Rituals in 1846 notes that the May altar is dedicated to the Blessed Virgin and is decorated "to the full".
The themes of rebirth and renewal, love, hope, youth and growth resonate during this rhythmic cycle. Spring is the promise of letting go and embracing the new. As we transition from the sleep of winter to the blossoming light of Spring, consider creating a ritual to honor this most sacred season. I rediscovered my love of creating a May altar a few years ago studying the divine feminine with Lee Ann.
As we merge into the Age of Aquarius, we encompass not only Christianity but all sacred traditions. Honoring the divine feminine in whatever way calls to you connects us to our Mother Earth and our heavenly companions.
Below, Mary Ann shares her recipe for constructing her May altar. Mary Ann grew up constructing this devotional altar to Mother Mary with her mother. Mary Ann is also deeply steeped in the Hindu tradition, and celebrates the Divine Goddess every Spring and Autumn.
Mary Ann shares, “Honoring the Divine Mother helps us receive the blessings She bestows.
Each Spring, I construct an altar to focus my attention on the Divine Feminine. It's as easy as gathering a few things:
- Find something in the likeness or form of the Goddess or Mother.
- A candle
- Flowers: violets are a favorite of mine, and they are beginning to bloom
- Anything else of beauty or personal significance: crystals, pictures of loved ones, etc...\
- A prayer, mantra, invocation or affirmation to recite each day.
Then simply open your heart and receive.
Invocation to the Divine Mother from the book View from the Mountaintop: A Journey into Wholeness, by Lee Ann Dzelzkalns
WE GIVE THANKS TO YOU, DIVINE MOTHER
Oh, Divine Mother of life,
through your pulse, we resonate in divine flow,
a truth-filled rhythm of synthesis.
Oh, Divine Mother of love and wisdom,
we give thanks our hands are guided to reach
and help hearts and souls of all humankind.
Oh, blessed Mother of light,
as we nourish and strengthen our containers of self,
may we come into full expression of One-Self
to live the holy grail with you.
It is through the mirror reflection
we see your sustaining beauty, our truth.
We give thanks between the heights and the depths,
between the within and the without.
We are centered and balanced,
aligned and harmonic with you.
We give thanks,
oh wise Mother of creative power,
as we walk together in love.
We feed our souls, fill our hearts, clear our minds,
ground our bodies, and enlighten our gazes
in the awakening frequency of your Sophianic impulse.
Divine love streams forth into our united beings
now and forevermore.
Amen. Amin. Hum. Om. Shanti. Aho. Yes!