Hi, I’m Katie and I’m feeling very grateful to BFS community for supporting me in my new role as May Queen this year at Beltane Fire Festival.
Beltane’s community is something I strongly believe in, having personally experienced or seen others developing in skill and confidence, feeling accepted or gaining a sense of purpose when doing it, or, most importantly, just having a lot of fun!
Throughout the two months prior to the festival, we connect to the elements outside, seeing the spring buds grow and the leaves show until the cherry blossom blooms forth for summer. Connecting in nature, to our selves, each other in community, and our heritage through the Beltane story is something increasingly rare in our desensitised, disconnected, and individualistic society. It’s quite a radical act to unite and create something that tries to be as far away as possible from the patriarchal hierarchy and capitalism so deeply infused in our beings. I hope that it helps us move away from environmentally destructive lifestyles based on materialistic consumption, towards ones more in line with the ecology of our earth, full of real community, nature based and connective experiences.
I feel blessed to help facilitate the festival by embodying the May Queen. Like all Celtic and wider mythology, there are many interpretations relevant to the individual, collective, and the time period. I will share my own interpretation of who she is.
The May Queen is the Goddess, the Divine Feminine, present within us all (regardless of gender). She guides the sun through the constellations, weaving together the elements, preparing the very fabric of a new season, a new day, a new month, a new way.
To me, she is the triple goddess, maiden-mother-crone. On the night of Beltane, she rises out of the stone acropolis as the maiden (having transformed from her winter Cailleach/crone form). The May Queen moves around the hill gathering what she needs to become mother, when she unites with the Green Man to create a fertile summer.
My intention at this year’s festival relates to the idea of freeing the voice of the oppressed, those without strength, space, or possibility to be heard, such as the earth, animals, and refugees. I ultimately want to bring to the festival the idea of balance, both within and between all of us, independent of background, gender, or role.
My life mildly consists of community building through peace work, work with or for refugees, and creativity through music, dance, and poetry. It largely consists of nature connection as an environmental educator with kids and by being involved in natural therapy with adults. I resonate deeply with John Muir’s quote “I care to live only to entice people into nature’s loveliness”.
Photo by Vince Graham for Beltane Fire Society. All rights reserved.