A word from our Green Man

I absolutely love the story of how I joined Beltane Fire Society. It was a beautiful winding path, paved with dancing, drumming, festivals and fire spinning!

Craig performing with the Moncai at Samhuinn Fire Festival 2018. Photo by Ashley Erdman for Beltane Fire Society. All rights reserved.

The first night I met anyone from BFS, I was in a club and a lassie complimented me on my dancing. The very next night I was sat on a beach drumming till the sun came up and the tide came in – it was beautiful! I knew at that moment these were people I wanted to be around.

Fast forward a few months and I had joined ENC (a Beltane spin-off drum crew) after seeing and meeting them at a small festival (there may well have been more dancing like a madman involved). It was at ENC that I learned about both Fire Spinning and Samhuinn Fire Festival from my soon-to-be GOs. For Samhuinn I joined Moncai (fire spinning warrior clowns) and, after two months of spinning fire, generally acting like a buffoon and pulling a charriot, I had formed beautiful bonds with some of the most amazing humans I had ever met.

The BFS community has welcomed me in with open arms at every turn and filled my life with more joy and love than I could ever imagine. I cannot wait to be your Green Man this year.

Our Green Man starts his journey at Beltane Fire Festival as the Horned God, old and tangled in his own frustration. It is his time of year but he is not yet ready. He is too attached to the past to embrace the present or hope for the future. When he sees the May Queen he wants nothing more than to be ready for Her, but doubt weighs heavy on his soul. He fears he will never be ready.

Copyright Martin McCarthy for Beltane Fire Society. All Rights Reserved. http://www.beltane.org / facebook.com/beltanefiresociety

Drawing power from the Fire Arch the Horned God chooses to face his fears and follow the May Queen into the underworld. He decides to square up to the demons from his past and, by choosing to turn and embrace the new, frees himself from his frustration and his tangled vines shrink away, revealing dead wood clinging to his arms and legs like armour. 

Copyright Vince Graham for Beltane Fire Society. All Rights Reserved. http://www.beltane.org / http://www.facebook.com/beltanefiresociety

At first he views this dead wood as protection, but as he journeys deeper into the underworld he realises this armour is what is holding him back.  He must cast off his dead wood piece by piece, letting go of his past in order to fully embrace his present and future.  

Copyright Neil Barton for Beltane Fire Society. All Rights Reserved. http://www.beltane.org / http://www.facebook.com/beltanefiresociety

As he nears the end of his journey and his dead wood has been cast off only one vine remains, his last vine of doubt. When he is ready, he offers this vine to the May Queen to symbolise his devotion to Her, and to let Her know he is ready to die. The May Queen hesitates at this point as doubt clouds Her mind, but the Horned God assures Her he is ready, and, trusting all will be as it should be, She kills him.

Copyright Dan Mosley for Beltane Fire Society. All Rights Reserved. http://www.beltane.org / facebook.com/beltanefiresociety

The Green Man awakens, reborn free from the burdens of winter and bursting with new life. All his doubts and fears are gone, and nothing but pure exuberant joy courses through every fibre of his being. He dances a dance of passion, a dance of life and a dance of joy.

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