The Legend of the May Queen

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In some Pagan traditions, Beltane is the season of the lovely, youthful May Queen. Image by Matt Cardy/Getty Images News

In some Pagan belief systems, typically those that follow a Wiccan tradition, the focus of Beltane is on the battle between the May Queen and the Queen of Winter. The May Queen is Flora, the goddess of the flowers, and the young blushing bride, and the princess of the Fae. She is Lady Marian in the Robin Hood tales, and Guinevere in the Arthurian cycle. She is the embodiment of the Maiden, of mother earth in all of her fertile glory.

As the summer rolls on, the May Queen will give forth her bounty, moving into the Mother phase. The earth will blossom and bloom with crops and flowers and trees. When fall approaches, and Samhain comes, the May Queen and Mother are gone, young no more. Instead, the earth becomes the domain of the Crone. She is Cailleach, the hag who brings dark skies and winter storms. She is the Dark Mother, bearing not a basket of bright flowers but instead a sickle and scythe.

When Beltane arrives each spring, the May Queen arises from her winter's sleep, and does battle with the Crone. She fights off the Queen of Winter, sending her away for another six months, so that the earth can be abundant once more.

Prayer to Honor the May Queen

Make an offering of a floral crown, or a libation of honey and milk, to the Queen of the May during your Beltane prayers.

The leaves are budding across the land
on the ash and oak and hawthorn trees.
Magic rises around us in the forest
and the hedges are filled with laughter and love.
Dear lady, we offer you a gift,
a gathering of flowers picked by our hands,
woven into the circle of endless life.
The bright colors of nature herself
blend together to honor you,
Queen of spring,
as we give you honor this day.
Spring is here and the land is fertile,
ready to offer up gifts in your name.
we pay you tribute, our lady,
daughter of the Fae,
and ask your blessing this Beltane.

 

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Wigington, Patti. "The Legend of the May Queen." ThoughtCo, Feb. 19, 2016, thoughtco.com/the-legend-of-the-may-queen-2561660. Wigington, Patti. (2016, February 19). The Legend of the May Queen. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/the-legend-of-the-may-queen-2561660 Wigington, Patti. "The Legend of the May Queen." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/the-legend-of-the-may-queen-2561660 (accessed December 16, 2017).