Day 106 / 365

May Day has long been one of my favourite celebrations, it is a time of year that the world comes alive with new life, from the flora and fauna to the heavily pregnant French woman who, after a winter of love makin’ have emerged bursting with life themselves.

For centuries this day has long been a pagan celebration welcoming the first day of summer. It originally honoured Flora, the roman goddess of flowers, in celebration of fertility (of the soil, livestock, and people). 

[Prairie Flowers] My buddy Sarah (left), and I back in the day
My memories of May Day consist of flower crowns, ‘Little House On The Prairie’ style dresses, and colourful ribbons hanging from a pole. I remember being placed with the other children around the Maypole and instructed on how to skip and dance around in a particular pattern so the ribbon clutched in my little hands would contribute to the woven ribbons of colours our intricate movements would create.

It was explained to me as a child, that the maypole represented a magic tree (called Yggdrasil / the tree of life) which connected all that is above to all that below, and everything in between, bonding the worlds harmoniously. Each ribbon represented a different aspect of the world in between, of human reality; the plants, animals, elements and people which are interwoven to create the colourful blanket of life which covers the earth, the final creation resembles the double helix of DNA, of all life.

With all the beautiful symbolism and recognition in this celebration, one might find themselves surprised it is no longer celebrated. But of course all things Pagan - the religions, spiritual and cultural communities which were centered around worship of nature and the earth - were swiftly and forcefully quieted and converted from a worship which connected humans spiritually to their surroundings and the rhythms of their reality, to the various religions which took over, connecting humans to the imagined heavens and Gods who reign there.

And as the human race began to look upwards for answers, they forgot the truths which lay at their feet; about their spiritual connection to their surroundings. And thus, our species spent the following centuries, devising ways (whether consciously or subconsciously) to destroy nature, disrupt and exploit the natural order of things, and harm just about every indigenous culture which remained. 

Today, our disconnection from the traditional celebrations which kept us in tune with the earth’s cycles, and our own, has created a knock on effect throughout history which has structured our current reality and sorrowful states of being.

With our disconnect from nature comes pollution, and an ignorance of how objects we purchase come to be made, cradle-to-cradle, which leads to more pollution and inhumane treatment of humans and animals in almost every step of the process of just about everything we use, purchase or do.  Creating the culture of unconscious, unhappy consumerists we see today.

And we submit, because we think we need money (and in most cases we do) provide ourselves with food and shelter and be accepted by our sleeping community.

Renee, one of my fellow Ethical Writer’s Coalition members and creator of her own blog, Model For Green Living sent me an interesting interview with historian and author Peter Linebaugh which further exemplifies recent realities which connect our progressions of religion and disconnect from nature in THIS interview with Democracy Now. He breaks his examples into two: A green story, and a red story.

The green story begins with the one I spoke of above, of summer’s arrival and the celebration of fruition which is met with much joy, dancing and happiness.

The second is a red story, which shows how the shift from nature, also shifted our perspectives:

After the American Civil War, people who were marginalised: workers, women and disabled people for example, for the first time felt empowered by their victories. This freedom of thought and personal pride lead to the creation of the eight-hour movement: eight hours’ work, eight hours’ rest, eight hours’ play. A pretty spectacular suggestion for the time on how to lead a more balanced and happy life.

Now, this was around the time that agriculture became mechanized (another big move away from nature), starting with the mechanical reaper, which was being made by a company / man named McCormick. It was being produced by ironworkers who happened to be supporters of the eight-hour movement and they decided to demonstrate their wishes on the 1st of May in 1886.

In response, McCormick and the local police precinct shot four of them dead for their insolence.

The group then planned a second meet in response to the violent action by the police, a meeting in Haymarket square in Chicago a few days later. Violence again, with a stick of dynamite thrown and numerous casualties caused.  This spread similar violence across the United States, and eventually around the world, where workers demanding the eight-hour movement were responded to by police and company heads with attacks, arrests, executions and murder. All spurred from this first May Day protest.

Throughout history, May Day has been a day of celebration and also of protest as if the change of season gives strength to our species to push for change too.

The ruling class, the billionaires and capitalists who exist around the world, with their fingers in media and police forces and legislation want you working. They don’t want you thinking. They don’t want you thinking because the more time you have to think, the higher your consciousness rises. The higher your consciousness rises, the less you care about money and material goods and the more you care about those involved in creating it and the harms it causes to the world. The less you care about material goods and money and the more you care about the earth and her inhabitants, the less uninspiring work you’ll be willing to do and the less spiritual holes you'll be filling with consumption random shirt. The less shitty work you do and the less money you spend means the less money that 1% will be able to horde. And hoarding money is all they care for, apart from power.

There’s a interesting clip from a movie back in 1984 in which one of the players explains this much more articulately than I:

During the repression of the First Nations people and the robbing of their lands, there was a healer who was going around teaching a certain gospel that was a mix of their spirit world and that of Jesus. He taught the First Nations people a dance called the Ghost Dance, which was a hopeful prayer that spread across their communities, from Texas to North Dakota (and probably Canada as well). It consisted of people standing in a circle side-by-side, holding hands, the drummers would keep time, that beautiful soul rising heartbeat only a animal skin drum can create, and the people would begin to sing and move, one inch at a time, in unison.

This dance scared the shit out of the ruling class at the time, so much so they murdered a large group of Lakota First Nations at Wounded Knee, because they were so on edge about the empowerment this hopeful prayer created to untie and enlighten them during devastating times.

This ghost dance represented a movement, both literally and figuratively, of the fears which hope and inch by inch progression, community togetherness, spirituality, and the rise conscious causes in the hearts of those who control the world we live in now.

Just look at the current U.S elections, the fraud and corruption which is already running ramped and being exposed because the internet has since been invented and nobody, but the zombies who consider Fox News gospel, believe the words they’re told anymore. Inch by inch, banding together, those whose consciousness sits at the forefront of their decision making, are uniting under a leader who wishes to change the way things are for the better, not continue to perpetuate negative spin, bigotry, violence and violence. 

The frightening reality that one of the evil mongers running as part of the Republican Party, or even the lady liar who competes against them might find themselves in power just shows how many sleeping souls, distracted with credit card purchases and vanity, exist.

This world is about money. The one we currently live in. Money seeps into every crack of society, from enlightened hippie to zombie stockbroker. It affects us all. The death of our collective consciousness has created space for harmful growth to grow. The heartlessness of Capitalism runs rampid through our streets and the world, concrete covered or otherwise, the Earth suffocates benith our feet.

So this May Day, whether you’re worshiping the dollar or dancing around the maypole, ask yourself, are you looking for change? And if you are, what change might that be? Whether you’re attempting to save the world from climate change or better the lives of your neighbors, a group of strangers, or animals above or below the sea, what could you concentrate your time and energy on that might change the world for the better? Under what cause will you create a community and join hands in movement with? Will the ribbon you hold in your hands, as you dance through life, interweave intrecitely and consciously with all other living things, or are you living in a way that will disrupt the harmonious pattern it could create?