May Day Myth and Ritual: The Virgin Mary as the May Queen

Mythology Matters

Since May 1 lies about halfway between the vernal equinox and the summer solstice, our ancestors considered it a good time to mark the transition into summer. Indeed, in most of medieval northern Europe, which observed the Celtic calendar, May 1 was considered the beginning of summer, hence for example the Beltane festival. At the same time, importantly, May Day falls within the 50-day Easter liturgical season. As noted in my May Day post of April 29, 2015, about the goddess traditions of May Day, the Virgin Mary too is venerated on May Day, but I did not elaborate in that post. Now I will, detailing the mythology, ritual, and archetypal psychology behind the “Crowning of Mary” ritual.

Goddess Mythology and May Day

The Goddess of the festival that became May Day goes back to ancient times, in Anatolia, Greece, and Rome. The Roman Empire is important here because…

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