Full Moon at Bealtaine
Bealtaine is an ancient fire festival that celebrates the return of Summer. In Ireland bonfires were lit on the eve of Bealtaine and great celebrations, feasting and rituals were were held throughout the night marking the beginning of the bright half of the year. The most important fire was lit at the hill of Uisneach - the sacred centre of Ireland which is marked by “Ail na Muireann” (the stone of divisions).
Uisneach has long been associated with the Otherworld. At the time of Bealtaine it is said that every fairy fort, lios or rath in Ireland is open. This is a time when the Sidhe are abroad as they move from their Winter abode to their Summer lodgings. “The fairies are in the best of humours upon May Eve and the music of the fairy pipes may be heard all through the night while the fairy folk are dancing upon the rath. It is then they carry off the young people to join their revels; and if a girl has once danced to the fairy music, she will move ever after with such fascinating grace, that it has passed into a proverb to say of a good dancer, “ she has danced to fairy music on the hill”……….*But if a person sleeps on the rath the music will enter his soul, and when he awakes he may sing the air he has heard in his dreams.”
Quotation from “Legends, charms and superstitions of Ireland” by Lady Wilde
*It is generally advised to steer clear of raths at night to avoid bad luck, ill health or worse and to leave the Good People to go about their business without human interference.
- Original Pen & Ink Drawing
- Image size 26 x 21.5cm / 10" x 8.5"
- Painted on Fabriano Artistico 640 gsm
- Overall paper size : 33 x 23cm / 11.5 x 10" approx
- Story is included with the painting
- Needs frame with UV protective glass - hang out of direct sunlight
Each time I start a new drawing outdoors in nature I always leave a small offering at the site as a thank you. The hawthorn tree is very much associated with the Otherworld and the Good People and it is always advised to treat them with respect. And so I decided to play a tune on the tin whistle to acknowledge them. When I eventually started my new drawing a fairy playing a tin whistle started to appear on the page!