From May Day to Groundhog Day

Or… from conception to birth.  Or… from Beltane to Imbolc, in ancient Pagan Celtic terms.  Why am I bringing this up in my pregnancy blog?  When I was trying to track my fertility, I would use this pee monitor (technical term) to follow my hormone schedule and see when I was most fertile during each month.  After learning I was pregnant (more on that in a bit), I was able to make an educated guess that I may have gotten pregnant around May 1st or 2nd.



May 1st is May Day, otherwise known as Beltane, which is the height of spring.  People used to (and still do!) dance around a maypole, weaving in and out of one another using colorful ribbons.  The maypole is a phallic symbol, and this is no coincidence.  In ancient times, men and women would follow the birds’ and bees’ lead and traditionally couple up with one another (human to human, not human to bird).  As a result, many people became pregnant around this time.  I swear Allie and I didn’t plan it this way – but it sure is fun to know that we followed an ancient fertility rite in our own way!

Nine months from May Day / Beltane is Groundhog day, or Imbolc.  This is usually around February 1st or 2nd.  You may know Groundhog day as the time when the groundhog comes out to check out the weather.  If he sees his shadow and gets scared, he’ll run back into his little hole for another 6 weeks until winter is over.  The reality is, the groundhog probably got scared out of its wits of all the men in top hats surrounding him and ran for safety.  But seriously, February 1st marks the middle of the winter – 6 more weeks until spring!



The holiday Imbolc is celebrated by some people around this time, when they commemorate rebirth and renewal, which is also associated with pregnant and lactating ewes.  The word “imbolc” comes from the Celtic word “oimlec”, meaning mother’s milk.  This marks the end of the gestation period: bears awaken from their winter slumber, seeds which lay dormant now begin to sprout, and Shira will give birth.

When told that their Aunt Shira was going to have a baby, my 5-and-a-half year old nephew Michael exclaimed, “Aunt Shira is digesting a baby!”  Close enough.


September 3, 2008. Uncategorized.

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