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May the First be with You


And while you may have expected the phrase "May the Fourth be with You" this blog is about Jamie, Beltane, and the stories coming out on May 1. Time by Einstein and The Wild Hunt will be available internationally.


What is Beltane? The short answer is that it is the original holiday from which we get the holiday of May Day. Where I went to school, we celebrated May Day with outdoor games. We had a May Pole, which for many, is the first thing that comes to mind. The May Pole likely began with Beltane. Our ancient ancestors, being dominantly farmers, relied on the change of season and watching the weather to ensure a good crop and a good harvest. Beltane is one of these holidays.


When Jamie Poole travels in Time, she often visits people of Celtic origin. She also explains other beliefs related to Beltane. From The Isle of Osiris, she first explains how our world and the Otherworld coexist:


These worlds co-exist, but that veil is in place for good reason. The planes must remain separated, except at specific times of the year when the veil thins temporarily. Celts refer to such times as Samhain and Beltane. If the veil thins or is ripped at the wrong time, things—beings—collide that should never meet. That’s never good. Lumen was bestowed upon me help the Dead and protect our world from the wrong things crossing from the Otherworld.


This is a reflection back as an older Jamie reflects on how it all began. At twelve, the age she was as the series begins, Jamie had to educate herself on Beltane and stone structures built throughout the Celtic world to help the people recognize and celebrate the day. She lists a few structures like Newgrange and Stonehenge. The Isle of Osiris had its own structure, which she needed to understand:


I read feverishly about the solstices Beltane and Samhain. Celts divided their year into two halves with solstices as markers....


Newgrange’s structures, like the ones on the Orkney Islands, pre-dated many pyramids. Newgrange was different from Stonehenge. Instead of a circle of standing stones, Newgrange was a semicircle. Other stones were deliberately positioned. The center was a huge mound—not an altar—within which was a passage leading to a center room. Here existed stone “furniture” and skeletal remains of persons who may have been sacrificed.

 

Twice yearly—on the spring and fall solstices—the rising sun shined a beam of light down the passageway and into the room within Newgrange. The people who built this structure measured time by the positioning of celestial bodies. Solstices were sacred holidays. Back to Tom’s assessment of ancient man’s capabilities where we relied on computers.

 

I wondered which structure the one on Osiris resembled. Clearly there were many variations. Then I recalled Mary’s translation on the sword: “Let there be sun.” It was close but wrong even if all these places seemed to have a thing for sunrises. I read feverishly about the solstices Beltane and Samhain. Celts divided their year into two halves with solstices as markers.

 

Beltane had evolved into May Day....


***


Beltane was celebrated as a community. To this point in the series, we've focused more on Samhain with several books beginning on Samhain. Time by Einstein will be the first book to focus specifically on Beltane. Remember, Jamie has lost all memories when she traveled backward in time, and she's recovering from a blow to the head. How that happened, you'll have to read the book. Here's a snippet of a conversation she has with a man named Eysteinn and his son Montresor:


“What’s that?” I asked.


“The nectar of the gods. Mead.” He took another deep drink and grinned. “Hand me your cup. It won’t hurt. Might help with that vision.”

 

“Faðir, may I?” Montresor asked.

 

Obediently I handed him my cup. He leaned over to where I’d stuck it—a little to the left of him—and poured a hearty amount of amber liquid. “Drink.” He poured more in a second cup for his son. “Don’t tell your móðir. You are old enough, but she would disagree.”

 

I asked, “Where did she go? She says it is the Eve before Beltane.”

 

“Drink up, and I will tell you.”

 

I dutifully took another swallow. The tea hadn’t tasted very good. The mead was definitely an improvement.

 

“Beltane is one of four important days on the Celtic calendar. It marks the beginning of summer. This village, as any Celtic village this night, will celebrate by extinguishing hearth fires as Ahit did. The people will gather together in a clearing where a bonfire will be built by the High Druid, Raynus. Since it is the beginning of summer, they look toward a fertile season. Our people do something like this as well. By the gods, we could use a good season this year!”

 

A glint lit Montresor’s eye. “But we are Viking, so we don’t have Druids.”

 

“Come, come. It isn’t nice to tease.” Eysteinn cuffed his son.


“Anyway, tonight all the villagers will dance around the bonfire. They will drive their livestock through it to ensure

fertility of their beasts. Tomorrow there will be lots of fun and games. With the plague and famine of recent years, we remain hopeful for a better year.”

 

“I came for the games! I hope you’re well enough to play,” his son added with more sincerity than I expected.

 

“Driving their livestock through fire? That’s crazy.”

 

“Who are you to judge?” he asked with a lilt and a secretive smile.


***


Time by Einstein and The Wild Hunt are both available internationally on Amazon. However, if you are in the Halifax area, there are other options.


Time by Einstein and The Wild Hunt are both available.


You can purchase any of the Jamie Poole Books directly from the author. Arrangements can be made by emailing: JamiePooleBooks@gmail.com. 


We are pleased to announce that we will be returning to Hal-Con this year as a vendor. Here are DETAILS.


Additionally Dartmouth Book Exchange is a preferred vendor who can assist you in getting the books any time of year. Here are DETAILS. If you are a customer of Dartmouth Book Exchange, ask them about the special we are running for Hal-Con and Dartmouth Book Exchange. This special is good until November 10, 2024.







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