We all know to mark our calendars for Christmas, Hanukkah, New Year’s, National Avocado Day, and those other occasions people celebrate in big, bold, beautiful ways. But what about the lesser-acknowledged spiritual, astrological events that roll around every year? Consider our Spirit Almanac series your own personal guide to the divine.
This month, we’re unpacking the mystical magic of May with a lush floral smudging, a seed-planting ritual, and a beyond-invigorating facial steam.
May 1, May Day
Though it's taken on a more political connotation in America over the years, May Day has ancient roots as one of the foremost days of celebration. Traditionally a day to welcome the coming of spring, it was an opportunity for people to dance joyously around a large, ribbon-bearing pole, intertwining their ribbons in a symbolic act of togetherness and play. This Maypole dance routine was also shrouded in good luck, thought to usher in fruitful planting seasons and periods of increased fertility.
A facial steaming ritual.
All this talk of dancing, springtime, and bounty has us thinking of one thing: floral steams. While not exactly the same as circling around a pole for hours on end, the act of giving yourself one of these luxurious, aromatic treatments evokes a similar sense of renewal and abundance.
1. Boil a pot of water and drop in a few herbs and flowers of your choosing. We love soothing lavender, skin-clearing red clover, and anti-inflammatory chamomile, but feel free to get creative here.
2. Pop on a melodic, relaxing tune and light a candle or two. Tent a towel over your head, hold your face a few inches above the water bowl, and let the steam do its thing for 5 to 10 minutes. Take deep, invigorating breaths in and even deeper, surrendering ones out.
3. As you emerge from your cave of floral goodness, glop on some of your favorite moisturizer with the intention of locking the herbs in your body so you can call on their power moving forward into the rest of the month and the season.
May 5, Cinco de Mayo
No, margaritas haven't always been a defining staple of this Mexican-American holiday. It actually commemorates the triumph of the Mexican army at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. The celebration of the victory carried over to the United States with Mexican immigrants, and today the largest Cinco de Mayo parties are spread out through the two countries.
A dinner ritual for community.
At its essence, Cinco de Mayo is a testament of culture and community, so today is a day to get together with friends and celebrate your roots. Host a dinner party and ask everyone to bring a little something special that they grew up eating. The best conversations are those had around heaping plates of food, after all!
May 10, Full Flower Moon
Today's full moon is all about intensity and abundance. Yes, ladies, you heard us! Tonight's the night to bloom in every way possible: Surround yourself with scented flowers, dance in honor of the majestic ball in the sky, hell, even get.it.on. According to the AstroTwins, the May full moon in Scorpio is the sexiest and most romantic of all full moons.
A floral smudging ritual.
This potent moon definitely signifies a time for things to blossom after lying dormant for many months. Tap into these new beginnings with this aromatic ritual that uses blossoms—what springtime is all about. Plan new adventures, step out in faith, and dream up the unknown, the new, and the unchartered in your life. Here's how it's done:
1. Make a little bouquet of flowers, so to speak, arranging them in front of your sage or whatever aromatic herb you love the most. Try hyssop, an herb with ancient connections to purification work, mugwort, sweet clover, and mullein.
2. Once you have a nicely held-together stick, tie it with a sturdy thread in any color of the rainbow. Put on a couple of drops of frankincense, a tree resin considered to cleanse and protect the soul, just before you light it.
3. When the time comes to burn, light the tip of the stick, let it catch fire briefly, then extinguish the flames and allow to smolder. Once lit, the sticks will smoke for a long time. They can be extinguished by placing them into sand or soil in a dish (never directly into the earth). Kept dry, they can be relit another time.
May 14, Mother's Day
As another Mother's Day comes around, bask in the light of the Great Mother Goddess, Mother of All, and remember, whatever you wish can be brought to fruition during this potent time. Ways of living, habits, and tradition, which we rely on as children and always remember as adults, come into play today—kaleidoscopic energetic memories carried down through the generations.
A seed planting ritual.
Find a comfy place to sit down and feel nourishing Mother roots grow down from the base of your spine into the Earth. Now place your hands on the ground and deliver your gift to Her. Take a few seeds of anything you wish to plant like summer blooms of marigold, verbena, and black-eyed Susan, and envisage the seed's light sprouting from the darkness of the warming earth. If you're planting indoors, then have a clay pot filled with soil ready. Use a toothpick and a strip of white paper to make a sign that sticks in your clay pot. On the piece of paper, write one word that describes the dream you wish to manifest, blessing each seed and visualizing that particular plant in full bloom or full fruit.
The piece was co-written by mbg's beauty and style editor, Kayla Jacobs.