(Art) Fairies Dancing at Beltane (with Village Witch) by Eileen Haley

Quilt by Eileen Haley
Quilt by Eileen Haley. Part of her EarthWomen series.


Beltane, 1st May in the northern hemisphere, celebrates high spring in the calendar of the Old Religion. The veils between the worlds are thin; fairies and humans mingle. A village witch dances skyclad, carrying the broom on which she has travelled to the glade where the festivities are taking place. Her clothes lie scattered about at the dancers’ feet.

In the background, the body of the Earth Goddess is in blossom with flowers of the hawthorn (may). The hawthorn is the tree most beloved of the fairies, and they will avenge any harm done to one.

Above the witch’s head are details of representative victims of the British witch-hunts of the 16th and 17th centuries. Elizabeth I had made it a hanging offence to have dealings with fairies.

Read Meet Mago Contributor Eileen Haley.

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