Walpurgis Night, et al.

So, tonight is May Eve, when bonfires are burned, and maybe witches also. Walpurgis Night is, of course, a Christianized version of Beltane, the Celtic celebration of the start of summer, when bonfires were burned and people and cattle walked between them for purification, and witches would dance all sky-clad (or sometimes they would dance in shifts, because there wasn’t room for all of them). Tomorrow is May Day, dear to a certain generation as the date for large displays of new equipment in Red Square. It’s also, depending on how the moon tends, the first day of Ðrimilcemonað, the month that Anglo-Saxon cows had to be milked three times a day.

This month, on the second of May, 2013, the moon is a waning Last Quarter Moon. If you go out at sunrise and stand on the Earth’s terminator, you can look up at the Moon’s terminator. This means the Moon is directly ahead of us in our orbit, which means that where the Moon is, is where the Earth will be, three hours later.

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