The halfway point of summer is like a well-seasoned woman. The galloping growth of spring and sweet blush of summer have slowed and faded in her sweltering heat.- Donna Henes from her book Celestially Auspicious Occasions
Magic rises around us in the forest woven into the circle of endless life.
In some Pagan belief systems, typically those that follow a Wiccan tradition, the focus at Beltane is on the battle between the May Queen and the Queen of Winter. She is the embodiment of the Maiden, of mother earth in all of her fertile glory.
As the summer rolls on, the May Queen will give forth her bounty, moving into the Mother phase. The earth will blossom and bloom with crops and flowers and trees. When fall begins to approach the May Queen and Mother are gone, young no more. Instead, the earth becomes the domain of the Crone. She is the hag who brings dark skies and storms. She is the Dark Mother, bearing not a basket of bright flowers but instead a sickle and scythe.
The hag is a fairy from the British Isles. She is said to be the traces of the most ancient goddesses. The hag is regarded as the personification of winter. In the winter months she is usually old and very ugly looking. As the season changes though she becomes more and more beautiful, and younger.
The witch is a particularly fearsome hag, associated with the storms and dwelling on top of the most prominent mountains in any vicinity.
A Hag is a supernatural being found in many mythologies and folklore - although many Hags are neutral rather than evil they have become heavily associated with witchcraft and evil, to the point the two are often interchangeable (much like how Ogres and Giants have become somewhat merged in modern times).
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