Cultural Quandaries: Spring & Sex

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April 28, 2015 by Rua Lupa

Human Copulation. Image Credit: SUSPIRE by Tomasz Rut

With my recent post on the celebrations stemming from natural events around this time of year, being spring (or end of spring/early summer) for most of the northern hemisphere, and thus, seeing many spring/end of spring related blog posts; There is a common theme that comes up – Sex. And it isn’t just in modern Pagan circles, but in other traditions all over the northern hemisphere. For example, in Japan spring is celebrated with Kanamara Matsuri (かなまら祭り “Festival of the Steel Phallus” during the first Sunday of April. And in Sweden spring is celebrated, with the ever so popular maypole (majstång) raised and danced around during the Friday and Saturday between 19 June and 26 June (Spring comes later in Sweden, being much closer to the pole). I can see why this is the case, as many birds and small mammals are copulating in spring. Yet, none of the large wildlife are, and we are large mammals ourselves.

Spring Expectations. Image Source: Celebrity Pregnancy

Spring Expectations. Image Source: Celebrity Pregnancy

Large mammals are instead heavy in pregnancy, or just had their offspring. This enables the young to have the best opportunity for survival. Deer are a prime example. Deer and humans have similar gestation periods, humans being a couple of months longer. While deer have copulation in autumn, humans on the other hand tend to copulate throughout the year. If we behaved like other large mammals in the temperate climates we live in and followed the time frame for human gestation to end up with end of spring offspring, human copulation would occur in mid Ardea/early August (early autumn/first harvest). Yet, in every other earth based tradition I’ve come across, the time with the most emphasis for human copulation is late spring. Kind of illogical.

Why don’t we have an autumn ‘rut’ and only have offspring in late spring like other large mammals in the first place? The most probable answer is that humans evolved in a time and place that was hot all year long, that didn’t have much distinction in seasons. Only having since migrated the world over, and had little time, evolutionarily speaking, to have adapted into autumn ruts and spring births in the more temperate regions we currently occupy.

Human Rut? Image Credit: ARISTEIA by Tomasz Rut

 

So this leaves me thinking, why not have the human copulation themes moved to the time that fits with our biology and temperate climates? What could be incorporated into that time of year, being the season of fruits and fields – The First Harvest? Or in other words, what kind of things would you like to see *wink wink*? Are there other traditions that already do this?

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