Cultural Quandaries: Spring & Sex

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April 12, 2017 by Rua Lupa

Human Copulation. Image Credit: SUSPIRE by Tomasz Rut

With my posts on the celebrations stemming from natural events around the world, and this time of year for Borealis (Northern Hemisphere) being spring (or end of spring/early summer), 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). Which is around the seasonal event of Transnox / Lammas etc. and also happens to be when humans tend to wear the least amount of clothing and are most comfortable outside. 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, along with having removed ourselves from direct environmental influences via living in environmentally regulated structures.

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?

Some ideas that I have worked on are:

Having pastry hearts given to the person you want to court as both grain and berries are in season;

Having a skill competition themed fair where people looking to impress a potential partner have the opportunity to catch someone’s eye and being a warmer time of year the event can easily be held out of doors;

With it being a time of year where most birds shed their feathers, found feathers along with henna body art (since most people have exposed skin to be comfortable in the heat already) can be adorned for some festive flair and aesthetic attraction;

In the evening(s) of the event an open air theatre performance, and late night dance can be held for more intimate courting;

Providing an officiant for those who have been together since last year to have their bonding ceremony performed  and/or announced at the event;

And at the end of the fair a custom of giving ‘forget-me-nots’ (flowers or seeds in festive envelope) to the person you wish to keep in touch with that you met or reacquainted with at the fair.

(I provide more information on my ideas on the Ehoah website here)

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