Beltane, AKA May Day, is one of the Cross-Quarter days in the pagan year, the midpoint of Spring. Beltane’s focus is fertility, and in the Old Days, we’d all be out rutting in the fields to encourage a good harvest, not a bad religious tenet when you think about it (though somewhat hard on the back). So Beltane represents the earth’s fecundity, with nature coming into its first exuberant flush of bloom and growth. As such, it’s known for warm, wet days, lots of flowers, and the first bits of fruitfulness, as asparagus, rhubarb, strawberries, and cold-frame lettuces are ready for harvest.
Tired of being dissed, marginalized, downplayed and generally misunderstood by the President of the United States, COVID-19 invaded the White House in early May, determined to be respected and recognized. In the East Wing residence, a military valet who serves Donald Trump his meals tested positive for the virus on Thursday the 7th, while on Friday the 8th its target was the West Wing office, where Katie Miller, Press Secretary to Vice President Pence and wife of senior White House advisor Stephen Miller, also tested positive. Donald Trump pronounced himself mystified by her change in status: “She tested very good for a long period of time. And then all of a sudden today she tested positive.”
Ummmm… that’s kinda how it works, stable genius.
Breaking through the coronavirus newsdemic these days is a story about alleged sexual assault by presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden. Tara Reade, a former Senate staffer, has charged Biden with groping and digital penetration in a Senate basement in 1993. Reade was one of several women to come forward in the spring of 2019 alleging that Biden’s famously “handsy” manner with females made them uncomfortable. All stopped short of charging assault, and defenders of the former VP (including many women he has treated with this undue familiarity) ascribe his often odd-looking interactions – extended hugging, hair-stroking, neck-nuzzling – to his desire to comfort or put at ease his interlocutors. Biden has since acknowledged that his style of relating with females who are relative strangers needs to be revised in the #MeToo era.
Reade also refrained from accusing Biden of improper or illegal activity last spring, until March 25, 2020, when she first publicly charged him with assault in a radio interview. Reade states that she filed a complaint for sexual harassment at the time, but was too frightened to report the full incident. Reade did not keep a copy of the complaint, and so far none has been found in Senate records or Biden’s staff records.
The date of posting this article marks six months exactly until the General Election which will decide Donald Trump’s (and the nation’s) fate. Typically I don’t comment this early on a fall election, particularly when the official Democratic candidate has yet to be named (though Joe Biden’s nomination appears to be just a formality, in the age of coronavirus, nothing can be taken for granted), but the popular acclaim for advanced analysis has been deafening of late. So here we go.
In this article, I’ll be focusing on peripheral factors unrelated directly to the candidates; we’ll save that for closer to the event itself. But there are several unalterable factors that independently impact the day. And an alarming number of them point to electoral fraud. So we’ll just be looking at the day itself in isolation, irrespective of the individuals’ winning potential (though we will discuss how the candidates’ PNAs factor into the patterns of the day).
Donald J. Trump’s “America first!” policies take on a whole new meaning in light of the COVID-19 pandemic: the US is now the global leader in infections and deaths from the virus. With almost a million known to be infected and more than 50,000 deaths, the US now accounts for nearly a third of infections worldwide, and a quarter of the fatalities. We’re lightyears ahead of our leading competitor in COVID-19 incompetence, with four times as many cases as Spain. No one can catch us! The Trump administration can be justly proud of the new records it’s setting. Hey, no such thing as bad publicity, right?
For readers unfamiliar with my saga, I’m an inveterate celebrator of the seasons. Although raised as a fundamentalist Protestant, what my parents truly inculcated in me was a love of nature and the wilds. Those few precious hours between Sunday morning school and church services and Sunday evening prayer meetings were often spent in the backroads and byways of the Poconos, identifying the local flora and fauna, which was where my spirit truly soared.
So pagan practice was something I gravitated to naturally when I threw off the confines of my upbringing. But as a city dweller for 35 years, without regular access to the fields and woods of my boyhood, I’ve had to recreate those spaces indoors, and I decorate extensively season to season, using the Wiccan Wheel of the Year as my model and faux or artificial elements as my tools. These days I have no faith, terming myself a “lapsed Pagan”, but I still enjoy the rituals of my maturity and the traditions of my youth when holidays roll around.