Myths of May
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MYTHS OF MAY

The fifth month of the Gregorian calendar, May, is defined as “the fifth month of the year, containing 31 days.” Got it. But where did this name come from?

The name for the month of May—along with the rest of the months of the year—comes from Latin. We can thank the Romans, from emperors to popes, for instituting the modern calendar.
May entered English in the 1050s. It developed from the Old English Maius, borrowed directly from the Latin Maius, short for Maius mēnsis, “Maia’s month.” But who is this Maia?

The Greek goddess Maia was one of the Pleiades, the companions of Artemis, goddess of the hunt. This Maia was the mother of Hermes, the messenger of the Gods. But the Romans had yet another goddess named Maia, who just happened to share a name with the Greek goddess.

The Greek goddess became conflated with the Roman Maia Majesta, a goddess of fertility and spring—appropriate for the growth and increase we see in the month of May.

Want to dig a little deeper? The Greek name Maia comes from a root meaning “mother, nurse, midwife.” The Roman Maia appears to be related to magnus, meaning “great” and source of such words as magnify.
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The fifth month of the Gregorian calendar, May, is defined as “the fifth month of the year, containing 31 days.” Got it. But where did this name come from?

The name for the month of May—along with the rest of the months of the year—comes from Latin. We can thank the Romans, from emperors to popes, for instituting the modern calendar.
May entered English in the 1050s. It developed from the Old English Maius, borrowed directly from the Latin Maius, short for Maius mēnsis, “Maia’s month.” But who is this Maia?

The Greek goddess Maia was one of the Pleiades, the companions of Artemis, goddess of the hunt. This Maia was the mother of Hermes, the messenger of the Gods. But the Romans had yet another goddess named Maia, who just happened to share a name with the Greek goddess.

The Greek goddess became conflated with the Roman Maia Majesta, a goddess of fertility and spring—appropriate for the growth and increase we see in the month of May.

Want to dig a little deeper? The Greek name Maia comes from a root meaning “mother, nurse, midwife.” The Roman Maia appears to be related to magnus, meaning “great” and source of such words as magnify.
The monthof May, a month celebrating spring and the summer ahead, a month of rebirth, nuture and flowers.

 May takes its name from Maia, in Greek mythology, the eldest of the seven nymphs of the Pleiades, daughter of Atlas, the Titan god, doomed to carry the weight of the world on his shoulders, and mother of Hermes, messenger of the gods.

Born on Mount Kyllini in Arcadia, where she lived alone in a cave, Maia was an Earth goddess, a nurturer, a mother, a nurse, and grandmother of magic.

The goddess Maia was also a midwife, (Maia also means midwife in Greek), bringing new life into the world, her name is also linked to ‘μαῖα’ (maia), a title, in ancient Greece, for older women.
The month of May (Latin Maius) was supposedly named for Maia, though ancient etymologists also connected it to the maiores "ancestors", again from the adjective maius, maior, meaning those who are "greater" in terms of generational precedence. On the first day of May, the Lares Praestites were honored as protectors of the city,[17] and the flamen of Vulcan sacrificed a pregnant sow to Maia, a customary offering to an earth goddess[18] that reiterates the link between Vulcan and Maia in the archaic prayer formula. In Roman myth, Mercury (Hermes), the son of Maia, was the father of the twin Lares, a genealogy that sheds light on the collocation of ceremonies on the Kalends of May.[19] On May 15, the Ides, Mercury was honored as a patron of merchants and increaser of profit (through an etymological connection with merx, merces, "goods, merchandise"), another possible connection with Maia his mother as a goddess who promoted growth.[10]
Maia would be named as Greek goddess of nursing mothers, making Maia one of a number of goddesses associated with motherhood in the Greek pantheon, alongside the likes of Leto and Tethys. The esteem of Maia was such that her name was still relevant in the Roman period, giving rise to the month of May in the English language.

Maia would appear in her role of a mother goddess in the story of Arcas. Arcas was a son of Callisto, born to Zeus, but Hera would have Callisto transformed into a bear, and Zeus had to ensure that his son was put somewhere safe. Thus, Zeus charged Hermes with taking Arcas to Maia, and the Pleiades nymph subsequently raised the son of Zeus.
May is the fifth month of the year, has 31 days, and is named after the Greek goddess Maia.

May is named after the Greek goddess, Maia who is also identified with the Roman goddess of fertility, Bona Dea.

Old English - Maius
Latin name - Maius mensis - Month of Maia
Old French - Mai

The Full Moon of May is known as the Flower Moon, named after the blooming flowers in the Northern Hemisphere,
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