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Planning Committee

Updated as of December 16, 2017! Meet the Blue Ridge Beltane Planning Committee! These are the people who were so inspired by the festival and the community that they felt moved to volunteer their time, energy, and love to make the festival happen here in Virginia every year.

NOTE: Some newer committee members may not have pictures and/or bios yet, but we still wanted to recognize them and the energy and effort they’ve put into this festival! Please thank them for all they’ve done – and check back for updates!

 

Rodney Norseman

Infrastructure, Secretary, Steering Committee
Rodney_croppedRodney has been attending Beltane in the Blue Ridge Mountains on and off since 2001. He was drawn to Blue Ridge Beltane for new ideas and experiences. He loves the fellowship and unity he has found at Blue Ridge Beltane, which is why he has continued to come throughout the years. The love and connection he feels with this festival have moved him to make the leap from community member to committee member. Rodney now plays an integral role in supporting this festival and is in charge of setting up and taking down festival equipment, along with maintenance and helping with security. He also takes pictures to share during the event, so that everyone may have photos of these fond memories. He has few beliefs and a lot of ideas.

 

Sunny Adler

Rituals, Campground Liaison, Green Team, Steering Committee
DSCF5676Sunny is an Earth-Worshipping, Light-Spreading, Mead-Making, Beer-Brewing, Trance-Dancing, Motorcycle-Riding, Love-Making, Child-Rearing, Garden-Growing, Kirtan-Chanting, Hands-on-Healing, Honeybee-Keeping, Real-Estate-Selling, Universe-Flowing, Music-Loving, World-Traveling, Triathlon-Training, Gratitude-Filled, Sexy, Harlot of a Pagan Woman from the Charlottesville/Staunton area (New Hope to be exact)! She is mother to Joy, Jake, Callie and Mica. She is so very happily and passionately married to Matthew. She is friend to many and hopefully many more to come.

 

Liliana Arrington

Inner Sanctum, Steering Committee
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERADiamond Lil AKA Dirty Flower AKA Lily has been a member of the larger pagan community since 2002. Her whole life, however, has been spent doggedly pursuing personal growth and union with the Divine. She started in the pagan community volunteering as an event and vendor coordinator for PagaNet News, Inc. Shortly thereafter, she became a member of Four Quarters Interfaith Sanctuary, where she danced her first all night fire circle as part of an ordeal ritual and promptly fell in love with that style of worship. From there she participated in and facilitated numerous rituals in a mostly eclectic Wiccan and ecstatic framework. Most recently, Lily has aligned her professional work with her values and has become a Certified Massage Therapist and Registered Yoga Teacher. Lily’s mission in both her spiritual and professional life is to assist others in transforming the lead of their human existence to live empowered, loving lives by working to heal the mind-body-spirit connection so that they can experience themselves and others as they truly are: whole, no more and no less than a child of God…Sacred.

 

Akamu Ipo’Honua AKA Adam

Wellspring Cafe (formerly Naturally High Zone), Green Team
AdamAdam is a Radford University science alumnus who has been attending Blue Ridge Beltane since 2011. He uses his degree in geology and his background in carpentry to create art, which he sells at festivals throughout Virginia and surrounding states. Adam is an eclectic pagan who wholeheartedly embraces all the spiritual inclusion this festival offers every year. He can be found helping in a number of places around the festival: helping with infrastructure, tending the sacred Bel fire, helping as Inner Sanctum guardian, dancing the fire, presenting workshops, beating drums, selling his art at Vendor Village, spinning fire, and managing the Wellspring Cafe. He strongly supports “free hug day” and the cultivation of a safe and welcoming place to be one’s authentic self. He is always happy to answer questions or lend a hand. Look for him at the Cafe or in Vendor Village.

 

Aimee “Thistle” Zwart

Workshops
AimeeThistle hails from the local Staunton/Waynesboro/Stuarts draft area and has been an integral part of the magical community for many years. She is the proprietor of Raven’s Mysteries in Staunton, Virginia. She has vended at Blue Ridge Beltane and participated in rituals and workshops. Now, she has made the transition to valued committee member. She says to everyone, “May we aid each other in loving growth during this time of celebration.”

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Brittany Sorrels

Marketing
Brittany Sorrels is a Mary Baldwin University student, and she is a marketing apprentice and volunteer in the children’s activity area. She first attended Blue Ridge Beltane in 2017, and she immediately welcomed the opportunity to join such an inclusive and progressive group of people. Becoming a mother encouraged her to become a breastfeeding advocate, attachment parent, and feminist-for-all. She keeps her domestic cauldron from bubbling over through personal connection with people and nature, therapeutic cooking, and academic pursuits.

She has practiced earth-based religion since her early teens, and she remains committed to cultivating that energy of loving respect for the world that nourishes all life. As a member of Shenandoah Valley Reclaiming, she coordinates public rituals to show the beauty and power of cooperative magic. She is also a member and organizer of Earth Church in downtown Staunton, a family friendly and community-led group of like-minded people sharing different perspectives on spirituality.

 
 
 

Denise “Dirty Mother” Cumor

Red Tent
deniseDenise “Dirty Mother” is a priestess, an educator, and a facilitator of the Red Tent. She defies the patriarchal paradigm by following her own intuitive path through creative expression and her commitment to womyn’s empowerment in the arts and in the history of sexuality and divine feminine worship. Experiences that have strengthened her commitment: working as a clerk at the feminist/lesbian 31st Street Bookstore in Baltimore; working as a dancer for four years on Baltimore’s infamous ‘Block’; teaching OB-GYN protocol and techniques to medical students with Johns Hopkins; a decade of costume design in Baltimore; directing and acting in various productions of The Vagina Monologues; a three-year purgatory as a corporate event planner, event coordinator, and sex educator for the Spiral Dance Women’s Center; vending, facilitating, and educating in the Red Tent for seven years in the mid-Atlantic pagan community; coordinator for the Scarlet Den at THE Beltane and the Inner Sanctum at Blue Ridge Beltane. She has been making music and writing poetry for over 20 years. Her current musical project is Red Wound. Creating art, music, and sacred space for womyn has been her joy and salvation. www.dirtymotherproductions.com

 

Dianna Sicilia

Fire Entertainment, Green Team
DiannaDianna Sicilia, MS, LAC, walks the path of healer. Her Priestess path is one with nature. Her goal of learning through listening with patience through practice comes through the zen of her herbal and acupuncture practices. Dianna is 30 years deep into her devotions and training of actively embracing the Divine through passion for being one with our Earth Mother. Cultivating sustainability through spiritual medicine and permaculture is the foundation of her all-ages program, School of the Seasons.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Edward Gatti

Security
Ed

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Eric Eldritch

Maypole
EE Faerie HatEric Eldritch is a Radical Faerie, Urban Shaman, and Avante-Gardenarian Witch who lives at the intersection of Sexuality and Spirituality. He is known as a Sacred Fool, a master of the profound and profane, bringing depth and joy to an understanding of body, mind, and soul. He has been invited back to Blue Ridge Beltane year after year to coordinate a “Maypole for All.” (Editor’s note: And because we LOVE HIM!) Eldritch is a community organizer with leadership experience in nonprofit and professional organizations for over twenty years. He specializes in event planning, public relations, and organizational development based on principles of group identity, sociolinguistics, and cross-cultural relations. Drawing on years of experience in ceremonial and ecstatic forms of worship for ritual construction, he specializes in interfaith worship and spiritual retreat planning. Eldritch consults with pagan and community groups to collaborate with, organize, and energize them. Part of his work with these groups includes crafting tailor-made classes, rituals, events, retreats, professional seminars, panels, and fundraisers. He can also create art, graphic designs, flyers, brochures, and promotional materials for groups. Eldritch welcomes your questions, communication, and collaborations! Contact him at Eldritch@EldritchVentures.org or by calling him at 202-309-5486.

Jackrabbit Burgess

Registration
Jackrabbit2

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Jane Quadri

Youth Activities Coordinator
Jane is a well-traveled, experienced educator who grew up in Ithaca, New York. After earning her B.A. from Beloit College in Beloit, Wisconsin, she went on to earn her Master of Library Sciences (MLS) degree from Syracuse University. Currently, Jane is the founder and director of Sprouts at Raw Learning Preschool in Staunton, Virginia.

Jane has always had a strong connection with nature and spirit. She has been a practicing pagan for more than 25 years and counts Starhawk and Waldorf-education founder Rudolf Steiner as two of her greatest influences. She has taught and cared for children for over 40 years, in addition to raising her own daughter. Nowadays, she also has the joy of getting to spend time with her grandson. Jane is enthusiastic about sharing her vision for the children’s activities area with the Blue Ridge Beltane festival and community.

 
 

Jenn “Obsidian Sky”

Registration
Jenn returns to the Blue Ridge Beltane committee to help with registration. A practicing witch for most of her life, Jenn has been a pillar of the Blue Ridge Beltane community for nearly two decades, leading rituals and workshops, running registration, and volunteering in many capacities on the committee. Her presence has made a huge difference to the festival as it has grown, and she is a welcome addition to this year’s planning.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Laura Szyikowski

Wellspring Cafe (formerly Naturally High Zone), Green Team
Laura

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

Matt Adler

Master of the Coin (AKA Treasurer)
MattMatt Adler is a contractor who enjoys renovating older homes and fixing almost anything mechanical. He is a nature lover, father, healer and certified massage therapist. Matt is known to brew mead and beer and is also a beekeeper. In his farmhouse in New Hope, he and his wife Sunny are working toward self-sufficiency and a sustainable lifestyle.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Owen Bonney

Inner Sanctum
Owen

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Patch Kyaio

Chief Fire Tender, Drum Circle Facilitator
PatchDrumPatch Kyaio is a dynamic and engaging percussionist whose spiritual and musical passions have come together to form a personal path that is as loud as it is enlightening. He’s been involved with Blue Ridge Beltane for many years now. He has been making noise since birth and practicing djembe for over 17 years. He has found his connection with the world through the drum. His influences range from Traditional African, Middle Eastern and Caribbean traditions to Jazz, Hip Hop, Folk and everywhere in between. With an indomitable spirit and an infectious smile, Patch weaves rhythm into every aspect of his life and teachings. His work has included education and performance for colleges, public and private schools, music festivals, spiritual festivals and fundraisers. He has performed with a wide array of musicians, including Overton Barry, Barney McClure, Mark Lewis, Norm Bellas, Karin Kajita, Easa Grayson, R. Tigre Cruz, Pash’n and more!

 
 

Raven Hawthorne

Vendor Coordinator
Raven has been a practicing witch since 2002 and is now a Reclaiming witch. Raven, who identifies with and prefers to use the pronoun “they,” is a priest of The Morrigan and uses their magic for personal, community, and global revolution. They also work with the dark aspects of the Goddess including inner transformation. Raven is the proprietor of Raven Mysteries, a shop in Staunton where they teach and facilitate workshops. Among their many other talents, Raven is also a Reiki practitioner and uses Reiki for both human and Earth healing. Drumming and mathematics are some of the other hobbies that round out Raven’s interests.

 
 

Samantha Story

Inner Sanctum
SamanthaSamantha has been a member of the Blue Ridge Beltane community since 2009 and has been actively involved with the Inner Sanctum tribe for the past 6 years. She volunteers in any way she can to help keep the space safe for those who enter and to provide comfort and support to both attendees and those running the show. She has been a solitary practitioner since 1995 with an open mind and an open heart. After finishing a career as a sailor, she was able to tap into her passion for alternative health and wellness to become a certified massage therapist/bodyworker, helping others heal while aligning mind, body, and spirit. She is a compassionate, caring, and supportive asset to the Inner Sanctum Tribe.
 
 

Melissa Todd

On Sabbatical
MelissaBioPhotoMelissa has been attending Blue Ridge Beltane since 2008 and has been a committee member since 2013. She is passionate about returning to the natural way of things and does feverish research on homesteading, natural birth and parenting. Melissa recently launched her own business, Motivated Mama, a professional handywoman, organizing, cleaning, and child care service. Blue Ridge Beltane is her yearly reminder of how beautiful humanity can be when we all come together for a common purpose. One day, you may just find her barefoot and breastfeeding on a commune somewhere! She has a beautiful daughter who has grown up in the BRB community. She says, “Please do not hesitate to contact me with any BRB-related questions, particularly for registration. See you in the spring!”

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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