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Rituals

Blue Ridge Beltane is committed to community involvement in all the rituals we hold each year during our festival, so that pagans of every tradition are represented and included.

Our festival traditionally observes the following rituals, although the scheduling sometimes changes from year to year, so always check the final schedule for details:

  • A festival blessing (pre-festival – Thursday evening)
  • A welcoming ritual Friday afternoon or evening
  • The Great Fire Rite ritual Friday night
  • A Main Ritual Saturday afternoon (this is a change – used to be evening)
  • The Maypole and closing ritual Sunday afternoon

Everyone is welcome to participate or simply observe, depending on your comfort level. We only ask that you participate or observe with the utmost respect for the sacredness of the ritual taking place.
 
 

2017 Blue Ridge Beltane Rituals

 
Each year, people from the Blue Ridge Beltane community volunteer to lead rituals that fit in with our theme. This year’s theme, “Till the Soil, Tend the Soul,” guides our volunteer ritual leaders in their choices for these community rituals.

2017 Theme and Rituals
What does “Till the Soil, Tend the Soul” mean?

The Blue Ridge Beltane festival theme this year is meant to help us focus on:

  • Reconnecting with nature and Mother Earth
  • Making time for self-care and healing when we need it for ourselves
  • Exploring the healing that happens when we reconnect with nature and the Earth
  • Exploring ways to take this message back to our wider communities to heal our world during these tumultuous times

Come explore with us. Find out what it means to be part of a thriving, caring pagan community – and find out what tilling the soil and tending to your soul can inspire in your life.

 

RITUAL SCHEDULE AT A GLANCE
Updated as of March 24, 2017

THURSDAY, May 18 – Special pre-festival activities
3pm: Festival Blessing at Registration—Thistle
6pm: Potluck at the Pavilion
7:30pm: Bardic Circle at the Pavilion—Byron Ballard, Eldritch, and Community (bring your dinner and join us for a picnic)

FRIDAY, May 19
3pm: Welcoming Ritual—Lisa Adams & Kate Adamson
7:30pm: Fire Ritual—Dianna Scilia & Kate Adamson

SATURDAY, May 20
2:30pm: Main Ritual—H. Byron Ballard

SUNDAY, May 21
1:30pm: Maypole Ritual—Eric Eldritch

 

RITUAL SCHEDULE 2017

THURSDAY, May 18 – pre-festival

Aimee3pm: Festival Blessing—Thistle
Join Thistle and the Blue Ridge Beltane community in a ritual blessing. We’ll be casting a circle of love, community, and protection to embrace us all through our celebratory weekend. Help us in creating a joyful, magical foundation of friendship, learning, and worship.

Thistle says, “Hey, all you beautiful people! I am Thistle, a local pagan who has been thrilled to be a part of this magical community for many years. May we aid each other in loving growth during this time of celebration.”
 
 
 
 
 
 
6pm: Potluck at the Pavilion
It’s not a ritual, but food is important! Join the BRB committee and other festival-goers for dinner on Thursday night – and stay for the Bardic Circle afterwards!

 
7:30pm: Bardic Circle at the Pavilion—H. Byron Ballard and Eldritch
Soon after the Festival Blessing, bring your dinner to the pavilion and gather round to tell stories, sing songs, recite poems – your own or someone else’s! The Bardic Circle is one of BRB’s favorite traditions. Join in or come and listen to community storytelling at its finest! Special treat – this year’s special guest of honor, storyteller and author Byron Ballard, will be helping MC the festivities!

 
FRIDAY, May 19
3pm: Welcoming Ritual—Lisa Adams and Kate Adamson
Blue Ridge Beltane would not exist if it weren’t for community. Each of us play an important role in making the festival the wonderful, love-filled space it is. Come help set the overall tone for the entire festival weekend by co-creating a space of magic, heart-opening, healing, connection, and intention. Together, we will seed intentions that strengthen all our connections to community and Mother Earth. We will also ensure the safety and protection of everyone within the sacred container we co-create. Lisa Adams will be joined by Kate Adamson in facilitating a warm welcoming of community co-creation. Please join us!

LisaAdamsLisa Adams: Spiritual Badass, Goddess-preneur, High Priestess of all things Holistic and Mystical, Yogini, Renegade Mystic, Warrior, Luminary, Catalyst of profound awakenings and Soul Pyromaniac – Lisa’s dedication to self-growth fuels her passion to help others do the same.

Lisa Adams has been working in the healing arts for over 25 years. She holds a bachelor’s degree from James Madison University in religion and women’s studies, and she is an ordained minister. Since 1999, she has been leading and facilitating sacred ceremonies. She feels strongly that sacred ceremony is a missing key to healing mind, body, and spirit. Incorporating rituals of healing into her work, she guides others, especially women, along their healing journeys to love themselves and live more heart-centered lives, using her many skills and talents. Lisa believes that women are a force of healing transformation for their families and communities.

KateAKate Adamson loves theater, ritual, and community (and believes they’re all pretty much the same thing). She lived at Twin Oaks Community for many years and now lives in the woods in Afton, VA with her child, partner, and dog. An ordained interfaith minister (not from the internet!), she serves as a hospital chaplain, spiritual counselor, and ritual facilitator for people of all spiritual paths.

 
 
 
7:30pm: Fire Rite—Dianna Sicilia and Kate Adamson
We welcome you to celebrate our diversity. Diversity unites us together, making us stronger as a whole. Cultivating joy, we will raise energy that will ignite and sustain our Bel Fire. The love and passion from our hearts will join to fuel the flames of our Fire Rite.

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.

 
Kate Adamson – see bio above

 
 
 
 
 
 
SATURDAY, May 20
2:30pm: Main Ritual: The Dirt Worshipers’ Ball—Byron Ballard and members of Mother Grove Temple
That smell of soft rain on fresh soil…the feel of grass on bare feet. As Folk of the Earth, we celebrate Beltane in earthy ways – gardening, dancing, walking in the hills, singing with our chosen family, loving those we love. In this ritual, we will come into deep relationship with the ancient highlands as we weave this community into a strong, sustainable basket. Chant, dance, guided meditation, and intentional communion guide us into a place of bliss and beautiful connection, of power and action. This ritual is suitable for all ages and abilities. Come set the manifesto for dirty dancing and wild resilience at the BRB Dirt Worshipers’ Ball!

ByronH. Byron Ballard is a western NC native, teacher, folklorist and writer. She has served as a featured speaker and teacher at Sacred Space Conference, Pantheacon, Pagan Spirit Gathering, Southeast Wise Women’s Herbal Conference, Glastonbury Goddess Conference, Scottish Pagan Federation Conference and other gatherings. She is senior priestess and co-founder of Mother Grove Goddess Temple in Asheville, NC. Her essays are featured in several anthologies. She blogs and writes a regular column for Witches and Pagans Magazine. Her book, “Staubs and Ditchwater,” debuted in 2012, and the companion volume, “Asfidity and Mad-Stones,” was published in October 2015. Byron is currently at work on “Gnarled Talisman: Old Wild Magic of the Motherlands.” Contact her at info@myvillagewitch.com.

 
 
 
 
SUNDAY, May 21
1:30pm: Maypole Ritual—Eric Eldritch
The BRB “Maypole for All” is a ribbon winding rite for those under seven, over seventy, and everyone in between. Celebrate this inclusive rite of wreath and pole, toss special bean bags in a nod to biology, give a wink to all lovers, and a blessing for everyone. This fecund festivity raises energy for all who plan to conceive, incubate, and bring forth joy. Bring your ideas of what you can achieve … and revel in Maypole Blessings!

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.

 

Have questions or want to volunteer to lead a ritual? Contact us with the form below.

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