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Rituals

Update! The 2014 rituals and ritual presenters have been announced. See below for details.

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 Friday morning
  • A welcoming ritual Friday afternoon or evening
  • The Great Fire Rite ritual Friday night
  • A Main Ritual Saturday night
  • 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.

All of our ritual leaders are volunteers from the community. Please join us in thanking them for gifting our community with their time, talent, and sacred energy. This festival (and our community) wouldn’t be the same without them.

 

RITUAL SCHEDULE 2014
Times are subject to change. Check your festival brochure when you arrive for the final schedule.

FRIDAY, May 16
10:00am: Opening Ritual with Gray Dragon (David V.)
The intention for this year’s opening ritual: Finding our own rhythm, as we embrace each other’s. Celebrating life and the music deep within that keeps us moving forward. We all march to a different drum beat. That beat interconnects with others when we celebrate together, when we love, when we raise energy in sacred space, when we laugh. As our individual rhythms connect in this ritual, we’ll set our intentions and prepare for a magical encounter with the elements, as they help us celebrate our love and connection with each other. Discover your own rhythm in the music that surrounds us. Learn to listen to the wonderful songs of your life and dance to the rhythm of your own heart.

David V bio picDavid V. “Gray Dragon,” or Gray for short, has been practicing his craft for over 10 years. He was raised in a very small town in Arizona, where he adopted the nickname of “Tree Hugger” from his peers in high school. He has recently been appointed as a High Priest for a local Pagan community group called “Out of the Broom Closet” in Richmond, VA. David has also been practicing massage therapy and energy work for the past six years. He served in the U.S. Army and was deployed overseas, helping him build strong leadership and life experience skills. Ever since he was discharged from the Army, he has dedicated his life to learning different techniques for energy and healing work to be able to help others. David looks forward to bringing his life experiences and leadership abilities to help build a stronger and closer community. Brightest Blessings to all!
 
 
 
3:00pm: Welcoming Ritual with the Blue Ridge Beltane Planning Committee
The BRB Committee will join together to officially welcome festival-goers in a ritual that is sure to set the tone for a magical weekend full of magic, friendship, love, and spirit! (Heck, the committee pulled off planning an entire festival–surely they’ll be able to handle planning a little ritual…) More details to come.
 
 
Immediately following the Welcoming Ritual: Opening Meditation: Tending the Inner Bel Fire with Gabriella Laughingbrook
Get your mind right! Marry your inner Goddess and God in this restorative, relaxing guided meditation before we launch headlong into the numerous weekend activities. Sit in Circle with fellow revelers as we ground and center on the personal gifts the Beltane holiday offers. This event makes a great follow-up to the Welcoming Ritual. However, feel free to attend one event or the other–or both–as the spirit moves you.

GabiTebbensGabriella Laughingbrook
Gabriella hails from the dark western woods of Massachusetts and has been a Witch and Devotee of the Goddess for over 24 years. She credits many a dark night fireside ritual in the New England forest with her reverence and love for Wild Witchery. Raised and educated in the northern Appalachian mountains, Gabi holds a master’s degree in diversity and social justice education. Professionally, Gabi develops corporate leadership as a trainer and facilitator. She has written Sabbat/Esbat rituals and lead Spell Circles largely in the Women’s and Reclaiming communities from Massachusetts to Michigan to northern California. Drawn to witchcraft for its foundation in Natural personal power, Gabi believes that generations of “civilization” cannot divorce the human spirit from its natural rhythms, seasons, and cycles. Gabi is a committed wisdom keeper and promotes reconnection to the Great Mother through workshops and seminars. A resident of North Carolina for 12 years, Gabi honors the ancestral path by spell crafting with herbs and oils, crystals and candles, tarot decks and ritual objects, as often as she can. Gabi and her Thor-like husband are raising their four nurslings in the central Piedmont with equal parts reverence and revelry.
 
 
8:00pm: The Great Fire Rite with Michael Gill
“Calling to the Fire”
In the twilight, the time between times summons those who will listen.
The rhythms of the night beckon you from beyond the horizon.
Leave behind the ordinary.
Leave behind the day.
Now, you are in sacred space, invoking the Powers of place.

See the Masters of Fire and Flame dancing in the distance.
Yearn for their energy to join you.
Sing them to you with your passion.
Dance them into being.

They will bring you spirit.
They will bring you motion.
They will fill you with desire.

Let the powers of Fire and Flame command you.
The Rite of Fire calls.

RITUAL CHANT for participants by Michael Gill
Bel’s fire burning bright
To our circle come ignite
Remove the darkness from our sight
We’ll dance with flame throughout the night

(*NOTE: No Bel-Fire jumping, please.)

MichaelGillPicMichael Gill (aka Woodraven, aka Runningdawn), Earth Healer, M.A., has been practicing multi-cultural shamanism for over nineteen years. His practice draws upon direct experiences in Eastern and Western mysticism, extensive studies in anthropology and ethnobotany among the Maya, Garifuna, and Creole of Belize and Guatemala, as well as his Celtic and Amerindian ancestry. Michael leads an earth-based spiritual group (Erdwys Path) in Central Virginia, conducts private and public seasonal rituals, and facilitates various workshops throughout Virginia. Michael’s other endeavors include spiritual/nature/travel writing, organic gardening, and ecopsychology.

 
 

SATURDAY, May 17
8:30pm: Main Ritual with the Assembly of the Sacred Wheel
A Ritual for the Stag God Cernunnos
The Horned Lord leads us to discover the Animal, Human, and Divine within. Three priestesses in the roles of Maiden, Mother, and Crone call forth the Antlered Lord, so that we may experience the dance that is life. As is true of all rituals that involve divine possession, there is an outline and a plan, but once the Divine is present in the ritual, it takes its own course. We have been offering this ritual since 1996; it has become one of our favorites for its power to move the Lower, the Middle, and the Higher Self. Beltane is a perfect time to engage in a ritual that awakens the passion to be fully alive.

The Assembly of the Sacred Wheel is a legally recognized Wiccan non-profit religious organization based in the Mid-Atlantic region. The form of Wicca that the Assembly practices is syncretic and draws inspiration from Astrology, Qabala, the Western Magickal Tradition, and the folk religions of Europe. Keepers of the Holly Chalice, the founding coven of the Assembly, began its life in February 1984. The Assembly was incorporated in the state of Delaware in 1993 and was granted 501(c)(3) status by the IRS in 1995. The Assembly currently consists of 11 covens: Keepers of the Holly Chalice, Coven of the Rowan Star, Oak & Willow, Weavers of the Moonfire, Guardians of the Windsword, Fellowship of the Ancient White Stag, Troupe of the Starry Door, Chalice of Living Stars, Tenders of the Earth Temple, Order of the World Tree, and Grail of the Birch Moon. The Elders of the Assembly are Helena Domenic, Ivo Dominguez, Jr., and Michael G. Smith. They are celebrating their 30th anniversary as a group this year. You can find out more at www.sacredwheel.org.

 

SUNDAY, May 18
1:30pm: Maypole for All with 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.
BRBMaypole1
 

 
 
 
 
 

Ritual Schedule at a Glance

FRIDAY
10:00am: Opening Ritual with Gray Dragon

3:00pm: Welcoming Ritual with the Blue Ridge Beltane Planning Committee

8:00pm: The Great Fire Rite with Michael Gill

SATURDAY
8:30pm: Main Ritual with the Assembly of the Sacred Wheel

SUNDAY
1:30pm: Maypole Ritual with Eric Eldritch

(Note: Times are subject to change. Check your festival brochure when you arrive for the final schedule.)

 

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

Rituals Form

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