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.
Here are the 2015 ritual presenters! The theme of our Beltane festival this year is “Embracing Your Personal Power”. This year, rituals will revolve around ways for you to tap into and embrace your personal power in a positive, healthy way that helps you as an individual and is also positive for the community.
RITUAL SCHEDULE 2015
10:00am: Festival Blessing—Committee Members
The Festival Blessing is a wonderful way to kick off the festival, come together as a community, and set our intentions for an empowering, transformative, peaceful and positive gathering.
3:00pm: Welcoming Ritual—David V. “Gray Dragon”
Time to get rid of what’s holding us back, so we can embrace our personal greatness!
Insecurities, anger, sadness, and general negative energy can really weigh you down and make you feel alone, isolated. But you’re not alone. Everyone carries some insecurities and worry inside them—no matter how hard they try to get rid of them. Now, you can finally take a step towards not letting these insecurities and negativity control you any more—without judgment, without fear. This is an embracing ritual, never a judgmental one. Bringing our energies together, we’ll let go of what is not serving us well.
First, we’ll call upon the Watchtowers to be with us, guide us, inspire us, and empower us. Then, we will make our offerings to the Fire of that which is holding us back from embracing our personal power.
This ritual brings us together to grow, to celebrate each other’s greatness, and to help each other become the best we can be. So feel free to scream, cry, laugh, jump, or whatever it is you need to do to let go. We have a wonderful weekend ahead of us, and this ritual will help us make the best of it and take advantage of the classes and community during Beltane.
Come together as strangers, and leave feeling that you are now part of a wonderful extended family that will be there to see you through and celebrate you for who you truly are.
BE STRONG – BE LOVE – BE EMPOWERED – BE BOLD … BE YOU AND EMBRACE YOUR PERSONAL POWER!!!
David 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. David has also been practicing massage therapy and energy work for the past seven 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!
8:30pm: Fire Rite—Carlee Bee and Patch
More details to come, but you know if Patch is leading it, it’s going to be amazing! Join the Blue Ridge Beltane community as the sun sets over the Blue Ridge mountains in the horizon and we take part in the ancient, time-honored tradition of lighting the sacred Bel-Fire for Beltane. Get your own creative juices flowing and raise some fertile, sacred energy to the goddesses and gods at Beltane! (No Bel-Fire jumping, please.)
Patch is a dynamic and engaging djembist with over 13 years of experience, most of which has been spent practicing rhythm-based shamanism. He has been the apprentice of the talented and enlightened Tigre Cruz since the age of 11 and has also studied under a multitude of other percussionists from varying influences, ranging from traditional African and Middle-Eastern styles to reggae and jazz. With a flamboyant and charismatic demeanor and a smile on his face, Patch is a fun and skilled drummer who weaves rhythm into powerful energy work, influencing everyone and everything around him.
Carlee Bee is an artist in an array of arenas: dance and hula hoop dance, nutritional cooking, gardening, massage therapy, two-dimensional art, and yoga, just to name a few. One of her latest endeavors has been to learn the fine art of making drums (and other percussive instruments) as Conrad Kubiak’s apprentice for Spirit In The Wood Drum Company based in Pennslyvania. Her path of intentional spirituality has brought her to Blue Ridge Beltane, where we welcome her with open arms.
8:30pm: Main Ritual—Fox and Arrowind
Join the Blue Ridge Beltane community as Fox and Arrowind present a ritualized ‘theatre in the round’ style passion play of The Story of Persephone. As a participant, you will be invited to join in this journey and to re-emerge with an awareness of the strength of your own personal power.
Fox and Arrowind have been practicing pagans for over 20 years. They have participated in groups and as solitaries. Both Fox and Arrowind enjoy being eclectic, and their styles lean toward Celtic and Norse traditions with elements of shamanic practice. For the past six years, they have produced the alternative spirituality podcast, Pagan Parents on the Edge. At their new home, Sacred Waters Sanctuary, they are currently endeavoring to create a retreat for alternative spirituality, healing, and artistic expression. In his spare time, Fox is an amateur musician and aspiring artist. Arrowind is a Licensed Professional Counselor with a focus on alternative healing modalities, including energy psychology and reiki.
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!
Eric 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.
Ritual Schedule at a Glance
10:00am: Festival Blessing-BRB Committee
3:00pm: Welcoming Ritual-Gray Dragon
8:30pm: Fire Rite-Patch
8:30pm: Main Ritual-Fox and Arrowind
1:30pm: Maypole Ritual-Eric Eldritch
Have questions or want to volunteer to lead a ritual? Contact us with the form below.