Each year, the Blue Ridge Beltane Workshop Coordinator carefully chooses a select group of workshops to be presented at the festival. The topics can range widely and typically reflect the annual theme. Past topics have included bellydancing, crafts, chanting, divination in many forms, drumming, herbs, meditation, nature walks, Pagan gardening, Pagan parenting, Reiki energy work, wand making, and so many more, all with magical and spiritual intent.
2020 Blue Ridge Beltane Workshops
All workshops are 90 minutes unless otherwise stated. The schedule is still in process, and we are patiently awaiting some workshop descriptions and presenter pictures. Stay tuned!
Schedule is subject to change up until the festival opens.
Descriptions and Presenters
With Soul Fire
Got the fire bug? We will cover how to safely handle and store fuel, wet and extinguish props, and communicate with each other while props are lit. All experience levels are welcome. This workshop is mandatory to flow with fire or be a supporting safety for fire artists at Blue Ridge Beltane. Attendees will only be permitted to participate in evening fire spinning activities after completing this workshop and receiving a unique wristband. Some fire performances may be restricted for ritual purposes, but open jams are available each evening.
With Katherine Rahman
At our workshop, we will demonstrate a variety of types of quantum devices that we call “Akashic Bridges.” We will also offer demonstrations throughout the day for participants to experiment and see where their journey with the devices may take them. Devices will be available to order for purchase.
With Lyz Frey
As Blue Ridge Beltane, we are a community with deep roots in these mountains. But the magic of these mountains dates back hundreds of years, and lies within the lore of our ancestors, the Appalachian Granny Witch. In this workshop, we will discuss the history of ancestral healing and the Granny Witch. Then we will take those traditions and discuss many of the healing herbs and recipes still available to us and how we can bring ancestral medicine into our modern homes.
Lyz Frey has been a practitioner of every day heathenism since finding and embracing her past lives through her ancestors. She has spent over a decade in the art of healing as a registered nurse, and is now a full time herbalist and part of the modern tradition of Appalachian Granny Witches in the Potomac Highlands of West Virginia. She is owner of Valkyrie Springs Farm and Forage with her husband Arthur, where they sustainably grow and wild harvest medicinal and culinary herbs.
Bear Spirit Mountain – Morning Hike
with Arthur Frey
Background: Majestic Knoll is the big pyramid knoll that you see in the near distance from Buffalo Gap Campground. Ongoing studies show that what we now call Majestic Knoll was once called Bear Spirit or Adonvdo Yona by the local Cherokee Tribes. Further investigation leads us to believe that this site was in use as far as 13,000 years ago, during the Pleistocene Era by the Clovis culture as a pilgrimage site. On the mountain, more than a dozen burial mounds have been found, along with carved animal glyphs and most excitingly, two solstice stones.
Description: We will leave 90 minutes before forecasted sunrise for that day, for a moderate hike to the summit for a ceremony/ritual to welcome the sun at this historically mystical site. Our ceremony leader will be approximately named Sunny Adler. Following the ceremony, we will spend as much time is needed for individuals to welcome the day as they see fit. People may file out back down the mountain as they wish, but the hike leader will follow down, after all, to make sure there are no stragglers or people needing assistance.
Notes: There will be no ground fires allowed or anything else that will leave a scar on this site. This is a moderately difficult hike that is unfortunately not suitable for people with severe mobility issues. If you have a question about this, please speak with Arthur in person at some point before the event. No one will be left behind in either direction.
Arthur (aka Beast) is an avid outdoorsman, bushcrafter and hunter, who fell in love with nature and natural movement at an early age, and felt it naturally transform into what he now calls “Everyday Heathenism”. After a few decades of working as a professional software developer, he was called again to the wild where he now resides in the shadow of this wonderful place.
with Josh Ethier
We live in a world surrounded by the elements: Earth, Air, Fire, Water, and Spirit. These forces permeate our spiritual and physical worlds. ‘Elemental Personalities’ is designed to help us identify our relationships with the elements, bringing awareness to our balances and imbalances. Through the utilization of our Myers-Briggs scores, and our own understanding of these elements, we will begin the work of bringing these relationships into harmony. Workshop involves practical work and meditation circle.
NOTE: Please bring your Myers-Briggs score with you — this can be your “homework” till festival. We can guess based where you would fall based off of your own understanding, though things will move smoother with a little prep. Provided are links to free sources:
You CAN take the test from Myers Briggs Test Official Online (but this will set you back about $50).
Bio coming soon!
Gender? What’s Up With That?
With Laura Szyikowski and Jennifer Hudson
Gender! What’s up with that? Come have a discussion about all things gender, including trans issues, clothing problems, parenting dilemma’s, and how we can support each other as we feel this powerful social construct which holds weighted and unrealistic expectations. This group will end with a circle dance for unity. All humans are welcome.
Led by: Laura Szyikowski and Jennifer Hudson. Bios coming soon.
Intro to Service Work in Other Regions
With Tony Bradley
This workshop is an introduction into service work in other regions. We will talk specifically about the Highlands of Guatemala, the Mayan culture and current programs for service work ranging from stove building to reforestation. You will also be exposed to Mayan spiritual traditions ranging from their clothing and food to language and ceremony.
The workshop will also cover how these programs were developed and maintained as well as there very low cultural impact on the community they serve. We will cover the pros and cons of service work as well as some basic does and don’ts of living and working within a foreign culture.
Information will be available for the Highland Support Project, which provides service trips to Guatemala year round.
Tony Bradley has been a part of the Pagan Community since before the first Beltane at Camp Albermarle. A retired Firefighter, Tony has spent a number of years at the helm of Zero Gravity Video and has been embedded in remote locations documenting subjects ranging from Human Trafficking to Illegal International Adoption. Tony now lives in Manakin Sabot, Virginia.
Magickal Empowerment: The Witches’ Creed
With Mary Belle Weeks aka Amethyst
You had a spell or two you needed to do. You gathered everything you need to cast your Circle, made the necessary herbal blends, checked the day of week, planetary alignments, colors, candles, stones and anything you needed to do the spell exactly by the book. You did the work, but it seems your desires are not met! Perhaps you need a bit of Magickal Empowerment to make things really happen. Have you ever heard of Magickal Empowerment? Who has it? What is it and what does it do? When can you use it? Where does it come from? Why do you need it? How do you get it? The answers to these questions are within the knowledge of The Witches’ Creed. Come, let us seek together to solve some of the Mystery “If that which you seek you do not find within yourself, you will never find it without.” (The Charge of the Goddess, by Doreen Valiennte) Please bring a writing utensil, paper, and something firm to put under the paper as you take notes! Please do not use electronics for note-taking – your first lesson in Magickal Empowerment.
Mary Belle Weeks aka Amethyst, is a solitary witch who has been practicing her entire life. After studying various religions, she has somewhat settled down to her own brand of doing what is right without pushing it off on others very often. She owns A Fairies Circle, a store that operates on an occasional basis vending at festival ; and she founded Haven Universal Life Church in Waynesboro, VA. Through Haven, monthly Full Moon Open Circles, workshops and classes are held upon request. She has been a vendor and presented workshops on a variety of topics at many festivals during the last 25 years. Amethyst holds a Bachelors of Music Education and Master of Educations degrees along with various awards garnered during 30 years of teaching middle school. She is retired and has let her public school teaching license lapse; however, she still teaches whatever/whenever she can.
Magickal Properties of Color: Your Personal Colors
With Jim Welch
Every color is important. We all have favorite colors and others, not so much. There are also colors that relate to us because of our name and date of birth. These are our personal colors. They are ours and cannot be changed. We’ll determine what those colors are and how they relate to us on a personal level. Grab a pen and join us for a fun set of activities to learn how color influences our lives.
Bio coming soon!
Maintaining the Machine
With Mason Storm Prince
An engineer makes a machine out of individual components with varying functionality to achieve an ultimate outcome. However, an engineer often consorts with a designer and a physicist for ascetics and feasibility. Rituals follow a similar rhythm; whereby, the individuals and tools act as the consort and components: each having a unique role and responsibility. In this workshop we will discuss how to incorporate a variety of individuals and/or tools into your rituals to ensure the machine is well crafted and lubricated for maximum performance. Join me in crafting our own machine; let’s sustain it together!
Mason Storm Prince resides in Rockville, MD and is from Waynesboro, VA. Mason has a B.A. in English, Creative Writing, and has an interest in dance, folklore, and sound poetry, while currently working in Grants Management for the US Federal Government. Mason enjoys long walks in the woods, blinis, and siphoning energy with care packages. Mason is a syncretic and has predominantly practiced transmutation since the age of 11. Mason prefers no tags and is accustomed to solitary practice, but has grown to enjoy group rituals and socialization.
If you are interested in presenting a workshop for 2020, please contact us using the form below.
Please make sure to include your legal name (and your magical name, if applicable), your contact information, and a description and title of your workshop idea in order to be considered as a workshop presenter.