==THURSDAY, May 16, 2019==
11:00am: Festival Blessing—Mason Storm Prince
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. As we embark on the enchanted journey of Beltane this year, with our community, family, and friends, we step into a sacred space and call your attention to the circle. Build upon intentions of support, safety, and transformation. We ask you to look upon our festival-goers and envelope them with warmth and protection, and further extend your energies to our ritual spaces, where we roam, and the boundaries of the property. With your help, we cast the circle and set the tone for the duration of this weekend and festival. We are blessed. We are safe. We are transformed. So mote it be!
Mason Storm Prince resides in Rockville, MD and is from Waynesboro, VA. Mason has a B.A. in English with a concentration in Creative Writing, and his interests include dance, folklore, and sound poetry. Mason currently works in Procurement and Accounting for the US Federal Government. Mason enjoys long walks in the woods, blinis, and siphoning energy with care packages. He is a syncretic and has predominantly practiced transmutation since the age of 11. Mason prefers no tags and is accustomed to solitary practice, but Mason has grown to enjoy group rituals and socialization.
5:30pm: Community Potluck
It isn’t a ritual, but everyone has to eat! Bring your favorite dishes and break bread among community before engaging in a treasured round of storytelling.
6:30pm: Bardic Circle—Eric Eldritch
Soon after the community potluck, 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!
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.
==FRIDAY, May 17, 2019==
3:00pm: Welcoming Ritual—Amber Moonflower and Molly McDonough
Welcome one and all to this beautiful four-day celebration of Beltane! We welcome you to this new and beautiful space that spirit has graciously led us to. We as a community are shapeshifters, ever-growing in a constant flow of transformation. We would like to open up this circle with that intention set forth. Together, we would like to create a container to hold the energy that we will be building throughout the festival. As we call upon spirit to prepare us for our weekend of transformation, we are reminded of our eternal gratitude to the land, the ancestors this land was taken from, and how we as community can hold it close and cherish it.
Amber Moonflower AKA Scarlett Rose is a sex worker, dancer, creatrix, and ever-evolving goddess of many crafts. Her spiritual work and self-healing experience with the divine feminine and sacred sexuality drives her passion to assist others in their own inner goddess awakening. She has been practicing yoga for nearly 7 years, is preparing for further training with Shaki Yoga School, and developing her own yoga style: Moon Goddess Yoga. Her love of music and dance has inspired her exploration of healing through movement and sound. Her love and hope for humanity is what keeps her rooted and motivated to continue to do the work that touches others’ hearts and wombs. You can usually find her skyclad while playing on a pole or with hula hoops and fire, belly dancing, stretching, or making music.
Molly McDonough has been in a deep practice of witchcraft for nearly three years. She’s always known that she was going to be a witch. Her purpose on this beautiful plane is to illuminate and give, because that is the witch’s way. She’s spent countless hours helping others process their emotions. Her community has given her the opportunity to give back to those around her, and she couldn’t be more grateful. She hopes everyone reading this has a beautiful day!
7:30pm: Fire Ritual—Enacted by the Fire Tenders and the entire community
Join with Tribe in the Fire Rite as we honor our living connection to our Blessed Earth Mother through the expression of Her Fire and our ecstatic dance. The Fire Tendering Blob and the Sacred Drummers will guide you through the magic porthole that is the ancient Bel Fire. Embody the Primordial Dancer and celebrate the Holy Trinity of Fire, Dancing, and Drumming that is our birthright given to us by our ancestors.
3:30pm: Elder Recognition—T.A.S.C. (Totally Awesome Sages & Crones) Force Council of Elders
Come together as a community to honor and recognize our collective elders and their contributions to Blue Ridge Beltane.
7:30pm: Main Ritual: Transfixed and Transformed: Honoring the Power of Beltane—Byron Ballard
We stand in one of the great hinges of the Year, a time of renewed vigor as well as introspection. With dance, chant, and guided meditation, we will dive deeply into this glorious time, leave behind what no longer serves, and welcome each other into the delicious season. Please dress so that you can gently move, breathe deeply, and honor your best and brightest self.
H. Byron Ballard, BA, MFA, is a western NC native, teacher, folklorist and writer. She has served as a featured speaker and teacher at Sacred Space Conference, Summerland Spirit Festival, Pagan Spirit Gathering, Southeast Wise Women’s Herbal Conference, Glastonbury Goddess Conference, Heartland, Sirius Rising, Starwood, Scottish Pagan Federation Conference and other gatherings. She is senior priestess and co-founder of Mother Grove Goddess Temple and the Coalition of Earth Religions/CERES, both in Asheville, NC. Her essays are featured in several anthologies and she 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 Oct. 2015. “Embracing Willendorf: A Witch’s Way of Loving Your Body to Health and Fitness” launched in May, 2017. “Earth Works: Ceremonies in Tower Time” debuted in June 2018. Byron is currently at work on “Gnarled Talisman: Old Wild Magics of the Motherland” and “The Ragged Wound: Tending the Soul of Appalachia.”
==SUNDAY, May 19, 2019==
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!
See Eldritch’s bio under Bardic Circle above.