Beltane 2007

The Magic of Beltane
May 4th - 6th, 2007
at Circle Sanctuary Nature Preserve
near Mt. Horeb, Wisconsin

Buds bursting into bloom, fragrant flowers gift us with their scents, rolling green hills and blue skies beckon us to Circle Sanctuary Nature Preserve ... it's Beltane!!! Welcome to the fun and festivities in honor of this sacred fire festival when the Earth performs the dance of the May, a celebration of the rich blossoming of life!

C'mon! C'mon! It's time to laugh and dance and play! Our hearts are light, the Faeries are moving across the land and magic is afoot! Prepare to immerse yourselves in the Rites of Life!! We're glad you're here!

Beltane Festival 2007
10 am Merchant arrivals and setup begins
Noon Registration opens and arrivals begin. Magical Faire opens: visit booths with a variety of Pagan wares, including books, clothing and jewelry.
1 pm Welcome to Circle Sanctuary: Opening Welcome Circle - "The Many Facets of Beltane," Introduction & Discussion with Angie, Drake, Tessa & breeze.
2 pm Unwrapping the Maypole (Untie, untie, and let us all untie...) With Fearn!
2:30 - 4:30 pm Workshop: Experience Contact Improv - the most clothes on, fun, Beltane dance style possible; a dance without steps or music to limit your creativity. Slither and slide your way around your partner(s) listening with your body, surrendering your weight to your partner, following a moving point of contact, and savoring the floor and gravity. Nataraj will guide you through the core concepts of this unique dance style showing you how to put your entire body, and your partner's, into dance. Awkwardness or inexperience is not a limitation.
5 - 6 pm Dinner
6:30 pm Singing the Soul Home; A Love Story - Workshop with Drake at Stone Circle, weather permitting. Bring a stone to add to the Circle! Before we can ever become fully capable of loving another human being with all of our soul,it stands to reason that we need to HAVE all of our soul. How can we truly be said to love another if we cannot love ourselves? How can we love ourselves if we are not completely ourselves on the first place? Imagine what it would be like if we all brought our full array of unique gifts to our relationships instead of mutual neediness. Sadly, the traumas, losses, and even the overly shrill alarm clocks of our lives engender in all of us varying degrees of "soul loss". In many cultural contexts, the "shaman" journeys to collect those lost bits of our spirits, wandering or stuck in the Otherworlds. What if it were possible, out of the genuine longing of our hearts, to call those pieces of ourselves back to us on our own? Join us for a brief workshop in which we sing our souls back home.
6:30 - 8 pm Children's May Basket Making - with MoonFeather! A special treat for the wee folk!
8 pm Opening Ritual & Beltane Festival Blessings - with Angie, Drake, Helen Bond and others! Lighting of Faerie flames and petition for the blessings of the Good People, the Trooping Faeries who are on the move this Beltane Eve. Bring a votive candle in a glass jar (the glass jar is important!) or a candle lantern for traveling across the land, honoring the Nature Spirits & communing with the Fey. Wear ritual garb if you like!
9:30 pm "Tavern on the Green": We're back - bold and bustin' out! Revel with friends old and new in a setting of bygone days. Enjoy refreshments, open mike entertainment, and karaoke after open mike entries. Be taunted and teased by lusty bar wenches and strapping beer boys. A fabulous fund raiser for the Circle Sanctuary Building Renovation project! Bring an item for the silent auction!

7 am Nature Walk with Reed! Enjoy an early morning walk-about on the land. Listen to the May birdsong, see the wild life, forage for seasonal foods and maybe catch a glimpse of a Water Sprite or a Forest Nymph or two. Anything's possible at Beltane!!
8 am Open for Arrivals
8 - 9 am Breakfast - The coffee will be strong. Don't think we won't be reminding you about the bad Karaoke from the night before.
9 - 9:30 am Newcomers Meeting with Amra - Come one and all for an introduction to Circle Sanctuary and the special sites on the land. A good way to meet new folks, and to heckle Amra.
10 am: Beltane CourtSelection and crowning of the May Queen, May King, and Beltane Couple. The Beltane Court of 2006; Micheala & Ted, Meadowyn & Alex will pass their crowns to the new Court.
10:30 am Oak Apple Morris Dancers - Performances of English traditional dance by the Oak Apple Morris Dancers.

Part of the mystery of the morris is that there is so little historical information about it. Some would like to believe that it is a surviving remnant of Druidic springtime rites. Others think that John of Gaunt or some crusaders brought it to England after the Moorish conquests. Alternatively, it bears some resemblance to a form of Italian court dance called the Moresca which dates from the 12th century. Here at Circle Sanctuary we let the Morris Dancers remind us of the fertility customs of our ancestors; the clacking of antlers and high stepping as a symbol of the jubilance of Spring and the Summer ahead. Join the Betty, the Fool and the Hobby Horse as we dance in the Merry Merry Month of May; the season of Beltane!
12:30 - 1:30 pm Lunch
2 - 3:30 pm The Magic of West Africa - with Helen Bond and Fode Camara, a native of Guinea, West Africa, who shares the magic of everyday life as a practitioner of ancient African animist traditions. He also practices Islam which is the primary religion of Guinea. This is an open forum question and answer session. Fode is a musician specializing in the dunun drums: "the heart of the West African Orchestra". He tours North America with Famoudou Konate during his From Hand To Hand *Wassa Kunba! Tour. (*Malinke for "Great Joy") Helen will be translating.
3:30 - 5 pm West African Drum Class - with Helen Bond

Come learn drum rhythms of Guinea, West Africa. We will be using djembes and dununs.

Helen Bond is a performer, percussionist, educator and storyteller. She is the founder and owner of Medusa's Musical Mysteries, and co-founder of the Performance Ensemble Diamana Diya and the Benkadi Project. Helen has traveled to Guinea, West Africa over the past seven years where she lives among the Malinke people. While there, she studies under world-renowned musician Famoudou Konate, grand master of the djembe drum and its orchestra (bass drums-dununs). Helen spends her time learning traditional music, dance, songs and local culture of Guinea. She also tours with Famoudou Konate throughout North America. The drum awakens our innate creativity and provides a channel for an introspective journey. Feel refreshed, revitalized and rejuvenated as you reconnect to your primal origins. Join her for a wonderful community drum experience.

3:30 - 5:30 pm Child/Family Workshop - Shapeshifting - with breeze! Parents are welcome! Come move and dance like the animals, talk about their strengths and then choose one to be, in the ritual! Have your face painted either like your totem, or tribally!
5 - 6 pm Maypole Dancers' Practice - for those who have signed up for Maypole dancing in the Beltane Ritual.
6:30 - 11 pm Beltane Ritual with Angie, Drake, and others that will begin around the Maypole. This main festival ritual includes drumming, chanting, invocations, Maypole dancing, and Community celebration. This rite will be followed by a procession to Festival Circle, passing through the fires of purification and leaping the Beltane Balefire for fertility, prosperity and good fortune. Includes Beltane Feast - Join us for a very special feast in Meadowvale, and drumming afterward.

8:30 - 9:30 am Breakfast
9 am Gate opens for arrivals
9 am - 2 pm Magical Merchant Faire
10 am "Bringing it Home: Taking Beltane out into the World" workshop with Angie, Drake, Tessa & breeze. A roundtable discussion about the journey you've just gone through, and taking the spirit of Beltane into the rest of the season.
1:30 pm Festival Closing Ritual: Thanks and blessings to festival participants for your journey home.
2 pm Lunch
3 pm Cleanup & Departures

About the FundraiserThe Temple space was created in our old-style Wisconsin barn in 1985; the walls were drywall and the floor plywood. The drywall had been painted white long ago but the accumulation of 21 years of candle and incense burning had taken their toll. It is a 900 square foot finished room with a 15 foot, exposed beam ceiling.

On a Community Work Day in October, Moonfeather, Willowhawk, Fearn & Rown painted the walls and replaced the floor in the Temple Room, transforming it from a well used and lovingly worn space into the beautiful room that you see today.

The furnace in the barn is also over 25 years old and is no longer functioning properly or effectively. We have been advised by professionals that repair is no longer an option, the system must be replaced. We would like to replace the furnace with a more efficient model that will heat as well as air condition the space thereby allowing us to do away with the current cumbersome and energy-inefficient window units.

We need your help.

The Pagan Community is not always aware of the financial investment required to maintain an asset such as Circle Sanctuary. We do not have the luxury of passing a collection plate every Sunday - and so, at Beltane, the time of verdant prosperity, abundance and growth, we ask you to consider becoming a part of the ongoing up keep of this 200 acre Church.

The money we collect from this fundraiser will go toward a new HVAC (heat, ventilation and air conditioning) system for the Temple area of the Barn as well as to pay off the debt incurred for the beautiful new flooring and paint in the Temple Room. There will be many fun opportunities for you to make a contribution this weekend. The silent auction, the Tavern of the Green or in the bookstore.

Our ultimate goal is to raise $25,000. Please consider making this the time you pledge a large donation, spread out over the year, or in a lump sum.

We accept cash, checks or credit cards.

All donations are tax deductible. Please give generously.

Items to Bring

  • Songs, poetry and creative works for Friday's open mike (under 15 minutes, please!)
  • Ritual garb and/or brightly colored clothes, as well as a crown of flowers or greens for your head or bells for your feet, to wear during the Beltane ritual. Faerie, elven, pixie and fantasy garb are encouraged throughout the weekend and especially for the Beltane ritual Saturday evening. (optional)
  • A votive candle in a glass jar for the Opening Ritual.
  • Big bouquet of flowers to decorate our sacred space for Saturday's Main Ritual.
  • Contribution for potluck feast to feed at least two dozen, for Saturday lunch. For details, please see our Potluck Guidelines.
  • Your own cup to use for drinks at meals and other times.
  • Camping Gear: tent, sleeping bag, pillow, air mattress, flashlight, water jug, towel, biodegradable soap and shampoo, personal toiletries, sungear, raingear, cold weather gear, insect and tick repellent.
  • A lawn chair, mat, or blanket for outdoor seating. Many activities will be outside.
  • Drum, rattle, or other rhythm instrument. (optional)
  • A stone to give away to the Stone Circle. (optional)