Beltane 2008

The Magic of Beltane
May 2nd - 4th, 2008
at Circle Sanctuary Nature Preserve
near Mt. Horeb, Wisconsin

It is Beltane! The Earth softens under the caress of the sun and all the world is new. We emerge from the darkness of a long, difficult winter; our eyes drink in rolling green hills budding branches and tender shoots. We breathe deeply the fresh fragrance of radiant blossoms. We have survived!

About Beltane:

Coming together with family and Tribe we light the bale fires and dance a dance of celebration and joy. We honor the Spirits of Nature as they move across the land awakening the magic, spinning the enchantment, and we embrace the Rites of Life.

This year we welcome a very special guest; RJ Stewart, an inspired, world renowned author, teacher and a gifted musician.

Robert John (R J) Stewart was born in Edinburgh, Scotland. His father came from a Gaelic speaking family originally from the Western Highlands. His mother was Welsh, from a Welsh speaking family from the Gower Peninsula in South Wales, with a tradition of singing and playing the Welsh triple-harp. He is known today as a composer, author, and teacher, with 40 books in publication, translated into many languages worldwide. He is widely experienced in theater, film, and television, and is a skilled performer and presenter.
Beltane Festival 2008
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
2 pm Unwrapping the Maypole with Fearn! (Untie, untie, and let us all untie...)
2:30 - 4:30 pm Labyrinth Workshop with Tom Peer and others!
A Labyrinth is not a maze, but a walking meditation device with a single path from the entrance to the center, and back out again. There are no tricks, false choices or dead ends in a Labyrinth. The same path that is used to walk into the Center is used to return to the outside. Come learn some of the history and lore of this ancient symbol and prepare to walk the path for yourself! (The labyrinth will be open all night.)
5 - 6 pm Dinner
6:30 - 8 pm Drum & Dance: With Bob, Georgette, breeze and others for fun and as practice for the ritual Saturday night.
6:30 - 8 pm Children’s Activities with Marshall and others.
8 pm Opening Ritual & Beltane Festival Blessings
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 RJ Stewart Concert: An evening of original songs, music, and ancient magical ballads.

7 am Nature Walk with Reed:
One must rise early at Circle Sanctuary in order to hear 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. Enjoy an early morning walk-about on the land. Anything’s possible at Beltane!
8 am Open for Arrivals
8 - 9 am Breakfast: The coffee will be strong and hot.
9 am Ordinations:
Bob Paxton & Georgette Paxton (Aspen & UrsaLuna). You are warmly invited to join the community to witness and support Circle Sanctuary members Bob Paxton and Georgette Paxton as they accept the mantle of clergy with a Rite of Passage to formalize their Ministry. All are welcome.
10:30 am: Beltane Court:
Selection and crowning of the May Queen, May King, and Beltane Couple. The Beltane Court of 2007 will pass the crowns to the new Court. This year we will showcase the Court through out the event and solidify a legacy which identifies the importance of this position to the community and to the land for the reigning year. Look for more details on this soon.
11 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 Spirit of the Oak with Selena Fox:
The meaning of Beltane is bel-fire and one of the nine sacred woods used within those flames is the mighty oak. The oak holds much magic and lore significant to the Beltane Rites. Join Selena as she explores some of them. This workshop will include a guided journey.
3:30 - 5 pm Faery Ritual Magic: "The Magic of Three Sticks" with RJ Stewart.
Discover how to empower three sticks with the Directions of Faery, Human, and Living Creature. Based on traditional folkloric magic, this method is a unique development taught only by R J Stewart, which greatly enhances our alliance with other Orders of Life. You must bring three small sticks; each stick should be the size of your longest finger. This workshop is part of the ongoing Faery Ritual Magic and UnderWorld magic program that R J has been teaching from 1989 to the present day.
3:30 - 5:30 pm Child/Family Workshop - Invisibility Spells - with breeze!
This workshop teaches children invisibility spells including how to make themselves invisible, how to make other people invisible, and how to make objects disappear and reappear. This super secret workshop is strictly for kids (sorry, no grownups are allowed to attend except for parents) and parent supervision is required (once kids learn how to disappear, parents may need to learn how to make them reappear!). No materials are necessary.
5 - 6 pm Maypole Dancers' Practice - for those who have signed up for Maypole dancing in the Beltane Ritual. See Fearn at the Maypole!
6:30 - 11 pm Beltane Ritual:
With Selena Fox, RJ Stewart Angie, Drake, breeze and others that will begin around the Maypole. This main festival ritual includes drumming, chanting, invocations, Maypole dancing, and Community celebration. The 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. Drumming either around the bonfire or in the Temple Room with breeze & others 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":
A panel with Angie, Drake, & others. 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

Items to Bring

  • 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.
  • We’ve reduced the price of this event to help offset gasoline prices but we still need to raise funds for operating expenses! Please bring an item for the silent auction!
  • Drum, rattle, or other rhythm instrument. (optional)
  • A stone to give away to the Stone Circle. (optional)