Beltane 2014

DSC 2641May 2nd - May 4th, 2014
at Circle Sanctuary Nature Preserve
near Barneveld, Wisconsin

Coordinated by Bo & Jenn Nelson

The Earth breathes forth life from every bud and leaf, and we come alive with Her! We call out to Tribe now, to join hands in Sacred Community to dance, sing, feast, make music and love, all in Her praise. 

* Kids' Programming * Maypole * Morris Dancing * Music * Magical Merchants Faire * Bonfires * Feasting * Workshops * Drumming Circles * May Court * and MORE!


Featured Musicians and Presenters: Mami Wata

Named in honor of the African mermaid Goddess "Mother of Waters", Mami Wata is a group of female drummers from Madison, WI whose music is rooted in West Africa and her diaspora. Playing traditional instruments in a folkloric "village style", the women of Mami Wata invite you to dance to intricately interwoven rhythms, and connect with ancient earthy grooves. Get your feet on the ground, give your heart to the fire, and let your spirit soar!

mami wata


About Beltane:

Celebrating the Seasons: Beltane

Frequently Asked Questions about our 3-day festivals


Previous Beltane Events:

20132012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004



Friday, May 2nd

11 am Merchant Arrivals
Noon Open for General Arrivals
Noon - 7 pm
  • Merchant Faire on the Green
  • Silent Auction & Raffle Donations accepted in the Temple Room
3:30 pm Workshops:
  • Doorways with Colleen
    Creation of a doorway thought time & space to connect us to our most ancient of ancestors, we will create a door to be installed as a transition space between the cemetery and the throne of the Greenman/Horned One. The doorway will be available though out the festival for people to tie prayers to. Individuals may bring natural/organic items only to be tied/added to the doorframe as part of the installation.
  • Kids Workshop: Story Time with Brooke & Elders
    The time for stories is always! Let us learn our traditions through imagination and the fun of the spoken word.
5 pm Dinner behind the Farmhouse
6:15 pm Unwrapping of the Maypole
7 pm Opening Ritualwith Selena, Bo and others
8 pm Mami Wata in Concert
Named in honor of the African mermaid spirit, Mami Wata is a group of female drummers from Madison, WI who play music from West Africa and its diaspora. Mami Wata, our namesake, is venerated in many parts of Africa as the Mother of Waters. She is often depicted as a beautiful mermaid, complete with a tail, and is associated with rivers and all flowing waters. It is our hope that, in Her honor, our music may flow like Mami Wata's beautiful waves.

Saturday, May 3rd

7 - 8:30 am
  • Breakfast in the Summer Kitchen
  • Self-Guided Morning Yoga with Florence - Find your center and start the day off in serenity. Our temple room will be open in the morning as a quiet space for those wishing to practice yoga or meditate. Tea, soft music and mild incense will be provided. Bring your own yoga mat or cushion.
8 am
  • Gate Opens for general arrivals
  • Silent Auction & Raffle Items accepted in barn until 6 pm
  • Merchant Faire on the Green until 7 pm
9 am
  • Parents & Children Meet & Greet followed by Kids' Maypole Practice with Brooke
  • Adults' Maypole Practice on the Green
10 am May Court Selection & Crowning
11 am Oak Apple Morris Dancers
12:30 pm Potluck Lunch
2 pm Workshops:
  • Maypole Magic with Selena Fox
    Explore the Maypole across time and traditions. Learn about ways of working with Maypoles for personal and community Beltane celebrations and transformations. Bring a fresh flower to place at the base of Circle Sanctuary's year-round Maypole.
  • Children’s Drum Parade with Fiona and Laurie Blue Heron of Mami Wata
    On the French island of Guadaloupe, in the bright sunny Caribbean, people celebrate the return of Spring by dressing up, playing drums and marching to the beat. And so can we! Calling kids of all ages - come and learn this simple marching rhythm! When we are ready, we’ll put some flowers and leaves in our hair and parade all over Circle Sanctuary. Come and help us spread some sunshine! Many instruments will be available for you to use or bring your own drum or rattle. Meet in the Summer Kitchen.
3:30 pm Beltane Music - an Afro Celtic Experiencewith Laurie Blue Heron and Fiona of Mami Wata
Do the drums call to your soul? Are you a musician? Do you love to sing? Whether you believe in More Cowbell or not, please join us as we put together the music we will play at the Beltane Ritual later today! Laurie Blue Heron will teach a simple West African rhythm and song that we will perform to gather the people in before the ritual begins. There will be parts for all levels of ability, and room left for individual creativity as well. Bring your own drum or rattle, clap your hands, or use the rhythm instruments provided. In the second half of this workshop period, we will learn the tune, lyrics and simple rhythm for the “Witches Reel”, an authentic and magical Celtic song perfect for Maypole dancing. There is a simple guitar part for this song as well. Attendance at this workshop does not commit you to performance later, nor do you have to attend the workshop to play with us during ritual. Beltane is a perfect time to make beautiful music together! Meet in the Temple Room.
3:30 pm Kids' Maypole Dancing
Hear ye! Hear ye! I invite all those who are young and young at heart to come dance a maypole with us. There will be lots of laughter and chaotic fun with this one!!
5 pm Dinner behind the Farmhouse
6:30 pm Raffle Drawing in the Temple Room
7 pm Gate Closes for arrivals
7:15 pm Maypole Dance, Baby Blessing and Main Ritual followed by bonfire/drumming/dancing

Sunday, May 4th

7 - 8:30 am
  • Breakfast in the Summer Kitchen
  • Self-Guided Morning Yoga with Florence - Find your center and start the day off in serenity. Our temple room will be open in the morning as a quiet space for those wishing to practice yoga or meditate. Tea, soft music and mild incense will be provided. Bring your own yoga mat or cushion.
8 am Gate Opens for Arrivals
10:30 am Kids Workshop: Birding, Walk and Memory Book with Vanessa, Florence & Reed
Birds and Beauty abound at Circle. Our resident birder and plant guru show us the beauty that is all around and the magic that can be found in our feathered friends and plants. Pictures will be taken of this so that the memories and all of the plants last forever. These pictures can be turned into a lovely memory book.
10:30 am Beginner's Genealogy with Brooke
Have you ever been interested in tracing your roots? Explore some free and very simple ways of starting to research and constructing your family tree.
11:30 AM Door Hanging with Colleen
Noon Lunch behind the Farmhouse
1:30 pm Closing Ritual
3 pm Final Departures




  • 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)
  • 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.
  • Yoga mat or meditation cushion for morning centering in the temple room (optional)
  • One or more fresh flowers for the Flower Magic workshop and/or to leave at shrines & the cemetery (optional)
  • An item for the Raffle and/or Silent Auction (optional)
  • Drum, rattle, or other rhythm instrument. (optional)
  • Chants, songs, or rhythms for late night drumming/dancing (optional)
  • A stone to give away to the Stone Circle. (optional)



If interested in vending, please register as usual, read the FAQ, and contact the Circle office:




Registration is CLOSED for this event, and registration at the gate is not an option.

Cancellations received before April 29th will be refunded minus 50% processing fee. Cancellations received on April 29th or later will not be refunded. Please refer to Circle's cancellation policy if you should need to cancel your event registration.

For more information, contact or call the Circle office at (608) 924-2216.