2nd Annual Colorado Beltania Festival: Day 1
www.beltanefestival.com * Parrish Ranch * Outside of Fort Collins, Colorado * Living Earth aka Highlands Ranch Pagan Meetup *
Friday, May 8, 2009: 9 am – 2 am
“Living Earth” which is formerly known as “Highlands Ranch Pagan Meetup” has begun to host an annual celebration of the Pagan Sabbat of “Beltane” or “May Day”. On their 2nd annual run of the three day festival, this nonprofit event on a private ranch brings festivity to the season with open rituals, classes, workshops, children’s activities, and service projects. Beltania offered its attendees a large outdoor stage with some incredible acts, an indoor 3000 square foot lodge, hundreds of acres of outdoor space, restrooms with cold water showers, workshops, activities, rituals, a traditional Maypole dance, sweat lodge ceremonies, all-night drum circles, catered breakfasts/dinners, merchant area, RV/camper’s hookups, wild camping area, quiet camping area, skyclad areas, a swimming river, and much more. Over the course of the three days, the festival saw over 700 guests in attendance.
While a good portion of the attendees spent most of the first day setting up their camps, dressing up, shopping around in the merchant area, and exploring … quite a few workshops were offered such as “Meditation Beads”, “The Healing Arts of the Goddess”, “Cuddle Celebration”, “Kids Face Painting”, “Drumming 101”, “Hair Wreaths”, “Sensitives, Psychics, and Empaths, oh my”, “Sacred Body Painting”, “Hoop Dancing Playshop”, “Bubbles in the Buff on the Bluff”, “Myth for Ritual and Inspiration”. Activities involved Sweat Lodge ceremonies, Face/Body Painting, Cuddling, Parent/Child River Splash, Drum Circles, Rites of passage, Opening Rituals, Open Mic Hours, Swimming, a Hay ride, Girls’ Moonrite and Amazon Sisterhood Rites, and concerts. The Stage saw Ariana Saraha and Friends, the Mountain Trance Medicine Band, and the Muses of Turiya. The Full Moon ritual was performed under the full moon in Scorpio with emphasis on the Egyptian God Osiris and the Goddess Hathor. Elaborate costumes and drama, Hathor granted eternity and protection to the ritual participants later raising Osiris from the dead. Pretty intricate ritual. Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.
Ariana Saraha and Friends
An amazing concert performance with Ariana mesmerizing her audience with an angelic voice, blending in rhythms of the Middle East, Celtic lore, Flamenco flavor, pop sensibility, traditional yet funky soulsong. Her presence was stunning and magical. Her friday night performance at Beltania on May 8th brought a unique spirit to the stage to open up musical festivities for the festival. A well known Fusion Artist in the Colorado community, she’s an enchanting performer and captivating act. Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
Mountain Trance Medicine Band
True to their name, “Mountain Trance” this bluegrass trancy groove band lists themselves quick accurately as “Regressive TechnoBilly Bluegrass Funk and HypnoBilly TranceGrass”. A beautifully blended orchestra of fiddle, banjo, electronica dance beats, didgeridoo, African Drums, mountain melodies, and trancy grooves, bluegrass harmonies, and old claw-hammer dance tunes brought the audiences for the first night of activities at Beltania on May 8th into a frenzy of dance and fellowship. Beautifully done. Local Colorado artists from Boulder. Great job! Rating: 3.75 stars out of 5.
Muse of Turiya
Another local band from Boulder, Colorado – booty-shakin’ grooves mixed with ambient transcendental soundscapes enchanted the audiences at the Beltania Festival on its opening night of May 8th. Lots of dancing and frolick ensued from their beats. They list their music as “Sacred Groove music inspired by the divine” and I couldn’t agree more with their name. Excellent! Rating: 3.75 stars out of 5.