DAY 2 and 3 of BELTANIA 2009

2nd Annual Colorado Beltania Festival: Day 2 and 3

www.beltanefestival.com * Parrish Ranch * Outside of Fort Collins, Colorado * Living Earth aka Highlands Ranch Pagan Meetup *

Friday-Sunday, May 8-10, 2009

“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.

May Pole Procession:





Read Day 1 Review

Day 2:

Saturday was the heartbeat of the festival. Saturday was a day of frolick for me so I didn’t get to attend any of the workshops. Presented were workshops and classes on “Sacred Voice”, “Exploring Feminine and Masculine Energies through Hatha Yoga”, “The Charge of the Goddess”, “Timing is Everything”, “Magic and the 4 Elements with Wendy Rule”, “Earth Vision Trance Mission”, “Mead Making”, “Becoming One with the Sun and Earth”, “Interpretive Tarot Workshop”,. with other activities such as “hayrides”, “facepainting”, “bodypainting”, “breakfast”, “Laughing Monkey Chant”, “Kids Magic Show”, dinner, and the rituals which I did get a chance to participate in such as the Maypole Procession, May Day Ritual, May Pole Dance, all night drum circle/bonfire, and the fabulous performances and concerts by “Skean Dubh”, “Cheri Shanti”, “Tuatha”, “Wendy Rule”, and “Lunar Fire”. Hundreds attended the May Day ritual and Dance which brought fertile May Showers for the evening. Regardless with the pouring down rain, the concerts still prevailed with some amazing acts and a fantastic end performance with Lunar Fire. Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5.

Day 3:

Sunday saw a wrapping up of a fabulous festival with a few workshops such as “Men’s Mysteries of the Bluff”, “Wise Woman Traditional Herbal Medicine”, “Druidry”, and activities such as “Kids coloring”, “Women’s Mysteries Ritual”, “Cuddle Celebration”, an Open Drum Circle, Witnessing each other Ritual, Adults Only Skinny Dip, Yearbook, All ages River Splash, and a loving Mother’s Day Ritual and Closing Rite. While many packed up early, the festivities still prevailed. The sun gleeming and the rain drenched grounds drying up … peacocks babbling and festival-goers exchanging contact information. Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.

May Day Dance and Ritual:




May Day / Beltane:

Every year around May 1st, tens of thousands of adults and children perform the dancing of the May, also known as “May Day” or “Maypole Dancing”. Originally a Celtic as well as Germanic festival celebrating fertility and the mid-point between spring and summer with the end of winter. To some cultures this was the first day of Summer with the Summer Solstice being called MidSummer (June 21st). Some believe that May Day first appeared in pre-Christian Celtic and Germanic cultures as a celebration of the Roman Goddess “Flora” (Goddess of Flowers) and the Gaelic celebrations of “Beltane”. Adopted by many religions and local customs, celebrating May Day is no longer solely “Pagan”. It is a common practice of secular elementary schools, folk festivals, and church groups to hold May Day celebrations and dancing of the May Pole in Europe and North America. As Pagan Europe became Christianized, Christianity was quick to adopt the traditions making it a secular celebration as were Christmas, Easter, and Halloween. The Catholics adopted May as “Mary’s month” usually incorporating May Day celebrations in honor of the Virgin Mary. Often her head, adorned with flowers and wreaths, would be accompanied in processions and marches. The act of giving May baskets full of sweets and flowers, were often left on neighbours doorsteps. The Neo-Pagan Movement has taken very proud steps to reclaim their heritage with this particular festival and traditions. The festival involves selection of a May Queen, crowning the Queen of the May, and dancing the May Pole. The holiday is most popularly celebrated on May 1st, but out of convenience, celebrated when convenient on the weekends before and after the actual calendar date.





The May Pole

A central theme and feature of the May Day or Beltane Celebrations, the May Pole is danced traditionally, religiously, and secularly by an assortment of groups, cultures, communities, churches, schools, and faiths. The May Pole is a tall wooden pole usually of birch, maple, or hawthorn that is erected as a symbol of May Day or Midsummer. Early beliefs saw this as a phallic symbol, representing the vitality of the male sex. The pole represents youthfulness, community, celebration, arrival of summer, and fertility. The wreath and ribbons attached to the top, spiraling down to the bottom by action of the dance represents the female vulva and the act of sex to enact the ritual act of fertility, intercourse, prosperity, growth, and creating life. The weaving in/out and up/down of the participants, staggered male/female and dancing in opposite directions is to symbollize the act of copulation to bring forth fertility and prosperity for the community and growth of the crops and livestock. In many countries and places, the May Pole is a permanent feature of the town square while in most festivals it is removed after dancing and is either re-used or a new one erected in its place. the permanent ones are usually annually repainted. These poles are decorated with ribbons and garlands usually of flowers. The Ribbons are affixed to the top of the pole which is decorated with garlands, flowers, and a large circular wreath also composed of flowers that is part of the ritual or celebrational dance. The dancing of the May Pole is very popular in American and European cultures, often seen in Germany, Sweden, Austria, England, Hungary, Czech Republic, Finland, Slovenia, Slovakia, and the United States.










Photo by James


Photo by James


Photo by James


Photo by James


Photo by James


Photo by James


Photo by James


Photo by James


Photo by James


Photo by James


Photo by James


Photo by James


Photo by James


Photo by James


Photo by James


Photo by James


Photo by James


Photo by James


Photo by James


Photo by James


Photo by James


Photo by James


Photo by James


Photo by James


Photo by James


Photo by James


Photo by James


Photo by James


Photo by James

Skean Dubh
Saturday, May 9th, 2009: Beltania 2009, Parrish Ranch, Colorado

http://www.freewebs.com/skean_dubh/

Skean Dubh came to Beltania with an assortment of Irish pub-songs, Scottish ballads, and Celtic Folksongs to bring festivity and dance to the festival-goers. One of Colorado’s favorite Celtic bands, Skean Dubh brigns to the stage an assortment of traditonal instruments, tunes, and fellowship. The band consists of Lauren Douglas who shares lead and harmony vocals as well as the accordian, with Phillip M. Douglas who also sings lead and harmony with guitar, five-string banjo, and mandolin; Other band members range from Marianne Gibbs with the Celtic harp and 5-string viola, Eric Olson with Uilleann pipes, whistles, mandolin and guitar; James Messerich playing percussion, and harmony vocals; and a variety of guests for different performances. Their acts for Beltania were sensational. Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.

Cheri Shanti
Saturday, May 9th, 2009: Beltania 2009, Parrish Ranch, Colorado

http://www.myspace.com/cherishanti
From Friday night’s fame, the lead singer of the Muse of Turiya, came back to the stage to enchant the heathens at Beltania 2009. Pagan roots inspiring her music, she was an amazing jewel of the afternoon just before the rains started to hit as a fertile sign of a successful May Day dance. Cheri is also a teacher, writer, powerful community focalizer, and the author of “Muse Power: How Recreational Music Making Heals us from Depression and Other Symtpoms of Modern Culture” which she helps spread healing through music around the world. She’s been performing for over 12 years as a percussionist, singer, songwriter and dancer. She has 3 Solo CD’s out and is releasing a 4th in 2009 with her band “Turiya” as The Muse of Turiya. Her style is 100% original, and her passion for sharing the music and inspiring others is evident in every interaction, whether on stage or facilitating groups. Her performance at Beltania was extremely mesmerizing …. Great job! Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5.

Tuatha
Saturday, May 9th, 2009: Beltania 2009, Parrish Ranch, Colorado

http://www.tuatha.net/
To the stage they came, one of Fort Collins most popular bands, bringing a psychedellic collage of trance dance, world groove, and tribal fusion to the stage. Very popular amongst the tribal fusion belly dance crowd this band always bring dance and festivity wherever they perform. They name themselves after the Tuatha which means “the people, the children, or the tribe”. Related to the Tuatha dé Danaan, the people of the Goddess Dana, which was an early tribe in Ireland that have become the faeries in Celtic legend. Much of this mythology inspires their music and art. Hitting the stage were Tiracai on Electric Violin, Vocals, and Percussion; Ek Balam on Electric Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, Guitar Synthesizer, Vocals; Iannin on Hand Drum Kit, Electronic Hand Drum, Concert Bass, Percussion, Vocals; Logran on Dounouba, Electronic Hand Drum, Doumbek, Riqq, Tar, Percussion; and Pablo Mago on Electric Bass, Electric Guitar, Electric Mandolin, Bodhran, Vocals. Mesmerizing and enchanting, Tuatha shook Beltania’s knees causing a wave of dance across the fields. Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5.

Wendy Rule
Saturday, May 9th, 2009: Beltania 2009, Parrish Ranch, Colorado

http://wendyrule.com/
From the heart of the downunder, this mesmerizing Australian Goddess enchanted the festival with her amazing voice, visionary lyrics, and dramatic performance bringing a fantastical charm to the rain that challenged the evening. Wendy is a talented artist from Melbourne, Australia who is, as of this writing, releasing her fifth full length album “The Wolf Sky”. Enchanting voice and vocals, ranging from angellic inspirations to intimate whispers, she has beautifully dark and enchanting lyrics. She adds ritual and theater to the stage bringing the ancients and faerie world to life at play with the audience. Full of magic and passion, Wendy brought an ethereal experience to those attending Beltania. What an amazing artist. Rating: 5 stars out of 5.

Lunar Fire
Saturday, May 9th, 2009: Beltania 2009, Parrish Ranch, Colorado

http://www.lunarfire.com/
As always, this awesome band from the Otherworlds, comprised of members of the world famous shamanic rock band “Kan’nal”, the music takes a weave of magical evolution with high energy, fire dancing, spectacular theatrics, and an earth shaking experience. They’ve been dubbed “Tribal Gypsy Hop” brining in multi-lingual lyrics, rap, hip hop, disco, trance guitar, bass funk, and massive tribal percussion. Lunar Fire embodied the definition of “Dance Party” at Beltania. Not a single attendee at their concert was able to just sit – they all danced and moved the the amazing rhythms of this fantastical force. The pouring down rain didn’t matter, as the patrons got soaked without barely noticing it, as they were moved into another world of being. Lunar Fire is beginning to hit international popularity, with 100 performances in over three countries. They have performed at many festivals including Dream Time Festival, Burning Man, 3 sided Whole, and High Sierra Music Festival. Gilly Gonzales on hand drums and kit; Tierro on guitars; Rodolfo Escobar III on bass, Mateo on cajon and sound engineering, Lisa Wimberger on congas and African drums; Teresita on mic and dance; and dancers Akayate from Kan’nal; Tiffany of Artsmyths; MaQi of Maqi healing arts, and Katchi of Kataliktic Inc bring to the stage an amazing performance. What an absolutely otherworldly enchanting. Rating : 5 stars out of 5.

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