Tag Archives: ritual

Ochre

Ochre

A common denominator amongst indigenous cultures around the globe is the use of ochre in ritual magic, painting, and funerary customs. You can find this intriguing use amongst the Australian Aborigines, the Native Americans, the Celts, the Egyptians, and even prehistoric Cro Magnon cave dwellers. In many of these societies, only certain individuals were permitted to collect ochre. It was a popular trading item amongst the Native Americans, the Australian Aborigines, the Celts, and other civilizations that has elaborate rituals. The term “Ochre” comes from the Greek “?????, ?khrs” which means “pale”. It is sometimes spelled “ocher”. It most commonly is yellow-gold, light yellow brown, or with a reddish tint for color. Red Ochre, is distinquished in use from regular ochre as it often has more ritual and burial use in various cultures. Some rare forms of brown or purple ochre are popular in ceremonial use as well. It was amongst the very first pigments to be used by humankind as it was a tinted clay embedded with mineral oxides consisting of hydrated iron oxide. The first written use of ochre appeared in 1550 BCE papyrus scrolls in Egypt. The earliest art utilizing ochre belonged to Cro-Magnon cave paintings of Southern Europe dating from 32,000-10,000 B.C.E. Some Neolithic graves suggested they used the ochre symbolically representing a return to the Earth or a form of ritual rebirth and symbolizing the blood of the Great Goddess. The Ancient Picts and the Irish were known to paint themselves “Iron Red” with red ochre. After being ground, it was often mixed with fish oil, animal fats, linseed oil, or oils to make a paint out of it.

In Australia, “The Ochre Pits”, a mine belonging to the Western Arrernte, are a popular place to visit amongst tourists in the Northern Territory, just outside of Alice Springs on the Larapinta Trail. These pits contain numerous layers of multi-colored rocks that the Australian Aborigines would grind up as pigment or paint to utilize in their ceremonies and was a common trade item between neighbouring clans and countries throughout the continent. Ochres from these mines were the choicest known to man – soft, vivid, magical. Some with sheen others without, ranging in color from crimson to gold. The Australian Aborigine would ground the ochre and mix it with Emu fat to use as a bodypaint for ceremonial body adornment.

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Faerieworlds 2010: Good Faeries Day (7/30/10)

Faerieworlds: Day 1 – Good Faeries Day
Friday, 30 July 2010

Faerieworlds 2010 pilgrimmaged back to the Buford Recreation Park at the Mount Pisgah Arboretum once again this year with a spectacular opening day on Friday with Good Faeries Day. Now with evening entertainment and camps all night long as they re-designed their main event site as an inner circle with over 300 camping sites on its eastern end and more camping 10 minutes hike away. This year was their biggest Faerieworlds yet. Beautiful additions from Woodland’s summer journey to England were incorporated including a sacred standing stone circle and a wishing tree. Chill out and hangout areas abound, a healthy food court, more recycling and trash areas, campfire pits with fires at night, and of course the cool relaxing river escape. Entertainment went from 2 pm until midnight. Friday saw Tricky Pixie at 3 pm, A mesmerizing opening ritual and welcoming ceremony revealing the stone circle, then 5 pm David Helfand and the Mystic Ensemble brought joy to the stage, Wendy Rule enchanted the audience at 6:30 pm, and Brother rocked the world at 8 pm, followed by the enchanting mesmerization of Woodland until the witching hour. On The Neverworlds stage Mingushki took off at 2:30, with Marcus Fire at 5:45, and Ghillie Dhu at 7:15. I did get a chance to see Tricky Pixie, Brother, and Woodland – What amazing bands and a dance exhaustion day. Always good to be in Faerieworlds, seeing friends, family, and clan; eating the forbidden fruit of the fae that keeps you in Faerieland, spinning around in circles with pixies and sprites, soaking with mermaids and selchies in the cool refreshing river, and hearing chilling tales from trolls and gnomes by the fire’s light. Good Faeries Day was everso mystical and a blessing. Rating: 5 stars out of 5.

Faerieworlds: The Experience from Unreal Classy on Vimeo.

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Beltania 2010: Day 3 & 4 (Florence, Colorado)


The Handfasting Saturday @ Beltania 2010

Beltania 2010: Days 3-4
* Florence Mountain Park * Florence, Colorado * www.beltanefestival.com *
A beautiful sequel to my May Day festivities in Colorado as fond memories of last year’s festival whirl around my mind …. and the third year for the festival. Beltania is a family-friendly May Day Celebration and Music Festival held in Colorado each year. Its a time when the Earth Spiritualists, Neo-Pagans, and those of alternative religious paths like the New Age, Metaphysics, and other Earth-Based Spiritual Paths come together to celebrate the seasons, celebrate love, family, community, dance the may pole, do ritual, dance to music, and meet others of like-minds. This year the festival was held at the Florence Mountain Park just outside of Florence, Colorado which is about a half-hour drive from Colorado Springs, Colorado or Pueblo, Colorado. On 200 Acres of City and County Forest with a river, panoramic views of the mountains, and many clearings, there was plenty of room for attendees to camp, do ritual, have fire circles, drum circles, concerts, and a merchant area. Featured performances for the festival were The Gypsy Nomads, Lunar Fire, Kenny Klein, Tuatha, The Stone Walls, Heart Beat, Skean Dubh, Lara Jai and the Mountain Trance Medicine Band. Saturday there was a handfasting of the May King and Queen as well as the infamous May Pole dance that they hope to eventually become the breakers of the Guinness Book of World Records for the largest May Day Dance. The Event, while open to the public, was not ticketed at the gate – in order to attend you had to pre-purchase a ticket from the web site before the event. Children under 12 were free. Primitive and RV Camping was available for all attendees and merchants were offered spaces in the vending area. Beltania is held annually by the Living Earth Church, Inc.

Saturday and Sunday – Merchants were up and bustling throughout Saturday with prosperity in the air, we were slammed at the bodypainting booth knowing there were also two other booths doing face painting too that appeared quite busy. Today was the big day with an amazing procession of the May Queen on the May Pole around the Center of the Universe and the planting of the Pole. The actual handfasting of the May King and Queen added incredible love and passion to the ritual. The May Pole dance, while chaotic at moments (had two circles going around the pole and some reversal of directions causing weaving and energy tangles) – was stunningly beautiful, magical, enchanting, fertile, and quite prosperous – so much that it actually initiated some life-giving rains in the evening. Sweat lodges and incredible workshops I was told were abound and quite fantastic that I missed as was swamped with doing art with my comrades. The stage was teeming with some of the best performances around all day and night long starting with a children’s concert at noon, followed by Skean Dubh, then by Orpheus Choir, Pandora Celtica, Kenny Klein, Lara Jai, Mountain Trance Medicine Band, and an explosive re-set of The Gypsy Nomads. Then with a loss of a sense of time, Lunar Fire processed in and did a music ritual with fire spinning, dance, stilts, and ethereal performance as they hit stage with an enchantment captivating all around. What a most explosive day. At Midnight we hit the bembe-styled Drawing Down the Moon whre I got a good blessing of a cracked coconut atop my head – refreshing and purifying, cold and direct. On to the All night drumming and dancing around the Wild Meadows – we were awake until the light of day. Sunday was a beautiful day quite busy with the merchants winding down and closing up shop. I heard a few good workshops were held, again that I missed as I was busy breaking down camp and the booth. The Mother’s Day and Closing Ritual was extra special and involved alot of bonding and celebrating of our mother’s for giving birth to us all. It ended with a passing of the Bridgit’s flame from Ireland to individual candles to bring back to our hearths. Officially closing at noon the rest of the day was sweet farewells and much work at cleaning up site and breaking down camps. Saturday: Rating 4.5 Stars out of 5. Sunday: Rating: 3 Stars out of 5. [ About the Rating System ]


Saturday @ Beltania 2010

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Mythmaker – Day 2 – August 1, 2009 performance at Faerieworlds


Mythmaker

Mythmaker – Day 2 @ Faerieworlds
Faerieworlds * August 1, 2009 * 11:20 pm – midnight * Mt. Pisgah, Eugene, Oregon * http://www.mythmaker.ca/ *
One of my most favorite cirque-like troupes for entertainment, dance, firespinning, and performance. By far one of the most talented and enchanting circus troupes and performance companies I’ve ever encountered. They literally bring the living myth alive. They specialize in fire dancing, stilt walking, sacred theater, mythology, ceremonial costumed Celtic circus creatures, magical music and mask making, parades, poi, giant puppets, and sacred storytelling of the staff and sword. Mythmaker Productions is the brainchild of theater director Hjeron O’Sidhe. Hjeron began in performance arts at a young age, mixed with his education in Celtic, Central/South American, and Native American studies, mythology, and storytelling he was inspired to create living myth. From his “Sacred Earth Studios” which was a portable digital recording studio emphasizing ethnomusicology and the preservation of traditional sacred music from around the world, be decided to create Mythmakers. Since 1999 he has written, directed, acted, and composed the musical scores for over 12 performance pieces based on storytelling, movement, and cultural/community empowerment. With his amazing team and collective of fire spinners, dancers, costumers, artisans, and performers; Mythmakers travel around providing entertainment, ritual, ceremony, art, style, magic, and enchantment to the venues they visit. They have performed numerous times at Faerieworlds, Earth Dance, Burning Man, and many other events throughout the United States and Canada. Absolutely mesmerizing. Their performance on August 1st was above-and-beyond amazing. Never miss one of Mythmaker’s performances if you can help it. “To create, integrate, and to perform a new cultural mythology. To live and inspire a new dream, which empowers the individual, community, and culture to co-create a sustainable future for all life.” (Mythmakers mission) Rating: 5 stars out of 5.

My Review of the Mythmaker’s Special Performance, Day 1

Bad Fae Fire Show by Mythmaker
Youtube video by pequenakid

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KrC9A5aS56I

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The Mythmakers special performance @ Faerieworlds 7/31/09

The Mythmakers special performance
* http://www.woodlandmusic.net/ * performance at Faerieworlds: Day 1 * July 31, 2009 * from 11:30-midnight on the main stage *

    “To create, integrate, and to perform a new cultural mythology. To live and inspire a new dream, which empowers the individual, community, and culture to co-create a sustainable future for all life.” (Mythmakers mission)

By far one of the most talented and enchanting circus troupes and performance companies I’ve ever encountered. They literally bring the living myth alive. They specialize in fire dancing, stilt walking, sacred theater, mythology, ceremonial costumed Celtic circus creatures, magical music and mask making, parades, poi, giant puppets, and sacred storytelling of the staff and sword. Mythmaker Productions is the brainchild of theater director Hjeron O’Sidhe. Hjeron began in performance arts at a young age, mixed with his education in Celtic, Central/South American, and Native American studies, mythology, and storytelling he was inspired to create living myth. From his “Sacred Earth Studios” which was a portable digital recording studio emphasizing ethnomusicology and the preservation of traditional sacred music from around the world, be decided to create Mythmakers. Since 1999 he has written, directed, acted, and composed the musical scores for over 12 performance pieces based on storytelling, movement, and cultural/community empowerment. With his amazing team and collective of fire spinners, dancers, costumers, artisans, and performers; Mythmakers travel around providing entertainment, ritual, ceremony, art, style, magic, and enchantment to the venues they visit. They have performed numerous times at Faerieworlds, Earth Dance, Burning Man, and many other events throughout the United States and Canada. Absolutely mesmerizing. Their July 31st performance at the 2009 Faerieworlds helped bring in the spirit of the Fae on opening night, capped off with some amazing fire spinning and storytelling experiences, they had their audience literally howling at the moon. Excellent! Rating: 5 stars out of 5.

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