This year we were driven to attend BelFire for Beltane once again, and it was so phenomenal that the reverberations and effects of the magic worked there will continue in our communities for the next two years. This year’s ritual looked to the future and past equally, combining both current and ancient technology to honor the old gods and the spirits not yet born.
We all dressed in our best mash-up costumes, including Green Bear’s 10 foot tall contraption of cow pelvis, broken chair, doll heads and a Kachina inspired plaster mask.
I became a cyberpunk ancient forest Fox Shaman, with bright shades of purple and pink combined with my Fox Confessor’s pelt, a suede bandoleer containing confetti popper grenades and my new blade, and a smudged face.
In the dark of Friday night the women dug the hole in the center of the standing stones and buried the placenta of the baby born that winter, as they do every Beltane, and I wandered the soft hills around the circle as the men drummed quietly over the ridge.
Saturday morning the men took their turn to enter the forest and emerge with a freshly cut tree, led by our powerful and wonderful friend Timothy, to make the Maypole. As the sun begins to sink, we called in the quarters with explosions and invocations of Isis, Oshun, Kulkucan and others. The ritual’s main goal centered around the burial of a sealed time capsule chest that contained many potent items, including my sacred bird water whistle and the ashes of an important ally to all that were gathered. Over 150 of us danced the Time Warp (yes, from the Rocky Horror Picture Show), chanted the seed sounds of the ancient Egyptians and danced to a Beltane appropriate remix of the Steve Miller Band’s version of “Time Keeps on Slipping” from the musicians.
Once it was buried, it was time to weave the Maypole. We don’t just dance around the Maypole, we actually interweave the ribbons all the way down the 30+ foot tall pole. This takes 30-40 dancers over an hour of laughing, skipping and jumping between people. As we work down the pole, the ribbons get shorter and everyone starts ducking up to tie their end at the base.
The whole weekend was wild, powerful and full of work. People completely shed their identities and fell into mystical experiences, we shared meals and energy and a beautiful place and we built a bridge to carry us safely over the next two year period.