Raving Reviews!

Beltaine 2009

Lady Maxine Sanders

Beltaine 2009

Review by Kelly Hajduk

This was my first Pagan Odyssey Beltaine and it shall be etched within my mind and heart for a life time!

The festival was very well organized. Alicia did a fine job along with the members of the Panthean Temple and other volunteers.

At no time was there a dull moment and always something to do. There was workshops for all, no matter what your interest. Healing, nature, magic, gemstones, belly dancing, drumming, ghost hunting, I could go on but let me tell you, it was covered by some of the most renown people in and out of the country including Maxine Sanders from the UK who gave a lecture on Saturday and Sunday. There was even workshops and crafts for the children who were talking to me about the animals they saw during the hayride as they splashed away in the stream grinning from ear to ear. 

There was plenty of entertainment as well from rock, country, to new age. The Wyld Olde Souls, Jenna Greene, Wendy Rule, and Stone the Hostess were just some bands that come to mind. There was even a surprise performance by Gypsy Ravish doing three songs, what a treat that was.

The mere cost for all 3 days/3 nights of camping, entertainment and workshops all day for the family, you can't go wrong. Look at the price of a concert or a baseball ticket these days! this adventure and celebrating mother earth is priceless!

I can't wait till next year!

Kelly Roadway Hajduk
Concert Connections

Wendy Rule on stage 

Beltaine 2009 Music Review

Review by Jenna Greene

Be sure to visit Jenna's myspace page www.myspace.com/greeneladymusic 

I performed at Beltaine: A Pagan Odyssey this past weekend in Oxford, CT. I haven't yet come down from the high of performing, not only in my own show but as a guest and in jams with other musicians I just met. They were so overwhelmingly wonderfully talented and I would like to share my thoughts on some of them. Please follow these links and check them out. 

HannaH's Field - HannaH, this adorable little pixie of a woman can wail on a drum like nobody's business and her voice is this delicate balance of ethereal sweetness and gutsy soul. Andy, her beloved, provides added layers of flawless tribal percussion. 
My favorite song: I Belong
HannaH's website: www.hannahsgroove.com and www.myspace.com/hannahsmusic

Stone the Hostess - Rough and rugged rock wrapped around romantic lyrics and catchy choruses, rhythms that you can't help but move to....these are just a few of many elements that make these guys a great band. You can tell they have played together for a long time because they are so in sync. Their friendship shines through and so does their love for their audience. They are fun, funny and very sexy!
They invited me to sing Loreena McKennitt's "Mummer's Dance" with them. They did a great, rockin' out version. It was a totally new and fun experience for this little Celty girl to sing with a wonderful rock band. 
This is a Connecticut-based band so if you are in New England and own a club or you are coordinating an event and need a rock band, HIRE THIS BAND!!! You will be glad you did. 
My favorite song: Beautiful World
Stone the Hostess Websites: www.stonethehostess.com and www.myspace.com/stonethehostess

Wendy Rule - As someone who loves new age, gothy, pagan music, I can't get enough of Wendy's songs. As a vocalist, I stand in awe of this extremely talented woman. Her range is amazing. She had a cold and still sang flawlessly, moving from high to low notes effortlessly. I own most of her albums and I would recommend every one of them. She invited all of the other festival entertainers up to join her for a chant as we moved from the main stage to the Beltaine fire circle. This was a memorable and mystical experience for me. 
My favorite song: Wolf Sky
Wendy Rule's websites: www.wendyrule.com and

Wyld Olde Souls - If you were back in the 70's at an ecstatic pagan ritual, slipped into a trance and ended up in the faerie realm, the band playing there would be the Wyld Olde Souls. Their sound is a magical, medieval, psychadelic folk rock blend of guitar, percussion, ethereal flute and gorgeous vocals. The lead singer and songwriter, Ivy, has one of those voices that just beckons you stop and listen. I loooove her songwriting style. I think Ivy and I could be songwriting partners. Our styles are very similar, as is our love of folk harmonies. They performed in the freezing cold damp of a late New England night and they did it beautifully. They invited Doug to play gong on "Sun God". I was so proud of him :)
My favorite song: I have to pick one? I can't.
Wyld Olde Souls website: www.wyldoldesouls.com and www.myspace.com/thewyldoldesouls.com

The Journey continues...

Written by Anthony Guerriero on 9/14/2008 

Merry Meet and Welcome; 

To the "Our Thoughts" section of, PTWP- the web-site, of this journey. Our work here at PTWP goes well beyond the keyboards of our computer. It is definitely a labor of love, and a work in progress, an around-the-clock undertaking. It's hard enough to sit back and write on a computer, or to delegate tasks from behind a desk. However, to actually get out there, do the work behind networking, organizing, and planning events, teaching, and celebrating the turning of the Wheel of the Year, is a major undertaking. This is very much like running a coven, but on a much larger level. It is not for the faint of heart, and requires a lot of mutual cooperation, and outside help. There are always things going on, and every person involved will agree, when the final details come into fruition, there's no better sense of accomplishment.

On that note, one of this months topics, we'd like to take the opportunity to acknowledge others out there who offer open celebrations on a bigger scale. Our first venue that we would like to talk about is in Connecticut. It is their 11th year doing this Beltaine celebration. It's the Pagan Odyssey-2009: Beltaine celebration. The Panthean Temple of Connecticut puts it on and we have had the opportunity to attend one of these events. We were invited there in 2007, and the experience was one I'll not too soon forget! That entire weekend was one magical adventure after another. From, actually experiencing a "guided meditation" in real life on Friday night, with the "fire ritual", to meeting a truly amazing person of the Craft, Maxine Sanders. I am totally impressed by the attention that was paid to every detail of this event. From the food and entertainment, to the organizational skills displayed. Even under the circumstances, the event's organizer, saw this through with amazing perseverance. Rev. Alicia Folberth is completely dedicated to this event, and I was inspired by her commitment. PTWP, is going to plan to attend this event next year. More importantly, we are working to sponsor Pagan Odyssey- 2009. Having had the opportunity to meet Alicia, both Tia and I felt a connection with her from the beginning. Our respect for her work, and her dedication to her tradition and the Craft are a credit to her Elders.

Although we are very busy ourselves, keeping our vision alive and well, and moving forward, our thoughts are with you. One of the goals of PTWP, is to network with others of like-mind. To acknowledge the positive accomplishments of our brothers and sisters of our spiritual path and way of life, the Craft. To the Pantheon Temple of Connecticut; Pagan Odyssey-2009: Beltaine Celebration; and reverend Alicia Folberth, we thank you on your commitment and dedication. We are forever in the service of the God and the Goddess (the Lord and the Lady). In love and light.

Beltaine 2007: A Pagan Odyssey
May 4th-6th 2007
Review by Jimahl DiFiosa

As a pagan author and speaker, I receive invitations to many events throughout the year. I wish I could accept them all but of course this is not possible. I am so happy to have accepted the kind invitation of the Panthean Temple this past Beltaine. Presenting along side such luminaries of the Craft as Maxine Sanders and Laurie Cabot was a special thrill for me. The event was simply the most organized and well-managed pagan festival I have ever attended. The outdoor site was a perfect venue, the staff helpful and courteous, and the food options, entertainment and vendors were all top drawer. Given the wide range of things that could possibly go wrong with a festival of this size, the organizers were well prepared for any contingency. Staff members were clearly identified and remained accessible throughout the weekend to all attendees.

I'm not a camper (at least in early May) so I opted for a nearby hotel room instead but I traveled with a friend who did camp and he reported that he was very comfortable in the beautiful farmland environment. Rushing streams and wooded glades were perfect for ritual or solitary meditation. 

The catering tent was the most welcoming component - breakfast, lunch and dinner whenever you wanted it - all for reasonable prices and the food was served hot! 

The many workshops made for a difficult choice - there were easily 4 or 5 events running at any given moment - something for everyone to be sure. The entertainment each evening was also excellent - of particular interest was a concert by legendary performer Gypsy Ravish. And of course no pagan festival is complete without a laser light show - I kid you not - it was truly amazing.

I know from experience that one of the inherent problems with getting this many pagans together is how to deal with conflicting egos - it is inevitable that someone is going to say something to offend someone and the risk of all the good vibes dissolving into mud throwing is always there. I am happy to report that this event was particularly inclusive and no one - regardless of rank and file - seemed left out. Instead it seemed as if the organizers made a conscious effort to focus on a theme of unity - diversity without division. I love it - the Craft needs more of this spirit. 

These sentiments were magnified in the concluding hours of the festival when I had an opportunity to lead a panel discussion of Craft elders entitled WHAT COMES NEXT? The Elders spoke of their years of experience in the Craft and then answered three simple questions - Where do you see the Craft now? Where do you envision it going? And how can it get there? By focusing on the elements of our Craft that are universal to all of us instead of what makes is different, the Elders were able to share a vision of the Craft that was inspiring and compelling - a vision that included a smooth road for all those who will follow and for those who choose to worship the Old Gods.

The tag line of this festival was "The Pagan Event of The Year" which I must say is very accurate. There was a rare synergy here that is hard to explain in words. I left the event feeling more focused and energized than when I arrived. I highly recommend this annual event to any serious festival goer.

My sincere thanks to everyone associated with this festival. I will definitely return next year!

Beltaine 2006: A Pagan Odyssey
May 5th-7th 2006
Review by Christopher Penczak

Beltaine 2006 Pagan Odyssey It was my second time attending the Beltaine Pagan Odyssey festival, hosted by the Panthean Temple, and this year we were blessed with great speakers, great performers and great weather. A wide range of local and national talents gathered together to make the event a success. For me, highlights included getting to see follow author Ellen Dugan again, and attend her workshops on the Coming Out of the Brook Closet and Garden Witchery and finally meeting and spending time with prolific author Trish Telesco. Both were a joy and I hope to see them again soon. 

After the Friday afternoon workshops and festivities, and the early evening entertainment including a laser show, we had singer-songwriter extraordinaire Wendy Rule lead us with torches blazing to the fire circle, to officially open the sacred space of event with signing, dancing and drumming. Wendy played again on Saturday night, both a formal concert and due to the cold, moved the show to the fire circle where you continued again, and gave a shorter performance on Sunday to make up for the short official show on Saturday. I also got a chance to see Laura Powers perform and picked up her new CD. 

Classes over the weekend included a wide range of topics, from my own workshops on the shadow, astrology and instant magick, to classes in tarot, healing, ritual tools, ethics, drumming and abundance. I even attended a wonderfully strange class on the magick of Mother Goose. 

We celebrated Beltaine with a ritual led by Rev. Alicia Folberth that included a Spiral Dance and the MayPole. I was particularly honored to be a part of the handfasting held at the close of the event, conducted by Tamara and Richard James. I look forward to attending again next year.

Christopher Penczak, Author of Instant Magick www.christopherpenczak.com

Beltaine 2004: A Pagan Odyssey
April 30th - May 2nd 2004
Review by Tyrnen & Rowan

"Come out of the circle of time... And into the circle of love" - Rumi

Passing the gates of Schreiber's Farm, we could not help but feel that we were entering another world. The "busy-ness" of day-to-day life was left behind and we were filled with excitement and anticipation. This was a journey six years in the making. We had heard countless praises for this festival, but sadly had not been able to attend until now. Family life, work and commitments to other circles and groups had kept us from accepting Rev. Alicia Folberth's invitations. This year however, we were determined to make it happen! We planned our trip many months in advance and submitted our registration forms as early as we possibly could. Then we began counting down the days

Driving down the dirt road that led to the site, we became aware of how special this place this gathering, truly was. It was a beautiful day. The sky was clear and blue the sun, warm and strong. The lake was shimmering with golden reflections as geese splashed in landing. The rush of the river provided the perfect backdrop to the songs of countless birds. All of nature was alive and vibrant! You couldn't help but be moved by this place and it showed. Every person we passed smiled in greeting. There was a warmth a love an openness which you could not help but feel.

In the weeks leading up to this we had visited the festival's web site on an almost daily basis. There would be over 40 teachers, presenters and guides offering approximately 60 different classes, workshops and discussions. There would be notable figures of the Pagan Community such as authors Patricia Telesco, Christopher Penczak and Ivo Dominguez, Jr. There would be concerts by DreamSpirit, Stone the Hostess Sol Dog and Shaman. And, of course, there would be rituals, a Maypole and lots of drumming, dancing and merriment. We could not wait to be a part of it all!

We approached the footbridge which leads across the river and to the main festival area. There we were greeted by Rev. Folberth and the smiling faces of those who would help us to sign in and provide us with all of the information we needed for the weekend. Everyone we met greeted us with warmth and a smile.

There were eight of us in our group. Most, but not all, of us were Pagan. For most, this would be our first Pagan festival, and only one of us had been to this event in the past. We set up our camp in a small field with the river behind us and the lake across from us. It was a tiny little village with our coven banner flying at the center. Everyone entering or exiting the festival through the main entrances would pass by our camp, providing us with the opportunity to offer
smiles and conversation. It was the perfect site!

After setting up camp we decided to explore the festival site a bit more. Vendors were setting up their booths and classes were already underway. More and more people filled the camping and festival areas. Workers were preparing the bonfire circle for the Fire Ceremony to be held that night. Old friends were reuniting new friendships were being made.

The Friday night activities were amazing! The concerts began in the early evening with wonderful performances by DreamSpirit and Stone the Hostess. As the sky grew darker Sol Dog got everyone on their feet with their blues/southern/psychedelic rock sounds.

Then came the drums! Drummers most of whom did not know one another uniting for rhythms and beats in the darkness. We all gathered around the main stage tent as members from Sol Dog led us in a chant to carry us into the Fire Ceremony. Chanting and drumming we began our
march around the grounds towards the bonfire pit. You could feel the energy swirling in the air around you! It was as if you were in another world!

The Wicker Man waited for us upon his pyre. Well over a hundred people gathered in a circle chanting drumming gazing at the flames flickering from torches. The energy built up stronger and stronger and the fire was lit! It was a truly powerful and amazing moment for us all! The flames grew stronger and stronger as they consumed the Wicker Man. The drumming grew more intense as dozens of people began to dance around the fire. The energy grew and we all became aware of the beauty of this moment. There were no barriers. There were no differences no separations between this group and that between old and young no experience levels, titles or membership we were all united in a sacred community around the fire. It was beautiful!

The drumming and dancing continued well on into the night. We left the fire area at 1:30 in the morning, and it was still going strong. It was a magickal night. The sky was crystal clear and the moon, only a few days shy of being full, was shining brightly upon us. Several of us sat in the field by the lake just gazing at the moon until almost 4:00 in the morning. What could possibly top this day? And this was only the first day of the festival!

Saturday morning the sun was beautiful and golden as it called us from our tents. We had an amazing feast in our little camp village everything from eggs and bacon to pancakes and venison sausages. Everyone seemed to be content refreshed at peace. No worries about the 'outside world'. This was life in the moment. This is exactly where we wanted to be.

We headed to the main festival area for a day of classes, workshops, rituals and celebrations. There was so much to choose from! Throughout the weekend classes and workshops were offered on everything from auras to runic reiki from elemental magick to scrying and everything in between! There was a Build A Drum workshop. There were amazing discussions on everything from raising magickal children to kitchen witchery. So much to do so little time!

All of the classes we participated in or observed were wonderful. Particularly special was The Power of Chant class. Several members of our group participated in this workshop. While chanting is a regular part of our celebrations, the class gave ways to expand upon our methods and create sacred space using only the sounds of our voices. The melody and dissonance exercise was hauntingly beautiful and left us in joyous tears. At the finish of the class we felt that our voices could take us anywhere we needed to go.

We spent some time just walking around, observing classes and visiting each of the vendor booths. There was a fantastic selection of goods. You could find everything from ritual robes and swords to jewelry and crystals Turkish coffee to healing teas drums to beautifully etched glass and mirrors. And there was Chef Jaji's tent offering wonderful food throughout each day.

Before long it was time for the Beltaine Ritual. Words could not do justice to the power and beauty of this gathering! The chanting alone was amazing and it moved through you carrying you to a place of beauty. Led with humor and love, this circle was one of the most caring gatherings we have ever experienced. Once again there were no boundaries only a community of love gathered for one common purpose.

Not long after the ritual there was the Maypole and what a Maypole it was! It had to be well over 20 feet tall with what seemed to be over a hundred ribbons and a beautiful wreath. We were a little late, so we did not take part in the dance but we did observe and it was beautiful and magickal! The ribbon-woven Maypole stood through the rest of the Festival, offering a reminder of partnership and community, and how beauty comes from working together.

Saturday night brought another concert this time it was Shaman and their wonderful Celtic/folk music. The songs lifted our hearts, and even those of us with two left feet tried to dance a jig or two. We watched their show then danced our way to camp for another feast. Later that night we held our own Beltane ritual by the lake then gathered together in our camp for the warmth of good conversation, laughter and friendship.

Sunday morning brought rain but it was not a deterrence at all! Everyone we met still had a smile on their face. The classes and workshops went on. We gathered in Chef Jaji's tent for coffee and conversation with new friends.

To close our weekend we took part in a wonderful discussion on "Community" - the theme and focus for all of Beltaine 2004. The group was small but everyone who attended participated fully and it went very well. Many thoughts were raised regarding the need to create a stronger, more supportive and respectful Pagan Community, regardless of forms of practice, and of the difficulties in forming this. We all agreed that there is a strong need for more discussions on Community and that we should meet again in the future to do so. We are greatly looking forward to it. The Beltaine festivities were celebrated by many of differing paths and backgrounds, but there was no doubt that a loving community was formed. We proved that it is possible!

As the day began to wind down we realized that the weekend was coming to an end and soon it would be time to return to the outside world. We packed up the last of our gear and began to say our goodbyes. We drove away knowing that we had all taken part in something very special very beautiful and that a part of it would remain with us always. There were eight of us in our group and every single one of us was moved by this experience in some way. Not one of us was disappointed and we are being completely honest when we say that we have already begun to make our plans for next year. Calendars have been marked requests for time off from work has already been submitted lists of things not to forget to bring or do have already been written. We are looking forward to it counting down the days.

We are reminded of a quote from Starhawk

"We are all longing to go home to some place we have never been a place half-remembered and half-envisioned we can only catch glimpses of from time to time. Community. Somewhere, there are people to whom we can speak with passion without having the words catch in our throats. Somewhere a circle of hands will open to receive us, eyes will light up as we enter, voices will celebrate with us whenever we come into our own power. Community means strength that joins our strength to do the work that needs to be done. Arms to hold us when we falter. A circle of healing. A circle of friends. Someplace where we can be free."

We definitely felt that sense of Community. It was alive at Beltaine! We cannot wait to feel it again next year we hope to see you there!

Beltaine 2003: A Pagan Odyssey
May 2nd - May 4th 2003
Review by Rain Littlewaters

Greetings, and Merry Meet.

I have been familiar with Alicia and the PCC for quite some time, however, this was the first year that I've been able to make it to any PCC event. I am so thankful that this years Beltane Festival, the Pagan Odyssey, was my first event with the PCC!

My friend Lesley and I decided to attend the festival together, and both of us were very excited. This would be Lesley's first Group Ritual, and first Pagan Festival since becoming Pagan. It would also be my first Group Ritual, or Festival, in the three years that I'd been living in Rhode Island . Lesley and I eagerly watched the weather report the entire week before the Festival, while we prepared and planned for the event. The weather report gave us no small hesitation, especially when we glanced at it the morning of our departure. Lesley and I had planned to arrive in Oxford on Thursday, to help with the setting up. The weather reported a chance of a lot of rain during the weekend, and even Thunderstorms during part of it. But even though that report loomed, Lesley and I decided we were not going to allow anything to stop us from celebrating Beltane with the PCC. We packed up the car, and just before we left RI, we stood in front of my altar, and lit two candles. One to beckon the sunshine on that rainy morning, and ask the Goddess to allow good weather for most of the weekend. The other candle was for clarity of purpose and intent, and for protection on our journey, as well. Then we headed out.

A few hours, and a few wrong turns later, we arrived at the gates of Schreiber's farm. Weary from the ride, and a bit confused by the lack of signs or other pomp and circumstance, we ventured through the gates hoping to find the exact location of the festival grounds.

We finally found a small group of attendee's, including Rev. Folberth herself, gathered around the entry way to the festival site. Awaiting the "footbridge" which would lead them, and us, into the festival site. I must say, that those first few moments were both quite a relief, and also a bit like parting the mists to Avalon. It was great to see Alicia after so many years, and we embraced fondly. But it was also quite amusing to see this little group of pagans sprawled out by the entry way, Still unable to enter the grounds, due to the lack of the footbridge over the small river which divided the parking area, from the festival grounds. Coming down that dirt road, we hadn't spotted them. So it was a bit like stumbling upon a hidden refugee camp.

After a quick run to the store for supplies, Lesley and I headed back to the festival area, to make camp. We had decided to camp in the "Party Pagan Site" since both of us had decided that this weekend would be a great opportunity to let our hair down, and cut loose for a change, being that our husbands had decided not to join us for the weekend. We were told that the Party Pagan site was quite a trek into the woods, and at the other side of the Volleyball courts. Luckily, two wonderful people who were also volunteers for the festival, Chris, and Rose, volunteered to help us carry our gear to the site. There was a bit of confusion as to the exact location, but we finally wound up setting up our camp in a vacant cow pasture not far from the Volleyball courts.

The first night was quiet. As vendors started to arrive, and pitch their tents, and set up their tables, there was a lot of time to sit and talk, and get to know each other. Alicia and I had a small amount of time to sit and chat and catch up. And I was gifted to a splendorous shoulder rub from Wren of LaWrens Nest, as Malak entertained Lesley with a few card tricks. Then there was a brief round of ribald jokes, which really set us in quite a comfortable mood. Before we knew it, darkness was upon us, and we helped begin to set up the tiki torches around the ritual fire, and at a few other strategic points. The night passed quickly then. The air was chilly, and both of us were exhausted, so headed back to our campsite to crash out in our tents.

Morning broke. And amid aching muscles, and chilled bones, Lesley and I emerged from our tents to see blessed sunshine once again (ahh ..yes..the sun had broke through toward the end of our road trip down to Oxford ! Proof that the Goddess heard our prayers). It lent an unfamiliar heat and humidity to the air. We made coffee on our grille, and headed down to the main site, once again, to set up our vending spot. Overnight, the area had sprouted up. More and more tents were being pitched. and more and more people were arriving. We were starting to get the feeling that this was going to be a perfect day. And a great weekend, indeed. Soon after we set up my vending blankets, and crafts, Lesley and I were approached by another volunteer, who informed us, that the pasture in which we were camped, was the wrong site. And that the cows were soon to be set loose in that pasture! We were ACTUALLY supposed to be camped out IN The volleyball court area. Thankfully, Malak, and Brian Morache volunteered to help us move our stuff. On the way to the site, another camper, Veronica, relayed the tale of how she saw two water moccasins breeding in the swamplands just off the path to the pasture, just that morning. It seemed as if Nature was deciding to celebrate Beltane too! In addition, One party pagan camper, had taken a walk through the woods that morning, and discovered what appeared to be a large animals skull in the woods. Upon review, it did look like a Moose skull, however, it was later to be discovered to be a pelvic bone of either a cow, or a deer. This "Pelvic Bone" became the Party Pagan Mascot for the weekend. Most of us agreed that the Pelvic Bone was very appropriate symbolism for the Fertility Theme of Beltane.

Back at the Pasture, we loaded our tents onto the back of Brian's truck, and lugged them and the remainder of our camping gear into the Volleyball court area. We also quickly noted that others were arriving in the site as well. We greeted them, set up our camping site again, and then headed back to the main area. Evening was coming on. One thing I learned that weekend, is that when you are out in nature, it is so easy to lose track of time. This can often be complicated even further by the institution of P.S.T, affectionately known as Pagan Standard Time.

We noted that SOL DOG was due to begin performing around seven pm. We had thought it was at five. So we bummed around for a little while, going back to the camp to get something to eat, and spend a little more time getting to know our fellow Party Pagans. Veronica was just walking into the campsite then with a bottle of homemade Mango Meade, and we got a delicious sample sip of that delicious beverage before heading back down to the main site, as soon as we heard Sol Dog tuning up to play.

The Concert was terrific. It was great to see little children dancing along side their parents to the almost "Pagan Allman Brothers Band" style of SOL DOG. The band was terrific, and very friendly, and we enjoyed the tunes immensely. But the weather was starting to get a bit colder, and damper, and we kept eyeing the ritual fire out of the corner of our eye with longing. The Fire raising ceremony was due to begin, soon after the concert ended. We slowly made our way down to the fire, where a group of cold folks were beginning to gather. Alicia handed me a broom, and requested that I perform the banishing for the ceremony. Considering that the broom was about two feet taller than I am, I considered it a daunting task. I noted that a wicker man had been constructed in the center of the fire pit. And upon seeing that, I knew that this ritual was going to be something special. Lesley and I chattered with some of the others gathered there, and commented about how excited we were about the opportunity to attend this ritual. Slowly but surely, the crowd was assembling. Slowly but surely, we formed a circle. And then, began the chanting.

Chanting has always been one of my favorite parts of Worship. Even when I was a Christian, I can recall many times of singing praise and worship songs, and feeling a tremendous amount of energy present. When I came to Wicca, originally as a solitary, that was one of the things I missed most about observing religious holidays with a group. Over the years, as I grew in my path, and began observing rituals with various groups of pagans, I was able to find that outlet again in the chants and drumming present at so many circles. I had missed this time, when I was forced to return to mostly solitary practice when I moved to RI.

The Circle was Cast... and you could feel the anticipation building in the crowd assembled in the circle. The Banishing performed. The wicker man, lit aflame. As the flames began consuming the wicker man, and the chanting began in earnest, I thought of the symbolism of the wicker man. Of Burning away all that is old, and creating change...creating a space in which change can occur, in which the new can be born. I thought about all of the things within my own life that needed changing. And I projected them into the fire, to be consumed by the very same flames that now consumed that wood. The chanting grew. The energy was growing. At some point, it grew to such a point that the natural expression of it became dancing, and Alicia reached out and grabbed a neighbors hand, and led what soon became a large spiral dance around the circle. Flames licked high, and sparks shot out. I noticed the bravery of the fire tenders, as the protected all of us dancers from the sparks that were flying outward (thank you Wren, and Malak, and others!). I noticed the real feeling of unity present. The way in which we all seemed to be feeling that energy mount, and grow. And then slowly, ever so slowly, begin to wane.

When it was done, when the energy seemed to dissipate, I noticed that my voice was ragged from all of the chanting. And that I felt almost a ton lighter. The old me had been burned away. And in its place, something new was growing.

Back at the Party Pagan site that night, we hung out with all the new arrivals, we ate, drank, and were merry. Celebrating life, celebrating new friendships, celebrating that spirit formed in the circle. It was clear to see that the energy of the circle was affecting many of us. We were all excited, happy, and open with each other. We made a vow though, us Party Pagan's, that we would not reveal all that happened in the Party Pagan Site that weekend, so unfortunately, my descriptions must leave much to your imagination. In general, it was a great time to get to know each other; to roast marshmallows, drink, share in fellowship, to joke, to laugh, to tell stories and sing ribald songs. Again, this was something that I have missed so much in my life, these last few years. The good times shared around a fire, with new friends.

Saturday morning dawned. Again, Lesley and I made coffee on the grille, and headed down to the main site to set up my vending blankets. I attended a class on Labyrinth Magick that Alicia taught. This year, the PCC had erected a labyrinth in the back corner of the site. And all of us who attended the class, were given an interesting lesson on how wandering a labyrinth, can enrich your path. Aiding in meditation, a journey toward the center of the self, even rebirth. It was the first time I'd walked a labyrinth. And I'm glad that the experience was one shared by a group. The drumming that went on as we walked the circle, seemed to add to the experience. I came out feeling refreshed, somehow. Many others had very spiritual experiences with it too. But ..they are their experiences to tell..not mine . Lesley, attended a class given by Indigo, on Scrying. She said that she learned a great deal about Scrying from Indigo. Its' history, its' uses, and methods. Scrying has always been a topic which has fascinated me, and I was sorry that I had to miss the class. Lesley said that at the end of the class, each attendee was given a little bag of Mugwort, to aid in their psychic endeavors. I am glad that Lesley was able to receive so much knowledge from the class, and that Indigo was such a wonderful teacher! Later in the day, Lesley did some shopping, and bought a lovely Amber and Sterling Silver Ring, from Blue Moon Artisans. She was very happy with her purchase. I was eyeing the Kitchin Witch Table, as there seemed to be so many wonderful varieties of herbs and supplies. Unfortunately, My budget was a bit limited, so I restrained myself from making alot of purchases. I also noted that Lesley bought a beautiful beaded necklace, with amber and red beads, and a beautiful butterfly pendant, from Lawrens Nest.

Later, Alicia approached me again, to ask me to come to the ritual fire, to learn some of the chants that they would be performing in the ritual later that day. Including the chant that I had written, to call the fey. Near the end of this session, she also requested volunteers to help out with various duties within the Beltane Circle , and I became assigned to the East Element. Time was growing short. The Circle was close to beginning. I ran back to the campsite, to change into my ritual dress. And rushed back, hoping to swallow some food quickly before the ritual was underway. The Maypole was being constructed. And Lesley and I tied our ribbons to the top, and watched the volunteers stand it up, and anchor it down. The Circle began to form. We were treated to a parade of little ones, The Fey, dressed up in costumes and masks, following the footsteps of their fearless leader, "Malak" with tambourines, drums, and flutes in hand. They ware accompanied by Shaman playing in the background, and by our chanting. "Come to the rhythm of the heartbeat drum, come loved ones come". And once again, the Circle was cast.

There were so many people there, and a fair bit of chaos. And yet Alicia and Steve performed the ritual with grace, and patience, and beauty. To tell you the truth, much of the ritual, to me, is a blur now. Not because it wasn't meaningful at the time, for in truth, it was. Not because it was chaotic at times, in truth, that wasn't the issue. Not because it wasn't beautiful. Oh, it was. But...because honestly, the ONLY memory which seems close to me, is the memory of the Mission of that Ritual. The "Focus" of this particular festival, which Alicia again reminded us of at the beginning. Unity. I just remember the feeling of Unity. Of course, there were a few distractions. But overall, the drums directly behind me, the hands I was holding beside me, the sun shining down on us warmly, the smiles all around the circle, contributed to an overwhelming sense of "rightness" and "unity" that I will not soon forget. I am glad that Shaman played in parts of the Ceremony, because I was unfortunately unable to attend their concert later that day. So weary was I from the ritual, and merrymaking afterwards. I have always loved Shaman's Pagan Folk Music style. I have heard that they were, as always wonderful! I'm sorry I had to miss their concert. Next, it was time for Dancing around the Maypole. I would "like" to be able to report that everything was orderly, and that we wove the Maypole with perfection in our steps...however, I'm forced to amusedly say that it was utter chaos..but chaos is to be expected with such a large group of dancers. And despite the chaos, the Maypole was woven in good cheer, and in amid great celebration.

After all of this joy and laughter, I was overwhelmed with the need to head back to our campsite, for some much needed relaxation. I knew that there was a Bardic Circle scheduled, as well as another huge drum circle around the main fire..however, these were two opportunities that I did miss out on. I am told that both Circles were amazing. However, my exhaustion, and the schedule for the next day, the final day of the Beltane weekend, prompted me to seek the warmth of the campfire back at the party pagan site, and the close fellowship that I found there. We could hear the drumming, and chanting from where we were located. And it added a nice backdrop to our own celebrations. The Weather grew colder, and far more damp, so we stayed close to the fire until at long last, it was time to retire.

The morning dawned cold, and damp. It seemed that almost everything in the camp was wet from the cold humidity in the air; even our waterproof tent and sleeping bags. I awoke before Lesley, and was hoping to put a pot of coffee on our grill, but awoke to discover that we'd run out of Charcoal. This presented somewhat of a difficulty. I was cold, I was exhausted, and I had a class to run in less than an hour and a half! I left word of apology for the lack of coffee, and ventured down to the main festival area. Wonder of Wonders! A fellow attendee was heading back into the grounds with a Big Box of Duncan Doughnuts Coffee! The Goddess heard many thanks from me that morning, as I poured myself a steaming cup of Java.

It seemed that most of the remaining attendee's had decided to sleep in that morning. My class was scheduled for nine o'clock. "Ancestral Research: How it can enrich your spiritual path". I didn't expect a huge turn out, so I wasn't disappointed on that cold morning, when only three people, and a small child were my students. Rev. Martin Brodeur was running a class on the Sacred Grove tradition of Wicca at the same time as my own class, and I am sorry that I had to miss it. However, he was kind enough to give me a handout about the tradition, with their website address on it. And I really looked forward to learning more about such an exciting tradition. I have since visited the website, and was very pleased with what I found. The website, and webcommunity (Lothlorien) has really provided me with a lot of interesting information. Thanks Martin !Immediately following my own class, I headed over to another tent, where Brian Morache was giving a brief introduction to Celtic Mythology. Brian is well versed in Celtic Mythology and Legend, and so the class was quite impressive. I learned so much, in such a short space of time. It was the perfect closing to my own experiences at the Beltane Festival.

Unfortunately, it was soon time to head back to my campsite, and help Lesley pack up the camp, and get all the equipment into the car. Before we packed up, I did a tarot reading for two of the "Party Pagan" campsite members, Steve, and Darren. While talking to them afterwards, I discovered that they had attended Starwolf's classes on Dream interpretation, and Palmistry. Two other classes that I would have loved to attend. My significant other reads palms, and we had the opportunity at one point to meet Starwolf, at a psychic fair in RI, and he received a palm reading. Knowing how talented she is, and hearing Darren reiterate how intuitive Starwolf was, and how skilled at the art of palmistry, I was very sorry that I missed her class. I have vowed to take it if she does another class next year, if I am able to attend the festival.

Lesley and I were both sorry that we would be missing the closing ritual of the weekend, but with a two and a half hour drive ahead of us, on little sleep, and exhaustion from all of the fun we had had, we knew it was time to leave. The Party Pagans were all packing up their own camps, as well. The Sun had finally broken through, and the air had warmed up considerably, becoming almost hot by the time we were done. We at the Party Pagan site decided that we should take a group photo, to remember each other by. Our dear friend Chris, climbed a tree, carrying at least seven camera's around his neck, as we prepared the spot for our photo. Written in the sand in front of the volleyball courts, was our camp crest for the weekends "Pelvic Affiliates". And we gathered behind those words, and behind Veronica who knelt in the sand with the Pelvic Bone that had become our Mascot. We had all signed the bone, and after the pictures were all taken, to preserve the memory on film, we all exchanged hugs farewell, and contact information. Then, it was time to leave.

My time at this years Beltane event was a wonderful mixture of Spiritual Enrichment, and General Good times. Lesley and I had both hoped to have a well-rounded experience with the PCC, and I think that both of us achieved that. Both She and I were uplifted, and enriched by the rituals, concerts, classes, and circles that we were attended, and the two of us had made wonderful new friends, and wonderful memories - both within the larger festival, and within our small Party Pagan Campsite.

My memories of this event will remain intact for years. It filled me with joy and thankfulness. I would like to thank Rev. Alicia Folberth, and all of the members of the Pagan Community Church , The Volunteers, the Lecturers, and all of the attendee's, for making this Beltane such a Blessed, Fun event.