US Festival Roundup: Beltane and Litha Seasons

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MIAMI (TWH)  – This article continues The Wild Hunt series on U.S. festivals of interest to the Pagan community.  We briefly summarize information about upcoming festivals that are open to the public and may be of interest to the community.

Not all festivals are included in the round-up for a variety of reasons. Most commonly we were unable to verify festival rules about attendance, inclusivity, and/or consent; we simply did not hear back from organizers; and, at times, there was no interest in being added to the round-up.Events that are “adult-only” and exclude children or those that are “family-oriented” and “child-friendly” are noted in the description of the event.  

TWH encourages those considering attending any event to do their own thorough research, and make their choices accordingly.

Beltaine Season Festivals

The Beltaine at Our Haven will begin in southern Indiana on May 2 and lasts until May 5. Beltaine at Our Haven is family-friendly with lowered admission rates for children. It will, however, have an adults-only two-part workshop on sex magic. Other workshops will include Tarot skill building, sacred touch, and art to create sacred flow. Mama Gina will be the entertainment. Our Haven Nature Sanctuary produces this event.

Edinburgh's Beltane Fire Festival. Photo by Paul R Seftel.

Edinburgh’s Beltane Fire Festival. [Photo by Paul R Seftel

The Beltane Festival at Turtle Hill will occur in eastern Maryland from May 1 through May 5. This celebration of sacred sexuality will be open to all sexual and gender identities. Kink and leather friendly, this festival will be adults-only. Attendees can choose one of three energy modalities for the Maypole dance: 1) expressive, 2) receptive, and 3) both/neither. People will be free to change these choices. The focus of its workshops will include sex after trauma, sacred kink, and body image issues, among other issues. Turtle Hill Events produces this festival.

The Fertile Ground Gathering will take place southeast of Washington, DC from May 2 to May 5. This year’s Gathering has the theme “Weaving a Tapestry.” Workshop topics will include chanting, consent issues, Reiki work, and weaving/fabric. Rituals will include bonfires, a warrior blessing ritual, Maypole dancing, and a weaving ritual. Kindred Crow, Maharal, Melanie Bresnan, and others will provide entertainment. The Fertile Ground group produces this family friendly event.

The Circle Sanctuary will hold their 2019 Beltane Festival from May 3 to May 5. This festival will occur in Circle Sanctuary’s nature preserve west of Madison, Wisconsin. This festival will also feature craft work involving May baskets, May bushes, and Maypoles. This festival will have a Fairy altar and a discussion of ancient Egyptian Temples. The Beltane ritual has the title “Desire Entwining.” Wrannock Celtic Trio and the Oak Apple Morris Dancers will provide entertainment. Circle Sanctuary produces this family-friendly festival.

Pagan Unity Festival is a family-friendly event and begins in middle Tennessee on May 16 and end on May 19. Workshops will discuss working with candles, crystals, and runes. This festival will host discussions of two Wiccan rites: Drawing Down the Moon and the Great Rite, as well as one of the lesser known Heathen deities, Heimdall. Children over 12 can attend classes. The festival has designed classes for younger children. The Gold Rock Johnson Band, Louis Garou, and Spiral Rhythm among others will provide entertainment. The Pagan Unity Festival is self-produced.

The Gathering of All Paths will take place northwest of Little Rock, Arkansas from May 17 to May 19. Mama Gina, Steve Aman, The Irish Road Show, and others will provide entertainment. The Congregations of the Mistletoe and of the Olde Ways and others produce this family-friendly event.

Rites of Spring is family-friendly and will occur in southwestern Massachusetts from May 22 through May 27. Rituals will include a ritual fire circle, the Maypole ritual, and a weaving ritual. It will also have an art salon and a poetry jam. Kindred Crow, Sarah Stockwell Arthen, and Sam Long among others will provide entertainment. Different levels of programming focus on children under 15 and those 15 and older. Earth Spirit Community produces this event.

Litha Season Festivals

The Midsummer Gathering will occur northwest of Madison, Wisconsin from June 16 to June 23. The Earth House Project produces this event.

Solstice Fire at Pagan Spirit Gathering

Solstice Fire at Pagan Spirit Gathering

 

The 2019 Pagan Spirit Gathering will take place in southwest Ohio from June 16 through June 23. One workshop will explore whether a Druid can be shaman. Another will discuss Heathenry and Modern Times. Some workshops will focus on building magical skills. Scheduled Rituals include a sacred cat ritual, the summer solstice ritual, a gender healing ritual, and a ritual based on the Sci-Fi show “Babylon 5.” Entertainment will include Mama Gina, Louis Garou, Spiral Rhythm, and Thundersirens. Activities for teens will include workshops and rites of passage. Circle Sanctuary produces this family-friendly event.

The Chrysalis Moon festival in northwest Indiana will occur from June fdev18 through June 23. Rituals will include a summer solstice ritual and a silent labyrinth walk. Workshops topics will include chanting, drumming, Pagan leadership, and creating personal sacred space. One workshop will focus on an introduction to nature-based Paganism. This family friendly festival has designed activities for children. Pagan elders from the Midwest created Chrysalis Moon in 2007.

The Michigan Pagan Festival will take place west of Detroit, Michigan from June 20 to June 23. Some workshops will focus on building magical skills. Other workshops will focus on the death process, an intro to Druidry, and healing after trauma. One workshop will examine the Amazonian warrior tradition. Another scheduled workshop concerns the myth and magic of superheroes. This festival will host a “Divine Rite of the Squirt Gun Fight.” Besides several main rituals, some workshops will also be rituals. Michigan Pagan Festival produces this family-friendly event.

Mystic South will take place in Atlanta from July 19-21st.  This year’s headliners are Lilith Dorsey, Jason Mannkey and Sangoma Oludoye.  The conference also includes the Pagan and Polytheist Educational Research Symposium with academic presenters.  The event takes place in a hotel and the conference is family friendly.  Editorial Note:  Several members of The Wild Hunt are involved in organizing the festival.  None of the overlapping members were involved in writing this blurb.  (MTM)

 

Events with no overnight camping or admission fees

The majority of festivals and events have overnight camping and charge an admission fee. With overnight camping potential for consent violations increase drastically. Other events are more like street parties. They do not charge admission and have no overnight camping. The Wild Hunt spoke with organizers of two of the two events listed that take place in June of 2019.

The St. Louis Pagan Picnic takes place in St. Louis, Missouri on June 1 and June 2. While it has no published consent policy, it will have no overnight camping and will occur in an urban public park in Saint Louis. It has no formal consent policy. Two of its workshops will explore the dynamics of Pagan interpersonal culture –group dynamics, and sexual harassment. Brian Henke and Mama Gina among others will provide entertainment. The St. Louis Pagan Picnic, a volunteer groups, produces this event.

The family friendly PanGaia Festival will occur northeast of Sacramento, California. on June 8 and June 9. It will have no overnight camping facilities. It will have live music, a kit/corset contest, food, drumming, vendors, and dancers. This free festival is open to all paths. The North Western Circles Association (NWCA).

Pagans, Heathens and polytheists will have plenty of choices in the Beltane and Litha seasons.