Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Líithi Lushede Coven's Public Beltane Ritual 2015


On Sunday, May 3rd, Líithi Lushede Coven held their public Beltane ritual at the gorgeous Waterfall Park in Independence, MO, just south of Kansas City.  It rained both in the morning and at night, and was spectacularly muggy in the afternoon, but we had absolutely perfect weather for the ritual!  We truly are heading towards the summer months now!


A huge thank you to everyone there (all 90-something people) for waiting for me to get there!  I was running spectacularly behind as I haven't been feeling well lately and I wrote a text to fellow Circlemate Phaedra to let the High Priestess Gwenhwyfar Wyrrd know that her photographer would be a bit late.  I anticipated arriving after the start of the circle but they instead delayed until I showed.  Apparently, it worked out better for everyone as a few other people were running behind as well, but I cannot tell you how loved I felt and how appreciative I am that they would wait for me.  It certainly wasn't expected, but definitely a welcomed surprise!

Speaking of all 90-something people...


What a turnout!  Líithi Lushede events are the focal point of the Kansas City pagan community and they are growing more and more with each sabbat.  Their rituals are quite a treat!


The ritual was ran by High Priestess Gwenhwyfar Wyrrd and Jason as High Priest.  HPS Gwenhwyfar, Jason and the ladies of Líithi Lushede always make rituals fun, entertaining, informational and empowering, engaging the crowd while still focusing energy.  They have a monumental task ahead of them each sabbat and always succeed!


The ritual began with by casting the circle and the calling of the elemental quarters in a clockwise direction.


Once each direction was called, an oil lantern was lit.


We then turned to the center to call upon the goddess, represented by Ariadne.  While her goddess statute is of question, she is most often paired with the god called upon, which was...


Dionysus, the god of wine and fertility.


Much like last year, HPS Gwenhwyfar spent a little time talking about overindulgence and moderation, noting that both subjects Dionysus is associated with - alcohol and sex - can become addictions but can also be great when taken in moderation.  We were then asked to close our eyes and "indulge" our other senses beyond sight, an exercise in understanding the power of our own bodies.


A bell was used for hearing, a floral branch for smell, feathers for touch and a chocolate candy for taste.


Juice from a squeezed grape was then transformed into wine. This wine was used to spread blessings of creativity upon the foreheads of all the attendants.


Music was then played by the bard, John Mitchell, along with Cathy Burchett on the drum and Joe Bleyenberg on bass.  We had a full pagan band!


Some of the attendants even got into the music by dancing!



We then blessed chocolate-covered strawberries and juice as the cakes and ale and passed them around the circle.


In her excitement, HPS Gwenhwyfar closed out the circle quickly so that she could turn our attention towards the Maypole.


Gwenhwyfar gave a short tutorial on the basics of Maypole dancing and then, with the band in accompaniment, the attendants began the dance!


As always, while I enjoy a good Maypole dance as much as the next, I chose to stay back so I could get photos.


Of course, the Maypole dance didn't signify the end of the festivities.


Beyond socializing, there's always an immense amount of food and drink brought by the attendants in the sabbat potluck after ritual!


And there's the raffle, of course, where donated items and raffle tickets help Líithi Lushede fund events such as this one!


While the weather was actually delightful this year compared to last year's heat, my health just wouldn't let me stick around.  So I said my farewells and headed home.  That being said, going home early truly had nothing to do with the beautiful ritual HPS Gwenhwyfar and the ladies of Líithi Lushede put together, nor the amazing people who not only waited for me but always greet me happily when I attend.  Events such as this one give me a true sense of community, something that I think is the cornerstone of pagan faith whether you're a solitary or have your own group.  I truly encourage everyone to get out and attend events such as this in your local community!  It's a worthwhile investment of time that will help strengthen your path as a pagan and/or witch!


Here's hoping my readers had a wonderful and festive May Day!

14 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Told you! Next time, I'll drag you out with me.

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  2. We missed you, Kolika. Hopefully next time.

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  3. Wonderful pictures as always. Thank you so much for coming and taking them while you were not feeling well.

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    1. Thank you so much! And of course! I wouldn't miss it for anything!

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  4. I have a feeling you are the reason for their increased numbers. I went to a pagan celebration once here in Georgia and it was, well, awful. The group wasn't very appecting for solitaries like myself and when they did their ritual it was really stuffy and formal. I like to enjoy myself. Maybe one day I will find the right group. You guys are very lucky!

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    1. Maybe. We have a local community called the Kansas City Witches Meetup that does a great job of advertising them to the KC area and are huge supporters of Liithi Lushede, so I've got to hand all the credit to them, hands down.

      You know, I've heard something similar from other friends of mine who moved here from out of state. I'm so sorry that you've had that experience. Like Gwenhwyfar said below, if you're ever around the KCMO area, we would absolutely love to have you!

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  5. Lesley, Marietta is wonderful advertisement, as are other pagan organizations in our area. We are lucky to have a fairly large and cohesive pagan community in the Kansas City area. We would love to have you if you are ever this way, and I guarantee that you will be made to feel welcome!

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  6. How wonderful your celebration looks. And your photos are great. It fun to follow your blog even tho I am at quite a distance from there. I love your website and blog.Thank you.

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    1. Thank you so much, Anon! I truly appreciate it!

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  7. I wish I lived close by so I could go to this! Alas I live like...20 million states away.>___< So glad there were so many people there--it's good to see a pagan community going strong! <3 <3

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    1. The public rituals get bigger and better every year! It's so impressive to see them grow. Only a few years ago, I had no idea this even existed in my city. If you are ever around the KCMO area, let me know! We'd love to see you!

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  8. Sorry to hear you weren't feeling your best over Beltaine. You do however look like you had an amazing time celebrating the season and welcoming the summer. We held an open ritual for approx 30 people it was the most people we have ever had join us in circle it was an amazing event. we have posted about it over on our blog www.anamcarawitches.wordpress.com

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    1. Your ritual was positively wonderful! It looks like everyone enjoyed it. Liithi Lushede's Beltane is one of my favorites, so I make sure to attend every year, regardless of how I feel. Nothing could hold me back!

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