Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Líithi Lushede Coven's Public Beltane Ritual 2016

On Sunday, May 1st, Líithi Lushede Coven held their public Beltane ritual at Waterfall Park in Independence, MO, a southeast suburb of Kansas City.  While the weather had been rainy leading up to the ritual and including the day of, we received a perfect break for the celebration!

Despite the number of weddings going on this day, there was quite a turnout:

Click on the picture above for a larger version!
The public rituals are one of the biggest focal points for the Kansas City pagan community, and Liithi Lushede's are an absolute treat.  The ladies of Liithi Lushede always have a monumental task ahead of them in performing these public rituals, yet they do so perfectly with absolute grace.  A huge thank you to this coven for all the hard work they do!

Rituals are led by the amazing High Priestess Gwenhwyfar Wyrrd.

This year, she was joined by Æsithair Runekafi as the stand-in High Priest.

Ritual began by casting the circle using a staff, sword and flower petals.

This was followed by the calling of the quarters and the lighting of the torches in each respective direction.

The ritual began by calling upon Dionysus, the Greek God associated with fertility and wine.

Gwenhwyfar then walked the circle and talked about overindulgence and moderation.

She noted that both subjects Dionysus is associated with - alcohol and sex - can become addictions yet can also heighten the experience of life 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.  The ritual participants were treated to an indulgence of the senses, including:

A Tibetan singing bowl for hearing and a strawberry perfume scent for smell...

Feathers for touch and a piece of chocolate 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 both the HPS and HP...

... As well as all of the participants.

Wine was then blessed and drank by Æsithair and Gwenhwyfar.

They also shared chocolate covered strawberries while juice and strawberries were passed around the circle.

After going through community announcements, the circle was closed.  But the festivities didn't end there!

Gwenhwyfar gave a short tutorial on the basics of Maypole dancing and then the attendants began the dance!

Music was provided by the bard, John Mitchell!

And with that, the ritual was complete.  Of course, there's always the potluck and raffle afterward.  Unfortunately, I couldn't stick around as my dog was ready to go.  That being said, events such as this one give a true sense of community.  I encourage everyone to get out and attend events such as this in your local community!

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