We actually did it! We made plans ~ on the spur of the moment, really ~ just two weeks ahead of time to attend a Beltane festival. It was a large group of people at a nature sanctuary. It’s really a 175 acre plot of sacred lands. And that makes it even more special.
I hadn’t been to a large group gathering in some time. But we decided, as a group, sort of on the spur of the moment, that we were going to a place called Our Haven for our Beltane. I’ve heard of their Beltane gatherings before and figured it’d be fun.
But I was in for a total treat!
Thursday: arrival. We hit camp Thursday morning and set up our site. I tried to take a nap, but I was so warm inside the tent that I just couldn’t sleep. I did manage to stay up and awake for the entire night, though, which was a feat in itself. (I’d been up nearly 36 hours.)
Friday: chill time. We walked around a lot and visited all of the shrines that day. There are shrines to Brigid, Pan and the Great Mother Goddess. There may have been more that I’m not aware of, too. Also, we attended a handfasting! And that was absolutely gorgeous. We also bought sarongs on Friday, which we spent the rest of the weekend wearing around the grounds. No undies, no shirts … just free-swinging in the sarong. Except, of course, back in the clothing-optional area, where we were naked most of the night. Later that night, hanging out at the (newly-dubbed) “Nudist Circle,” one of our new-found friends ended up accidentally falling about ten feet off a nearby cliff into the creek. At the time, I was next to a nearby tree taking a wee and all I heard was a sudden, “KAPLOOSH!” It was quite funny ~ hence his new nickname, “Creek.”
Saturday: actual Beltane. For the most part, we did some more walking around. One of our new friends was so hungover from the night before that he spent most of the day up at the First Aide shelter, where he slept in his air-conditioned car. He did a very large amount of hurling. When we walked back to check on him at the “Nudist Circle,” he was naked with just half of his body out the front door of his tent. As we walked up, hearing his moaning, we almost thought he was getting plowed from behind. LOL But what he was actually doing was throwing up. During the day, we had a great time dancing the Maypole and, later that night, we walked a candlelight labyrinth. That was so much fun! Then we danced around the bonfire (both clothed and naked) later that night. I purposefully danced to call in a specific spirit entity and I believe it worked. My friend who camped with me (also a Covener) and I got to jump the Balefire together, as well, which is not something I’d done with someone before (only by myself).
Sunday: leaving day. We woke up late in the morning and the festival was done around noon. So we had to have our coffee and pack up our goodies. We said a somewhat tearful goodbye to new-found friends and there were hugs all around. And we came home.
To be honest, the place we went (Our Haven) felt very much like home. I no more than walked into my door at the house and started unpacking than I started missing the folks from Our Haven. These people pass no judgement. They accept you for who you are, let you walk your path and do your thing and don’t make any attempt to say whether you’re right, wrong or in-between. And that’s part of what made it Home. In fact, the greeting around there when you come through the gate is, “Welcome home!”
I’m tearing up a bit now just thinking about that place. The Spirits of Place there are strong, indeed. And being absent tech for four days certainly serves to put you back in touch with your spirit. Thank the Gods for that. And thank the Gods for Our Haven.