Chrysalis Moon: Best Little Pagan Festival in Indiana

Chrysalis Moon Logo 2014

Chrysalis Moon

If you’ve never been to a Pagan festival, or even if you are a seasoned veteran from way back, Chrysalis Moon is a festival you don’t want to miss.  Last year was the first year I attended and I’ve been counting down the days til I get to go again.  Seriously.  I’m counting.  90 days until I make the 2 hour trip from Fort Wayne, as of the day I’m posting this.  I’m excited not only to be going to Chrysalis Moon again, but I’m excited to be going with so many of my friends.

What is Chrysalis Moon and Why is it so Special?

Chrysalis Moon is a Pagan festival held in Tippecanoe River State Park, in Winnemac, Indiana.  There are special guests, musical guests, and classes taught by members of the Pagan community.  This year, the special guests are Pagan authors Joyce and River Higgenbotham, and healing practitioners Corirose Anjali and Lucinda Anjali.  The musical guests, returning for the second year in a row, is Murphy’s Midnight Rounders.  They were a blast last year and I can’t wait to reconnect with them this year.

Chrysalis Moon is special for many reasons.  The classes are amazing, with a wide variety of topics.  This year, one of our own community members, Mark Pope, will be teaching a class on Asatru practices.  Every night, there is a big bonfire with a drumming circle and dancing, as well as revelry and fun.  You can walk the labyrinth if you like, which is created by lit tealight candles.  (I encourage walking the labyrinth, especially if you’ve never walked one before.  It’s life changing.)  On Saturday evening, there is a large ritual based on the theme of the year.  It’s 5 days of fun, learning, and community, that is inexpensive and fantastic.

One of the things that sets Chrysalis Moon apart from other festivals you might have attended is the accomodations.  Instead of bringing your tent, cabins are provided in your fees.  They are wooden buildings reminiscent of Scout camp.  They have beds and doors and a roof and everything!  Four camps are set up in circles, with a lodge that has electricity, along with six other smaller cabins, a fire circle, and a flush toilet station.  The fifth, center camp has a couple of cabins where the special guests stay, as well as a kitchen for them and a larger fire circle.  Meals are on your own, so you do need to bring food and some way to cook it, as well as a screen tent if you like.  Sleeping tents are not permitted, but there’s plenty of space in the cabins.

Last year, we stayed only for Friday through Sunday and this year we are going to stay the whole event, Wednesday through Sunday.  We want first crack at the wonderful vendors and we don’t want to miss a beat when it comes to classes and community.  It’s a great way to get out of town for a few days on the cheap and chill in nature with awesome people.

How do I Learn More about Chrysalis Moon?

For more information, check it out at their website!  Classes and rituals are listed as well as prices and other important information.  There’s still time to get your registration in.  Tell them you are going to be with Three Rivers Pagans to get in our camp!  We are taking up residence in Earth camp this year, the northernmost cabin pod in the park.  Closer to the event, we’ll get together to plan things like shared meals and carpooling too to save money on the trip.  So let me know you’re coming along!  Chrysalis Moon is sure to be the best time spent this summer!

Chrysalis Moon logo used with permission.  Artist: Cern Greenman

Pennsylvania

Heart Candle

Please take a moment this morning and send healing energy and Reiki to the 20 injured people that were affected in the mass stabbing in the Franklin Regional Senior High School in Murrysville, Pennsylvania. Healing to any and all those affected, from students to employees and family, and most importantly to the person that was hurting enough to cause pain to others. May they all find healing and peace. Please burn a candle for healing and peace today. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers as they try to piece this tragedy together in the coming days, weeks, months and even years.

What’s in a Name?

~by Pandora Silverfin

Many Wiccans and Pagans celebrate Beltane.  It is one of eight solar Sabbats.  This holiday incorporates traditions from the Gaelic word Bealtaine, such as the bonfire, but it bears more relation to the Germanic May Day festival, both in its significance (focusing on fertility) and its rituals (such as May pole dancing).  Some traditions celebrate this holiday on May 1 or May day, or on April 30th.

Beltane has long been celebrated with feasts and rituals.  The name means fire of Bel; Belinos being one name for the Sun God, whose coronation feast we now celebrate.  In the Irish Gaelic language, the month of May is known as Mí Bhealtaine or Bealtaine, and the festival as Lá Bealtaine (‘day of Bealtaine’ or, ‘May Day’).  In the Scottish Gaelic language, the month is known as either (An) Cèitean or a’ Mhàigh, and the festival is known as Latha Bealltainn or simply Bealltainn.  The feast was also known as Céad Shamhain or Cétshamhainin from which the word Céitean derives.  Beltane was formerly spelt Bealtuinn in the Scottish Gaelic language; in Manx it is spelled Boaltinn or Boaldyn.  In Modern Irish, Oíche Bhealtaine is May Eve, and Lá Bealtaine is May Day.

Beltane was an ancient Gaelic festival celebrated in Ireland, Scotland and the Isle of Man.  It marked the beginning of summer and was linked to similar festivals held elsewhere in Europe, such as the Welsh Calan Mai and the Germanic Walpurgis Night.  Beltane and Samhain were the leading terminal dates of the civil year in medieval Ireland, though the latter festival was the more important.  It is a cross-quarter day, marking the midpoint in the Sun’s progress between the Spring Equinox and Summer Solstice.  The astronomical date for this midpoint is nearer to 5 May or 7 May, but this can vary from year to year.  In modern Scottish Gaelic, Latha Buidhe Bealltainn or Là Buidhe Bealltainn (‘the yellow day of Bealltain’) is used to describe the first day of May.  This term Lá Buidhe Bealtaine is also used in Irish and is translated as ‘Bright May Day’.

According to Nora Chadwick, in Celtic Ireland “Beltine (or Beltaine) was celebrated on 1 May, a spring-time festival of optimism.  Fertility ritual again was important, in part perhaps connecting with the waxing power of the sun, symbolized by the lighting of fires through which livestock were driven, and around which the people danced in a sunwise direction.”  In the old Celtic times, young people would spend the entire night in the woods “A-Maying,” and then dance around the phallic Maypole the next morning.  Older married couples were allowed to remove their wedding rings (and the restrictions they imply) for this one night.  May morning is a magickal time for wild water (dew, flowing streams, and springs) which is collected and used to bathe in for beauty, or to drink for health.

In Irish mythology, the beginning of the summer season for the Tuatha Dé Danann and the Milesians started at Bealtaine.  Great bonfires would mark a time of purification and transition, heralding in the season in the hope of a good harvest later in the year, and were accompanied with ritual acts to protect the people from any harm by Otherworldly spirits, such as the Aos Sí.  Like the festival of Samhain, opposite Beltane on 31 October, Beltane was also a time when the Otherworld was seen as particularly close at hand.  Excavations at Uisnech in the 20th century provided evidence of large fires taking place.

Beltane and Beltane-based festivals are held by some Neopagans.  As Neopaganism can vary largely from tradition to tradition, representations can vary greatly despite the shared name.  Some celebrate in a way as near as possible to how the ancient Gaels did, while others observe the holiday with rituals taken from sundry unrelated sources, Gaelic culture being only one of the sources used.

Neopagans usually celebrate Beltane on 30 April–1 May in the Northern Hemisphere and 31 October–1 November in the Southern Hemisphere.  Some Neopagans celebrate it at the astronomical midpoint between the spring equinox and summer solstice (or the full moon nearest this point).  In the Northern Hemisphere, this midpoint is when the ecliptic longitude of the Sun reaches 45 degrees. In 2014, this is on 5 May.

 

 

Freya and Beltane

freyja

~ by Mark Pope

Freya is the Norse goddess of fertility, passion, battle, and trance work. As Odin claims half the honorable dead on Midgard (Earth), the other half is claimed by Freya. She is a fierce warrior maiden. Freya even taught a form of magic to Odin! She oversees both battle fields and wedding days. So, one can see the importance of Freya and the range of things that she governs.

As a goddess of fertility she is often associated with the spring. It is thought that the May Queen, the center of many May Day parades in Europe, is a representation of Freya.

As the May Pole and its ribbons are representations of the Lord and Lady, some associate the pole with Frey and the ribbons with Freya, showing that these two divinities have united to usher forth the spring. Some even speculate that Scandinavian May traditions did indeed develop around Frey and Freya. It’s important to note that they are not lovers, but are brother and sister and they often work together to insure good harvest and fertility for humanity.

On Beltane, Freya is called upon for fertility of the people and the fertility of the land. Her brother Freyr accompanies her and together they bless the land with a healthy spring.

Here is a prayer that you can say on Beltane to honor Freya,

“Hail to the Lady of amber.
Hail to the Lady of steel.
Hail to the Lady of passion,
Bringer of luck,
Bestower of wealth.
You are the envy of all the Gods,
the treasure of the nine sacred worlds.

Freya, mighty and magnificent,
We praise Your name this Beltane.
Ignite within us an awareness
of our own creative fire.
Ignite within us a passion,
to burn through the pale shadows of our lives
and find integrity:
in all we do, in all we dream, in all we are.
Bless us, Freya, Lady of the Vanir,
and we shall hail You,
always.” – By Galina Krasskova

Beltane Incense

Beltane Incense

Beltane is the perfect time to make a special incense, even if you’ve never made one before.  They are simple to make, especially when you are making loose incenses to be burned over charcoal tablets.  Simply put, these types of incenses are herbs and other botanicals are placed in a container, covered, and shaken to mix.  It’s that easy.

This incense is perfect not only for Beltane, but any fertility, love, or growth workings.  Use it in your spellwork to bring power to your words.  Following each ingredient is what it brings to the mix, metaphysically.

Beltane Incense Ingredients

Basil ~ fertility, prosperity, strengthens love

Cinnamon ~ lust, love, protection, raising spiritual vibrations

Dragon’s Blood ~ love, protection, potency

Hawthorn ~ fertility, happiness

Lavender ~ love, protection

Mugwort ~ protection

Patchouli ~ fertility, lust

Rose Petals ~ love, protection

Mix equal amounts, crushing any larger pieces, such as the Dragon’s Blood or hawthorn berries.  (I use a coffee grinder specifically set aside for my herbals.)

Place in a labeled jar, complete with ingredients.

Herblore: Daisy

Daisy

Daisies have many meanings, but the most widely recognized is youthful love and innocence.  Roman mythology tells us that daisies were created when the nymph Belides caught the eye of Vertumnus, the god of the orchards as she was dancing at the edge of the forest.  To escape his unwanted attention, she transformed into the flower bellis, the daisy’s botanical name.

They are often, especially on Beltane or May Day, woven into beautifully simple crowns for the girls and ladies to wear.

When used for spiritual or metaphysical purposes, the daisy brings increased awareness, creativity, and inner strength.  When we embrace our creativity, we can accomplish and create anything.  Never underestimate the power of your creative thoughts, for in them, lie your dreams.

Welcome to Our New Website

Welcome to our new website!

We are going to be filling out this website with all kinds of information, recipes, spells, and everything else you can imagine!  If you’d like to add something, send us a note!  We’d like to have many voices filling the halls here.

The forums will be up soon, and we will be populating that with anything and everything we can, from simple rituals to complex ones, and beyond.  We’ll be setting up a place for “newbies” to the path to ask questions, get answers, and find their way through the myriad of paths that are open to them as Pagans.

Everyone is welcome.  We ask that you maintain a level of decorum on this page and the forums, as people of all ages, from tweens to adults.  Please keep everything civil.

Many blessings and many thanks!

~ Jewels