Have you been attending gatherings by zoom meetings or other remote software? I have. I’ve visited more various Pagan, UU, Atheist and other events in the past few weeks than in many months before that. And not just any events, but remote circle ritual too! For many of them (including ritual time), I’ve never attended them remotely before the pandemic. Even more so than UUs (who have had the Church of the Larger Fellowship for many years), we Pagans are very often separated by long distances and hence solitary.
After things open, likely a matter of months, many things will go back to normal – and some will be permanently changed. I think telepresence meetings, games, and gatherings are one of the mostly likely changes. This could be a game changer for many of us. I’m a good example – I used to be an active member and enjoy rituals with the CUUPS group where I used to live – but since moving, there doesn’t seem to be a similar group close by . So this has been a hole in my life which I’ve partially filled with my own solitary rituals. But with the pandemic, I was able to join my old CUUPS group’s Ostara ritual, which was done as a Zoom meeting! It was very nice, and the fact that it wasn’t outdoors was only a small disadvantage compared to being able to join it.
So what are your plans for Beltane? Do they include a group ritual? Here is your chance to experience an online ritual!
Looking around, I’ve found a few which might be especially good for Naturalistic Pagans. Of course, please post in the comments if you know of others that you would recommend.
The Druids of the Light group are holding an online ritual. Their facebook pages indicates that more details and links will be posted there soon. Here is their facebook page:
Here is a deity based ritual from John Beckett:
The Under the Ancient Oaks Beltane Ritual will be next Friday May 1 at 8:00 PM CDT on Facebook Live. The link is here.
The Deity of the Occasion will be Cernunnos, in part because He’s first among the Gods in my life, but also because who better to connect with at Beltane than a God of the Wild. The main working will be a guided meditation to meet Cernunnos, and to listen for what He has to say to each of us.
You’re welcome to simply follow along with me, but I encourage you to participate where you are. You’ll need a candle and something to light it with, an offering bowl, and something for offerings. I’ll be using wine, ….
When we’re done with the main working, we’ll share a drink among ourselves.
I expect the ritual to run 25 to 30 minutes.
Also, the Circle Sanctuary in Wisconsin is a shining star of hope, showing that intentional Pagan spaces can be created and can grow. I’ve met Selena Fox at Pantheacon. She had led a ritual which explicitly included Naturalistic Pagans, and in talking with her afterwards, she confirmed that including us is her normal practice.
Their Beltane online celebration is from 10 am to 1 pm EDT on Saturday, May 2nd. I’m looking forward to it!
From the event description:
Join the Circle Community for an online celebration of Beltane! Coordinated by Rev. Sharon this online event will feature presentations from Circle Ministers and Community and footage from Circle Land and past festivals. Videos will air 10 am – 1 pm on the Circle Sanctuary Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/CircleSanctuaryCommunity/?epa=SEARCH_BOX
10:00 am Opening with Rev. Sharon
It is Beltane! Online! Join us! Rev. Sharon welcomes you and invites you to lend your energy and embrace our online festival! There will be workshops, video clips from previous Beltane celebrations on Circle land, Family Programming, a Beltane Ritual and many opportunities for you to connect to the energy of this most fertile season of potential and possibility. Dress up an area or an altar in your home to create your own sacred space for joining in this celebration!
10:30 am Morris Dancers? What’s a Morris Dancer? with Colleen Koziara
Morris Dancing is a type of folk dance from England that has survived for centuries. It’s said that the dance is so ancient its origins have been lost in the mists of time and that this tradition has been greatly misunderstood. Learn why we celebrate and honor the Morris Dancers at Beltane!
11:00 am Family Programming with Rev. Florence
Gather round and enjoy books of the season during story time with Rev. Florence!
11:30 am Beltane Flower Magic with Rev. Selena Fox
Bring in the May with old and new Beltane flower customs, meditations, and rituals. Explore ways of working with living flowers and flower imagery to aid joy, pleasure, creativity, fun, and well-being.
12:00 pm Beltane Chanting with Rev. Messina, Rev. Minerva, Aviel and Raven
Join us for some fun seasonal chanting. We’ll circle with these chants to rejuvenate our souls and center us in the Spirit of Beltane. While we can’t all be together in person, we can lift our voices and join as one to bring in the May. Come and chant with us!
12:30 pm Beltane Ritual of the Senses with Rev. Sharon
As the land around us greens, we use our senses to welcome the abundance the fertile Earth has to offer us during this Beltane season.
1:00 pm Closing Blessings with Rev. Sharon
Visit circlesanctuary.org to support this program and Circle’s other work with a donation.
Dr. Jon Cleland Host is a scientist who earned his PhD in materials science at Northwestern University & has conducted research at Hemlock Semiconductor and Dow Corning since 1997. He holds eight patents and has authored over three dozen internal scientific papers and eleven papers for peer-reviewed scientific journals, including the journal Nature. He has taught classes on biology, math, chemistry, physics and general science at Delta College and Saginaw Valley State University. Jon grew up near Pontiac, and has been building a reality-based spirituality for over 30 years, first as a Catholic and now as a Unitarian Universalist, including collaborating with Michael Dowd and Connie Barlow to spread the awe and wonder of the Great Story of our Universe (see www.thegreatstory.org, and the blog at evolutionarytimes.org). Jon’s youtube channel, with videos about DNA, spirituality, and more, is here. Jon and his wife have four sons, whom they embrace within a Universe-centered, Pagan, family spirituality. He currently moderates the yahoo group Naturalistic Paganism and maintains a hub page for Naturalistic Paganism.
Jon is also a regular columnist here at HP. His column is called Starstuff, Contemplating.
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