lusty month of may, Maypole, maypole

A Temporary Hiatus

Well, today is the day itself. By now, most of you have figured out that we won't be running this particular event this year. Please be aware that I intend for this to be a hiatus. There are numerous reasons for skipping this year, but I think that if there is still interest we will almost certainly do it again in the future.

Many thanks to all you wonderful folks who have made our Beltane event so much fun over the years. I hope all of your spring revels are joyous.

Love to all.
Morgan Moon

An indecent proposal

For those of us who are either too broke or not motivated enough to go to Pennsic…

I would like to extend an invitation to one and all to join me for an event to celebrate the Festival of Lughnasadh.

 For those of you who might not know, Lughnasadh (which was poached by the Christians and assimilated into their calendar as “Lammas”) is the first of the 3 harvest festivals (the other 2 being Mabon/Autumnal Equinox and Samhain).  As the legend goes, the god Lugh (the Celtic “jack of all trades” god) held the first Lughnasadh festival in honor of his Foster-Mother, Tailtiu.  It included games of skill and chance, poetry and music, and arts and crafts.  Oh yeah, and feasting and booze.  And debauchery… What’s a good pagan festival without debauchery??

 All the details have yet to be set in stone (pending level of interest) but here’s what I’ve got in mind…

 When:  August 10-12

Where:  The Land Celebration (if available, anybody with suggestions for alternate venues, feel free to speak up!)


Cost:  TBD—however I will do my level best to keep it under $50/person.  Price breaks can be given according to length of stay, if you’re camping, and I’m actually toying with the idea of giving an “early bird” discount to people who pony up their cash in advance.

 Not that I in any way want to “over structure” this event, I was thinking (in keeping with the traditional spirit of the festival) about incorporating some games into the event, including (and I am totally open to suggestion here) a cross-country footrace, archery competition and Sheep/Caber toss, games for the less physically inclined such as sack races, three-legged races (come on, think how much fun that could be once everybody’s had a few beers!) and an “egg relay” race,  as well as artsy-craftsy activities and an invitation to the poets and musicians of the group to show their stuff at the feast.  Prizes to be awarded to the victors at the feast.

 Yes Virginia, there will be a feast.  The usual potluck affair we’ve all come to know and love.

 I would also like to incorporate some kind of Circle into the event, participation in which (as with everything else I’ve mentioned), is purely voluntary.

 Just so I know I’m not talking to myself (and before I lay out a chunk of my own $$ to get the ball rolling), pleaseopleaseopleaseopleaseoplease, give me a shout out and let me know if you are even remotely interested in participating in this event. 

 Hope to hear from y’all soon!

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lusty month of may, Maypole, maypole

Well, will ya look at that. It's less than two weeks!

Time just gets away from you. Let's talk about food, shall we? I need to start compiling a list of what everyone plans to bring, and so far I have no data from anyone.

I'll be providing my standards: tiny pies (probably some mushroom ones, and some cheese filled ones), a medieval Salat of herbs, some additional vegetarian dish, some sort of dessert type thing, and a lot of wine.

Your turn. If you can't commit to the exact dish you'll be bringing, at least give me an outline. Meat or veggie? Savory or dessert? Do you plan to cook, or would you rather contribute to the cheese board? Just give me some idea, so we can make sure we've got a balance.

Also, please remember to bring feast gear. This means some sort of plate or bowl, some sort of drinking vessel, and an eating knife and/or spoon. We won't allow plastic or paper items on the tables (I'm a reasonable woman, but seriously folks, let's try to create an atmosphere!) so please plan accordingly. If you really don't have and cannot acquire anything appropriate, let me know now, so I can try to provide something for you.

Questions? Comments?

File Under "General Useful Information"

Just so everyone knows who may not be too outdoorsy, there are poisonous snakes and other nasties that bite north of Richmond. So people who are camping out in the woods for Beltane should know a few things.

First off, we do have some of these around the house:

They are copperheads and are poisonous. If you see one, just leave it alone. They aren't aggressive and will most likely not bother you unless you try to "crocodile hunter" them. In my four years in Southern Maryland, I've only seen one. For more on them, and where they like to hide, read this.

We also have an abundance of these:

They're deer ticks, a carrier of Lyme disease. To avoid getting bit, you can use bug spray that says it will work on ticks. Also, frequent body checks for ticks can be helpful and make a wonderful way to break the ice with new people. I've found them on me in odd places (behind my ear, in the middle of my back, on the inside of my arm), so don't be squeamish about getting checked.

Last year I had a blood test for Lyme disease because I had some strange symptoms that mirrored it. Thankfully, it was negative. I was told by the doctor -- and I followed up on this on the CDC's site -- that it usually takes 24 hours for a tick to pass Lyme disease onto someone who is bitten. So if you do have one on you, don't freak out. Just carefully remove it.

You can read more on Lyme disease here.

Beltane Info

I just thought I’d chime in to provide some details about this year’s Beltane event, which has been scheduled for the weekend of May 11-May 13.

Some of you may remember the year that we planned on holding the event on the Shenandoah River but it flooded and we were forced to move it to my house in Brandywine. Well this year, we will be doing it there again, and I’m really looking forward to it.

The plan is to camp in the woods on my property next to our house, which will provide us with a great deal of privacy. There’s a small creek that runs down there and plenty of room for all of us to set up on, including a spot for our feast on Saturday night.

This weekend I’m going to clear a few spots, hopefully build a small bridge over the creek and set up some amenities such as a rustic outdoor shower in the woods that will have hot-and-cold running water. I am also planning on setting up a make-shift pavilion for us to use during our feast and during possible torrential downpours.

Those of you who have attended this event in the past know the routine. I’m sure Fenriss will post with the usuals about garb, food, eating utensils et cetera. We will have a campfire for cooking in the woods and tables for food. However, there is no electricity and no refrigeration, and we ask that people limit the use of the kitchen in the house. By now, most of us are seasoned campfire cooks, so if you have any questions about rustic cooking, please do not hesitate to ask.

The main bonfire – which has already been built courtesy of the neighbor’s front-end loader – will be out in our field where we traditionally do our burning man.

We’re planning on having a port-a-potty because my septic will most likely not be able to handle a house full of people.

Please try to limit the garbage you bring. We do not have trash pick-up out where we are and ask that people pack their garbage out with them.

One final note: As most of you know, The Brandywine Pethericks are on baby No. 2 now. Many of you have met baby No. 1, Morrigan, who is now a fully functioning toddler and is excited to get to wear her cute, little woodlands fairy costume. And, now, there is Baby No. 2 – Rowan Amelia Anne – who turned 3 months old today. As a result, we ask that, unless it’s an emergency, people refrain from using the house after 7 p.m. on either night. The babies go to bed at that time, and the constant opening and closing of the old doors in our house will surely wake them up. This shouldn’t be a problem as the woods and the field will afford us all plenty of room to breathe.

The usual rules apply for any friends and acquaintances who may attend: If your friend, husband, wife, S.O., family member etc. acts like a dick, it’s your responsibility to humiliate, eviscerate, eat or ask him/her to leave.

That’s about all I can think of for now. If anyone has any questions, please don’t hesitate to post them here.


lusty month of may, Maypole, maypole


Hot damn. I think we knocked this one out of the park, my darlings. I can't remember the last time I was able to relax and enjoy the event so much. Everyone rose to the occasion and helped out, and a fantastic time was had by all.

I will specifically thank the Pethericks, EJ and her girl, and Chief (the Trashy Fairy) for their tremendous efforts, but I think that this year, everyone of you gets kudos. You should be aware that Petros of the Land Celebration called me to say how impressed he is by the way we respect the space, and clean up so thoroughly that it's as if we'd never been there. I'm so honored that we've managed to maintain that reputation after all these years.

I hope that more of you who took pictures will consider posting them here when you get a chance. We had so much beauty to behold this year! Truly a feast for all of the senses.

Thanks so much. I love you all.

Wonderful Weekend

I have to say that, despite the cold nights, this was one of the best Beltanes I have had so far. It was highlighted by low stress; warm days for swimming, throwing axes and lying about; and cool nights for getting dressed up and for, well, other things. There was no rain and everyone seemed to have had a wonderful time. It was nice to see some new people show up, too.

All in all a great weekend.