A new Beltane is hatching at Groundswell. Can you feel the glow beginning? Each day longer than the last, as the sun comes into its season and sensation. It’s a glow on your skin, a glow deep in your body, a glow growing in your heart. The glow strengthens as you dance around the bonfire, lie in reverence of nature, laugh in lovers’ arms. Yes, it’s a fierce glow, a flaming glow, a queer glow. And, it’s flowing right out of you with every beautiful breath.
Wednesday April 29th to Monday May 4th
Sliding Scale Donation: $125 – $250 (NOTAFLOF/Give as you are able)
We are limiting the gathering to 100 attendees to lighten the impact on the land. Please register as soon as you can to help us with planning and sign up to carpool to save resources and get to know your fellow queers even better.
This gathering is pangender and open to queers of all kinds.
Beltane GLOW is now officially SOLD OUT! If you would like to be added to the wait list for the event or are a local wanting to visit for the day, e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Welcome to Beltane GLOW: loving our lives; listening to the land. This is the first Beltane at Groundswell, and we invite you to join us in an exploration of life:life with each other, life on the land, and life with our selves. We will be celebrating Beltane with the traditions of days past in completely new ways and are excited for you to join us. Expect many familiar faerie flavors with exciting new twists as we gather under sunny and starry skies in celebration of our connections to community and the natural world. There will be rituals, dancing, heart circles, playshops, skillshares, pageants, feasts, playspaces, swimming, frolicking, kissing, listening, and lots of loving. [Full teaser schedule below!]
Beltane has been celebrated by communities for millennia and by the faeries and their friends for decades. It is a time to honor the abundance in our lives as the first of the year’s harvests come truly ripe, to gather round kindled flame to dance and sing in ecstatic communion. Usually the main Beltane ritual is held during the day on May 1st. We are going to do things a bit differently. This year Groundswell is debuting a new night-time ritual – a blacklight Beltane, GLOW. Co-created by Chickpea of Gayglo and Comfort & Joy, the night of Friday May 1st we will gather glowing bright for a phosphorescent faerieland under the redwoods and the stars.
Neon ribbons strung strong to towering tree, we will dance brilliance in honor of the great creative energy and potential that arises when we love our selves, each other, and nature. Like those flowing ribbons, we queers bind together communities and inspire beauty, creating possibility and compassion. It’s an ancient new tale of the importance of queer spirit to the world. Join us in weaving it.
The weaving of new stories is especially important to us right now, as this will be the first Beltane to take place at Groundswell. This new queer community land project will hopefully grow to be a place of profound importance to many. Groundswell eventually aims to be an intentional community of 15 to 30 queers, united through common values of ecology, heart-centered practices, creativity, cooperation, and more. We steward a land of 200 acres, full of pristine waters, fertile forests, rolling meadows, and lots of wildlife. It’s a big vision and it will take a big community to help realize the dream. While you are here at Beltane, we invite you to explore your own relationship to the land and the community. Listen to the land.
Groundswell’s retreat center accommodations are rustic but comfortable. There are cabins with bunk beds and foam mattresses available to the first 80 people who want them (though those with special needs will be prioritized), as well as abundant camping spots to tent under the stars. There are lights and electricity in all the cabins, and a nearby bathhouse (camp-style) has a dozen toilets and showers each. The hot water is abundant, and we ask that all be mindful of water use because of the drought. There is also a pond for swimming and a year-round creek for wading.
A large dining hall with attached commercial kitchen will ensure your gathering is full of delicious and sustaining food. If you haven’t seen Groundswell’s kitchen yet, just you wait, honey. We are fully equipped. Ingredients will be as local and organic as we can get them, and there will be a full range of dietary options. The kitchen is a work of community magick and requires many hands to make it a truly fabulous experience. Love to cook and feed the queers? We would love for you to lead a meal one day of the gathering. Just e-mail email@example.com and let us know about your kitchen passions.
Speaking of, this gathering is only as amazing as all of us make it together. We hope that all who attend Beltane will volunteer at least once or twice to help make it feel like a smooth and delightful experience for all involved. There is always help needed with cooking, dishwashing, cleaning, registration, and lots more. Think about how you might want to plug in and let us know as you register. We invite you to also think about gifts to share with the gathering community. These can be activities you lead, treats you share, drag you pass on – be creative and let your heart guide you, darling. [Want support from Groundswell for your activity in the form of materials or communications? Just e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org!]
This event is very much a leave no trace behind affair; in fact, we’d like you to leave the land looking more beautiful than when you arrived. Please, be respectful of our many sensitive ecosystems. Be mindful of what you wear, especially glitter, which can tend to end up absolutely everywhere. Take short showers to rinse off glitters, makeup, oils, etc. before going in the creek or pond. Love and respect the abundant gifts and beauty of nature.
And now, a few important formal policies:
* No One Turned Away For Lack of Funds (NOTAFLOF). We are committed to making our gatherings as accessible as possible and don’t want your economic status to be a barrier to community. If you can’t afford the lower level of registration donations just choose the “Give as you are able” option. This will allow you to register and then figure out what you can afford to give for the gathering.
* No pets except ADA defined service animals are allowed at the Beltane gathering. We have many animals living with us, both domestic and wild, which we don’t want to stress with a lot of strange animals. Please make other arrangements for the care of your pets while you are at the gathering.
* We ask that if you choose to drink, you do so conscientiously and responsibly. Discovery through substance is the choice of each individual and can be enlightening when people respect boundaries and their bodies. Boundary: No meth or other speeds.
* Smoking may only occur in pre-designated smoking areas. Do not smoke elsewhere, it is a fire hazard.
* In this hyper-connected world, we ask that you use this time to disconnect to reconnect. In other words, leave your cell phone in your cabin in a bag, don’t carry it with you everywhere. You could even leave it turned off *gasp*.
As with all faerie gatherings, schedule is subject to transformation and inspiration. A larger schedule will be created at the beginning of the gathering so that all can add their contributions. Want your activity added to the schedule sooner? Just email us at email@example.com.
Afternoon: Fey begin to arrive, set up tents, indulge in sunshine, and wade through the creek. Flower play begins in center camp as we create arrangements and Beltane crowns with the abundance of nature.
Nighttime: Board games around the campfire and blacklight craftmaking in preparation for our big ritual.
Afternoon: Come on up to the pond for an afternoon pool party in the sun with disco tunes.
Nighttime: We will gather around the campfire for queer storytelling – fact, fiction, or anywhere in between, share stories that scintillate, intrigue, inspire, or even arouse. Around midnight we will burn those things we are releasing while ritually extinguishing the fire in preparation for the next day’s rituals.
Afternoon: Join in the search for Groundswell’s first maypole, then help prepare it for that night’s ritual with paint and ribbons.
Nighttime: It’s time for the glorious Glow ritual – we will circle around, glowing fierce in the darkness in celebration of loving our lives and learning this beautiful new land. Following the ritual, a stargazer dance party will take place in the event barn featuring both acoustic and electronic dance music.
Afternoon: expect activities to abound all afternoon as the gathering reaches a peak. A mid-afternoon High Tea-Time with Mother Nature will take place up near the pond with a earth communion ritual.
Nighttime: Following our Beltane Feast, we will gather for a bonfire ritual to raise energy for all of the new intentions we are casting – dancing, singing, loving around the flames deep into the night.
Afternoon: Strut your stuff at Groundswell’s May Queen Pageant. It’s a daytime cabaret as the faeries show off exactly how much of a queen they really are. There are rumors some of the alpacas may try to compete.
Nighttime: Our last night of the gathering we honor our selves and each other with an evening of rejuvenation. Self Care is Sexy night will feature group massage, mani/pedi’s, skin care, and facials. Not that kind, you naughty thing. Well, ok, maybe that kind, too.