The 13th Annual May Moon Beltane Festival was held this past weekend, May 4-6, 2018 at the Williams Field at Mariner’s Museum Park. What makes this year’s festival bittersweet is that this was the last May Moon to be held at this location. The host of the festival, Mystic Moon of Norfolk, is seeking a new location for the festival for next year. The very first May Moon was held at the park in 2006 and it has returned annually ever since.
Mystic Moon of Norfolk is all set to hold their annual May Moon Festival this upcoming weekend, May 4-6, 2018. The event will be held at Williams Field at the Mariner’s Museum Park in Newport News. The festival celebrates Beltane - one of eight Pagan sabbats (seasonal observances and festivals) that make up the Pagan Wheel of the Year. Beltane is a celebration of spring, fertility, and sexuality. The festival coincides with May Day which is a secularized version of the holiday.
The weekend of March 23-25, 2018, Hampton Roads Pagan Men held its annual Brotherhood by the Bog men’s cabin retreat at First Landing State Park in Virginia Beach. This year’s theme was “Lost Boys and Neverlands: Creating Magickal Connections in a Mundane World.” This year’s guest presenter was Eric Eldritch – a Radical Faerie, Urban Shaman, and Stone Circle Wicca Priest, who lives at the intersection of Sexuality and Spirituality.
It is officially festival and camp season again. I want to share some practical advice to make your festivals and campouts safe, comfortable, and fun.
My qualifications are these:
I have been to many festivals over the last 30 years or so. I am a Girl Scout outdoor educator. I was a Girl Scout and attained First Class, the highest rank possible at that time. I am the daughter of an Eagle Scout. I have been camping since I was a toddler.
Pace yourself. If you go full speed all the time, you will crash hard.
Get enough sleep. Expect to wake with the sun or shortly thereafter. Tents do not have blackout blinds.
Stay hydrated. Seriously. Drink LOTS of water, even if you are not thirsty. If you are thirsty, you are already dehydrated.
Bring sunscreen (50 SPF baby sunscreen works for face and body, so you do not need two products) and USE IT. REAPPLY OFTEN.
Mystic Moon of Norfolk held their annual May Moon Festival this past weekend, May 5-7, 2017 at the Mariner’s Museum Park in Newport News. The event celebrates Beltane - one of eight Pagan sabbats (seasonal observances and festivals) that make up the Pagan Wheel of the Year. Beltane is a celebration of spring, fertility, and sexuality. The festival coincides with May Day which is a secularized version of the holiday.
Aries Apothecary held its grand opening at its new location this past Saturday, April 15, 2017. The shop moved from the Norfolk Flea Market on Military Highway to Hunter’s Mill Shoppes on Virginia Beach Boulevard just across the Norfolk border into Virginia Beach. The apothecary has been in business for three years and opened its doors at the new location on January 16.
Aries Apothecary sells herbs, stones and crystals, candles, essential oils, and all-natural soaps, among other offerings. The shop also features books from local authors including Grace Gemini, Aurora Thornton, and Annaliese Harris. They offer consignments for local authors, artists, and craft persons.
The Mother Earth Spring Festival was held this past Saturday, April 15, 2017, at Oyster Point in Newport News. This is the first of what organizers plan to be an annual event. The event was hosted by Mother Earth Herbal Apothecary and featured a number of vendors, food trucks, and entertainers. The festival celebrates the Earth and the coming of Spring. Vendors included folks selling fresh produce, candles, essential oils, herbs, clothing, jewelry, and other items. There was also henna and body painting, tarot readings, and inflatable slides and bounce houses for the kids. Proceeds went to charity.
Eastern Beach Kindred hosted Mystic Moon’s Ostara Ritual this past Saturday, March 18, 2017. Eastern Beach Kindred is a community of families in Hampton Roads who follow a path of Norse Paganism dedicated to the Northern Gods. Besides rituals, the group teaches Norse lore and holds regular classes on Norse magic at Mystic Moon. Ostara is one of eight Pagan sabbats (holy days) making up the Wheel of the Year. Ostara is a celebration of the coming of spring. It is the pre-Christian “Easter” celebration and where all the rabbits and eggs come from. Ostara celebrations take place at or near the spring equinox.
Who’s that face watching from within the forest leaves and foliage? Perhaps it’s the Green Man. The Green Man is in many ways the counterpart to Cernunnos. Whereas Cernunnos symbolizes the wild and untamed animal nature of the forest, the Green Man is the embodiment of the wild and fertile vegetation of nature. The Green Man is often depicted as simply a face in the leaves. Branches or vines might sprout from his nose, mouth, or other parts of his face. They may even bear fruit or flowers. He may have leaves for hair or a leafy beard. The face is almost always male. Green women are rare and green cats, lions, and demons are also found. Green Man carvings and sculptures are often found as part of the architecture of churches from the 11th century to the present day. The Pagan-esque symbol of the Green Man in Christian Churches would seem to indicate the vitality of the Green Man and his ability to survive as a symbol of pre-Christian traditions despite the influence of Christianity, while at the same time co-existing with Christianity.
This past weekend, March 10-12, 2017, a group of men gathered in a cabin at First Landing State Park in Virginia Beach for a weekend of discovery. The gathering included men straight and gay, mostly around middle age, and mostly Pagan. The theme of the weekend was “The Hero’s Adventure” and the weekend was facilitated by Shaman, writer, and teacher Tom Crockett.
Crockett used pop culture icons to explain the archetypal masculine model of the hero’s journey. The hero’s journey is a process where the hero receives some kind of call in his life to something greater. If he answers the call, he goes through a journey where he is challenged by obstacles and given assistance along the way by allies and mentors. Eventually he passes an ultimate test to prove what he’s learned along the way. He then returns to his life with more knowledge, skills, and confidence than before. He often brings back something that benefits his community – whether knowledge, defeating a common foe, or some magical tool.
On Sunday, March 12, 2017, Alison Jones hosted the “Grieving Man Green Tea” at Mystic Moon of Norfolk. Despite the name, the event was actually lighthearted and jovial. Everyone wore green. A variety of teas, cookies, and sweet snacks were offered.
The event was mostly about the tea and socializing. Folks were given the option to write grievances to St. Patrick and pin those on an effigy of the Saint. The effigy and grievances will be burned at a later time. For Pagans, burning grievances they’d like to banish or wishes they’d like to come true is a way of sending those messages to the spirit world.
Spiritual Relics held a psychic fair this past Saturday, March 4, 2017. Spiritual Relics is a relatively new metaphysical and spiritual supply shop located in the Larkspur Square Shopping Center on Princess Anne Road in Virginia Beach. The store offers a wide variety of gifts and supplies including herbs, oils, candles, incense, stones and crystals, jewellery handmade by local artists, pens and woodcrafts from local artisans, statues, tapestries, Viking supplies, locally made soaps, bath salts, and other items. The shop is in the process of expanding its space to include a larger classroom, library, reading rooms, Reiki and energy healing rooms.
The fair drew a huge crowd with standing room only in the shop. Three psychic readers offered tarot, angel, and tea leaf readings. There was also a raffle.
In its broadest sense, Paganism refers to any religious or spiritual belief system outside of the three Abrahamic religions – Christianity, Islam, and Judaism. When referring to Paganism though, we generally also exclude Hinduism, Buddhism, and other such large non-Christian religions. While these religions share some elements of Paganism (such as polytheism), they are major religions in their own right. New Age beliefs, while similar and sometimes overlapping with Pagan beliefs, are also usually considered separate. Some Pagans, particularly those who follow Norse practices, prefer to be called “Heathens.” The term “pagan” itself is comes from the Latin “paganus” which means “rustic” or “country dweller.” “Pagan” and “heathen” have been used as derogatory terms by Christians from the early times of the Christian Roman Empire. This is probably because the rural, country folk of the time were more likely to hold onto their older religious beliefs and folk practices and less likely to be Christian than the urban, city dwellers.
Pagan religions tend to be polytheistic and nature based. They also typically celebrate the cycles of the year including the solar solstices and equinoxes, as well as the lunar cycles. Pagans often honor nature spirits and their ancestors, too. Paganism is generally very individualistic and many Pagans are “eclectic” drawing their practices and beliefs from a number of traditions.
For me this is a no-brainer, but I realize that Pagans come from all political backgrounds and ideologies. Even so, there are a number of issues that Pagans should be concerned about with the current administration in power in Washington. These are core issues related to Pagan belief and ethics.
Leaders of the Hampton Roads Pagan Men’s group met on Saturday, January 28, 2017, to plan activities for the coming year. While the group is aimed at Pagan men, no respectful seeker will be turned away from events regardless of gender, orientation, path or background. Because everyone has such a busy schedule, the group decided to focus on a handful of “official” events for the year that the group hosts, and about a half dozen or so “unofficial” events that are hosted by someone else that members of the group attend. The theme for this year is “Heroes.”