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Been invited to a Beltane thing, no idea what to expect... :P


OK, I'm going to own up right now and say no, I'm not a Pagan, but I've been invited to a Beltane celebration with some people I know. A friend of mine is going anyway, and she knows nothing really about it either! The guy I know who is organising our trip to the thing won't be particularly helpful purely because whenever you ask him anything he assumes you have a vast grounding in the history of Paganism already (somehow). :P I mean, when he invited me to it my first question was "And when is the Beltane thing?" to which he gave me a 'duh/I'm disappointed in you for asking' look and responded: "Beltane." So, er. I may not find any more help from that quarter.  :D
So yeah, I've researched on the internet what I can, and have found out that it's a festival of fire and fertility, and there are various people around playing different ceremonial roles (the Green Man, the May Queen, the blue men etc. etc.) but to be honest I'm not entirely sure what it all involves! There's red people dancing round a bonfire at some point, and there's a procession where the May Queen takes over from the Green Man, but I've no idea what the rest of us do!
I'm just going as a spectator really, I'm a bit of a geek about religion (all religion) and jump at the chance to see what it's all like but... I dunno, I don't feel quite comfortable joing in beyond the superficial, I don't want to have to act like I believe in something I don't. Is everyone expected to participate? Am I expected to dress a certain way (like no shoes or something?)
I've er... also heard talk of a 'tent of fornication'. I'm not sure if they were being serious, but if there is something like that I'm staying many miles from it!
Sorry for being such a noob at this.  :P Can anyone help?

So far, I've only been to one public Beltane ritual.

Male-identified persons ran off on the Wild Hunt. On that hunt, we (I still identified as male then) found the priest and the rather phallicly carved Maypole. We took the pole up and brought it back to the circle where the female-identified persons had stayed to welcome the priestess.

I say "male-identified" and "female-identified" because there were some males who stayed with the "women's circle" and there were some females who went on the Wild Hunt.

At this ritual, the priest and the priestess were the embodiments of the Horned God and the Goddess, respectively.

I didn't actually take part in the dance around the Maypole; I stood to the side playing my drum. I was beginning to feel a little uncomfortable with the sexual aspect as I was still married then, and my wife didn't come to the ritual with me.


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