Today, Pagan Families-Friends announced that it will be hosting its 7th annual Freyja Blot, Beltane Ritual, and Maypole Dance at Hager Park in Jenison, Michigan on May 4th. As the Wheel turns, this is the time of year that we will be celebrating probably the most well known Fire/Fertility festivals there is. This festival is open to both adults and children, with families welcome to enjoy and engage in the Ritual.
Understandably, the Blot is more geared toward adults. Children may attend at the discretion of the Parents. The Goddess Freyja shall reign in all her beauty and grace as people come together to enjoy the return of the passions to the land. As is fitting, there shall also be a Maypole Dance. This is to ensure the Blessing of fertility.
We see widespread images of children enjoying the weaving dance of the ribbons wrapping the pole, and those who are familiar with the symbolism will know that this playful rite is a physical representation of the Sacred. The practice, like so many, has become secular in nature, and thus it has been done by children all over the United States as a seasonal fete. In this regard, both young and old can enjoy it at different states of awareness.
The organizers ask that attendees
"Bring a hearty snack to share long with 20 feet of 1-2 inch cloth ribbon for the Maypole."
Spring colors are best. And remember, it is always good manners to write down on a note what is contained in your dish. This way, those with food sensitivities or allergies can be advised and protected. Good food and good judgement are an unbeatable team.
For the Drummers among you, yes, there is space for a drum circle.
If you cannot make the event, perhaps you might enjoy having your own Freyja Blot ritual at home. For a really good one, you can visit The Modern Heathen and take a look at Mohnkern's version there. An intimate get-together with friends, a shared bottle of mead or ale, and a touch of the Divine.
Also, this is a celebration time for Beltane. An industrious partner might gift the Lady of the House with a beautiful necklace at this time, as a nod to Freyja, and as an acknowledgement of the Feminine. This need not be expensive, but it should be lovely. And sparkly joy will be sure to catch the light from the Beltane fires.
The event itself begins at 2:00 pm, but be mindful that since it is in a park, you may need an additional ten minutes to find a parking space, so plan accordingly. The park entrance is on 28th Avenue. There is a ten foot leash requirement for dogs in the park itself, just in case you want to bring the four legged members of the family as well.
This would also be a good time to check your music collection for an afterparty. Need some suggestions? Joanna Powell Colbert has a really "hot" playlist called "Songs for Beltane" in her blog Gain Soul.
As always, be on your Best Pagan Manners and leave with plenty of time to allow for traffic delays.