This last weekend was Turtle Hills Beltane, in Northern Maryland. I flew into DC on Tuesday night and proceeded to have a whirlwind evening of philosophical discussions, divinity debates, interviews for “The Union” Project (a film festival project by Paula Toviessi on Spirituality and Sexuality), tasty Pho (complete with bad Vietnamese wedding photos between da Neighbor and I), and curling up with someone I love dearly to pass out.

The next morning was lava-bannana-bread (what happens when the bannana bread won’t harden up and instead is molten hot but still must be eaten for the gods of tasty bread demand it). It was good talks. It was friends meeting friends. Then woosh and off to Beltane with BrooklynFinn- where it was decided that nothing says “Sacred Sex” like Lady Gaga. Its true.

At camp I was blown away- they had been able to get me 8 suspension frames for my 16 attendees for my pre-con “On Wings of Desire: Aerial Ropes from the Ground on Up”. We were sold out for the intensive, and we arranged the space into a giant octogram with an altar. Day one was basic ties, basic lifting, basic load systems… because until a group can show me they can safely lift a roller bag, they don’t get to lift a human (or risk dropping that human).

That night was bitter cold. So very bitter cold. I could not feel my feet cold. I was grateful that each day it got warmer… so warm that by the last day it was 89 degrees outside during the day and everyone else was complaining ;)

16 attendees, 14 flew, 14 made folks (in some cases themselves) fly (the 2 on each were in relationships where such was what was appropriate). We discussed magic, intention, connection, passion, possibilities, plans of how to use this work. They got homework. We had an amazing time, and I was so happy to have gotten to bond deeper with folks like Eric S, the crazy Tortonto Queers, Brian, and others through those 2 intense days.

I led two rituals. The first was a Fiber Magic Rite, where Cat Castellas brought us Willow Branches from her property, and from that was made a hoop. Ropes from were the fibers used… and everyone got to learn how to consecrate rope, focus their will for inviting energy into their world, do different knotting and braiding techniques, and then lash together all our prayers into a giant spirit catcher. This, mixed in with me telling tales of fiber magic around the world, was amazing… especially having elder pagan community leaders like Uncle Larry tell me afterwards that they came to the rite to hear me be a bard, and were delighted to learn new stuff along the way. Having him share British Tradition Wicca uses of Cingulum with me was fantastic as well- such yum, such yum. The Spirit Catcher currently hangs out by the Labrynth- feel free to visit it if you go to Ramblewood, add your prayers as they blow through each line.

The second ritual I led was Sacred Consort. 16 or so folks showed up, as we moved mattresses outside (too hot in S/T) and made a half-circle around my space/altar. Electricity faeries made an extension cord happen, which was fantastic, and drums danced us down into ourselves. Body Soul, Talker Soul and Divine Soul danced in union to create a path opening to the other side, gold keys to enter astral safe spaces, and then off for dates with their sacred lovers… finally back to bodies and time to process or masturbate or whatever called them.

I only attended one ritual at Beltane, and have decided that outdoor group ritual is hard for me being partially deaf. I could only understand part of what was said, but gosh it looked beautiful.

Time only allowed me to attend two classes- Unbinding (Clan Tashlin) and Submissive is Not Weakness (Eric S). Both good stuff, with lots for me to chew on. I actually, I was going to go for a third class… but sat down to eat and proceeded not to move for two hours as Evan from BR, his girl, and a group of other folks at Sadists’ Lair and beyond bonded.

Yet again, my cabin crew kicked serious ass. The dinner show- Dottie making Aiden cum repeatedly while I fed him pasta- was amazing and attracted quite the audience. Such quotes as “There are starving children in Etheopia who don’t get to eat or cum” and “Now the filth on the outside matches your filth on the inside” came from my lips, and I will never look at italian sweet sausage the same way again. In fact, some of my happiest Beltane stuff was not from classes or shows or whatever, but from drinking circle stuff (which rarely involved drinking for me, except saturday night scotch and twizzlers)- deep and silly conversations around the Lair, 11/12 and cabin 1. Cabin 1 was also the site of the extended hardcore BDSM blooper real… where it was proven that cocksucking and children’s hand-turkeys go hand in hand… and that the name badge is the meanest toy in the toybag.

Rituals for D/s was a packed house of 30+ at 10am, which blew me away, as most other classes had around 10 folks. The lunch disucssion for sex workers, was, well… not what I hoped it would be. It was booked opposite a staff meeting, and at least 5 of those folks at that meeting would have been good to have there.

And then of course, there was the Steampunk Ball. I debuted… The Toy. The Toy is me in a full encasement zentai suit, industrial kneepads, leather buckle corset and creepy-ass goggles with no skin showing as a wind-up doll thing. I was dragged on stage in a red encasement sack, stood up, and danced in the sack- before revealing the creepiness that is The Toy.

I learned thatThe Toy has very little vision. VERY little. I can not see a face as a distinct face until 1.5 inches away. I also learned that two layers of spandex with no space between leads to moderate hypoxia- whoops! Luckily we got the zipper open in back and all was fine, no dead doll Lee :) But I was informed after the show that I am indeed a creepy creepy Toy.

Other fun and highlights:

-Taxi driver flirting
-Acquiring tons of spices from Auntie Arwyn’s, my favorite spice lady (who I usually stock up from at Arisia)
-Not killing a guy for not being Wintersong (Wintersong is allowed to fuck with my neck ink, very few others are… I resisted stabbing random human on vendors row, go me!)
-Showing the Labrynth to the Toronto Queers and then swinging on the swingset
-Shaving a Mohawk for Aiden
-BrooklynnFinn and I helping Aiden earn his fag card (now complete with Our Father prayers)
-Sitting around and being bitchy with Cabin 1 friends
-Late night Mystic v Philosopher showdowns and bonding
-Random deep conversations
-Bottomless pot of vegetarian chili
-Dancing with Ben and Aiden at the ball (such hotness)
-(while we are both swaying back and forth) Him: “Are you singing Jonathan Colten in your head”; Me: “Nope, I’m imagining we are both cabbages.”

Sunday hugs and kisses, love abounding, trying to sort out how to spend more time with deep friends of mine… then off to Cleveland.

Where I now sit, reflecting.

I love Beltane. Such yum.