On an drizzly 50 degree day, 35 people came out to celebrate Beltane with the new Arlington CUUPS group, part of the Arlington, Texas UU Church.
The afternoon began with a drum circle led by El Lobo. If Lobo isn’t the best drummer in North Texas (and he very well may be, but we have a lot of really good drummers in the area) he’s definitely the most dedicated. He was a regular attendee and drum-provider back when Denton CUUPS used to have frequent drum circles – it was good to see him again.
The ritual was led by members of the Eagle Mountain Protogrove, ADF. Ár nDraíocht Féin (frequently Anglicized to “A Druid Fellowship”) was founded by Isaac Bonewits. Whereas the liturgy of my own Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids is influenced by Wicca (OBOD founder Ross Nichols was friends with Gerald Gardner), the ADF liturgy represents an attempt to recreate the rites of our Celtic ancestors. Today’s ritual included offerings to the Kindred (the gods and goddesses, the ancestors, and the spirits of nature), receiving blessings through the Waters of Life, and the taking of an omen. Three Oghams were drawn (these had been painted on small stones), and we were encouraged to work together as a community while casting off what we do not need.
Then it was time for a short procession through the woods to the Maypole, where Heidi Wunder had all of us dancing in a circle while the Maypole dancers weaved their ribbons in and out. The Arlington UU property has an open field as well as a small wooded area, making it easy to forget you’re quite literally in the middle of the fourth largest metropolitan area in the country.
It’s good to see another CUUPS group forming in the area, and it’s always good to celebrate Beltane!