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Women’s Herbal Conference, Glastonbury Goddess Conference, West Kentucky Hoodoo Rootworker Heritage Festival, and other gatherings.

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I Couldn't Find my Black Lace Corset I made a bright green underdress to go with my green ruanna and I constructed a fat new flower crown, too.  I'm the elder priestess at Mother Grove and the younger ones have given me a couple of public rituals with only a little bit to do and that has been a wonderful gift to me as my schedule gets complicated.

I was a smudger and Sabra anointed the revellers. We were in a new park this time--a really pretty one. The altar was set inside a ring of old trees, mostly oaks.  We had a good turnout with lots of familiar faces and several new ones, too.

We did a lot of booty shaking through the smudging/anointing process and I continued that theme in my part of the ritual, which was leading the Spiral Dance.

As I was holding my frame drum and watching the sharing of flowers and hearing the Shakespeare sonnet, I had a chance to simply stand under a great oak and look at my community. There was a baby and a few older folks but our Beloved Crone Antiga had an early rehearsal and Barbara Y'aga wasn't in attendance either.

My Goddess-daughter, her husband and one of my oldest friends in the world (who is also her dad) were in attendance and that was very sweet. I gazed around at all those happy, open faces and was so happy to be a Pagan woman, standing under trees, dancing with her community. Sometimes I am not so happy to be that person but today was one of the good ones.

Booty shaking, dancing, preaching, flower crowns and gold glitter.

Yeah, that's Beltane 'round here.

Wonder how long it'll take to shed all this glitter?



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H. Byron Ballard is a ritualist, teacher, speaker and writer. She has taught at Sacred Space Conference, Pagan Unity Festival, Southeast Her essays are featured in several anthologies, including “Birthed from Scorched Hearts“ (Fulcrum Press), “Christmas Presence“ (Catawba Press), “Women’s Voices in Magic” (Megalithica Books), “Into the Great Below” and “Skalded Apples” (both from Asphodel Press.) Her book Staubs and Ditchwater: an Introduction to Hillfolks Hoodoo (Silver Rings Press) debuted in June 2012. Byron is currently at work on Earth Works: Eight Ceremonies for a Changing Planet. Contact her at,


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