May Moon 2016: Changing the Courts

I have returned from what I think is my 4th May Moon in Newport News, VA.

It was, despite the shitty weather, out of this world.

But then, that’s kind of the point.

If at this point you don’t already know that I had the Screaming Joys over seeing some dear friends again, then why are you even here? I love these people. And they put on a fantastic show. This year was interesting not only because of the energies and rituals involved but because about halfway through the weekend I switched from Security Team to Ritual Team because of the role I had to play. There is simply no way that I could have done both at the same time.

The ritual structure itself was also very, very interesting. Rather than have one single rite, there were several spaced throughout the weekend with (partially) scripted plays to tell the story of the changing of the Fairy Courts. Some roles were selected well in advance to give people time to prepare (and to make sure that there were folks involved who would play their role without being dicks.) Some were chosen by lot during the weekend, some were elected by merit at the end of the festival, and some were spontaneous pitch-ins. All weekend there were people acting and interacting in persona of Light, Dark, Fire, Earth, Water, Air, King, and Queen. Yours truly was selected in advance to play the Crane, the champion of the Light Fae. The role of Raven, my Crane’s Twin and champion of the Dark Fae, was filled by the ritual crafter’s son. Dude, momma done good. World needs more folks like he’s well on his way to becoming. With all of us working together throughout the weekend we played our way through choosing and crowning the May King and Queen, many cleverly punned games, LARP style combat, blessing the may pole, dancing the may pole, an elaborate ritual for the changing courts and invoking elemental blessings, and a few unscripted shenanigans. At one point the Queen got kidnapped and ransomed for Favors of the Crown (little twists of ribbon that could be awarded for everything from winning a game to telling a joke to getting the King some coffee that were accumulated and turned over for prizes) but in my Twin’s defense he had been temporarily released from his duties so he could get something to eat.

It was hilarious, powerful and totally engaging.

Ritual crafters take note.

None of this could have been pulled out of anywhere without a core of supremely dedicated individuals and the open statement that those chosen by lot would have to go through with the whole thing or be replaced before they start. You can’t manage a weekend-long theme like this without everyone involved being completely on board. Fortunately, those chosen by lot (and their partners) all agreed to the plan and they went all out to see it through. Terrific effort on everyone’s part.

And I got to keep my Crane mask. You have no idea how happy that makes me.


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