Godiva and Hershey's and Pagans, oh my. This is no spring equinox festival. This Thursday, Pagan High Priestess (really, that's her title!) Sophia Letourneau hosts a public chocolate ritual loosely connected with her earth-based religion as an excuse to celebrate her birthday with like-thinking people and plenty of cocoa beans. She will cleanse the space with chocolate sprinkles instead of sage, cast the circle with a Tootsie Roll, and offer a blessing of the Yoo-Hoo. Assisting her will be the Swiss Miss, handmaiden to the high priestess. To honor the four elements, the pagans will pay homage to the north with rocky road, the east with mousse, the south with fondue, and the west with cocoa.
Chanting and drums and prayers to Mother Earth goddesses may be heard sporadically throughout the evening, but this woman hosts some pretty racy rituals. Her Beltane celebration features a Maypole dance to represent the union of the god and the goddess, with the phallic maypole representing men and the ribbons women. The highlight is a late-night game of adult tag where women chase men who are adorned with numbered leaves, then pull the leaves off to represent capture. It's all in keeping with tradition. The high priestess tells us, "People are supposed to procreate in the fields to instruct the crops on what to do." For the chocolate ritual, Letourneau promises, "I'll bring chocolate syrup, and anyone who wants to pour it on someone and lick it off, that's fine with us." Don't expect anything mundane at this event, not with Letourneau running the show. When you combine chocolate with spells, it doesn't take much imagination to visualize body-painting and near-orgasm sounds, especially if Godiva is mixed with caramel. Chocolate just opens up the night for so many opportunities.
Bring your own chocolate, and be willing to share. The event is free, but a birthday present wouldn't be out of line. It can't hurt to get in good with someone as connected to the spirits as the birthday girl. The event starts at 7:30 p.m. at the very nondenominational Unitarian Universalist Church of Fort Lauderdale (3970 NW 21st Ave., Fort Lauderdale). Call 954-484-6734, or visit www.MoonPathCUUPS.org. --Karen Dale Wolman
Lose, Rot In Hell?
Keep a Lid On It
According to Greek mythology, by opening Pandora's box, her dumb-ass husband unleashed all manner of loathsome things into the world: hate, evil, Dick Cheney. In this case, however, a little curiosity would lead you to something good. "Pandora's Box" is the name of a two-day South Florida hip-hop jam and b-boy battle. This all-ages throwdown starts on Friday at the Polish American Club (1250 NW 22nd Ave., Miami). All eyes will be on nine "contestants" brave enough to take on the "Seven Deadly Sins" -- i.e., b-boys Spee-D, Strider, Beastmode, Kevo, Crisis, Ajax, and Josh. Supposedly, committing any of the seven deadly sins earns you a corresponding punishment in hell. Display envy, get dunked in freezing water. Gluttony? Eat rats, toads, and snakes. Lust? That gets you smothered by fire and brimstone. Here, the punishment for losing to the Sins is probably just a little skull fracture from spinning on your head. The reward for winning, however, is $500. Friday night's event goes from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. and costs $12. Saturday's jam brings you to Catalyst (12201 SW 14th St., Pembroke Pines), where, from 7 p.m. to 1 a.m., perhaps you can work on your seven heavenly virtues. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. --Deirdra Funcheon
Carnival in July
Rumba's Tropical Bar and Grill (5195 S. University Dr., Davie) adds Soca (Soul Calypso) to its Saturday Latin Nights lineup with Revel Last Saturdays Summer Fete -- otherwise put, an orgy of gyrating, overindulgence, and drunken merriment. Soca combines American soul with the Afro-Caribbean sounds of Trinidad and Tobago to get people dancing. As the saying goes, if it's too loud, you're too old, which might be the case with Calypso preservationists faced with dodging elbows of change. They might just have to settle for being woefully unhip, considering that, each day, a different genre fusion pounds in clubs from here to Sweden. Soca has cemented its place in modern-day Carnival and Caribbean festivals as a pulse-grabbing, calypso refab that is at least worthy of a fresh batch of inhibition tossers. Saturday's event features music by House Arrest, Dorezo, and Remix Gold. Admission is $10 in advance, "more at the door," giving you food and all you can drink. Call 954-434-2202. --Michelle Omenson
Rollin' Beds On Wheels
In the late 1880s, a popular sport called lumbersledding captured the hearts of Americans. Lumbersleds had no brakes; they were stopped by using a garden rake. Forty years later, when the sport had evolved into bobsledding, it became an Olympic event. These days, another great pastime -- bed racing -- is in its infancy. Under current rules, four runners push a wheeled bed with one rider through the streets while dodging water balloons and pausing to hula-hoop. Despite what we saw at practice, you're not supposed to stop by crashing into a coconut palm. But that could all change by the 2012 summer games. Check out the Seventh Annual Pineapple Grove Bed Race along Second Avenue in downtown Delray Beach. It starts at 5:30 p.m. and is followed by a parade and street dance with reggae music by Caribbean Pulse. Call 561-279-9952, or visit www.downtownDelrayBeach.com. --Deirdra Funcheon