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Witchvox Chapter: Pagan Event Reviews
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Harvest Home 2005: Magick, Imagination, and Love|
Worn from a long drive in the pouring rain, we pulled into the camp in Madison, Connecticut. A group of smiling faces greeted us on the porch of the registration building, looking ready to start a conversation or offer information for whatever we may need.
An hour later, dressed in our favorite hippie clothes, we were striding across the wooded glen that is the heart of the camp where Harvest Home Gathering makes its home. I brought new faces with me this year, and introduced them to old friends from last year. Thus the powerful magick that is the world of HHG unfolded before me once again. The sincere smiles from the hard working HHG staff helped my covenmates feel welcome. . A consistent flow of that welcoming energy bathed everyone in joy, newcomers and veterans alike. Every morning felt like waking up to a life in magickal small town where everyone knows each other.
The first evening at HHG feels like the first kiss from a new love. Awkwardness, excitement, and anticipation thread their way through the voices around me, mirroring all the emotions welling up inside. The deep rhythm of the drums pushed their way into my shell like roots searching for warmth. With each moment spent in the energy, massaged by the primal beat of the drums, I felt my mundane life crack and fall away. For a time I felt naked, then a silk fabric of hope and warmth wrapped around me as a familiar voice echoed through the trees calling us to begin our descent into the dream world of the harvest ritual. With torch bearers leading us up the winding path and out into the open field, a low fog clung to our ankles and huddled under the shadows of the surrounding trees. Twice they stopped to allow everyone to gather in the embrace of the torchlight, keeping us all wrapped in that warm glow of fire and friendship. Once around the fire circle, the drums resonated within the thick energy cast into the space. I felt as though we were all being drawn into the realms of Avalon. In this world each element came alive, drawing us along with song and chants. In this world, the powers of darkness and light stood embodied, both as emissaries of the coming time and as beautiful women mirroring each other in perfect dance. A call to the setting sun drew such forceful energies through me that I felt pulled, as if by a strong current, into the wave of the Resh.
How then, could I expect more from the coming three (yes, three) days of classes, rituals, and parties? I could do so simply by allowing it to soak into my awareness one hour at a time. Like a good wine, this gathering has spicy top notes found in the fiery speakers who share their knowledge of the elements, spirits, healing, history, divination, music, and the quantum physics of magick. This wine also has full bodied mid-notes drawn from the flavors found in events like the Dionysian feast and a full trance prophesy ritual that inspired all that participated and bore witness. And like a good wine, it finishes with the exhale of Eros, a blending of all of these energies, creating a heady, blissful experience to which others will be compared.
We have such a great gift in being so close to Mother Earth. She anchors us all in the undeniable power of being human, yet inspires us all to commune together in that bond and create great love and passion in our community. So too, do the speakers and leaders present at HHG 2005. They approach us with open hearts, filled with a passion for their crafts, and share willingly with all who ask. At a time when our spirit begins to turn inward, these amazing people of endless vitality and mirth inspired us to take the heat of the Gods within us and cradle it with faith in the eternal connection that we all share.
To nurture the body, the food was good and hot. To nurture the mind, the conversations were warm and satisfying. To stoke the fires down below, we wrapped ourselves in leather and velvet for a wild Fetish Ball that carried us further into the realms of fantasy. We feasted long and well with Dionysius (who has transformed himself into an even more beautiful vestige than last year) . Under the light and power of the full moon we laughed with the elders of our craft as they gently surprised us with their antics and wonderful hearts. These times spent in the last rays of the God were honored with every morsel of power within us.
As a passenger on the maiden voyage of this event, I wrote the review with mixed emotions. I wanted to do it justice, while longed to keep this sacred gem to myself for fear of it growing too large to contain the precious gift it has in nurturing our community. Happily I can once again honor the labor of those who sacrificed to bring us great joy, knowing that even though the event has grown, it has retained its flow, its power, and its intimacy.
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| Review Specs|
Article ID: 10167
Posted: September 25th. 2005
Days Up: 4,022
Times Viewed: 10810