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Posted: Sep. 8, 2002
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Question of the Week: 52 - 7/30/2001
Have you ever been to a Pagan Festival?
NeoPagan festivals have been going on for over 2 decades and continue to rise in both attendance and numbers of different festivals. If you have attended a fest, what did like best? If you have never been to Pagan festival, what do you think you would enjoy most? The community interaction? Meeting the Big Name Pagans? The Dancing? The Drumming? The Music? The large group rituals?
| Reponses: There are 26 responses posted to this question.
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| I Wasn't Able To Attend Heartland Paganfest This Year, But I Went... ||Aug 2nd. at 10:21:00 pm EDT|
|Bryony Ravenwillow (Kansas City, Missouri US) ||Age: 32 |
I wasn't able to attend Heartland PaganFest this year, but I went last year with my boyfriend (now fiance), and we had an awesome time. We had never been to a festival until then, so some things took a bit getting used to, like the oh-so-casually skyclad and the drumming until dawn. But we to used to seeing folks without clothes and I actually did get some sleep despite the drumming. We met wonderful people from all over, made many new friends, got terribly sunburned, met Amber K and Dorothy Morrison, nearly got blown away in a Kansas thunderstorm, and learned a lot. I think what I enjoyed most was the feeling of camaraderie, of being free to be my true spiritual self (I'm out at work but closeted with my family---difficult but necessary in my case), and the group rituals. I learned new chants, new spells, new things to do with herbs. I talked with people over coffee and soda. I felt so at peace with myself and the world, and when I went back to work after festival was over, I was truly rested and spiritually refreshed. I missed this year, and I won't make that mistake again. Next year, I'm going back to Heartland!
| I Have Attended One Festival Back In 1999 At Samhain It Was... ||Aug 4th. at 1:34:37 pm EDT|
|Vyesna (Pomona , California US) ||Age: 31 |
I have attended one festival back in 1999 at Samhain it was wonderful and was very moving I learned and shared alot it will always be with me I liked the Samhain night ritual when the coytoes howled with us when we called the Lady to join us. it was my first festival and I was amazed that my personal possesions were not trifled with, what really brought this home to me was I had this really neat coffee cup that was admired by many people, they kept asking where I got so they could get one. well anyway I had set my cup down well away from my little campsite to go do something (privy call or something like ) and I got involed with stuff and forgot all about my cup till the next morning. the next morning I'm looking all around my site for my cup (bummer NO Hot Cocoa, I think, as I leave my campsite) I wander towards the main area and lo and behold my little cup exactly where I had set it down with the remains of yesterday and the stiring spoon still in it. I also felt very safe there I casually knew a few people, but I was attending alone my husband had nose surgery and didn't feel up to attending that is a wonderful feeling. I have moved away from that area and I hope to attend again some time Blessed Be
| I Just Attended My First Ever Paganfest, Psg(pagan Spirit Gathering). It... ||Aug 4th. at 10:14:45 pm EDT|
|NichatSinger (Dayton, Ohio US) ||Age: 33 - Email |
I just attended my first ever Paganfest, PSG(PAgan Spirit Gathering). It was one of the most tremendous experiences I have ever had. I met so many wonderful people. I walked a labyrinth (if you get the chance, do this, it is a powerful experience!). People were so relaxed and trusting, and the trust wasn'tr violated, it was excellent....
| I've Attended Several Pagan Festivals Throughout The Years - Even Helped Sponsor One... ||Aug 5th. at 4:51:13 pm EDT|
|Sena (Oklahoma, Oklahoma US) ||Age: 55 - Email |
I've attended several Pagan festivals throughout the years - even helped sponsor one. I've been to festivals in Texas (United Earth Assembly, Summer Celebration, sponsored by Lady Phoenix and her group, CMA's festival, Morgan McFarland's first women's spirituality gathering in Dallas decades ago), Kansas (Heartland Pagan Festival), Indiana (a festival at Lothlorien), and Oklahoma (United Earth Assembly), as well as a few others here and there. I've attended them with and without children accompanying me, and I've taught workshops as well as attended them. The "big names" I met weren't big names when I met them, so I don't feel that specifically getting to meet big name people is as special as meeting people in general and watching them grow to become big names.
Summer Celebration is perhaps one of my favorite events, noto nly because it's physically the closest event, but because I know many of the people there, and only get to meet them there. It's always a laid back event with fun workshops (henna body painting, clay sculpting, magical crafting, different forms of magic, fluid condensors, crystal and stone workings, weaving and more), a wonderful night bonfire for storytelling (with sofas and lawn chairs and swinging chairs and pillows for physical comfort), and great people with whom to play and talk all day and all night. Who sleeps at Summer Celebration? Not me!
Heartland was great, too, although I must admit I only attended the first two and haven't had the time to go back since. Those first two were wonderful. The organizers were efficient and if there were problems, they took care of them without in any way disrupting the rest of the festival. Heartland was the first festival I attended that specifically arranged for children's entertainment and education. Someday, I hope to be able to go back to a Heartland Festival!
There's a lot of work and worry that goes into organizing a Pagan festival. It's not a task to be undertaken lightly, and it is definitely an education to be on the organizing end. I highly recommend anyone who is ever disappointed in the outcome of a festival to please volunteer your efforts for the next one! The work that goes on months before the event takes place is amazing! Permits, guests, workshop scheduling, weather planning, site location, those are just the tip of the iceberg! Actually, those are the easy parts. Pulling a group ritual together with people from so many diverse Paths is a Herculean effort that deserves applause even when the aim and focus of the ritual falters. If you like attending festivals, I say spend some time volunteering at your favorite one. Intimate participation of that sort will make the festival even more special.
| The Only Pagan Gathering I've Ever Been To Was The Pacific Circle... ||Aug 10th. at 11:36:52 pm EDT|
|Tom Hutchinson (Duarte, California US) ||Age: 42 - Email |
The only Pagan Gathering I've ever been to was the Pacific Circle Gathering in Southern California. the thing I liked most, of course was being out in the middle of nature in the mountains. The mountains have always been my most favorite place to be, even the local mountains. Even when I was just a "Christian". I loved being at the mountains.
| I Attended This Year's Pagan Spirit Gathering. It Was A Spiritual Experience... ||Aug 11th. at 8:05:19 pm EDT|
|Metalligoth (Livingston County, Michigan US) ||Age: 19 - Email |
I attended this year's Pagan Spirit Gathering. It was a Spiritual experience, to say the least. For the first time in my life I could truly be myself without second guessing a single thought, word, or deed.
The candlelit labyrinth was awesome, I walked it twice and had a distinctly different yet incredible experience each time.
Seeing Mists of Avalon early AND on the big screen, with hundreds of Pagans was very awesome, indeed! The best part of that was the Wicker Man ritual done in the movie: it looked just like the Wicker Man ritual WE had done only a couple hours before sitting down to watch the film!
The friendships I made in that week will last a lifetime.
To those that loved me and supported me at PSG, thank you! It was the best experience of my entire life.
(...and to those I lost touch with, e-mail me!)
| I'm A Young Witch. I Have Only Been To Two Festivals In... ||Aug 12th. at 7:57:28 pm EDT|
|Rowan (Raleigh, North Carolina US) ||Age: 16 - Email |
I'm a young Witch. I have only been to two festivals in my life--both Lughnasadh festivals in New Mexico, far far away from where I live. I am lucky enough to have an aunt who lives there, and will take me to her community's Sabbat events. All I can say is--they have changed my life. The culture of Paganism is like no other. I have met people at those festivals who will be my friends for years--even if I only see them come Lughnasadh time. People really do "walk the talk" of Paganism, and that was a very inspirational thing to see, as a teen solitary in a Southern town. The Goddess is alive, energy and magick are real and tangible. Believe it or not, but for many teenagers it takes an experience like this to transform witchcraft into the abstract knowledge you learn from a book into a way and a true experience for life.
Blessed Be--and thank you SWEFA/CASHEW, for all you have done for me.
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