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Posted: Nov. 17, 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 Attended The Pagan Picnic In St. Louis' Tower Grove Park This... ||Jul 30th. at 10:16:27 pm EDT|
|Lynne-Renee (rural STL, Missouri US) ||Age: 29 - Email |
I attended the Pagan Picnic in St. Louis' Tower Grove Park this weekend. It's the 9th annual and my 4th.
It was stated that the first (which came about as a family event-like a reunion) had 40 attendees. Last year, there was over 2, 000 (that's registered & signed in).
I can understand how those who have a large group with which to work or in whose community it's more accepted to be pagan, festivals are trite and possibly an embarrassing bore. I personally love to go, just to remind me that there's more of us than you think and ESPECIALLY that the majority are very regular looking people who follow non-mainstream belief systems.
Children are so free and without fear as they are respected and behave accordingly. In what other public place do you see this and for that matter don't wonder, "Where in hell are the parents??" We're all responsible for them as it should be.
This year marks my first when I'll attend the "Magickal Weekend" at Eureka (just outside of St. L). It's in the Ramada and has a Ball, a dinner, lectures and of course, vendors. I'm glad there are places for "Come one, come all."
| Howdy Do All! My Name Is Heidi The Smith And I Attend... ||Jul 30th. at 12:47:36 pm EDT|
|heidi the smith (stump towne, Oregon US) ||Age: 35 |
Howdy do all!
My name is Heidi the Smith and I attend annually the Summerstar Festival held in Washington state. I have been attendingthis fest. over it's 9years(this was the ninth) and have to say I couldn't go a year without it.
This year I was involved with the backstage happenings, and worked as the Gate Goddess, making sure everyone was checked in, sent on to their camp sites, or just made sure they knew were to park.
It was beyond wonderous and fulfilling to work the fest, it was a high.
Being involved in my community and tribe is important to me, and seeing so many folks having fun, and connecting is the highlight of my summer every year.
Festivals bring us together, show us we are tribe however different we may be, what ever path we are on. It is a safe space where our teenagers are appreciated for who they are, our elders are honored for their wisdom, and all of us groovy freaky folks can just BE.
No evil glances directed at your pentacle, no onslaught of the mainstream media, and not so subtle negative messages from the church and state. King George who? For a few days or a week we can live as we are, and yes escape the mundane world. Gaining strength to return to it, and live truer to ourselves.
If you have never attended a festival find one in your area and attend.
Stay up late drummng and dancing. Attend seminars and workshops, find your tribe and clan. You are not alone.
We work together all week, all year really to put it on Summerstar and plan the fest. It is a labor of love. We brave the bugs and summer showers just so we can make a special place in time.
Heidi the smith
| This Is My Second Year As A Member Of Four Quarters Farm... ||Jul 30th. at 9:14:38 am EDT|
|Damian (Harrisburg, Pennsylvania US) ||Age: 35 |
This is my second year as a member of Four Quarters Farm in Artemis, PA. I try to make it down for Full or New Moon rituals when I have a free weekend, and most definately make time to attend several gatherings per year. the DC Radical Faries host two men's gatherings (one in the Spring and one in the Fall) that I have a great time at both. I usually start my camping season with the Men's Gathering on Memorial Day weekend and keep my tent up until Samhain Weekend. Their largest gather is Stone's Rising which is coming up Labor Day weekend. We will be rising several more stones into the stone circle. It's a weekend of personnal sacrafice and ritual alone with lots of bonding with other pagans.
The thing I like most about the festivals I've attended would have to be the bonding that goes on with everyone there. The festivals are very well organized and directed so everyone is working toward the same goal, weither it be raising more stones into the circle (which takes quite a bit of effort to just move the hugh stones into place) or just a themed weekend. This year I have been/will be working in the kitchen helping with the preperation of food to feed all the people gathered (here's where working in the ship's galley on an aircraft carrier will come in handy) and that is something else that I like doing at the festivals. Also, being a solitary I really enjoy getting together (at a place that feels more like home than the address on my drivers licence at times) in ritual with others and really get to test my skills when asked (five minutes before ritual) to call one of the quarters, or even if I would be interested in leading a ritual without an prep time of my own. Although the impromptu rituals can send people scurring around like crazy, they have their own special power that needs to be shared.
I have had great times and met many great people at the gathersing and festivals I've attended, and look forward to the great times ahead.
| The End Of This Summer Marks My 3rd Visit To The Mountains... ||Jul 30th. at 8:58:45 am EDT|
|Lady Flame (Jackson, Tennessee US) ||Age: 29 - Email |
The end of this summer marks my 3rd visit to the mountains of Colorado and a wonderful festival, Dragonfest. My first year I did not know what to expect, my second was the total opposite, and now I'm just going in with no expectations this year and knowing that I will have a wonderful and spiritual time.
It is hard to decide which part I like the best. Seeing old friends and making new ones, visiting the merchants, attending workshops, hosting my first workshop this year...
But, while thinking about it and writing, I think my favorite part is the nightly drumming circles. Watching the sun set slowly as we eat our evening meal and listening to the quiet chatter of the other campers and occasional bursts of laughter. Patiently (or usually impatiently in my case) waiting for that first beat of the drum. The first beat is followed by several more until a definite rhythm is heard and you know that it is time to begin to make your way up to Sacred Space. It seems like a long walk up the trail. It's dark and the only sound is those drums beating. I always pause at the top of the trail and look. The fires are blazing and people are dancing around them. An overwhelming feeling of "I've seen this before and done this before in another very ancient life" always overcomes me. It feels like coming home. It is this once a year vacation that keeps me charged up for the rest of the year and it is the nightly drumming and dancing that gives me that energy.
| No, Not Yet. I Had An Opportunity To Attend A Beltane Festival... ||Jul 30th. at 8:05:28 am EDT|
|Ciarrai (Somewhere in Somerset County, New Jersey US) ||Age: 34 - Email |
No, not yet. I had an opportunity to attend a Beltane festival in Lebanon, NJ, hosted by the Mid-Atlantic Pagan Alliance. It isn't very far from where I live, and in fact, the same park was used for a corporate function for my job. I was corresponding w/ my best friend's sister-in-law, who is a Witch that is most definitely out of the closet. She asked if I was going and I said, well, maybe I'll try to go w/ this guy that I'm seeing, he's agnostic but very open minded. She replied, "well, it is BELTANE, you don't need an escort!" I didn't feel that I was ready to go b/c I hadn't yet been educated enough. I really want to get as much out of this as I can as a religious experience, not a party. Perhaps by next year...I mark my "year and a day" of serious study next St. Patrick's Day (ironically)! I thinkthat I would enjoy the group rituals the most though, even if I'm looking in from the outside (forever learning).
| I'm On The West Coast, And The Only Pagan Convention Within Easy... ||Jul 30th. at 1:07:12 am EDT|
|Brightarrow (San Leandro, California US) ||Age: 46 |
I'm on the West Coast, and the only pagan convention within easy reach is PanTheaCon. I went for the first time last year. Best features:
- Questionnaire for the attendees to fill out, rating various features of the con and asking for what should be different next year;
- big, varied, splendiferous dealers' room;
- workshops that actually had some intellectual (not "pedantic") content, such as "Queer Magick" and "Pagans of Color."
- and a subtle but persistent coalescing of magickal energy that made all kinds of contact with deity much easier. This in a Hilton hotel in downtown San Francisco!
| Pagan Meets? I Try To Avoid Them As Much As Possible. Went... ||Jul 30th. at 12:16:42 am EDT|
|Tarostar (Toronto, Ontario CA) ||Age: 59 - Email |
Pagan Meets? I try to avoid them as much as possible.
Went to some in the early days, but lost interest in a record hurry.
Mainly, the "celebrities" who float in the air, rather than walk on the ground with the common herd, turn me off.
Drumming, drumming, drumming past the first croak of dawn makes you wish you brought an uzi.
Every newage sewage fad hitting the trail at the Psychic Fairs shows up at Pagan Meets also.
Rituals geared to a political agenda, rather than the Art Magical, create their own astral abortions.
People who can't keep their clothes on, but who really should, make life
not worth watching.
People past their prime being nymphs and fauns in the bushes can be scary.
Pagan Meets? I'd rather not.
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