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Article ID: 2849
Age Group: Adult
Posted: July 4th. 2000
Fires At Solstice 2000
by Don Waterhawk
Daniella and I had packed the night before so that we could get an early start to the festival and start enjoying what we knew was to come. This was a five day festival (love them when they are longer), we were happy that this festival would be in our home state. After doing many festivals already this year, we were getting "road weary" with traveling. As we pulled in to the festival site we found ourselves surprised with the number of people already there. Now folks, remember that this is in Central Florida, and that its Summer Solstice. I figured earlier when the Festival first surfaced (this was Fires at Solstice #1), that being in the hot climate it might (you would think) tend to keep people away. That was apparently not what was going on here. I realized that a strong growing family had emerged from the festivals Autumn Meet and Phoenix Phyre. And by the Goddess!, we all wanted more of this special Magic of people! It's so refreshing to see Festivals that give what the community wants and needs. I trust that other festival promoters come to these Three Fests some time, and watch how the community inside the festival blends and works. Its just too cool! I love Magic!
People asked me if it was hot. Yes, just as hot as all the festivals north in the summer. Each day it rained for 30 to 60 minutes and then the sun came out with the surrounding clouds. Although this was unfortunate, it didn't seem to dampen (chuckle) too many spirits. Here in Florida we are ingenious when it comes to heat and Sun. We have fun with it. There were three Misting pavilions (water misting out from many points), so that as you wandered around the festival ground you could, at any time, walk through one of these to get cool and wet. They had also placed a large pavilion over the pool so one could swim without worrying about getting burned.
Thursdays volleyball game was booked and held over! Course, who could forget the Friday afternoon "Water Challenge". There was no shortage of children, (nor adults) that wanted to have part in this massive display of needing to get another person soaked to the bone! Something happens, some sort of spiritual journey takes place when one is handling a balloon filled with water, or a watertoy with a large water capacity and coming face to face with another of its kind. To see 35 people all becoming the same age at the same time with the same intention in mind. I thought allot about this, and realized that they had formed a church... intentionalized their prayers of fun... and created Magic, and sent it into the community. Thanks all, I needed that "Porcupine" Medicine. Children teach us what we have forgotten. Da Naho!
The Fire Circle energy was low key. Probably due to the time of year and the climate. It rarely got below 80 degrees around midnight. The fire was built smaller than usual, the dancers moved slower, the drummers drummed lower and the community smiled. I say "Wah Do" to the Eternal Flame Clan of the Firekeepers. There is a growing clan of Firekeepers (1 of 6 around the country and growing) that kept the circle working. One day it rained and I looked out and watched four of the clan dancing around the fire with their arms outstretched as if to cover the fire to keep it from going out. I love to see people working Magic (I mean Real stuff). That fire never went out! Cool! And thanks to the community for keeping sacred space. The Firekeepers reported that they only found 11 cigarette butts in the circle during the festival. Very impressive butt count if you ask me.
The workshops were good at this festival, and a Circle of Gratitude is to be given for all the Presenters of this fest. Their knowledge and experience and sharing is a true joy for the entire community. Thank you Greywolf and Briga for ALL of your drum workshops, and your music throughout the festival. If any person would want to go to a drum workshop, these two are the best drum teachers I have seen yet. They seem to have a knack to teach, and they do it well. And to Trish Telesco thanks for coming down from Buffalo N.Y. to share your wonderful knowledge. Thank you Glyndower and Rowan and the rest of the Safety/Medical staff. This was the first time within the Community that I had ever witnessed someone getting an award. Wade Berlin gave the Community Service Award to Sue Tamutas for outstanding work within the community. Wah Do Sue! Our children looked closely at that ceremony.
I was walking about the fest site one day and noticed a large crowd of children (all ages) gathered at the Blackhawk booth of Barb and Steve. Talk about wonderful people. These two are incredible. They were doing beautiful airbrush tattoos on anyone who wanted one, for free. And the designs were exquisite. Its wonderful to see Community merchants really working with the community. These two are fairly new to the community, and watch for them at Sirius and Starwood, as they will be there.
My view on this festival? I will be back! Wade and Diane, thank you for providing such a wonderful opportunity for people to gather, learn, enjoy and grow. For a festival that works for all families within the growing community. Fires at Solstice was put on to begin to gather funds to buy land. Autumn Meet and Phoneix Phyre has grown too big for the present site. An auction was held for the start of this project. With $400 of it donated to recent member of the community, Lenny, for his trailer had burnt to the ground just 4 days before the festival. Don't you just love it when we communitize?
Oh wait! I almost forgot the Watermelon Seed Spitting Contest. We don't care how you do it up north! Wade brought over several large watermelons and people began lining up to try their hand at this ancient art. Hats off to both 1st. and 2nd. place winners. But people... .who came in third? Not someone from Alabama, nor Georgia... no no no. But some one who had recently moved from Massachusetts. Yes, Fritz of Witchvox came in third, just inches away from the 1st and 2nd place marks. I watched that boy place the seed into his mouth, rear his shoulders back, tilt the head and let go. Fritz, you sure you don't have some sort of Southern ancestral lineage. I mean, damn boy... you spit to well to be a Northerner. You must have completed the spiritual transition from North to South. Yee Haw!
Four Winds and Dream Gently,
Don Two Eagle WaterHawk
July 4th., 2000
Photo Credits: Photos in this coverage were captured by Don Waterhawk
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