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Article Specs

VxAcct: 13651

Article ID: 2918

Section: festivals

Age Group: Adult

Posted: July 30th. 2000

Views: 11728

Sirius Rising 2000

by Don Waterhawk

[WVox Sponsor]

It took Daniella, Tia (my daughter), and myself three days to get to Brushwood, New York. Just to get out of our state took us 7 hours, long drive from Southern Florida. We pulled in at Brushwood to the entrance, where you have to register, and was surprised to see about twenty or so people milling about the place. Said a bunch of hello's and got a bunch of hugs, finished registration, and headed down the hill to set up before dark.

We reached the bottom of the hill and crossed over the bridge and now knew why there were so many people up top. The sight before the three of us was like looking at Starwood 5 years ago. A full festival seemed to be set up in front of us. Darlene later said that it was around 400 people, it sure seemed more than that. After finding our numbered spot, then spending the next 45 minutes saying hello's and getting hugs, we found the Merchant Coordinator, affirmed our spot, and began the task of setting up our space on vendors road. Now being from Southern Florida, we have acclimated to our weather down here. Western New York is not Southern Florida, we found out that when the Sun started going down and the temperature dropped from 75 to 45 degrees within an hour. Alright, maybe it wasn't that bad... but I found out just how sacred my long underwear can feel. And for those that found my tie-dyed knitted gloves were kinda funny looking,... well... bite me! You CAN drum with gloves on... so there. It was kinda fun, with the temperature changing so quickly during the day, for people were constantly changing into different stages of dress... you got to see everyone's entire wardrobe. Only time I have ever got to see Daniella wearing everything she brought.

The drumming started that night... and was it sweet. During the entire festival for Sirius, the drumming was par excellent. Each night, as new drummers arrived, the drumming seemed to get better. I am amazed at the growing drumming community on how well we are progressing as sort of a neo-tribe. Learning to work in conjunction with each other. During the beginning of the festival there was talk of having another drum circle made, as people were already beginning to see that it would become to small quickly, but due to the help of a few drummers, everything seemed to work out perfectly. (I talked to Frank later, and it was decided to build another permanent drum circle at Brushwood.) First there was grouple dome in the earlier years, then the Round House, now that has become to small, so another circle is in progress folks... yippee!!!! This was the first Sirius Rising festival that had drumming all night, every night. With a good area, good circle, excellent fire, and great drummers, Sirius Rising is an excellent Drumming festival

The Fire... I honor the Fire Clan and Jason, for the work they have been doing with the Fire Circle. Throughout the years I have watched this Clan grow in age, experience, and spirit. The people involved with making the Fires at Sirius and Starwood have now decided to Clan...This is a big step, and one which will affect the community more than we might know. It is time to honor these people who initiate the spirit of the Festivals. They are more than just "woodbusters" They start the spark of spirit, and keep it bright for the community. When you see the members of the Clan in the future, you may want to go over and give them a hug for the job they do. The Fires were well tended at Sirius, and the Fire that was built for the Saturday Night Bonfire... once again I honor you Fire Clan...I do not know what magik/medicine you placed into the fire that night... but for a fifty year old like me to dance around the fire that night for almost four hours and not feel tired... well, thank you for a job well done. I needed that and so did many other people. The comments the next day about that night and the fire, made me proud to be part of that growing community.

Now you have to understand the history of Brushwood to appreciate its development. When Starwood came to be at Brushwood, each year people began to arrive earlier than the previous season. It got to be so many people, mainly merchants, that it became sort of a loose festival. Frank decided to organize it and out birthed Sirius Rising. But it is a festival that the merchants way out number the population. If you are coming to make money as a merchant, this festival may not be for you. Merchants don't buy from other merchants until they have made enough money from the community to do so. If the population is out of balance, then guess what? During the entire Sirius Rising event, the only complaint I had heard about the festival was in reference to, coordinating the merchant space area. The problem affected many merchants. After talking to both Frank and Theresa several days later about the problem, both had assured me that this would never happen again. Darlene had spent a great deal of time in working out the merchant area through the winter and then a person stepped in to take care of folks when they got to the field. What an enormous job to place Merchants of two major festivals together for two weeks, and especially when there are so many. But when you get this many merchants, you're bound to receive some lessons.

My feather held to you Roy, and the Brushwood staff for the work involved in creating and organizing the workshops at Sirius. What a wonderful array of workshop presenters. One of the nice things about Sirius is the closeness of learning. It seems the learning space is grounded at this Festival, the teachings are focused. That's so refreshing. Sirius is a nice mellow Festival that knows how to kick up the energy at night around the Fire Circle and keep it there all night, only to again mellow during the day... And to the people who volunteered and paid staff... thank you for making it a wonderful space... I know it took a lot of work, I watched.

The entertainment was excellent before the drumming. I suggest to readers that they go to and see the list of presenters and musicians that were at this festival. The list is long and I would hate to have left anyone out. But I managed to see most of the sets at least for a little while, and was never disappointed. I truly love creative people... Wah Do!

So, my overall review of this Festival. It is a growing festival that has helped me grow! Did I have fun? Absolutely!! Will I come back? As long as it doesn't snow up there in July, yes we'll be back. So... thank you once again Frank, Darlene, Theresa, Roy, Jason, Brushwood staff and the community. For the space and Memories.

Dah Naho, Nyeh Weh Swenio.

Ne Ge Siwodi

Don Two Eagles WaterHawk

Photo Credits: The Beautiful photo of Tia was captured digitally by Don Waterhawk of Waterhawk Creations The photo of the drum circle was captured by Jim Buell


Don Waterhawk

Location: Fort Myers, Florida


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