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| Article Specs|
Article ID: 4601
Age Group: Adult
Posted: August 7th. 2002
Sirius Rising 2002 (1)
by Don Waterhawk
Daniella and I finished packing the Van and the Camper, loading it down so that the front end elevated slightly..and looking into each others eyes with the question... is this a good thing?, but sensing Spirit deems us to go on, and maybe our weight will balance the van out a bit... ..maybe. And so we drove... and drove... leaving our sunny South Florida. Did I mention "SOUTH" Florida. Its a long way out of just our state, and as we got to Georgia, we started the countdown of state after state until we crossed over into Western New York Saturday afternoon. Driving time to Brushwood from SWF...22 hours... geesh!!! I glanced over to Daniella and questioned her to whether we had brought whatever winter clothes we had, with us. She reassured me that we could endure temperatures well below 70 degrees. I relaxed, smiled, and turned into Frank and Darlene's place called Brushwood Folklore Center. Cars were already lined up at the registration parking, people milling about, a scenario that Daniella and I have seen each year we come here. Frank saw us and came over, hugs were given, eyes met, Honor... Respect...Gratitude exchanged through our hearts, words of missing each other came out, and then Frank asked "Where's Kokopelli?". Told Frank that Koko is at home, she is a bit weather shy now, so she is staying home. (I did not say that without her, we can sleep in good hotels, eat in sit down restaurants, and be able to cuddle Daniella at night without worrying about big beaks and missing body parts). We registered, Frank came over and said, "Wait till you see down below in the field". I gulped, got into the van and went down to the Brushwood field.
We then saw what Frank meant. It seemed that Starwood was already in full swing, but Sirius Rising had yet to begin, and Starwood was 9 days away. The "City" had already been built. There was hardly a single space on the field that was not taken by a merchant and their living areas. Looking at the RV parking lot, I noticed that there seemed to be twice as many RV's now, older festival attendees that will not, under any circumstances, sleep in a tent on the ground anymore. But as we drove through towards our space, the Starwood thought was gone, replaced by the feeling of the energy of Sirius Rising. We were home. A bit tired, but energetically waving to friends. We were truly home now, once out of the van we were again greeted by smiles, hugs, Daniella being told how beautiful she is... ..and people coming up to me saying "hi", "Where's Kokopelli?". Gotta love the attention getter Koko is. (I plan to come back as a bird...just to...). It took us a little over four hours to set up camp, merchant area, and sacred space, which incidentally, is all the same for area for us. Friends offered us food, light gave way to darkness, winter clothing laid out for the coming ice age we knew would be here at Brushwood (yes, this is considered whinning), and slowly one drum became two, two became four and soon the sound spread out over the land. Later, Daniella and I walked down to the Roundhouse and into a circle of Kaos of sound. Every Testosterone Djembe Cowboy for a radius of 1000 miles seemed to be within that circle, pounding out as hard and loud as they could possibly do. Eyes looking across the drum crescent, daring someone to drum louder on a bigger drum, each ego finding its own beat and trying to drown out another. Daniella said it all, "No drum community here". But I told her to wait, that this is what happens the first night, that all these drummers have been waiting for, this big blowout, this first stage of "I'm finally here, and I'm telling the universe about it", and that tomorrow, the drummers would have swollen hands, blisters on their fingers, and maybe a popped head here and there, and the drumming would be sweeter, and the drummers getting their lessons to walk a gentler path with each other. It seems to always happen this way... just for this one night, I was trusting.
Sirius started earlier this year, on Monday, and I liked that...and so did everyone else I talked to. When you are having a wonderful experience, you want it to last. Sirius is a "Serious" festival. It is about Community, Learning, Teaching, Sharing, and working the Medicine and Magic of the People. There are no "Big Name Pagans" here. No shelling out thousands of dollars for someone to walk onto the property, do a workshop/seminar/ritual, and then walk away from the "Community". Nobody falls over googly-eyed over a big time author, worships some ego-maniac animal totem cross dresser, or sits pondering some workshop presenter that uses 11 syllable words to dazzle you with intellectual ca-ca. These are people that come to teach/share, that come to touch on a base of community that has been jelling since Sirius started, and after these years the jell has now started to harden, and the form is clear... a lasting community, a working community, a believing of a future community. A community without "Politics", at least not yet. (and its good to have the community formed before politics form, it can happen). I have watched this "Family" (that's what I feel) form from birth to its out of teen years now. Its real. Each morning at the Village meeting, people came to listen, to meet, to share, to voice. It was good to hear those voices, each day went with more people speaking about the wonderfulness of the days, and as each day passed, less was spent on anything that would be deemed "negative". Any thing that was deemed a "problem", seemed to vanish later in the day. The Village meeting gave the people empowerment within the Community, that each individual did have a voice, and that it would be heard. Our words are important to say, and our ears are important to hear. One of my favorite experiences at Sirius, was when a young girl, about 7 or 8 years old, walked into the center of the circle to pick up the talking stick, everything got real quite, and she spoke with such wonderful words, about how she loved everybody and everything. She then put the stick down, walked back to the edge of the circle and sat down. You could hear the choking of throats, and see the tears well up in the eyes, as everyone had just realized that this young girl spoke in the Spirit of an equal in the community, and that she had taught us with her sharing, ... what we had forgotten.
So sure enough, Sunday and Monday night was fairly quiet within the drum circle, the need to speed was over... the cloud of Loud had passed and high noon at the O-K Drum circle was gone. While I'm on the subject...Drumming that is...I wonder if many people at Sirius Rising knew what exactly was happening at Brushwood. That a rare event, a rare treat was in store for them. A lot of newcomers didn't know, even some of the seasoned festival goers didn't know. But that the majority of the Grandmothers and Grandfathers of the Drumming tribe were present. For the first time in years has there been a gathering where so many of the true teachers, the Medicine men and women who work the Spirit of the Drum, came together, and they did so here at Sirius. I'm not saying all, but most. These are the teachers, or Drummasters as some call them. These are the people that learned the workings of Spirit within the Fire Circle, and share the information with words, skills, sounds, and their Magic/Medicine. These are the Drum Elders who sit in the west of the Circle. So I now wish to give Honor, Respect, and Gratitude to Grandfather Billy Woods, Grandfather Daveed Korup, Grandfather Josh Levin, Grandmother Abbie Spinner, Grandfather Saffire, Grandfather Magnus, Grandmother Cheri (yes I understand that she is the youngest of these Medicine people, but she may pass us with her tenacious wisdom), Grandfather Alex, and Grandfather Raphael. Are these all the Grandparents?. No, but most, and they were assembled here at Sirius Rising. And they shared... and they made a difference... they gave us all a huge spurt of growth within the Fire Circle Realm. Wah Do! The fire circle energy changed throughout each night. As these workers of sound magic gave us their energies, helped us to focus, and beat out some damn fine drumming. If any one would like to learn of the Medicine/Magic of the Drum, these are the people to seek out. And thank you Merlin and Dragonfly, for giving the young people your time and skills during your Drumming Circle for Kids. I would like to see more teachings going to our young people, it will be soon that they are standing next to us in the Drumming Circles, We all honor you for preparing the future.
The workshops were of par excellent. These are teachers that live/share within the community, these are the people that are doing the work with their magic. When we first got our Sirius brochure and seeing what workshop we could attend, it was like looking at the list for the best rides at Disney, and knowing that you couldn't possibly do it all in the time allotted. None of these teachers had a room at a hotel off Brushwood property, and only come to do their workshops and get paid. When you sit at the workshops at Sirius, its like sitting at a table with good family. Elders Council at Sirius will be more evident next festival. We all missed Lady Elsbeth, who is recuperating from surgery. And I am told that she is fine. Look for Rites of Passage, and inductions into the Elders Council next Sirius Rising and at Starwood.
After the Ritual Saturday nite, before everyone dispersed, there was an Honoring for the stewards of the Land called Brushwood. A thank you for "All you have done for the All", a small token to give to Frank and Darlene Barney for what they have done for so many people. I asked Darlene is she really knew the impact that they have had on thousands of people. What changes people have made to themselves by just coming and experiencing Brushwood and the community therein. Ya know, Frank and Darlene can be just way to damn humble for my good! But we THANK YOU!, We thank you Frank, Darlene and Theresa. And to Roy, thank you for your tireless effort in all the work you have done for Sirius, you and your family. I do not envy your responsibility, but I do envy your strength and fairness. I had a talk with Roy on Friday. He had pulled up in his golf cart at our pavilion, turned of the motor... and sighed. I asked him what was up, he said "Its scary, Don, Sirius Rising is just running to smoothly, I feel I have nothing to do", I put my arm around Roy to comfort him, looking into his watery eyes as he choked back a sob and said "WaterHawk, I haven't yelled at a single person, no one has done anything wrong", I gently laid Roy's head on my shoulder and told him that its alright, it'll all be better in the morning. Roy left a few minutes later, head held higher, as he zoomed off in his Golf cart, looking for something to do. I guess that that's proof here at Sirius Rising, that Community is at work.
Click for Part II of this review and credits.
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