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Article Specs

VxAcct: 13651

Article ID: 8637

Section: festivals

Age Group: Adult

Posted: August 7th. 2004

Views: 9127

Starwood 2004 (1)

by Don Waterhawk

[WVox Sponsor]

Well...we didn't have to drive very far to get to Starwood, being that we were already at Brushwood after enjoying a wet but fulfilled Sirius Rising (Siriusly Wet) Festival. Sirius ended that Sunday, so the next day, Monday, was a quiet and readying time to get grounded for the high energy times of the coming Starwood XXIV. It was to be my 15th Starwood, and the 10th anniversary of Daniella and I, for we met at Starwood 10 years before... So like many others can attest, Starwood can be a life changing festival...and a wonderful one for us. So the in-between day, (Monday), was a time of rest, drumming and being close to friends and family...not to mention a day to try and dry out and chip away at the mud that had accumulated throughout our encampment during the preceding week... Monday was also the day one could see the members of ACE going through their hair pulling, stress testing, day of setting up. Gotta say... wouldn't want their job for anything, but truly admire them for the work they do for the people in getting everything ready for the 5 days ahead... I'll take this opportunity now to say thank you ACE, and the Chameleons, for helping put things easy for those that needed direction, and for giving us the opportunity to become better people through experiences.

So Tuesday arrived, along with a slew of people driving in for the festival... and the sun shown brightly (something that we hadn't see much of the week before)...the "SUN"... what a concept, light, warmth, and the trusting that it will last. Daniella and I thought about last year at Starwood, or "SquishWood" as it was commonly called. Would it be the same this year? Or did the preceding week take care of the rain/mud, and now the weather Grandparents, Gods and Goddesses, were going to give us dry, shiny skies for the week ahead. So... registration was started, people were herded into the "Line" corrals, tagged and branded, and allowed to begin their time at Starwood XXIV. The first major event was at the Opening Circle, facilitated by Ian and Susan (and more). Now, for those who have never experienced the famous "Starwood Spiral Dance", well... gotta do it at least once. And it went off once again without any injuries, just a really good time and a chance to open the circle and dance your legs off. Was thinking, that maybe new people to the Spiral Dance should have red balloons tied to their wrist, so when they experience their "First" spiral dance, they could then "pop" their balloon and really say "They Have...". Hey, ya gotta see it to believe it! After the Circle was opened, the dance finished, and the "Oming" completed, the people went down to the main stage to hear their first concert of the festival...with the famous "Bardic Bardos". What a way to start off ones first day at Starwood... and after the concert (and what a concert...damn...)... then down to the Roundhouse for some of the sweetest drumming one could ask for at a festival...

Wednesday came with 45 workshops (hey, this is one of the things Starwood is famous for), that's right 45 workshops of some of the finest teachers and presenters in the country. This is where you can count on getting your monies worth at a festival. It did rain hard for about an hour , but then stopped and dried up and the sun came out... but did scare a few people a bit...lol. Then after dinner was two concerts at the main stage, RAQ and Janah, both rocked the people on their feet and instilled some raised energy. After the concert, roundhouse pounded out a primal beat and got the people dancing. And the "Pufferdome" was the place of a concert helped by DJ's Scotty Paluza and Visitor. At midnight, I got a chance to witness the Voudon, place an incredible Ritual to Honor Shango and Egungun masquerade, for community and justice, in the middle field. For those that do not know much about the Voudon, Voodoo, Starwood is a place to experience the true nature of this earth path. I thank Lilith Dorsey, Louis Martini'e, Utu, Cat McGown for facilitating this fabulous ritual. Upon hearing the comments during and after the ritual, I knew I was not alone in paying tribute to this Sacred way. And thank you Grandmother Elsbeth for your untiring counseling and story telling for the children of all ages... it makes me so happy to walk this planet with the likes of you. This was also a day of tragedy of sorts for us. Our good friend, Witchvox saff member, Peg Aloi, was given a new name... Captain "Pegged Legged Peg". It seemed that Peg, being camped in the "fairy woods", was walking down the path from an encampment, she slipped and fell, and at that time, thought that she had "sprained" her ankle. She was driven by golf cart, up to were Daniella and I were camped, near Madonna (massage healer extraordinaire...that's why people come to her), and Peg calmly asked for some arnica. Now, one look at her leg, and I asked the driver to make sure she would go to the First aid tent. Which she did, then was transported to the hospital where she underwent surgery for a compound break of the Fibula...ouch and double ouch. She not only had her leg "pegged" , hence her new name, but had numerous pins placed in her bone... really friggin ouch... ! Thus ended her stay at Starwood, and she was left at the hospital for 5 days to pray to the Goddess Demerol... (Oh well... if ya gotta pray to someone like that, that's a good Goddess to start with) and healing circles were worked throughout the field for our beloved "Pegged Legged Peg", and 'bout the only thing we could say was, "hey, there is Starwood next year"...duh... Hey, what do you say to a Pirate without a Parrot...

Thursday came as an overcast day, but no rain. People loved the fact that it was not hot...Daniella and I, thought it was cold, so our clothes reflected that... damn northerners. Anyway, Thursday brought 55 workshops throughout the day. It was a good day to walk-about meeting people, old and new, shopping at the 80+ merchants throughout the field, watching people change clothes 4 to 5 times a day, (hey, gotta wear what you brought ya know). And for those that would rather have their "Clothes" painted on, Scott Fray was working 16 hours a day painting bodies for "FREE", that's right, you heard me, for free. Check out his work at scottfray.com , and thank you Scott for your eye pleasing work you did throughout the festival. So the night ended with a Bardic Concert at the main stage, The Ritual of the "Land and the Gate" facilitated by ArnDraiocht Fein, and the "ArcheDream" concert at the Pufferdome. And as Daniella and I went to sleep at our usual time of 2 or 3 am, we drifted off listening to the Starwood drumming...

Friday came with a little rain now and then, but nothing like compared with last week, or last year. 51 workshops were facilitated this day, and a concert at the main stage by "Mookomor" halved the day. A special thing transpired Friday morning. One of the things that I see the Pagan community is lacking, is the amount of "Heroes" within the culture. A "Hero" is someone who is in service to the community...unselfishly. And when we do recognize them, its often when a person has become an elder and too old (lol) to enjoy the status. Well this Friday morning, Grandmother Elsbeth and I, along with several Elders, and Parents, got a chance to pay Honor and tribute to Lady Casie, the youngest member of ACE/Chameleons. I have watched this young woman walk a way of "Young Elder" status throughout the years. And its a good thing she is young in years, for had she been any older she would not have been able to do the job she does. Thank you Lady Casie for reminding me about the things that I had forgotten, and for doing so much for the people and the community. I know that both your parents, Susan and Ian, sit in a Circle of Pride, looking at you in the center. I trust that more people can be placed into this realm of what our children see... it will give them incentive with their peers and more, to become better people... after all, isn't that what's its all about.

So Friday night came with concerts of Awen, Revelry, Felonious Bosch , and Incus at the Pufferdome. The pyrographics on the island by Ron Slabe and Jason Isla, and Pyrosonic. Because of safety and legal issues, Airborne fireworks and big kaboom stuff have been discontinued at Brushwood. And the roundhouse drumming and dancing that went on for... seemed like forever. And it did, the drumming that is. Each day it started in the evening and went on till 9:30 or 10:00 in the morning... and not just a few drummers, but a lot of drummers. And people wondered why merchants were so late in opening up... no sleep... duh! Thank you Firekeepers for the work you did in keeping "All" the fires burning like you did, the amount of work that was involved did not go unnoticed. So the night ended a bit cold, but not enough for us to put on our thermal underwear (yes we bring them, we're from Southwest Florida), we made sure our personal fire was being tended to, and Daniella and I went to bed, giving thanks for Grandfather for making the weather nicey nice.

Click for Part II of this review and credits.

Photo Credits: These Beautiful photos were captured digitally by Don Waterhawk of Waterhawk Creations

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