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| Article Specs|
Article ID: 4300
Age Group: Adult
Posted: May 11th. 2002
Our Haven - Beltane 2002
Our Haven's Beltane Festival and 2nd Pagan Picnic was held in French Lick, Indiana on April 26- April 29. Just being at Our Haven made the experience even more special. Our Haven's Dream is a dream in which we all can share, appreciate, and joy. While it rained the entire festival, that didn't stop people from getting to know one another, workshops, drumming, fire twirling, bands, and the pagan picnic from being enjoyed by all who attended. We had A huge raffle with over 90 items, Drumming till 5 a.m., fire-twirlers twirling even in the middle of another downpour. One mans tent blew over into the fire pit, his reaction, was "oh. well I needed a new one" and the next morning to see him out on the main field trying to fly it like a kite. People came from all over, Tennessee, Ohio, North Carolina, Chicago, and they all had one thing in mind. Fun, Family, and New Friends. Everyone went home, knowing they had found a place to call home. A home away from home. As Our Haven Elders say, LET OUR HAVEN BE YOUR HAVEN, and it truly is.
Below are some letters and posts we received on the festival.
It was a soggy morning, as the 10 folks from the Indiana Asatru Council who had made the about two hour trek unloaded their cars, for the 2nd annual pagan festival at Our Haven. The weather forecast called for rain all day, and Asa Thor was not letting the forecasters down.
We were met at registration by an informative lady who told us where we could locate parking spaces, the long hall (pole barn), restrooms, and camping. As I spoke with her I was reminded of way too many other times when places would have been reversed, so before leaving I made sure she knew just how welcomed and important her help and information had been.
At the long hall we unloaded our treasures, and staked claim to a corner of the hall for seating (The Viking invasion). We watched as other travelers unloaded their goods, and set up their areas as well. In the process we spotted the familiar faces of Dave and Gail from Wizard's; Traders who had traveled to this event to ply their wares. Familiar folk are always a welcomed sight to travelers on the road. (It was unfortunate they had to leave early because of Dave's stomach, and back problems.)
We had only been there a short time when we met our host and hostess, Manelqua and Hummingbird; Wonderful people! Soon after our introduction it was time to eat, so the folks prepared plates and enjoyed the tastes of so many great cooks. Members of the IAC were blessed by Manelqua's presence with us when we did our offering plate to the land spirits and the ancestors before the feast.
Wolfmaiden, and I were treated to a guided tour of the land by Manelqua and Hummingbird; Even wet and mud covered it is a beautiful place, and a moving experience. Open fields, wooded spaces, fire circles, caves, ritual circles, and more. Just so many place to do things, and some great spots to do 'nothing,' if you know what I mean. Truly wonderful energy abounds in them there woods!
The raffle was a big hit! So many people had donated items for this fundraiser it took over an hour to do the raffle, 80 items in all (Some from as far away as Australia). I won 2 bars of soap made by R'Chel Enterprises, and a book written and autographed by Edain McCoy (Wolfmaiden promptly acquired the book, Edain McCoy is one of her favorites), and we all know I can use the soap. JD won several items including a walk stick that came in handy, Wolfmaiden won some bath salts that had been donated by Willowdancer. I told Hummingbird next year I would help by donating some wood carvings, and by calling out the numbers (her voice was shot by the end), we all know I have a big mouth. The money raised will help Our Haven continue the good work they do in the community.
After the raffle, performing artist Nuada graced us with his music. Now, I'm not one for the electro tech new age stuff, but this was different. Nuada's music was a mix of different things, with some very haunting mystical music stirred in. I was reminded of the old 1 man bands that once upon a time were everywhere. Thank you, Nuada for the reminder and the memories!
Well, it was getting late, and we still had a drive before us. So we packed up the modern long ships and prepared to fare forth on our way home, when I was reminded "We have to stop at Quest End's shop before we leave." At the portable store Tammatha greeted us with a warm welcome, and showed us around the store. Tammatha and Wolfmaiden talked herbs, and plants while the Viking men looked at, and fondled swords and other sharp things. Norwegian John was impressed with some of the statuary and the Tee Shirts, JD bought some pelts, and I purchased a horn in the ruff, a Valkyrie statue, and some herbs (For Wolfmaiden). As we walked out of Quest End's shop we saw a small miracle in the works. The fire dancers were twirling their fire pots and dancing, in the middle of a down pour. What an ironic sight, fire dancer working under water so to speak. Talented folks they are.
As I set here at the keyboard and reflect back on the event, I realized the rain was a blessing in disguise. The rain and mud had brought us all together in the long hall, one group, wet and muddy but having fun together. It's funny no one seemed to need to say "I'm so and so" or "I'm with this group" or "I'm following this path" we were just people pulling together, having fun together, and enjoying each others company! True pagan unity in it's purest form. People working together, enjoying the energy of the land and the folks we were with. No great leaders, no all knowing wizards, no this group or that group, just people being people and sharing the experience, together. The only bad part of this is knowing that there are folks out there who will never know this feeling, folks who will not come out of their self made walls. Folks who have no idea how great it feels to share this kind of experience. I know we were changed and charged from having been a part it all. I hope in some way we have left behind as many good times and feeling as we left with!
Remember what the great folks at Our Haven say, "Let Our Haven be Your Haven", they mean it!
Thanks, Manelqua, Hummingbird, Tammatha, Breanna, the lady at the gate, the fire dancers, the musician, the venders, and all the great folks who made this event possible! We sure had a good time!
I was going to add some photos from the event to this post, but due to technical problems they are not here. So you can see them on Indiana Asatru Announcements under the photo section when we get them uploaded.
C. L. Hankins II
How long can you tread water? We did for a couple of days and it was a riot!
Calisto and I made some wonderful new friends and reacquainted ourselves with old ones. We were wet and we were cold but our spirits were high and we had a wonderful time!
Watching the fire twirlers was a great joy and the bon fire was beautiful! We will be there in June! No doubt about it!
Love and Brightest Blessings to "our" family!
PS Gotta go and clean all the mud off of EVERYTHING we won! LOL
It was wonderful to meet my new family members, as well as reunite with familiar ones. (I even got adopted!). Although the weather was adverse, the spirit of the festival never dampened. Thank you Mary, Mane, and everyone else in attendance for such a blessed event!
I left my heart at Our Haven
I had the most enjoyable time at the Beltane Festival. Even though it was raining. You made us feel at home and I thank you for sharing with us what you have. I felt so free and close to mother earth. I also love your doggies. Life has been hard lately what with the mundane work schedules, household chores, etc. that I feel more at peace with myself than I have in a long time. I truly believe that my heart is still up there in that beautiful land. I didn't want to come back home. We do plan on coming there a lot in the future. Thank you for opening your home and hearts to us and thanks to the rest of the family that was there for being so kind.
These are just a few responses we received. I talked to just about everyone there and each and every one of them said they would return, the land is magickal, the people are magickal, and its all just... well... magickal!
For Additional Information about Our Haven:
Call: (812) 936-7656
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