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Tara Summer Solstice 2005

Starwood XXV: Feelin' the Love

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People of Beauty, People of Peace: CPC Summer Gathering 2005

Pagan Bazaar

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Adirondack Pagan Pride Day

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Okanagan Pagan Pride Day 2005

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Sirius Rising 2004

My Journey to Gaia's Womb

Witch & Famous Cruises: - Inaugural Festival at Sea

Starwood 2004 (2)

The 2004 DC Pagan Pride Week

Salt Lake Pagan Pride 2004

Okanagan Valley Pagan Pride Review

Pagan Pride: Suncoast

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Starwood 2003 (1)

Pagan Pride: San Francisco

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Sirius Rising 2001 (2)

Author: Don Waterhawk [a WitchVox Sponsor]
Posted: July 29th. 2001
Times Viewed: 9,771
Sponsored by: Brushwood Folklore Center
Location: Sherman, Western NY
Event Date(s): July 9-15, 2001
Attendance: 800+

The damage was extensive throughout the field and into the woods. Trees were felled, narrowly missing tents, large 10X20 pavilions were smashed up against trees. I good friend of mine, Ramsey, had gone to her little Suzuki to get out of the rain, not realizing what was about to come, and had found herself being flung about inside of the car. We saw afterwards on her car that a tie line had dented the sheet metal of her car 1/2 inch deep, and was still attached to the ground peg and tarp. Some strange things were found the next day... like a couple of flowers that had been planted next to the road between two tents. The flowers were unharmed, the tents totally smashed and shredded. A vendors pavilion totally gone, but the can of pop on the roof of the car, open and upright... weird! Cate and Frank Dalton started giving aid to those that were injured. She ordered me to First Aid, I said "I'm okay"... (note: if you are ordered by Cate Dalton to first aid... go!... it might save your life, even if you are not injured). I thought that I should find my camera and take pictures of the sight... then thought how rude to intrude on the despair of the people. So we walked around, as a community, into the community. Giving helping hands to those that needed it. And listening to the people, listening to the voices of despair "What are we going to do?", "How can we pay for this?", as I walked past one vendor, I heard from the other side of the tarp a woman state, "Its okay, we will use our house payment and buy another pavilion". Little John's group had just erected a brand new renn faire tent, it lay totally collapsed and ruined.

The damage was mostly felt by the Merchants, as their wares were scattered and strewn all over the field. Bill and Wendyl, from Manna Reading Center seemed to have the most damage, another pavilion had slammed into theirs and had damaged several thousands of dollars of merchandise, pavilions, and their camper. But even all of this did not stop people from picking up the pieces and trying to makeshift tents to weather the rest of the night. Daniella, Tia, Koko and I looked at our mess, and decided not to find out what was ruined, and just went to bed... trusting that we could sleep, we didn't, we just laid in our space, thanking the Goddess and Grandfather that no one was seriously hurt... .and Kokopelli was slowly swinging on her perch... eyes wide open... listening... watching... ! And the drums went on and on and on...

Wednesday... got up... forced the camper door open, and got the full daytime shock of the damage... otherwise known as "Holyshit!", and started to work, trusting that all will be well. The electric and water was out. roads were closed due to fallen trees. All through the field people were helping people get their things back into some resemblance of order. People were measuring poles and cutting them with hacksaws, if three pavilions were damaged, one whole one could be made out of them with the help of the Great God "Duct tape". If our ancestors had duct tape, they would have used it, and this would have become a different world. It was so wonderful to see large groups of people helping one person get their tents and pavilion back up, then move on to another that needed help and so forth. There were first timers that were being helped, and they were astonished that people they didn't even know, were so giving. Its called the Brushwood Pagan Community... It's what we come here for, and it is here so very strong within us. Magic is truly all around us...

And it started... Talk of financial aid to those that needed became very loud, and was quickly reacted too. A fund was set up by some of the vendors, lists were made up of damaged pavilions/tents/merchandise, people began menus of group dinners... and people were smiling and laughing with the knowing that Spirit was here to help. And the Festival, Sirius Rising, started off with a new foot forward. There were questions about how people were doing on the outside of the Brushwood Community, even while people were still cleaning up, was there any help needed in Sherman, the town nearest to Brushwood, Frank checked, and let us know that except for minor damage and lines down, the towns people were all well. Sonny, the wood man, had his roof blown off. There was 1 fatality, about three miles away. A person, (not with the festival), was killed when a tree fell onto his car. I trust that we can give our prayers to his spirit and family... And, Kokopelli's tailfeathers were sold for $20 bucks a piece, all were sold in 30 minutes, and the proceeds were spent to buy someone a tent, and a pavilion so they could continue to make a living. Finally, something worthwhile came out of Koko's ass. By nightfall we looked over the field and you would have never known what had transpired the night before. Except for a few piles of tarps and bent poles, the community had repaired itself, we had gotten together like never before and gave thanks to ourselves for who we were, who we are, and who we are going to become... And the drums went on and on and on...

Thursday all appeared normal, workshops resumed and the entertainment was lifting people to the festival spirits. The rituals that were happening at Sirius were truly wonderful, and were happening twice a day and more with different people initiating the space. And people were still arriving onto the field. You could hear chainsaws throughout the property cutting apart trees that were felled during the storm. The drumming at Sirius Rising was both powerful and calming... and really, really good. The Firekeepers at Sirius kept the Roundhouse lit, warm, clean and safe. My gratitude towards the Firekeepers for doing such a wonderful job. It is this clan that initiates the Magic and Medicine for the people. They are truly a blessed group. Thank you... And the drums went on and on and on...

Friday, Saturday, Sunday flew by with workshops, rituals and daily/nightly entertainment. The Great DogStar Walkabout parade and the puppets was tops. The bonfire Saturday was spectacular and was the biggest ever at Sirius, with the drummers in sync and the dancers flowing. And the performance by Green Crown was excellent. Monday came, and it signaled the last day. Some people, and more than last year, started packing up and leaving before Starwood came into play. Sirius Rising is a wonderfully growing festival. Yes, Sirius Rising Festival is still a pre-Starwood festival with mostly merchants coming to get a space early for Starwood. But the population of attendees, other than merchants is growing very quickly, word is spreading about the good times to be had at this festival. It is getting famous for its Drumming and Dancing. More workshop presenters are coming, and Sirius Rising is quickly finding its place in the Major Festival arena.

My gratitude goes to all the community. To the Workshop presenters, the Bands, the volunteers, the Barneys, Roy and Bunny. And special thanks to Penny Goody for her work with the children (our future), to the Daltons..Frank, Cate, Frankie, Tiffany and Jessie for all their work and care that they give to this community. To Jason and the Firekeepers, for showing us the Light in our Darkness. And to all that have not been mentioned. And also to Father Sky and the Brother Tornado... Although it raised our fear, the payment was worth the product. The gift that came out of this Sirius Rising, was greater than one had expected. We became tighter as a family, we understood each other more, and we were taught that we truly cared for each other more than we initially thought. The circle of Community got larger... and there is no end to that.

So I watched people leaving, cars driving slower than they were when they arrived. Was it the signs to slow down that did this?... or was it that people were not in a hurry to leave? Come to Sirius Rising next year and find out for yourself.

Dream Gently

Don Two Eagles WaterHawk

Photo Credits: The Beautiful photos in this coverage were captured digitally by Don Waterhawk of Waterhawk Creations

For the Latest on Brushwood: Visit the Brushwood Folklore Center on the world wide web.

Article Specs

Article ID: 3554

VoxAcct: 13651

Section: festivals

Age Group: Adult

Days Up: 6,686

Times Read: 9,771


Don Waterhawk

Location: Fort Myers, Florida


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