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Tara Summer Solstice 2005

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

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Adirondack Pagan Pride Day

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Okanagan Pagan Pride Day 2005

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Between the Worlds: A Grand Magickal Congress

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My Journey to Gaia's Womb

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Starwood 2004 (2)

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Pagan Pride: Suncoast

Year: 2003 ...

Starwood 2003 (1)

Pagan Pride: San Francisco

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Starwood 2002 (1)

Author: Don Waterhawk [a WitchVox Sponsor]
Posted: August 18th. 2002
Times Viewed: 10,492
Sponsored by: Starwood/ACE
Location: Brushwood Folklore Center, Western NY
Event Date(s): July 23-28, 2002

Woke up Monday to ... well what would you call the day between Sirius Rising and Starwood? It seems that I had just walked out a Disney realm and now I going to walk into another... bigger... older... and more adventurous... and sometimes challenging. So I'll call it the "IN" day, because that's when the people began arriving to Brushwood for the Starwood Celebration. After waiting in line to register up top, then the drive to the field. Wearing the new ID bracelets (yes I know they were somewhat a pain, but they kept out all the gate crashers, and made life better for the all). They came in... car after car, filled with people, long drive, weary eyes peering out at the people as they drove from who knows where, all day and night long they came. The fields once again came alive with the clanking of metal poles hitting each other as pavilions were put up or torn down, the sounds of chain saws starting up to ready the wood pile for Saturday night, people wandering around,asking if anyone knew where so and so were camping, And this city that had started being built at Sirius, now became a Metropolis... Starwood 2002. We talked with some of the newcomers, hugged friends, strangers and probably a few new aliens to be. And being right across from ACE's camp, I saw that it took on a new being, more lights strung, more tarps added, and more Chameleons came in... the Heart of Starwood has arrived and the pumping has begun.

Tuesday morning came with the realization Starwood has started... and for the seasoned Starwood goers, that meant that it was almost over. That's the speed of previous Starwood's... you get used to it. It started off with a Teen Pizza Party at the "Sanctuary". (No I don't know where that is at, I'm, to old to know). I was invited to participate in the Opening ritual by ACE (like I would ever miss the Opening of Starwood and the largest Spiral Dance in the world), and witnessed a truly memorable event as 600+ people began the Spiral Dance, their faces smiling the biggest damn smiles, their bodies dancing with an excited and anticipitating magic and ending up in a unity of energy looking towards the sky as the universe above them accepted and gave back the shared Medicine. Later during the day, Raphael had invited me to the DidgeDome (See Sirius Rising review) for what was going to be "Conga Night". Conga Night?... gotta be kidding, right? So I pondered as to how I was going to bring my conga setup across the field (in the dark it looks like a long way), but getting help from my daughter Tia, we gathered the drums and went to the DidgeDome. What a sight, to see 7, maybe more, conga setups, about 8 didge players and various other drums set up playing "within" the circle, and it sounded way soooo sweet. Was not able to play that much that evening, but for those that have not been, make it a stop on your next Starwood ride.

Lets look at the Workshops that are offered here... naw... lets not, because we can go on for more text that maybe Witchvox's server can handle. Starwood is famous for its variety and diversity of workshops, its expertise of the presenters. There is simply no place to get all that Starwood has to offer, anywhere else... period. Especially for the money of the admission to Starwood. It is a good menu of knowledge in a five day course. I do give a great amount of gratitude to all the "teacherstudents" that made the Starwood learning experience available. Thank you. Where else could I go to learn about Chi Kung in the morning, make a drum around noon, make a salt dyed silk skirt at three (real men wear skirts), learn about Cuban Santeria Divination, get a massage, eat food, clean up, shower, get dressed in the clothes that you can not wear anywhere else, and go out and ... P..A..R..T..Y... !!! That's right... Starwood. And that's what happened each day and night at Starwood. Sensory overload and sleep deprivation is the name of the game here. But hey... don't you have all year to rest up again before it happens in 2003? So instead of yakking about what the learning experiences specs are, go to Starwood's website and get the facts of who, what, where, when, why and how..!

Drumming at Starwood has always been a, well... experience?... challenge?... phenomena?... extravaganza?... wonder of sound and magic?... with maybe a dash of involuntary tolerance for a few. What ever you want it to be, you will certainly find it and more here at Starwood. With the diversity of drumming here at this festival, you will always come out on top if you want, if you look hard enough, if you truly seek that personal magic that is available here. Whether at the Roundhouse, Didgedome, Raphael North's Fire, Daveeds camp, or others, you will find it all with every diverse beat, rhythm, and sound, its all here. Just follow the aroma's of sound that travels like tendrils all over the land of Brushwood. And a lot of the Drumming Grandparents were there: Billy Woods, Daveed, Saffire, Cheri, Abbie, Magnus, Josh, Alex, Kat, Raphael, David, Dana and so on and so on... These people, with their diverse nature of the drum, skills learned throughout the years, and the ability to help the circle focus, made this Starwood a blast of Drumming energy. Special thanks to Abbie Spinner and Magnus for helping create the "Initiating focus of Magic" within the circle, night after night, and for their workshop "Magic of the Fire Circle". It was a true learning experience, one that few people have ever involved themselves in, and I'm sure will partake again. It must have been all the learning potential that was available at Starwood this year, that made the drumming so hot.

Now understand, it was not always "Hot" drumming, there were a few times when one wanted to lobby for a law in New York state that made a person have to be certified before they could play a big bass drum, or jun-jun, cow bells or clava's. It didn't happen always, but its those few times that it did, that made a person want to get a NRA membership. Come on people, friends don't let friends get drunk and drum. There was a small problem on day when a few of the drummers wanted to drum all day in the roundhouse. After talking to both sides, it made sense to stop drumming at a certain time, because of the fact that there are people that wanted to sleep, workshop presenters that wanted to be heard, and the fact that the roundhouse is not only for drummers. Ultimately, all these small things were worked out, and all were apparently made happy happy joy joy! If drumming and dancing around the fire(s) are for you, this is one of the best festivals to enjoy the magical moments in life of that nature.

Click for Part II of this review and credits.

Photo Credits: These Beautiful photos were captured digitally by Don Waterhawk of Waterhawk Creations
For the Latest on ACE: Visit the A.C.E. Website on the world wide web.

Article Specs

Article ID: 4624

VoxAcct: 13651

Section: festivals

Age Group: Adult

Days Up: 6,275

Times Read: 10,492


Don Waterhawk

Location: Fort Myers, Florida


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