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Year: 2016 ...

Daughters of The Moon: Running With The Crones

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Between the Worlds and Sacred Space Conference 2015

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Sirius Rising & Summerfest 2012

Between the Worlds: An Interfaith Esoteric Conference

Starwood 32--Review by Oberon Zell

Celebrating 20 Years: St. Louis Pagan Picnic Reaches a Milestone

Spring Mysteries Festival XXVII

Michigan Midwest Bazaar and Witches Ball

Mabon with Blackberry Circle

Salem, Oregon Celebrates Its First Pagan Pride Day (2012)

NorthWest Fall Equinox Festival (NWFEF) 2012 (Review)

Year: 2011 ...

Starwood Festival 2011 (A Review by Oberon Zell)

The New Orleans Witches' Ball

Sacred Space Celebrates Twenty-one Years!

Celebration of the Divine Feminine and Religious Freedom

St. Louis Pagan Picnic

2011 Midwest Witches Ball and Bazaar

Through the Looking Glass Midwest - Michigan's 2011 Witches Ball:

Year: 2010 ...

Sacred Space Conference

Review: Sirius Rising

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43rd Annual Gathering of the Tribes

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The Sacred Space Conference and Winterfest Banquet

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Magickel Hibernation

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4th of July Pagan Religious Rights Rally and Ritual and Chesapeake Pagan Community Summer Gathering

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Harvest Home Gathering 2006 (picts added Oct. 18)

Southeast Women's Herbal Conference

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Chesapeake Pagan Community Gathering: Dancing with Devas 2006

Brazilian Mabon Celebration in Săo Paulo

Rochester Pagan Pride Day

Hellfire Caves Ritual

Beltaine 2006: A Pagan Odyssey

Year: 2005 ...

Tara Summer Solstice 2005

Starwood XXV: Feelin' the Love

Persephone's Masquerade: The 4th Annual OHF Spring Ball

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Harvest Home 2005: Magick, Imagination, and Love

Inner Mysteries Intensive with Janet Farrar and Gavin Bone

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

Pagan Bazaar

Spirit's Haven in the Woods

WES Raises Funds for Katrina Victims

Adirondack Pagan Pride Day

Annual Spiritual Awareness Celebration

Midsummer's Haven in the Woods

WytcheHaven Weekend 2

Okanagan Pagan Pride Day 2005

Year: 2004 ...

Between the Worlds: A Grand Magickal Congress

Starfest 2004

The Free Spirit Gathering 2004

The 3rd Annual OHF Spring Gala

Starwood 2004 (1)

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

Year: 2003 ...

Starwood 2003 (1)

Pagan Pride: San Francisco

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Starwood 2002 (2)

Author: Don Waterhawk [a WitchVox Sponsor]
Posted: August 18th. 2002
Times Viewed: 9,584
Sponsored by: Starwood/ACE
Location: Brushwood Folklore Center, Western NY
Event Date(s): July 23-28, 2002
Attendance: 2000

The Kids parade was excellent once again this year, I love the fact that ACE puts on the best time for the children of our community. This Starwood seemed to have had more new families than I have ever seen. Thank you ACE, for paying such attention to our future generations. More and more, the Starwood schedule allows for family fun. It has grown to be a safe place for Family's and their children, with lots of activities for both young and old. Wednesday night was an awesome Rangoli Ritual put on by Catherine Jones at the roundhouse. This was a physical art form of prayers, sketched with rice flour, corn meal and spices, in a large circle within the Round house. People had started creating this masterpiece in the morning, and were finished by early evening. Magnus helped facilitate the ritual. It was truly a wonderful space of magic, as the drummers and dancers swept away the prayers, with their feet and veils, up to the Creator. Thank you so much for this blessed event. A memory many will carry for times to come. And a great big Wah Do to the Friday night performance in the DidgeDome, the music, the dancers, the sensuality of music and movement together in that way... Whoa!!!!!!! What I would deem as Pagan Viagra... talk about getting your blood pumping. For both sexes... And the magic that was created by the drummers, gonger's and didger's, by the goddess, you created a wonderful dream that night, thank you... ! And how the Gentleman did that dance with those two beautiful women without... ..well.., tell you what sport, you got some powerful control there... I'd have to jam my thoughts with dead puppies and do that, if you get my meaning. But a true art form that I have never experienced before, and trust I will again...many times. And to the body painters and the people that got painted (I call them the Krayola Kids), well, that was just way to cool, and if that ever happens again, I'm going to be painted too. Just way to cool.

And to the FireTrybe... those people that I saw working day and night for a week, putting together another great fire. These young men and women have truly become the experts and medicine people of the Fire Circle. No where in the United States have I seen such devotion, knowledge, teachings, and working of Fire Magic, than these people. Thank you Jason, and I trust that you will help me personally gives thanks to each and every member of the Trybe. Watching these people working "FOR" the people, well, you are truly the most Blessed, you have given us light, warmth, and a center in which to focus our Magic/Medicine on. Without you, it would be a drab and boring place, this planet. Our own Florida Firetender, Bill Bailey of the Eternal Flame Fire Clan, received theHonor, Respect, and Gratitiude of the "Red Suspenders" from Grandfather Jason of the FireTyrbe Clan. A befitting honor from one Fire Clan to another... In talking to Grandfather Jason, I was told that there is a FireTenders Festival in the making to be held at Brushwood. That Firetenders from around the nation (oh yeah, there's a lot more than I realized) will gather to learn, teach, share and... oh yeah, build fires. Will keep you in touch with that one.

For the musical entertainment, I will leave that up to our own Witchvox staff member... Beautiful... vivacious... red haired raven of voice... Peg Aloi... !:):) If she isn't down listening to each concert, she's playing in them. Here at Starwood, its silly to think that you could get to everything that is offered to you, no possible way. And although I did make a few of them, Peg has the floor here for you.

Merchanting is still the same at Starwood. Way to many merchants. Takes up way to much camping space. The woods are crowded with campers who would rather camp closer to things, but cannot because of the shortness of camping space due to merchant overcrowding. But the merchanting space was cleaner this years than last. Until it was over, then there were a few merchants whose parents obviously did not teach their children to pick up after themselves. There were a few merchants that just left a mess for the Barneys to clean up. "Ve know hoo ju R"! And although water was shut down periodically, and electric was mostly a joke (being that there seems to be people needed things such as Microwave ovens, TV's,refrigerators, air conditioning and such), it took away the electricity from the pumps, hell, I couldn't even charge my camera battery).

And thanks to the Chameleons who worked so hard to make all this happen. ALL OF YOU! It was fun to spend a few moments with the Chameleons, they were camped in back of us. I got a chance to visit with the group (no, I did not go there to get autographs), I went there because I felt welcome in this realm. I learned more about this group. And I believe that they are good people with good hearts who work their asses off. And they are approachable... really! So when you get a chance next year, or better yet, e-mail them, and give them what they deserve... Honor, Respect and Gratitude. A big thank you for a job well done. And for the new Chameleons, the new "Blood"... its exciting to see a start of the Future of Starwood.

The Weather certainly co-operated throughout the week. A lot of people complained that it was too hot! Sheezsh! It was great for Daniella and I (no, the bird didn't come), in fact, it did get a might warm for even us. And people think that Southern Florida is hot in the summer, Starwood had a lot of Everglades weather this year. And it topped Saturday night!

When Saturday came, in disbelief to most...that it had come so quickly, but it had to come. There seemed to be an endless line of new cars that came into Brushwood Friday night, which then filtered down to a few Sat. Its amazing that a couple hundred people seem to come for just the Saturday night bonfire. But then, where else could you see something like that? So Saturday was a flurry of activities, much because people knew that it was the last day, and they needed to get in what they could before it was over. I watched the Bonfire Drummers/Dancers rehearsal, the firetenders readying the final touches (which is hard for a FireTender, as it could quite possibly go on forever (building the fire). Then we all went to the pavilion to watch Jeff (Magnus) McBride and Abbie Spinner and their Magic show... and WOW!!! Thank you both! After the concert that followed, we were all whisked, directed, moved, channeled, formed, molded, danced and transformfered (if its not a word, it should be), down to the Saturday Night Fire Circle... Now, a few things had changed in the normal path of the Saturday Night Fire, some slight, some not. I understood about some changes, some I did not. Nothing was bad, that's not what I am saying, but all throughout the week, Starwood was more tranquil than I had ever seen it be. It was mellow... a high energy mellow, but mellow nonetheless. The movement of the people to the Fire, the starting of the drumming, the general atmosphere was a bit more soothing than I had anticipated. But the drummers drummed, the dancers danced, and the Fire burned... and boy did it burn. I don't know how many tons of wood was placed in this fire (no trees are felled for the distinct purpose of any Brushwood/Starwood fire), but it was bigger than a house..height and widthwise. And it went up, it was, IMHO, the most beautiful fire I have watched. Dancing the way it did, multicolors swirling within the center, it was totally awesome. Daniella and I stood there in "Fire Rapture", watching, and then heard the Lead Drummer give the call to speed up the beat, and the people began circling the Fire... slowly... way to slowly... in fact I would say they were trudging around the fire like slow moving sloughs. The drummers were not paying attention to the lead changes, and most of the people "slothed" around the fire like a group of slow basting turkeys... and baste they did at that speed and heat. We jumped into the circle, Daniella and I, and began dancing excitedly around, but most of our efforts were just trying to dodge the people that were trudging around, we yelled "Don't be an obstacle, Spiral the energy", but most just "trudged", and they trudged, and slothed... and then came the rain.

I have never been to a Starwood Fire that it had rained like this, never. But it rained, it poured, it monsooned and the crowd scattered. From about 2,000 people around the fire, to about 200 hundred in ten minutes. But the Fire roared on, and this massive wall of water never even put a dent in the Fire. Good job Firetenders! The wind whipped up and embers flew, and even in the rainfall, about 20 merchants had their pavilion put full of holes by embers from the fire. It became a job in the rain to jump to pavilion after pavilion trying to wipe the embers away before more damage was done. Some people, don't know who exactly, came with two 20' pavilions and placed them over the drummers to try and keep them dry. And it rained and rained, and a few more people showed up to dance in the mud and rain, I ended up watching the fire (we had an awesome view) under JP's pavilion. During the times is stopped raining, I would run out and take some photos of the Fire, then run back under shelter. Being out in a field with lighting all around... well, yes I clucked like a chicken in safety. Someone came up to me, and asked why I hadn't smudged the circle before the fire, I thought, "Don't put this on me", but wondered why I hadn't? I wondered why the drummers didn't pick up the pace when told,... why the Dancers didn't put more bounce into their step... why the energy didn't reach the area's that it should have. But ya know what, it didn't matter. It was just different, not good nor bad, but more like... well... Starwood...Where you can't use your powers of expectations, where change is faster than light, where you learn to use the wonderful memories to overpower the not so wonderful memories. That's Starwood. Its what its all about.

So my overall sight on Starwood...? It was the best Starwood that I had been to as of yet. Starwood keeps getting better, it keeps changing, and Daniella, my two daughters Tara and Tia, and I, will keep going. We will keep going because we want to learn at an accelerated pace, because there are so many people that we love and care about there, and because you can't find anything like this for the money anywhere... period!

So thank you all who participated in Starwood 2002. And thank you ACE and all of the Chameleons who worked so hard to get Starwood off the ground and for flying it so well for all of us passengers. Thank you Frank and Darlene and their staff who had to put up with us, and still smile. And thank you Brushwood Land... for your softness as we walked about barefoot, for the standing ones (Trees) that have made their journey to the next step in the Fire, to the animals that watched our strangeness as we walked the learning journey, and to the Ancestors, whom I'm sure got a chuckle out of us and our antics.

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 ACE: Visit the A.C.E. Website on the world wide web.

Article Specs

Article ID: 4625

VoxAcct: 13651

Section: festivals

Age Group: Adult

Days Up: 6,274

Times Read: 9,584


Don Waterhawk

Location: Fort Myers, Florida


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