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Okanagan Valley Pagan Pride Review

Pagan Pride: Suncoast

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NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.

Sirius Rising 2003

Author: Don Waterhawk [a WitchVox Sponsor]
Posted: August 3rd. 2003
Times Viewed: 10,814
Sponsored by: Brushwood Folklore Center
Location: Sherman, Western NY
Event Date(s): July 14-20, 2003
Attendance: 1200

What a trip Daniella and I had, getting to Brushwood this year. We arrived 3 days late (blew our transmission=$2500..ka ching), stayed in crappy hotels till it was fixed, but made it nonetheless. Pulled into Brushwood and was warmly greeted by Theresa & Darlene Barney (owners) and a whole slew of wonderful people that we only get to see once a year. All info/registration stuff were in an envelope for us ready to be signed, and then down to the field we went. And at the field it was in full swing.....driving by the Stone Circle, we saw the morning meeting in progress with a large group of people ( thanks to those that facilitated in our place), children running around the pool area and colors and sounds that you can only hear when one is at Brushwood. Because of our late arrival, it was a different perspective for us to drive onto Brushwood's fields. The "City" was already built and I missed watching the village come alive little by little. Our site area was saved for us by friends, and as it had always been for the past 4 years, it was next to what used to be JP's spot. Though we may have occupied various locales we always camped next to JP. A memorial pavilion had been set up with JP's chair, cooler, ashtray and Leopard faux skin draped over the chair. A picture of JP hung on one of the torches with a beautiful memorial written by Cate and Jessie Dalton. Made us happy to be next to him again.

The weather was great, not to cold, but not hot enough for us Floridians. It rained earlier during the week, it poured down on the people. But all dried out and Sirius Rising rose from the Spirits of the People to shine with the Sun. We got to begin facilitating the morning meetings and wanted to note here how much we enjoy gathering at the start of the day with people within the Sirius community. There is a magick that ripples out from these meetings that spreads throughout the festival. This time spent at 10am, was a wonderful way to meet with other peoples spirit. Thursday was filled with workshops and music as was all the days of Sirius. Thursday was also the day our daughter, Tia, was picked up in Buffalo by Frankie and Bruce, thank you two for bringing her to Brushwood. Hadn't seen her since Yule of last year.

Thursday early evening held a tribute to JP at the Sirius Bonfire Circle, a sunset toast. A huge, many ton rock was brought in place within the circle of Stones, a memorial for JP. A pair of red suspenders were placed on it among other items to Honor JP. Don't know how many people showed up....a lot though. Many a teary eye, many happy memories were shared with all. It was moving, it was shining, it was good to know that there was a close knit group of family friends within the circle. It eased all of our insecurities a bit, I think. I see a lot of people come into the festival settings to find things in their spirit that are missing in the outside is a true sense of family, or what one wants family to be more like. We all search for things like that, when we go to different places, when we come into contact with different people, when we walk around different settings. So I would say this then, you can find much of what you may be looking for here at Sirius Rising. And each year it gets stronger, each year there are more people, and each year one can hardly wait for the next year. Its good to see that the strength of the Sirius community continually grows. Then, after the toast, people went over to the Cosmic Cotillion to take part in an auction to raise money for "Americans United for Separation of Church and State", over $1200 was collected. The auction was facilitated by our very own Witchvox Babe of Babes, Peg Aloi, and Bruce. (hey Bruce, when you look as good as Peg does, we would give you the title "Babe of Babes" too.) Then at 10 pm, the band "Stardust Outlaws" brought down the house with their electrifying music.

The workshops were once again great, with more and more choices on what to do. The variety of learning is next to "Starwoods" list of workshops. A large emphasis is placed on the children and the programs they have to chose from. Daniella and I were some of the judges this year for the Children's Costume party, and much of the work was done by Flame Ravenhawk. Thank you for doing such a great job in making the children have a great time. And for showing and giving us the feeling of something that we sometimes forget, our child within. And going with that, thank you Daveed Korup for your, always free, soundscape area and Gong Garden......damn, I love going to his place.

Friday was another day of music, learning, meeting and greeting people, and just plain having a good time with good people. The drumming throughout the week is what has made Brushwood famous around the country for. The Digdedome was not to be missed, thank you Jason. Friday night concert was Green Crown and Blue Halo. Blue Halo was great with their shadow dancing and beautiful harmonies. It becomes a rockin down the house at times here at Sirius.

Saturday held a bit of sadness, it was the thought that the time at Sirius was coming to an end. Damn....why do good times move so fast. A nice day.....drums heard from different places and times....beautiful skyscapes moving across the horizon, and the constant feeling of good friends all around. The children's parade was a smashing hit with the annual tractor ride through the festival in all it's colorful glory. It was topped off by the amazing sounds of the festivals musicians and drummers. Everyone loves the parade and all activity stops as the parade passes by... Daniella and I were invited to the JP memorial dinner, so we closed up shop. I grabbed my red chopsticks and headed off to Frank and Cates place across the field. A couple of things that I had wrong in my mind before I got there. One, it was not just a few people I had expected, but there were 179 people to be exact, and it was not a "dinner", but a huge banquet. The food was bought by JP's dad John. And prepared by a handful of wonderful people facilitated by Cate Dalton, Peg Aloi and Lilith Dorsey for......179 hungry a field? What a wonderful time it was. Ya gotta really love this community's energy here at Sirius. We could hear the concert at the main pavilion in full swing, first BuddaHood, then 12/8 Path Band. We knew that when the concert ended, the band would lead the procession of 1,000 people up to the Main Ritual area. Daniella and I readied for the Main ritual, and the lighting of the bonfire.

A bit about the Bonfires at Brushwood: When we had arrived at Brushwood, we were amazed to see that not only was the Sirius Bonfire already built, but so was the Starwood Bonfire. Normally we see the Firetrybe working all week at both festivals building the sculptures of wood that would eventually be the bonfires food. But these young men and women came to Brushwood early before the festivals began and built both fires. I cannot tell you how proud I am to know this Clan of Firetenders. And I walk towards them with a great amount of Honor, Respect and Gratitude, for the work they do for the communities of Brushwood. Thank you All, for all you do for the people. The Fire that night was nothing short of wonderful. Thank you Standing Ones for your gift.

So Sunday rolled around, and you could hear the sound of people tearing down, packing up to leave on their journey home. It was sad to see so many friends leave, both merchants and attendees. Darlene stated that 789 people left Sirius on Sunday. That left a lot of room for the Starwood crowd. My thanks goes to all the people that made this event happen. Frank and Darlene, Theresa and David, landowners, who without them, there would be no festival...period. They are without a doubt, the finest sponsors of any festival in the country to date. Their care, understanding and generosity for the community is simply incredible. Thank you so much. Cate and Frank, Jessie and Frankie, for their work, generosity, work, work and more this family does it is beyond me. I trust that one day you will right a book on how a family is supposed to be. Thank you.! To Linda and Gene Rowand, the number of times you have poured water for the people in the than amazing. Thank you for what you do for the people. To Andy, Penny, Ravenhawk, Jo, Madonna, Angela, Holly, Stoch, Verconica, Margo, and Joy....thank you so much for walking the path with your knowledge for the Children. It is what this is all about.....the Future. There so many people I would love to thank for the running of this festival, but there is not enough room here for all the names. Please know that within the hearts of all the community of Sirius Rising, you are thanked for all the work you do to make this a great festival. And especially the bathroom cleaner uppers... rating for this Festival.....definite 4 Star.....Beautiful land, incredible Community, 2 ponds, swimming pool, hot tubs, restaurant (Phil's Grill and the Blue Lady), coffee house (Java Junction), Smoothie and Juice bar, Bar, Hardware store, two shower areas, and the most important of all.........a Community that you will be proud to be a part of! In the Realm of the Sacred Circle

Don and Daniella WaterHawk

Related Links/Information...

Web: Brushwood Folklore Center -
Web: Daveed Korup -
Web: -
Photo Credits: Don WaterHawk -

Article Specs

Article ID: 6649

VoxAcct: 13651

Section: festivals

Age Group: Adult

Days Up: 5,924

Times Read: 10,814


Don Waterhawk

Location: Fort Myers, Florida


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