Your browser does not support script
TWV Presents...



Pagan Event Reviews

[Show all]


Views: 2,428,421


Year: 2014 ...

Sacred Space Conference

Sacred Space 2014 Conference

Beltania Festival (Florence, Colorado)

Beltania 2014: A Year of Firsts!

Summerland Spirit Festival 2013

Recharge and Renew Retreat with Sylvia Brallier


Year: 2013 ...

Sacred Space Conference

Sacred Space Conference 2013

Houston Pagan Conference 2013

Free Spirit Gathering 2013: Many Paths

Harvest Gathering

2013 Midwest Witches "Steampunk" Ball


Year: 2012 ...

Between the Worlds: An Interfaith Esoteric Conference

Sirius Rising & Summerfest 2012

Starwood 32--Review by Oberon Zell

Spring Mysteries Festival XXVII

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

Summerland Spirit Festival 2012

Mabon with Blackberry Circle

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

NorthWest Fall Equinox Festival (NWFEF) 2012 (Review)

Michigan Midwest Bazaar and Witches Ball


Year: 2011 ...

Starwood Festival 2011 (A Review by Oberon Zell)

Starwood 2011

Sacred Space Celebrates Twenty-one Years!

The New Orleans Witches' Ball

St. Louis Pagan Picnic

Celebration of the Divine Feminine and Religious Freedom

2011 Midwest Witches Ball and Bazaar

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


Year: 2010 ...

Sacred Space Conference

Review: Sirius Rising

Free Spirit Gathering

43rd Annual Gathering of the Tribes

Summerfest 2010 (Festival Review)

Midwest Witches' Ball 2010


Year: 2008 ...

The Sacred Space Conference and Winterfest Banquet

The Land Institute Prairie Festival 2008


Year: 2007 ...

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

Sirius Rising 2007: Making Connections

The 12th Annual Halloween Festival London UK

Starwood 2007

Louisville Pagan Pride Day

Central Vermont Lughnasadh Festival

2nd Annual Children's Camp


Year: 2006 ...

Harvest Home Gathering 2006 (picts added Oct. 18)

Southeast Women's Herbal Conference

Canadian National Pagan Conference

Toronto Pagan Conference

Sirius Rising 2006

Brazilian Mabon Celebration in Săo Paulo

Chesapeake Pagan Community Gathering: Dancing with Devas 2006

WitchFest Wales, 2006

Pagan Pride Day - Metro Detroit

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

Pictures from New Orleans

Sirius Rising 2005: Restoring the Balance

Harvest Home 2005: Magick, Imagination, and Love

Inner Mysteries Intensive with Janet Farrar and Gavin Bone

Spirit's Haven in the Woods

Pagan Bazaar

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

WES Raises Funds for Katrina Victims

Midsummer's Haven in the Woods

Annual Spiritual Awareness Celebration

Okanagan Pagan Pride Day 2005


Year: 2004 ...

Between the Worlds: A Grand Magickal Congress

Starfest 2004

Sirius Rising 2004

My Journey to Gaia's Womb

Starwood 2004 (1)

The 3rd Annual OHF Spring Gala

Sun Stave Circle Beltane

Starwood 2004 (2)

The 2004 DC Pagan Pride Week

Salt Lake Pagan Pride 2004


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










The Return Home: A Journey Through the Harvest Home Gathering

Author:
Posted: September 24th. 2004
Times Viewed: 3,512
Location: Madison, CT
Event Date(s): September 17-19, 2004

Milling about in anticipation of the start of the weekend, I stood listening to bits of reunion conversations as Pagans met their brethren from other gatherings. With Hurricane Ivan's presence looming in the distance we each wished for another dry hour. After a short time, Sean the Bard stepped forth and his baritone voice called us to the procession. Large torchbearers lit the way, and drummers laid a path of Magick as we snaked through the wood and field on our way to leaving the mundane world behind. As we walked, the tight skin of our daily lives cracked and loosened, letting the energies around us seep in. With the torchlight radiating against a jet-black sky, I felt like we were being lead to an invisible veil, through which only our purest selves could pass. Across the field we bowed low into an opening in the wall of trees and re-entered a Magickal wood. Ahead I could see the bonfire, and as I approached the archway to be smudged my eyes welled up with tears. I was coming home.

I hadn't been to a Pagan gathering in over two years. In that time I had become afraid of being around Pagans who judged others for what they did, who they knew, or what new magickal concept they'd mastered. In short, I was afraid of being real and getting hurt. My coven mate assured me that if I felt lonely or unsure at any point he would come stay with me until I felt better. So months after registering for HHG we drove to Camp Laurelwood in Madison, Connecticut, and I tried to leave my fears behind.

At the fire circle that first night I began my journey to discover a family of what the Irish call Anam Cara. Anam Cara means "soul friend" in Gaelic. Layers of cynicism and fear fell away each time I was rendered dumbstruck by the deep love and humility of the people around me. Every experience added to the connection, and the belief that we all have a spiritual family in each other. We just have to open up and feel it.

The opening ritual was powerful, conveying the message of sacrifice as the God danced before us, celebrating the last of his ebbing light. He accepted his fate by being sacrificed to the land, to feed the seeds of life. We were drawn in by the natural flow of the rite; it's participants authentically bringing both the elemental and divine energies into our hearts. We danced, chanted and raised energy to launch ourselves into the weekend. Following this rite were classes offered by nine of the twenty speakers present. I left the fire circle a bit dazed by all the energy and stumbled to my first class, held in a small cabin, where I came face to face with the shocking realization that I had just danced in circle with Margot Adler. This is an example of how powerfully real the entire gathering was for me.

Classes were small and intimate, taught in cabin-sized buildings. In this environment, it was easy to find these amazing teachers who revealed themselves as both passionate and human. Lon Milo Duquette enchanted his students with Enochian Evocations that carried us so gently into the astral that I couldn't tell when I left or when I returned. I only knew that I was having a once-in-a-lifetime experience worth treasuring. Andras Arthen regaled us with both history and stories of Scottish Pagan traditions, weaving the present and the past into a marvelous work of authenticity. Azrael and Amber K taught down-to-earth lessons of the Goddess. The most memorable lesson that Azrael taught me though, was the heart-touching love that she has for both teaching, and her partner Amber. In a class on the Return of the Sidhe, Tom Cowan's students learned both about the energies of these magickal beings, and also about the power of nature as Ivan's winds ripped through tree branches and forced Tom to yell over the rain as it pummeled the roof of the Nature Hut. We all stopped short several times through the class as the winds threatened to tear off the doors.

Though we were rain-soaked for most of the day, by Saturday night's Dionysian Feast we were dry and happy. With wine, food, and song we laughed and exchanged our newly acquired knowledge. After dinner, Andras and Dierdre Arthen's songs opened our hearts, and then tickled them like a loving parent tickles a child. They reminded us of the power of love and to not take ourselves too seriously. With full bodies and hearts we gathered in the rec hall to enjoy the humor of Marion Weinstein and the powerful music of Kiva. The concert that night carried me into a state where I was open and ready for Rev. Dorsey's Ritual for the Ancestors at the Fire Circle. With my bare feet caressed by the peat moss laid down around the fire, the drumbeat pushed it's way into my bones. Cutting through the haze of energy, Lilith's call to let go and let it out drew me into the current. There was no denying that we were dancing with the ancestors that night. As the fire warmed our bodies, the drums and shouts of the dancers pushed at me to be transformed by the will of my loved ones. I danced until the energy ebbed out of me, and then retreated to a cozy spot to sink into the comfort of this sacred place.

In the chill of Sunday morning, I awoke after four hours of sleep remembering the bliss of magickal energies carrying me when physical ones gave out. I opted to mill around with my newfound spiritual sisters rather than attend the classes offered that day. My coven mate, who diligently attended as many as he could, returned with a smile to report that he was very satisfied with what he learned. We ate a hot brunch that day, and I shopped through the vendors' tents with a hot cup of espresso in hand. Though the dining hall didn't offer fresh brewed coffee, java master Steve became our God of the Morning in Temple Caffiena. Folding chairs set up around the entrance to his tent became a coffee house al fresco, and many lingered there over their cup sharing stories as well as silent connections.

An organized amalgam of experiences, the Harvest Home Gathering offered something for every Pagan, no matter what their taste or mood. Well-known authors and leaders taught each genre. The energies of this gathering were pure and simple. It was dramatic when the time called for it, and humble and earthy when not. This camp was a perfect place to hold a Pagan gathering. The food was wonderful, the layout intuitive, and the scheduling of events easily manageable. Though it rained, most people agreed that Ivan had heard our pleas, and compressed himself to as small a time as possible. The mornings and evenings were chilly, but being inside during classes and having hot food helped a lot. The staff was warm and helpful, and took their responsibilities seriously.

The entire camp took on an Avalonian feel as the weekend drew to a close. We were called once again to Circle by a powerful drumbeat, and held hands to reinforce the loving community that we had each just built. I was bewilderingly sad as I walked back to my cabin to pack. I felt at odds with my adult self as the child within me cried to return to that place where everyone makes a space for you at the table, and smiles when they say hello. Real people gathered together to honor this harvest time, and celebrated our connection to each other and to the earth. I left behind the cynical adult, and returned with a more loving and recharged one. I am changed, and I like it.

IxChel Hathoor




Article Specs

Article ID: 8726

VoxAcct: 160573

Section: festivals

Age Group: Teen

Days Up: 3,631

Times Read: 3,512

ABOUT...



Location: , Massachusetts

Author's Profile: To learn more about - Click HERE




Other Listings: To view ALL of my listings: Click HERE




Email ... (No, I have NOT opted to receive Pagan Invites! Please do NOT send me anonymous invites to groups, sales and events.)

To send a private message to ...



Pagan Essays
1996-2014





Pagan Web
8,000 Links





Pagan Groups
Local Covens etc.





Pagan/Witch
80,000 Profiles














Home - TWV Logos - Email US - Privacy
News and Information

Chapters: Pagan/Heathen Basics - Pagan BOOKS - Traditions, Paths & Religions - Popular Pagan Holidays - TV & Movies - Cats of the Craft - Festival Reviews - Festival Tips - White Pages (Resources) - Issues/Concerns - West Memphis 3 - Witch Hunts - Pagan Protection Tips - Healing Planet Earth

Your Voices: Adult Essays - Young Pagan Essays - Pagan Perspectives (On Hold) - WitchWars: Fire in the Craft - Gay Pagan - Pagan Parenting - Military - Pagan Passages

Pagan Music: Pagan Musicians - Bardic Circle at WitchVox - Free Music from TWV

Vox Central: About TWV - Wren: Words, Wrants and Wramblings - Guest Rants - Past Surveys - A Quest for Unity

Weekly Updates: Click HERE for an index of our weekly updates for the past 6 years

W.O.T.W. - World-Wide Networking

Your Town: A Link to YOUR Area Page (The largest listing of Witches, Pagans, Heathens and Wiccans on the Planet)

VoxLinks: The Pagan Web: 8,000 Listings

Your Witchvox Account: Log in Now - Create New Account - Request New Password - Log in Problems

Personal Listings: Pagan Clergy in Your Town - Adult Pagans - Young Pagans - Military Pagans

Events: Circles, Gatherings, Workshops & Festivals

Covens/Groups/Orgs: Local Groups Main Page

Other LOCAL Resources: Local Shops - Regional Sites - Local Notices - Global/National Notices - Local Skills & Services - Local Egroups - Political Freedom Fighters

Pagan Shopping: Online Shops Index - Original Crafters Sites - Auction Sites - Pagan Wholesalers - Pagan Local Shops



Web Site Content (including: text - graphics - html - look & feel)
Copyright 1997-2014 The Witches' Voice Inc. All rights reserved
Note: Authors & Artists retain the copyright for their work(s) on this website.
Unauthorized reproduction without prior permission is a violation of copyright laws.

Website structure, evolution and php coding by Fritz Jung on a Macintosh G5.

Any and all personal political opinions expressed in the public listing sections (including, but not restricted to, personals, events, groups, shops, Wren’s Nest, etc.) are solely those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinion of The Witches’ Voice, Inc. TWV is a nonprofit, nonpartisan educational organization.

Sponsorship: Visit the Witches' Voice Sponsor Page for info on how you
can help support this Community Resource. Donations ARE Tax Deductible.
The Witches' Voice carries a 501(c)(3) certificate and a Federal Tax ID.

Mail Us: The Witches' Voice Inc., P.O. Box 341018, Tampa, Florida 33694-1018 U.S.A.
Witches, Pagans
of The World




Search Articles
1996-2014










 Current Topic
 Editorial Guide


NOTE: The essay on this page contains the writings and opinions of the listed author(s) and is not necessarily shared or endorsed by the Witches' Voice inc.

The Witches' Voice does not verify or attest to the historical accuracy contained in the content of this essay.

All WitchVox essays contain a valid email address, feel free to send your comments, thoughts or concerns directly to the listed author(s).