Pagan Event Reviews
Year: 2014 ...
Beltania Festival (Florence, Colorado)
Summerland Spirit Festival 2013
Year: 2013 ...
Sacred Space Conference
Sacred Space Conference 2013
Houston Pagan Conference 2013
Free Spirit Gathering 2013: Many Paths
2013 Midwest Witches "Steampunk" Ball
Year: 2012 ...
Between the Worlds: An Interfaith Esoteric Conference
Sirius Rising & Summerfest 2012
Starwood 32--Review by Oberon Zell
Why Celebrate International Pagan Coming Out Day?
Spring Mysteries Festival XXVII
Celebrating 20 Years: St. Louis Pagan Picnic Reaches a Milestone
Summer Solstice Ritual, SF Ocean Beach
Summerland Spirit Festival 2012
Toon Town’s Pagan Summer Fest: A Ten Year Long Dream
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)
Sacred Space Celebrates Twenty-one Years!
The New Orleans Witches' Ball
"New Fire in Deep Winter: Oimelc in Minnesota"
St. Louis Pagan Picnic
Celebration of the Divine Feminine and Religious Freedom
Summerland Spirit Festival 2011: The Initiation of a Community
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
Toon Town's Pagan Summer Fest.
Sacred Harvest Festival 2008
The Land Institute Prairie Festival 2008
Sacred Harvest Festival 2008; The Fool's Journey, Breaking the Hermetic Seal
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
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
Toronto Pagan Conference
Canadian National Pagan Conference
Sirius Rising 2006
Rally for Religious Freedom
Brazilian Mabon Celebration in Săo Paulo
Chesapeake Pagan Community Gathering: Dancing with Devas 2006
WitchFest Wales, 2006
Pagan Pride Day - Metro Detroit
Rochester Pagan Pride Day
The 2006 Between the Worlds Men's Gathering
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
Spirit's Haven in the Woods
Inner Mysteries Intensive with Janet Farrar and Gavin Bone
People of Beauty, People of Peace: CPC Summer Gathering 2005
Mid-Atlantic Pagan Alliance’s Wicked Awesome Lugh Beach Party
WES Raises Funds for Katrina Victims
Adirondack Pagan Pride Day
The 2005 Between The Worlds Men's Gathering
WytcheHaven Weekend 2
Midsummer's Haven in the Woods
NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.
Summerland Spirit Festival 2012
Article ID: 15154
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 576
Times Read: 1,934
RSS Views: 12,348
Author: Summerland Spirit Fest [a WitchVox Sponsor]
Posted: August 12th. 2012
Times Viewed: 1,934
Sponsored by: Summerland Spirit Circle
Location: Clayton, WI
Event Date(s): July 14 - 22
Summerland Spirit Festival 2012: Making Connections
The first words that come to mind in thinking about this years’ festival are ‘blissed out’. Each day seemed to unroll before me with an almost timeless quality and often felt somewhat suspended in an unending haze of blue sky and friendly faces. The difference in weather from last year to this year was so vast as to seem a gift from the Gods. Even though the weather was hot and humid, it was not unbearable and the creek was utilized even more than before as a place to cool down, unwind, and connect with fellow attendees. Overall it was an incredible treat to be able to experience the property and the people of Summerland at what I would call a ‘leisurely pace’, that it was hard to leave and reenter ordinary time.
The People: Fellowship and Comradery
This being our second year of Summerland Festival, there are a few things I would like to note. First of all, it has been disclosed to me that almost half of the participants were new to this community and half of those people had never been to a festival before, ever. This is remarkable in the sense that Summerland reached out to a completely new audience and provided them with a welcoming community environment that was inclusive, friendly, and grounded. As a new organization, the ability to attract so many new comers shows a level of success that can only grow and continue to blossom.
The other thing I would like to share is a story given to me by two festival participants. I was told that on the day they arrived, registration knew exactly who they were, addressed them by name, and they received immediate assistance in unloading and setting up their vendor space. This was remarkable to these two women because this was only the second festival they had ever attended and the experience of it was in stark contrast to the clique behavior and disregard they had experienced earlier in the Summer at a different event.
It seemed that every time I turned around I was hearing stories about new connections, how welcomed people felt and how amazing it was to have the space provided in order to connect, socialize and just be present.
For myself, I had the opportunity to connect with so many amazing and talented individuals, that to pinpoint one conversation, one afternoon, one moment in time is next to impossible. There were so many discussions, play, light heartedness, and most importantly, laughter, that a part of me is still savoring the experience.
Special Appearances By: A Talented Trifecta
It was a huge treat to have Macha at the fest this year. She is a remarkable woman who possesses an amazing amount of knowledge regarding pagan ways and wisdom. As a representative of Cherry Hill Seminary, a school devoted to educating pagan ministry, she presented several workshops on pagan elders, the interfaith movement, and creating lasting pagan institutions. Her teachings added to the overall culture of higher learning and social standards that Summerland seeks to nurture and cultivate.
Murphy’s Midnight Rounders is an upbeat group with a sense of humor and captivating lyrical style. Having fun is one of the themes of the Summerland culture that Murphy’s delivers, no holds barred. Wednesday is generally the day when everyone starts to feel the affect of camping, lack of sleep, and the outdoor conditions. Their performance set the stage for an evening of shenanigans and brought new energy to the midweek slump.
Brian Henke performed on stage, in ritual and around the fire. His guitar licks added new ambiance and dimension to each situation creating a musical experience like no other. As a musician who has had radio play and has been featured at many festivals, it was a pleasure to interact with someone as approachable and down to earth as he was.
For Whom the Bell Tolls: Meals and Bears
Summerland offers a meal plan; this year it was three squares a day that included fresh fruit and a salad bar. The timing of workshops centers on the meals, and a large bell tower keeps the time. Bells will ring at the start of a meal, workshop, or ritual and are also the primary warning system should some crisis or disaster befall the festival.
There are two reasons why I highly suggest that when you register for fest, you should definitely get the meal plan. First of all, eating together creates an opportunity to bond with your fellow participants. Three times a day you are handed the time and space to have a shared experience with people you may not otherwise connect with. Food in almost every culture is used to foster bonding and getting to know one’s neighbors. This is also the time when announcements and other important information are relayed to the attendees. At Summerland, ‘what’s happening’ is ‘what’s for dinner’ and everyone feels fed on multiple levels.
Secondly, Summerland is held on a property that is slightly wild. When you come to festival it’s very, very, and I mean very important that you understand there are bears on the property. Food at your campsite may attract unwanted attention from our wild neighbors, and no one wants a review entitled ‘When Bears Collide’. That being said, I will note that we only had one bear encounter this year. If you hear the ‘Tales of Tarpage’ know that what is hysterical and exaggerated in the telling actually only amounted to noises in the woods and firecrackers to scare the beast away.
Entering Sacred Space: The Landscape of the Divine
One big change from last year is the ritual circle was moved to a central location on the property. This puts the magical workings of the festival at front and center as well as making ritual more accessible to those with physical limitations. As much as I would love to describe it to you, some things are best witnessed than heard secondhand. I will tell you however, that because the property is in a valley, every night at dusk, mist would roll in and cloak the ritual circle in natural mystique.
Imagine, dusk, you have your ritual garb on, the tiki torches are lit, the temperature begins to drop and mist begins to spread its fingers, enveloping you and your fellows. It’s as if the very land knows its time for magic to happen so it assists in the hush and expectation. As you process into circle, the mists begin to part, revealing the central fire that is the hearth of Summerland.
The rituals this year included an opening and closing, honoring transformation, a vision quest, men’s and women’s ritual, and connecting with primal elements. Rather than critique each one, let me leave you with this thought: Summerland rituals are intended to be an interactive playground of mystical energies. Come, play, experience and transcend.
A Slice of Idyllic: Experiencing the land
On the final day of the festival, I was the last person to leave. I had gone into town for pizza and beer and had a picnic on the para-docks, to simply watch and listen to the creek as it gently ambled by. There was a hush that had come over the property, as if Summerland were an entity and it was having its last breath before settling in to slumber until next years incarnation. I was filled with a sense of peace and gratitude that I was able to witness a moment of stillness and serenity.
It was very hard to leave. Part of me wanted to pitch my tent again, food or no, friends or no, bears or no. None of those things mattered. In fact, as I sat taking in the green beauty that is the lushness of this land, the only thing that truly mattered was being in the moment. The 9 days I had just experienced had been filled, to overflowing, with wonder, amazement and pure fun. In those last hours that flowing ebbed into a knowing that this last sip of bliss would be crystallized in my memory and carry me through the turn of the wheel until the merry part became merry meet again.
And so I say to you, Bliss-ed Be.
Copyright: exclusive rights to Summerland Spirit Circle
Summerland Spirit Fest
Location: St. Paul, Minnesota
Bio: Briana Crusan
Summerland Spirit Circle
Director of Marketing and Outreach
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