The Wiccan/Pagan Community Grows Up
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Article ID: 15015
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 1,833
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Author: Douglas Helvie
Posted: August 12th. 2012
Times Viewed: 2,948
I am writing this long overdue complimentary essay about the joy I have had over the last hand full of years while watching our eastern, N.C. magickal community truly come together. Since 2003, the Eternal Harvest Church of Wicca has been sponsoring Pagan/Wiccan gatherings with the initial and currently ongoing help of our sister covens Coven of The Harvest Moon in Washington, NC and the once operating Coven of The Eternal Mystery in Greenville, NC.
What started out as fairly small gatherings -- with the exception of our very first one in Richlands, NC which was called Shadowfest that had around 75-100 attendees -- we have grown to such a degree that we can no longer host the gatherings now known as Mayfaire held around the 1st-2nd weekend in May each year and Shadowharvest held around the 1st weekend in Nov. We now hold them at another equally beautiful Pagan/Wiccan site in Washington, NC called Whispering Pines, collectively owned by Lady Clayfeather and her sister and coven member Luna.
Not only do the members of our particular church and tradition come together and make these events joyous, the collective enthusiasm of the other wonderful people who come from around the state (and from out of state) put energy into helping us to see an increased level of success. When people come to our gatherings, they literally line up to help out with some voluntary duties and there is always good energy that comes from this as well as the sense that real community is being built and rebuilt with each event that takes place.
But what is equally rewarding is to see the heart and soul of the various people and groups that have come out to our various homes and land to help prepare for these gatherings sometimes months in advance. There have been people doing work at Whispering Pines virtually since its creation. It really helps the land owners to know there is a pool of devoted men and women who actually look forward to coming out and getting a little dirty to help make the area truly ready for each gathering that takes place. I wish I had the space to thank everyone that has been a great help to the development of these gatherings and the community in general, however space and regretfully in some interest privacy of the individuals, won't allow that so much. But in brief I will thank, Coven Of The Harvest Moon in Washington, NC lead by Lady Clayfeather Coven Of The Harvest Crossroads in Jacksonville, NC lead by Lord Spanish Moss and Priestess Thalia Imbolc, Coven Of The Ancient Harvest here in Ernul, NC lead by myself and my wife Lady Greenflame, as well as the various groups from around the area, such as our Druid friends from Pamlico Co and our other sponsoring groups from Wilson, NC and Greenville, NC.
When we have people from other parts of the country come to our gatherings we are literally amazed at how well we do all get along. Now we are not perfect, nothing is, but we seem to have found the nice line between respecting our individual paths to divinity and our traditions without having to feel threatened by the differences that may show up. And by golly, we have a lot of fun in doing so.
We have in the last few years been so successful with our gatherings that we have been able to invited Pagan luminaries from other parts of the country. Pagan author, Peter Paddon, with his wonderful wife Linda Magister, and Mistress of the Coven Of The Briar Rose in California, have attended our festivals.
An equally wonderful trend has been the ability of our gatherings to support Pagan/Wiccan vendors and who have generously sponsored our gatherings for at least the last handful of years. Some of those vendors/stores are Sojourners of Greenville, NC. operated by Michelle Jenkins and Truly Unique of Wilson, NC operated by Kay Soto along with her devoted husband, Osvaldo. And a nice secondary accomplishment is that these businesses that have been closely associated with our collective efforts have themselves enjoyed extra success by having training classes at their establishments throughout the year.
Some of the recent classes being one on sacred Sound being taught by Mermaid Morrigan of Sednas Eternal Grove of Surf City, NC which was taught at Truly Unique in Wilson, NC. Followed approximately one week latter by two classes taught by the Pagan author Miles Batty at the Sojourners in Greenville, NC. I will also note that both these stores have themselves sponsored such luminaries as Phaedra Bonewits at Truly Unique and Christopher Penzcak having done a weekend seminar at the Sojourner store in Greenvile, NC. as recently as last year.
Now don't get me wrong; this is not meant to be considered bragging; I am just speaking from a point of view that has come from many years of seeing a lot of ego based dysfunction in the greater U.S. Pagan/Wiccan community. It is refreshing to see some instances when it can finally come together and work. But, always remember, for a family to grow takes work, love and patience. Without any of the above-mentioned things, nothing can flourish.
And of course, there is our church here in Ernul that also enjoys the rewards of such collective spiritual prosperity, and that is why I write this today. After so my years of watching Pagan/Wiccan leaders around the U.S jockey for position, it is nice to see that, at least in this part of the woods, our collective efforts are really manifesting the kind of fruit that is a joy to see and wonderful to encourage.
Eastern North Carolina
Location: New Bern /Bridgeton, North Carolina
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