Central Vermont Lughnasadh Festival
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Article ID: 11944
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 2,081
Times Read: 3,753
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Author: True Pagan Warrior
Posted: October 7th. 2007
Times Viewed: 3,753
Sponsored by: Laurelin Community
Location: Bethel, VT
Event Date(s): 7/25/07 - 7/29/07
I arrived for the Laurelin Lughnasad Festival a day early, as I had agreed to be one of the Village Builders. There work was plentiful, though not backbreaking when performed by many hands. Though some of the tasks were profane (such as moving the portapotties into place), others were important sacred tasks (like preparing the ritual fire circle for dancing).
Once the gate was completed for the festival, we were formally welcomed and purified, and asked to place our intentions on ribbons that we tied to the arch that each participant passed through.
Laurelin is, above all else, a community, and many of the activities emphasized this. We added objects and energy to the community cauldron, ate meals together, and regaled each other with songs, jokes and skits at the Bardic Circle.
Members of the Hellenic group DaitalÍs led us on a procession through the woods to honor the Greek gods, as well as the nymphs, at various shrines on the land. We worked in bracing waters to deepen a pool in the woods.
We welcomed the harvest moon under the guidance of the Ravenswood coven. Using skeins of yarn left over from making bracelets for festivals past, we wove a meditation chamber in the luminal space between forest and field.
The days also included workshops and discussion groups on varied subjects, including the nature of snake energy, the role of the Pagan community in helping each of us survive personal crisis, and working with spirits of place.
DaitalÍs offered an ancient Greek interpretation of Peter and the Rabbit, and Cross Quarters wove the threads of their music so tightly together that the very skies were torn asunder, ushering in the only significant rain during the event.
I was particularly moved by the ritual combat between the Old and Young Gods, as an actual father and son fought it with flaming swords.
This event was small and intimate enough for me to appreciate the meaning of community on deeper levels. I learned what a powerful thing it can be to have a supportive environment for the rearing of Pagan children. Most kids of Pagan parents that Iíve known have only paid lip service to those beliefs, coming into their own only later.
These kids were different, and Iím sure itís because more than one or two adults supported them as they grew up in this faith community. It has bolstered my faith in our ability to perpetuate our beliefs.
Throughout the festival our hosts strengthened the fibers of community. Kirk White is a bottomless well of knowledge and creativity, and an appropriate host whether he is welcoming the spirits and gods in the opening ritual, or directing the broom races and pudding feeding contest during the Lughnasad Games.
His wife Amy worked tirelessly to keep us fed and somehow had enough time left over to participate in and lead discussions.
We celebrated twenty-five years of activities at Laurelin, and twenty years since the founding of the Church of the Sacred Earth: A Union of Pagan Congregations, with a particularly tasty fireside birthday cake.
I hope to be eating many more cakes at many more Lughnasad Festivals at Laurelin.
True Pagan Warrior
Location: New Paltz, New York
Author's Profile: To learn more about True Pagan Warrior - Click HERE
Bio: Terence P Ward is a Gaiaped, or sacred backpacker, living in New Paltz, New York.
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