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.
Mabon with Blackberry Circle
Article ID: 15202
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 528
Times Read: 1,730
RSS Views: 12,422
Author: In Between
Posted: September 30th. 2012
Times Viewed: 1,730
Sponsored by: Blackberry Circle
Location: Conroe, TX
Event Date(s): Sept. 22, 2012
So, as the Fates would have it, with the shop opening and the need for networking, some friends and I happened upon Blackberry Circle.
When you go blindly into a community gathering, you really never know what you're getting into. I'm always up for meeting new people on the bright side, but on the other side, the crazy side, you have to worry about things like drama, showcase gurus, and a plethora of other weirdness.
I'm happy to say, this outing was not the case.
Now, the instructions were pretty good, but I am partial to my GPS. Through the combination, we drove out to Conroe, which is a bit north from Houston. The place was easy to find, frankly, when you have that kind of gathering at someone's personal home, really, all you have to do is look for the cars. And there were quite a few cars.
The gathering was about 40ish people - this apparently wasn't a largely advertised circle (I found it through the C.O.G. website, because I was interested in it and it showed that this particular group was trying to get ...a charter, I think?) . But the friends I had bought were skittish, and we entered in a closely-knit group.
I think that started to dissolve rather quickly. The gracious host coven and their more familiar regulars paid attention to new faces - greeting, meeting, introducing.
The circle in and of itself was not lead solely by a high priest or priestess. Everyone in the host coven had his or her part, and kindly, we were greeted to come into the circle, which was physically marked by fencing and, you guessed it, blackberry bushes. Both open, but closed, it was quite a large circle, roomy, and easily accommodating the large group of people.
The ritual itself was stylized Wiccan - instead of an open nemeton, it was the closed sphere that those that practice Wicca are used to.
On a personal note, I have a lot of respect for the kindly woman who both opened and closed the circle - one person to cover that many people and let it be felt, that was really cool. I can't help but crack a smile at the thought. I'm not so gifted that I can see auras or do past life regression - I believe firmly I have a sensitivity (stronger than some, not as strong as others) . I remember being a kid and playing a silly game where you placed your hand on someone's head and hit it with your fist, 'cracking an egg'. Then you would lightly wiggle your fingers and brush down their hair, and they could feel the sensation of 'egg trickling down their head'. The feeling that sneaks up on you when you hear really great music and it gives you goose bumps? That kind of feeling - knowing someone really was 'covering' 40-something people with the power of the people and their will. Totally cool.
If you're into magic and do it frequently, you know about 'raising the power'. Some people use chants, some people use a strict format, tapping into the power of the past usage of a rune or rhyme. The approach of this group was amusing for me - instead, they tapped the power of laughter and happiness.
The words 'mirth and reverence' come to mind. The gentleman leading the ritual stylized his narration, his pageantry if you will, in the flavor of a southern Baptist preacher. And he told the story of the Lord of Light and the Lord of Dark, and the Ladies of Light and Dark. The retelling is an old one, some referring them to the Oak and Holly king, (funny enough, with the joyous, playful catcalls coming from the circle. "Amen!" "Holly-lujah!" And other cracks abound) . But even in the play, the ancient story flooded the mind and filled the senses as the moon, both half light and half dark, hung over the proceedings.
Back to the mirth.... as cakes and ales consisted of Moon Pies (both chocolate and, yup, vanilla) and RC Cola (with profuse apologies to those who were about to experience diabetic shock) . The ritual came to a close, and the entire time, it was upbeat, playful, and swirling. Like a bunch of kids hopping into a summer pool party.
Feasting and fellowship followed, light by LED and glowy things. The food was great (I don't know who made the roast beast, but the flavor was excellent) , fruits, flesh, fresh breads - all sorts of wonderful things. I met some nice people, and hopefully, it opens doors for building friendships and being a part of the greater Houston pagan community.
Unfortunately, we had driven a ways, so we had to cut out early. We giggled all the way to the car as choruses of well-wishes, safe-journeys, and goodbyes came clearly through the darkness.
Thanks for the great times! Looking forward to Samhain!
Copyright: Material copyright the author, published at http://museofmorpheus.blogspot.com/?zx=1f6c1be45c152e50 originally. May be reused and redistributed with permission. Please email accordingly. firstname.lastname@example.org
Location: Houston, Texas
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