My Fifth Heartland. Yeah. No longer a newbie.
This was probably the chilliest Heartland of those 5 years. Thursday, Friday and Saturday were positively delightful for a heat hater like me. Unfortunately, some of this coolness came with rain, which was uncool. *grin*
Just love playing with words.
Thorik and I headed out Thursday afternoon, prally around 2pm. I still wanted to go by the Merc because I was needing conditioner. (I’ve been using Vinegar and didn’t want to use that out at Gaea at the risk of offending – or scaring people off with the smell. Plus, there may be people who are allergic.. LOL So, conditioner of the Organic kind was needed..)
(Why is it so hard to write this!?!? LOL – I started this back in May and am just now finishing up and it’s the first week of August. Still waiting on some ritual notes to come in, but dammit, it’s past time and I”m gonna run with it. The publish button will be hit today, 8-7-11)
We arrived and found camp. We had to wait on some people (a band?) who was unloading at a cabin, but we finally got to drive up the hill and find Summer and Owl’s camping location.
It was in the Pixie Sticks! How perfect! Close to the merchants and to the Pavilion.
We got everything unloaded, then I went to park the car (they wanted it out of the way) and finally started setting up the tent. *whew* It wasn’t TOOO hot, but all that activity did warm things up.
Barely got done before the opening ritual. Fortunately made it in time. It was titled “Commitment to Your Experience”
“Each year at Heartland, a new and unique community comes together, its people bringing their own distinct needs, desires, and values. As we open the festival and create the magical container that will hold our experience, we commit to seeking those things and making room for each other’s seeking also. We will open a connection to the land and imbue it with the intent to cultivate joy for ourselves and each other as we begin the grand exploration of possibilities before us.”
When we got there, they were handing out shakers (eggs with rice inside). We got to make lotsa noise. We opened a circle and enclosed the entire camp in it, to protect us throughout the weekend. It was powerful!
But then, the opening ritual ALWAYS is. Hell, ALL the rituals at HPF are unique experiences. I’m by no means an expert, but this being the 5th one, I think that is really impressive. I really have enjoyed all the learning opportunities at the Heartland Rituals. They have guests perform the rituals and that works out nicely, I think.
Then it was time for the Talent Show and dinner. There were some good people performing at the show and some very brave people. A lot of good energy was happening. A unique experience. I applaud everyone their bravery and talents!
After that, it was time for drummin and dancin. Yes, oh yes, truly the best part of the entire event. I danced for a while. Even got Thorik out there with me.. and then we went to bed so we could listen to the drums as we fell asleep. Perfect.
Friday morning, it was chilly, but I was excited! My first class wasn’t until after lunch, but it was drumming! Yes, I was very excited!
I had community service in the morning. I’d signed up for Safety (the choices were extremely limited this year. It was odd.) I arrived and they said they didn’t have anything, but they seemed to need help in the kitchens for breakfast. What luck!! I do dishes and in return, I get fed!! I met some amazing folks running the kitchen this year, from Fat Boys BBQ. Great people, delightful and some new friends! It was wonderful! I stopped in often throughout the event just to say hi!! (And sometimes for some coffee… LOL)
The morning went quickly and then it was time to go to my first class!
Drum, Voice, Spirit & the Circle presented by the Kansas City Drum Tribe. It was WONDERFUL! We learned so much. I was especially gratified to learn the “rules” and to have the rules explained to all the drummers around. (And it worked! Because of this class, people drumming didn’t.. mess up the heartbeat of the drums.. and it was delightful! All weekend long! I think the KC Drum Tribe needs to teach that class at every Heartland so that people don’t go off on their own tangents and break the rhythm.) And we learned rhythms and got to listen to exotic and simple rhythms. The lovely Catherine helped us newbies out by giving us signs that showed the rhythm.
Here’s an example I found online:
- Doum, a low tone, usually played with the right hand. Abbreviated D
- Tek, a high tone, usually played with the right hand. Abbreviated T
- tek, a quiet Tek. Abbreviated t
- Ka, sounds like Tek, played with left hand, abbreviated K
- ka, a quiet Ka, abbreviated k
Maybe she’ll have her real one that I can put up here! *crosses fingers*
Anyway, we learned rhythms, I watched hands. I tried to take pix but they were blurry.. LOL My silly phone. But the energies we created were amazing. The things we learned were perfect. And they even SHOWED us what happens when we do things that screw up the drumming.. see, the point of drumming (other than the delightful meditation it transports us to) is to make people dance.. The fire, the dancing and the drums. It isn’t just an experience, its a way of life!
Next was Chakra Cleansing and Balancing presented by Murphey’s Midnight Rounders. The day was perfect. It was not too hot and I was actually able to go to this class in the middle of the afternoon in the merchants area. I know I was meant to be there, and OMG. Wow. It was the most intense class of the entire weekend. The workshop was described as “Come learn about all seven of the main chakras in your body and how to cleanse each one of them. Keeping them in balance with each other is vital and we can teach you the best methods to do so.”
We started out with a nice discussion. There was a good gathering of people. The man in charge I got strong, deep energies from. He was powerful and I could feel it across the circle. We talked about the importance of cleansing our chakras. It was basically common sense, but some people prally were not aware. Then we were told to partner up. It had to be with someone we did NOT know. A young lady chose me. Had noticed her with her friends earlier and thought. They had made some good points during the discussion. Young but not fluffy. I like that. Anyway, we began by discovering our auras. Our spaces. Immediately, I could feel that her Heart Chakra was… hurt. I’m not sure how much I should share and of course, I don’t know why she was hurt. We never spoke of it. But there was a lot of energy going on and the teacher came over and said, whoa! And before the class was done, me pushing and he pulling energy, we began cleansing and healing her heart chakra. I was later informed that I have an “abundance” of energy and that I’m a healer. Wow. It was a confirming moment for me.
I know I shouldn’t need confirmation, but … sometimes I do. Sometimes I get scared. I know I have big things that I’m supposed to do and it’s scary. Last year at Heartland, I got my nudge (shove) and met Kali. Either way, it was an enlightening moment.
After that, I wandered back to the Pavilion. Thorik went to Fantasy and Fairy Art by Mickie Mueller. He was (and had been for a while) enthralled! My hubby, the artiste’ *grin* Mickie blogged about Heartland too! Here’s her experience, and there’s even a pix of my hubby in it!!
It warmed up a bit, so I just sat and read. I was not aware that there was anything else scheduled for the Pavilion that evening other than Big Bad Gina. Around 6ish, a lovely lady showed up and started doing stuff around the microphone. I was curious but not so much. There’s always activities going on so I thought nothing of it, and then I heard her say something about her presentation. I was like, hmmm.. (I was near the front row saving spots for Big Bad Gina.) I looked it up and found Bonds of the Heart (Adult Topic) in the book. Wow. The subtitle was “Alternative Sexual Energy Raising Technique” The booklet described the workshop as “As we push our own boundaries, we have opportunities to truly decide what we like and what we don’t like. This workshop explores the concept of “Skin Hunger” by discussing the amount of attention we give our bodies in our everyday lives, and in our sexual/sensual interactions. We will use rope to demonstrate some ways to wake up the body. Discussed will be the possibilities of power dynamics and elements of power play in order to raise energy and awareness in connection with self and others.”
hmm.. this kinda scared me. Thorik was off doing something, but.. I wasn’t sure what to do. Then, the lady running the workshop invited everyone to move into a semi circle around her. I stayed where I was, and it likely was the best decision I’ve made in my entire life. The workshop was intense and intriguing. It opened doors and windows and I learned so much stuff. All by accident. LOL Except there so such thing as accidents or coincidences. Thank you goddess and the universe!
Then, it was finally time for Big Bad Gina! YAY!! Let the screaming and dancing commence! They are SOOO amazing!!! LOVE LOVE LOVE!!
After the concert, I danced around the fire for a while and then we called it a night. I wanted to listen to the drums late into the night again. They really sounded SOO Much better this year, and I totally blame the KC Tribe! Their workshops helped people understand what NOT to do to mess up the drumming rhythms!
Woke up Saturday morning very excited. More drumming lessons today! The weather was still decent and I was thrilled! Hung around the pavilion when I wasn’t wandering around the merchant area and at noon was a Concert from the Kansas City Drum Tribe! Such fun!
After lunch, the Trance and Dance Grooves with Russell Buddy Helm began. Oh, I absolutely adore this man! He is the one who taught my first time and got me more and more comfortable with my drum. I’d been meaning to purchase his CD’s, but I never had any money. This year was different, and not only was I able to purchase his newest CD, he SIGNED It for me!!! *happy smile*
Anyway, the class was just as magnificent and helpful as it was last time. It was described simply as “learn to use drumming sacred grooves to manifest magic and create a new reality,” but it was so much more than that. This year he didn’t do the chakra energy at the end, but the magic and power that was built up just from chanting and drumming. His workshops are great for self-esteem, have excellent mantras, and include whimsical chants that feel good inside and out. It’s really not something you can explain, you must experience. Buddy has a lot of videos out there on youTube, on his Facebook page and I think there may even be a mailing list. He has traveled the world with his drum and has changed lives everyplace he has gone. It’s nice that it’s not strictly the pagan community he has touched either. Event though, he is a pagan, he has performed and helped Catholic nuns as well as other religious communities. Also, you must hear his stories about the burning tree and another about some dolphins. What an adventurous magical life this man leads! *grin* If you ever get a chance, you really must attend one of his workshops. Whether you are a drummer, experienced or inexperienced, not musically inclined or just curious, he will touch your heart and change your soul.
Whew. Okay. That was extraordinary and exquisite. No time for a break or grounding because, although I had originally planned on staying for The Structure of Spellcasting— Part 1 Magical Power by Deborah Lipp, but after the workshop by the presenters of Bonds of the Heart, I absolutely had to go experience “Fighting Only the Good Fight” with Christine and Orien LaPlante. These two are an amazing couple. They are both strong people who love each other passionately.. and also apparently fight with each other just as passionately. I guess they normally have a longer class with this topic, and they had to shorten into a smaller time-frame.
Fighting Only the Good Fight: Connection through Conscious Conflict – Description: Communication styles, personality types and social priorities are part of what make up the way a person is. Based on Emergence theories, this workshop is a day long exploration of personality types and methods of clear, meaningful communication and connection. Essentially, you will learn techniques to “fight better” and connect more quickly. This is NOT for couples only!! Learn to communicate better with your friends, co-workers, customers, etc… For couples who are interested…In your primary romantic relationships, you may find that you and your partner are perfectly paired in desires, parenting styles, dreams for life…but you may also be perfectly paired in your injuries and have an uncanny ability to “key” each other.
Thorik didn’t make it to the Fighting the Good Fight (dammit) but he did come for the Sex Magick with Kasey Carlson presenting.
“Many cultures/spiritual paths teach sex is sacred, magickal, transformative. Discussions included sexual traditions, philosophies,
methods from many world traditions. Learn ways to create sexual rites, spells and simple Tantric techniques improving health, harmony, relationships. Appropriate for singles, couples, polygroups.”
Living in Two Worlds was the Saturday Main Ritual Circle, which was described as:
“We experience two worlds every moment of every day: the magickal and the mundane. But do we truly understand the difference
between them? Where are the boundaries, and how and when should we cross them?
Do we know when we are in magickal space and when we are not? We invite you to join with us and fully experience both realms,
witness the lines, and come with us in crossing them. Take a step and see what lies beyond the ordinary.” There were two lines painted around the circle. We were invited to cross the line from the mundane into the mystical. I must admit that I spent the entire ritual on the mystical side of the lines. I guess I miss spending all my time there as I did as a child. It was delightful and helped make everything even more magical. I thought of it as preparation for the Vision Quest which was to follow the ritual.
After the ritual, met up with my friends and walked with them back to camp to prepare for the Vision Quest, which started out at Venus Sanctuary. Snagged another new friend and we were on our way. The line was already long once we got out there, but that’s okay. Harper Bear played for us as we chatted with new friends and old. There were many a story of darkness as the economy and the situation of the world was always nattering away at the back of our minds, but there were also stories of magic and good. A delightful balance to begin each of our quests as we determine (if we didn’t know already) the question for the quest.
It was a quiet night, not cool, but not too warm. The trail was muddy as there had been rain, but it was perfect. The theme this year was the Odyssey.
First, Homer started the vision quest by leading me into the quest. He warned of the treacherous trails and dangerous folks I might meet, so that I could change my minds and turn back if I so desired. I was afraid, but I did not turn back. Quests are not meant to be easy, after all. Upon my decision to go onward, Athena met me at the steps. She was beautiful and terrifying. She had some words of wisdom as well as a warning after which, I continued on. Next in the woods was Aeolus, god of wind. He cooled me with a breathe and shared energies as well. A good omen, or so I believed… until I met the Cyclops just past the little bridge.
Then the sorceress Circe, beautiful and terrifying at the same time. Tieresius, the blind seer was at the big bridge. He wandered the bridge, I was so worried he’d fall off, but he must have been protected by the gods, because he helped ME pass the bridge instead of needing any help of mine. He quietly spoke his piece and helped me cross the dangerous bridge so that I could continue my journey. He warned that I was getting close to Hades and that I must be extremely careful. The trail was difficult at this point. Dark and scary and you could feel the heat of Hades. The incline was steep and the night pressed close as I continued upon my quest until I reached the Siren at the top of the hill. Once again, I was touched by the words of wisdom as I continued my journey.
Next was Helios, god of the sun who dried the sweat upon my brow and filled me with the energy I needed to fulfill this quest.
And the goddess Calypso had her island in the field.
Queen Arete was next, to transition the seeker to Ithaca. Here I must note that there were fairies EVERYWHERE, the trail, the trees, the fields. It was magical. The transition was and is everything you would expect, however the layers and depth of it as you returned upwards and traversed the magical trail of fairies along the path.. oh my goddess… I cannot truly describe the magic, the powers, the energies, the love and the high vibrations.. it just.. is something you absolutely must experience!!
Anyway, along Ithaca I met another aspect of Athena. More words to induce thoughts…
Then came the challenge from the Suitors. They were argumentative and upsetting. I was told I would never be able to complete my quest and that they had been waiting for years and years and years. I had come to far. I knocked them down a few pegs upon their pride and continued on until I did find the Princess. Princess Penelope as sharp yet needed words for me to hear. She directed me upon a course to take with me once out of the Vision Quest and to continue my own quest for life and knowledge. I shan’t give up!
I returned to the fire, where I danced for a while and then, exhausted, Thorik and I went to bed.
The next day, the heat was back. *sigh* Well, it wasn’t horrible yet, but I still wanted to get to Women’s Mysteries at Venus Mound and that was all the way on the other side of the lake. I missed it the previous year because of the heat, I didn’t want to miss it again. Each time I attend their workshops, I learn something new about myself that helps me grow as a person and as a woman. I wasn’t prepared to miss it again. I knew there was something important…
I relaxed all morning, drinking my fluids and preparing for the hike around the lake. Finally it was time and I had a brilliant idea. There’s A LAKE. Duh. So, when I reached the beach, I stripped down and cooled off in the lake. LOL Now, remember, it had been rainy and chilly for the days prior.. there were not many people there.. and those that were there thought I was nuts!! *giggle* But it worked!! I got chilled down, my hair wet and made it the rest of the way to Venus Mound quite comfortably. Whoo hoo!!
Women’s Mysteries is described in the book: “Join us for the wonderful things that happen when women gather to do magic. It is always
a delicious, wonderful, mysterious ride. We laugh, we cry, we dance, we do crafty things. We leave better than we came. Galadrial, Gwyneth and Lark love working magic with the mysterious women of Heartland.”
This year they introduced a new aspect of the triple goddess. As we grow older, there comes a time when we are no longer mother but not quite crone, definitely not ready for a croning. That is where a new aspect, teacher, can come in to play. It felt right and true. I’m still mother but I’m getting older, 42 this year, and I’ll be 49 when my son graduates from High School. That’s still young!! I could see needing something new in between, especially as our life expectancy grows longer and longer. There must be something more for the gap between Mother and Crone.
During the ritual, we took a moment to write two things, one thing we needed / wanted in our life and one thing we had in abundance. We then put everything into a hat and stirred it. Then we all took two pieces of paper. The magic was so strong that people got what they needed. Often, they got exactly what they were asking for written by another person. Amazing how that works out. It emphasized that what we need is really at our fingertips and that we have things we can share to help others. I received Writing. *grin* I think it was because of this blog. It has taken me a while to finish it, but I knew I would. Good things come to those who wait and you can’t rush genius, right?
During the ritual, there was this gorgeous spider making her way around the circle. I moved away from her and let her go on, but didn’t remain close like some of the ladies were able to.
The return trip, I once again to stopped at the lake for a quick dip. Ahhh.. That is the most delightful feeling! All cooled off, I returned around the lake to my breezy area under the Pavilion, where I stayed and hydrated myself the rest of the day. Thorik went to Raising the Bar for Men presented by Christine and Orien LaPlante. He said it was great and very insightful. The women’s movement has, in some ways, made things more difficult for men. At this point, it is time to strive for balance.
On this night, Uncle Dirtytoes performed. They were delightful! I enjoyed them immensely as did so many others. They were fun and talented.
I missed SJ Tucker this year. It just wasn’t the same without her. I hear she was doing great things, but it still just wasn’t the same. I think this was the first year she just wasn’t there. Joe Credit, also didn’t come till later in the event. Mark Stintson was also missing along with his entire Jotun’s Bane Kindred. Things were different. Part of me thinks that it was because the event was during a dark moon, but others say that there were a lot of rule changes this year for folks who had been coming for a long time.
After the concert, it was time for the closing ritual. I’m glad they did it on Sunday night. I can never be up and ready for the Monday morning closing rituals. Transformed & Transforming was the theme: “As we come together one last time as a single festival community, we take a moment to honor the way that we have been transformed by our experiences, and the gifts that we have each personally
offered to the land and community, the things that leave our mark. Join us for this experience if you wish to take something physical away from this year’s festival with you to remember your experiences and take them with you back into your life.”
We released the circle we had opened at the Opening Ritual and we all left with bittersweet feelings and delishious memories of the weekend.
Drumming! Yes! I was ready! All other nights there was something.. but this night, this was the night for me to drum! I was so excited. I got my drum, pulled up a chair right in the middle of the drumming area, found the heartbeat and jumped right it! OH!! There was Buddy Helm to my right, I could almost touch him, (even better I could watch him play) and the KC Drum Tribeall around me. Lovely Cathy, delightful sexy Cathy, with the heartbeat, was right in front of me. I wasn’t going to fall out of time this time! I was right there and I was FLYING HIGH!!
The dancers danced, the fire burned and we drummed. The goddess burned in the log. I was mesmerized. I was the drum, I was the fire, I was the goddess, I was the beat, I was the heart, I was so ALIVE!!! I had never experienced drumming like I did that night. It was the unadulterated consummate experience of my entire life.
My only regret this year… Couldn’t convince hubby to try the partner yoga stuff. *sad sigh* Maybe some other time he will. *crosses fingers* I mean, doesn’t “White Tantra Yoga” sound enticing to you? *pout* (Sorry, babe, know you’re gonna read this, but.. wish we coulda tried ONE) “Stretching in the Sunlight: Flying with Joy” or”Dancing in the Moonlight: Sinking into Love” defined as “Have you ever wanted to connect spiritually with a new partner or take your intimate encounters to the next level? Prepare to engage & deepen in this sensual Red Tantra Yoga experience. Bring mat or towel, water and your beloved.”
Now it’s over and I can’t wait till next year!!