I never finished this blog. 2012 was a weird year and it just never happened.I’m publishing this as is so that I can move forward and write a blog for the 2013 event.
Butterflies, butterflies everywhere! As soon as we pulled into camp, right there at the front gate were millions of butterflies and the lone man manning the gate to call up to let us drive up to Phoenix Registration was right in the middle of them! A truly magical entrance! Our spot that we stayed in the last two years near Pixie Styx was filled up. We’d arrived at about 3 in the afternoon! We wandered a bit along the tree line and found a trail leading to a small camping area that was empty. It would have space for our friends (who never showed up, *pout*). It was quiet but a bit of a ways away from the pavilion. We could still see the roof of it, though, when we came up the trail to the field.
Setting up camp was so hot this year. It seems, in past years, that the goddess blessed us with cooler air for set up, but not this year. The butterflies were all over our campsite too! We tried in vain to keep them out of the tent, but I believe were successful and rescuing and releasing most that got inside our tent throughout the weekend.
After we got camp set up, and it was pretty hot so we didn’t get it too organized… (never did actually, unusual for me).. we headed up to the pavilion for the Talent Show. I had planned on going to the merchant’s circle for bardic, but the Talent Show not only had regular folk, but it featured Joe and Joe Credit aka the Joe Credits. :) That was FUN! Also, Big Bad Gina did a song accupella that was totally amazing. Renée Janski really can rap!! (Or whatever it’s called.. ) with the microphone. The Talent Show finished off with Murphey’s Midnight Rounders. Delightful!!After the Talent Show, there was fire.. mmm… fire… a coupla dances round the fire was all I was up for, and then it was sleepy bye time. I’d signed up for Community Service first thing Friday morning. I wandered down to the Dining Hall for some coffee. TWO DOLLARS!! omg TWO DOLLARS for one tiny cup of coffee. Okay. One free refill, but OMG!!! That’s rediculous. Generally I leave $10 for the whole weekend. That’ll buy a whole container of coffee and leave some for a tip. I don’t drink THAT much but I always felt it was acceptable. (And from what I’ve heard from others who had the meal plan, it was pretty measly small for the price(s) too. I sure hope The Blissfull Bite does not return next year.) The BBQ folk from last year were awesome. They came and BBQ’d for one after noon this year. That made lotsa people happy!
Anyway, after I finished my ONE tiny cup of Two Dollar Coffee (didn’t have time for two – and spent most of my time bitching about it), I headed up to Safety to see where they would assign me for my Community Service. I was pleased to see Galadrial and her SO had also signed up for the same time. I turned around there was our other friend too! We asked around a bit and heard the lady in charge was down at the intersection where cars come up the hill, so we hiked over and apparently missed the lady in charge, so we went back. By the time we returned to Safety, she was assigning out driving duties for the shuttle. For other days. We were like, um, we signed up for this morning, there are things going on the rest of the fest and this was the best morning to do our Communi
ty Service. We ultimately decided to buy out rather than mess with it. *sigh*As I was waiting to pay (I only had a 20 and wanted my change), my friend Summer snuck up behind me and gave me big hugs. She then told me she brought a surprise. I said I needed to stay to buy out on Community Service since there was nothing for me to do that morning, but she gentle turned me around. Then I saw him KEL!!! OMG it was KEL!!! I ran and jumped him and gave him BIGGGG hugs!! I was so happy!! He’d kept his coming a secret from me all week! I had never been happier!! *happy dancin* This surprise made my whole weekend! I was overjoyed and hugged him each and every time I saw him the entire time he was there. The third time I had hugged him, he figured it out. “You’re gonna do this every time you see me aren’t you.” I was like, “YUP! Gotta make up for 6 years of no hugs.” He looked at me weird and said “It’s been that long?” Yeah. It’d been that long. Damn, Kel, it was so great to see you!!
Lunchtime concert was Big Bad Gina!! They so totally rawk!!! They were called back onto stage after they finished their set and the crowd begged them to sing Drive. Yeah. I got up and danced! *grin* sooo sexy!!! mmmm After lunch, the Brigid Healing Ritual was presented by Rev Selena Fox. Selena started by calling a circle. Then, she called forth any active or retired military, where she presented them with pagan pins and thanked them for their service to our country. It was heartwarming and brought tears to my eyes.
Selena actively fights for the rights of Pagan service members. On April 23, 2007, thanks to Selena
and her organization, the US Department of Veterans Affairs finally put the Pentacle on its list of emblems of belief that can be included on grave markers the VA issues to honor deceased veterans. She then invited us to place jewelry, amulets, etc., onto the alter to be blessed and enerized during our ritual. We discussed the Celtic Goddess Brigid and talked about her traditional sacred forms, such as Mighty oak, Solar flare, Swan Maiden, Bright One, and other sacred forms that she has used. We began the healing ritual by calling forward those who were in need of healing. They stood in the center facing outward. Those who were able to give healing energy were then invited to walk the circle around those in need. We chanted and sang and many of us touched each of those in need as we passed by. Touched with love, healing energies, and trust. I think it was the most powerful ritual in which I have ever participated with strangers. The air was electric with our power. As each person received the energy they needed, they turned inward into the circle so we concentrated on those who were still facing us. There were tears and release.
Later I was told by a few friends how powerful it was and that they were tingling with the energies and truly felt revitalized and so much better. Afterwards, we were able to come to the alter for our recharged belongings (oooh, how they tingled when I put them back on! I can still feel the energies from that ritual, even now!) as well as a gift of a magic stone brought by lovely Selena. I only hope that one day I can again experience the healing magic such as that we created during this class and ritual.
Next was an introduction to Spiritwork. It was presented by Steve Kenson. Steve Kenson is a spiritworker and founder of the Temple of Witchcraft. Neo-pagans are increasingly working directly with manifestations of spirit and deity using techniques of spiritwork: drawing down, aspecting, channeling, and possession. He discussed the concept of spiritwork: why and how it is done, and shared ideas for how to begin incorporating it into our own spiritual practice.
The Three Rays of Witchcraft was presented by Christopher Penczack ” Experience the three primal powers that are the basis of creation and magick. Witches often see these powers as maiden, mother and crone. In Qabalistic magic, we have the three pillars of Mercy, Severity and Equilibrium. Druidic traditions look to three rays of inspiration, of Awen. Theosophists have the rays of Power, Love and Intelligence. Older form of witchcraft look to the Oak, Ash and Thorn, as well as the Straight, Bent and Crooked lines. How can modern witches work with these three powers for magick, evolution and transformation? Explore new views of the three powers as a road to enlightenment, as they manifest in three races ñ Angels, Fey and the Hidden Company; three healers – Stones, Plants and Animals; and three threads of wisdom, personal revelation, ancestral teachings and the ordeal.”
Wendy Rule Concert: “Wild, passionate and empowering, Australian Visionary Songstress Wendy Rule, weaves together music, mythology and ritual to take her audience on an otherworldly journey of depth and passion. Drawing on her deep love of Nature and lifelong fascination with the worlds of Fairy Tale and Magic, Wendy’s songs combine irresistible melodies with rich aural textures and a rare personal honesty.”
Murphey’s Midnight Rounders Concert “An Acoustic/Country group with their feet firmly planted in Folk music. Their original material runs the gamut of human emotion while their vocal harmonies have an impact that is fresh and inspiring.”
“When you came into the land, you reached into the unknown and came back with a ribbon bearing the color of one of the four elements of magic. The color represents your elemental ally for the festival – an ally both in support, and in challenge. Whether it is an element that is native to you or not, you are encouraged to explore it and work with it; for as much as you chose the ribbon, the ribbon also chooses you. Is it a reminder of an old friend? A steadfast companion? A forgotten paradox? A splinter of frustration? Throughout the festival, as you wander the land, or as the festival’s appointed guardians of magic wander into you, you may discover many opportunities to explore the edges of your understanding and experience of magic. You may be challenged beyond what you thought yourself capable of, you may find that you are stronger and wiser than you know. We invite you to open yourself to all possibilities, and to risk discovering that no matter what you have learned and experienced on your journey so far, there still remain things to fascinate you and to entice you to continue learning and growing. May your Heartland experience bring you to your own personal “dawning of a new day”.” It is such an honor participating in her ritual of the dead. We remembered military pagans who died and sent energies.
The Vision Quest was wonderful as usual: It started out this year with Rain as the gatekeeper. The first station was Kaithlyn, acting as prophetess and doomsayer for the journey to come. Then Julie, as Temptation and the garden of earthly delights. Then Pyro, with the fires of destruction and sacrifice. Next, Ruiari at the Serpentine bridge entreated seekers to shed off the old. Next, Ashe, dressed as a priest, as the “leap into the abyss” asking why one went forward if there was nothing left. Arriving up in fourth field, you were asked to make a choice, by Chris and Tristan, between the way of the god or humanity (Ragnarok). Those who chose Odin’s path met first with Judgment and then Reflection. Those who chose Ragnarok met Persephone. The paths met up with Maitreya leading you back onto the path of Dharma and the end of suffering. The next station was the other Sarah, as Ascension to the Stars. Followed by Herne/Death aspect before finishing with the Phoenix/Rebirth.
Final ritual started with the same “here are the responses to the key phrases, let’s practice them” spiel. The ritual was basically, “Now that the temples have fallen, what have we salvaged from the ruins?” They presented four altar tools (lamp, wand, bowl, and a book of meeting minutes) as symbols of the only good concepts and wisdom worth salvaging from the dogmatic, dysfunctional, and stagnant old ways, so we could study and work with those tools going forward. I think they briefly acknowledged the four directions, and then said that now that the temples have fallen, the temple of the sun erected by the architects of the four directional temples will continue to stand and be revisited whenever we need to reconnect with the lessons of throwing off outdated and dogmatic structures. Ritual was pretty much over with that. They thanked the author of the ritual outline and House Arcanum for creating the ritual arc. Then they asked the ritualists from all three rituals to come forward to the center of the circle, to walk clockwise. Then they called fire horde and trash pirates to form a circle around them, and walk counterclockwise. Then they called for HSA (board members? Or just members? I can’t recall) to form the next circle, going clockwise, then they called everyone attending to form a final outer circle, so all could move together in a contra-rotating… thingy. Then they had everyone introduce themselves and hug someone they hadn’t met yet.
It was a great weekend.
The butterflies were magical.
But where were the lightning bugs?