A Pagan festival is a unique thing. Although there is certainly a sense of costume and play, unlike a Renaissance Fair the players are not acting a part. It is an experiment in tribal living, in being in the world the way we would like the world to be. It is a place where there is no need to hide, or explain, or be afraid of beliefs and practices often misunderstood in the working world.
Teo Bishop was one of the National Guests at this year’s Sacred Harvest Festival. His blog about this experience is posted on The Wild Hunt. We also had music and workshops from Kenny Klein whose views on Faerie, quite different from our whitewashed Disney, were well received. His books on the topic will greatly help the Pagans who work with these tricksy creatures. David Salisbury is another Pagan author and activist visiting the festival from the DC area.
I have known Kenny for over 20 years, but it was really nice to meet in person some of the people I’ve only known through their blogs. Does that count as meeting blogging buddies? It seems different somehow, both because of the nature of a festival and also because the Pagan blogging community is so much smaller than the blog-o-sphere in general. I already know I have more in common with these folks than just enjoying their writing. We’ve friends in common, whether or not we can point to them. There are always fewer than 6 degrees of separation among Pagans.
I wish I had a photo of Teo and Orion. Star Foster (developed the Pagan channel on Patheos and who I’ve known personally for a year) organized an early morning sing. Orion is a morning person and he loves to sing. Me, not so much – at least in the morning. So I made an arrangement with Star to get Orion to her workshop. She sent Teo. Apparently Teo and Orion had a grand time together sharing songs. Orion pulled out his German camp repertoire and serenaded the group with Der Vuglbeerbaam, lyrics adjusted for camp.
Orion and I also had the privilege of picking up Szmerelda when she came in from Chicago. Szmerelda is featured in Crystal Blanton’s anthology Shades of Faith. She is a visual artist and ritualist in the Chicago area. She is also delightful. When I found my tent filled with water the first time it was Szmerelda who jumped in and bailed me out. I had met Szmerelda briefly at Pantheacon in February so it was nice to get a chance to actually spend some time getting to know her.
Sacred Harvest Festival is all about the people. It’s sharing time and space under the beautiful oak trees. It’s talking about our beliefs and practices and plans. I presented a few (three) workshops and that was fun. It was the first time for all three and I find Sacred Harvest Festival a nice venue to try out new things. Got some great feedback too!
In spite of the rain in the tent and the back problems I’m glad we went. It’s revitalizing to make heart connections with people who share a love of nature and spirituality. It’s always a joy to see Orion having a grand time. My campmates and I made good food. I got treated like a queen visiting Cara’s camp at happy hour. (Her book is Martinis and Marshmallows: A Guide to Luxury Tent Camping.) And you know from last week I got packed up and sent off without a fuss. Now the back is slowly healing and the memories are only fond.