Albert and I continue preparing for our 6-week pilgrimage that begins this coming Friday...cue this face:
I am really happy to be reviewing my workshops for the Sacred Harvest Festival in Albert Lea, MN today, and it is bringing forth all of these memories. I loved my visit there in 2012, and met folks who have become warm friends. Then, as now, I will be there with Crystal and her family. We have been literally counting the days until this event, when we can drop into the arms of the trees, be "down home", and hang with the EXTEEEENDED family of kin from Paganistan and beyond. I have really fond memories of kirtan, of the Baba Yaga workshop, and the Aphrodite ritual I offered last time, as well as JRob's shamanic journey. I loved Andras Corban Arthen's presentations, the talent show, where a certain Robert Blanton cut a mean rug! And Ellie Anna played a mouthbow made from an antler- I was entranced, of course. I will never forget singing amidst these trees with everyone wearing glowing lavender crowns. I formed some strong magical bonds with folks here two years ago that called me back for a visit last year, and are calling me again to this beloved home of my heart.
Here's a peek at what I'm offering this time at SHF.
Dancing With Our Demons: a ritual of gratitude amidst difficult times
Life is a balance of 10,000 joys and 10,000 sorrows. There is so much beauty, yet also so much pain. This year has been hard on many folks in the SHF community, and the Pagan community: deaths, losses, illness, shocks, financial trials, and feelings of betrayal. Yet at the same time there have also been so many blessings: life, new babies, new homes, increased fitness, new businesses, new loves. In this ritual, we will bless and thank the hard times that have helped us to grow, bless away stale energies and obstacles, affirm the strengths we have earned through coping with hardship, and make magic for better days to come.
For over a decade, Tibetan Buddhism has changed my life and brought me peace. Since I was 16, Paganism has connected me in body, speech, and mind to the Goddess. For 5 years now, circumpolar shamanism has given me access to understanding the laws of nature. They are not only three paths, but one path, a single sacred river that runs through me. In this workshop, I will illustrate the ways in which I bring elements of my dharma practice, shamanism, and Paganism together, present context for some of the Buddhist and shamanic elements found in modern Neo-Paganism, and analyze the role of meditation in making magic. The session will start with a chanting ceremony, followed by discussion.
Shades of Memory
How can we heal the rifts, wounds, and injustice of racial and ethnic persecution today if they are still embedded in the foundations of our culture? By working with our Ancestors, can we heal ourselves? What does "white" mean in the Pagan community? What does "Black" mean? How can we revisit and repair our memories, upbringing, or previous prejudices by following Spirit? How can we create a culture of racial and ethnic appreciation and propagation rather than appropriation? Join Crystal Blanton and Yeshe Rabbit for a ritual of Ancestral healing and discussion of how race and ethnicity intersect with the Pagan view.
Queen of Swords
Inspired by women warriors and leaders of Paganism's past and present, how can women today best exercise our voices and power in our bodies, our creative works, our families and our lives? By exploring the Queen of Swords archetype, we look at ourselves in the mirror of steel. Our minds and tongues are honed and ready, our hearts overflowing with the desire to protect those we love, our spirits are eternally free. What kind of firm, honest, bold spiritual leadership can women provide for each other and the world, whether at the hearth, in the office, or as a Priestess? This session is for all self-identified women.
Journeys in Rhythm
My husband Albert and I will lead a drum circle with guided meditation to connect with the deities, spirits, and mysteries that move the cosmos. Bring a rhythmic instrument, a comfortable chair, and some water in case you get dry. If you just want to come to dance, that's OK, too.
I'm looking forward to the new connections this new material may forge, looking forward to reconnecting with friends from last time. I'll also be offering tarot readings.
But before I do all of that...back to laundry and packing.