Kenny Klein: Tales Of The Rambling Wren.
Follow Kenny from the levees of New Orleans to the whirling chaos that is the Pagan festival circuit and beyond. Musings, rants, and just plain Pagan talk.
Festival Reviews: Ecumenicon and Ramblewood Beltane
I'm on the road at the moment, writing this from Whispering Pines in lovely coastal North Carolina. In the past two weeks I've had the pleasure of performing and presenting at Ecumenicon, and then at Ramblewood Beltane.
Ecumenicon is a Pagan/spiritual/all alternative religions convention, held in a hotel in Beltsville, MD (Washington DC area). It was a small event this year, with a registration of about 70, and chaired this year by Rosanna Tufts, an author whose radio show The Tufts Get Going is aired on Blog Talk Radio. Ms Tufts did a great job. The theme of the con has centered around the Tarot for 15 years now, taking each Major Arcana card in order: This year's opening ritual was a rollicking mystery play, setting the stage for the con's theme, The Question Of Good And Evil, aligned with the Tarot Devil.(I got to sing the Rolling Stones song Sympathy For The Devil in the opening ritual...it's all part of my rock and roll fantasy).
Beside myself, presenters at the con included Cheryl Ann Costa, who spoke on use of ESP by the military, and whether the path to enlightenment can be easy; Erica Shadowsong discussing morally ambiguous myths; Pan Orpheus, a devotee of the work of Tesla, discussed, well, the work of Tesla; and Rev. Anna-Sara Fire taught Yoga to those who may never have been exposed to its fullness of teaching. Roseanna Tufts presented workshops on astrology and evil: can you tell from someone's chart whether they will commit deplorable acts? (Too bad you weren't there to find out).
Of course I was there: I performed a concert and several workshops. I had great audiences/participants. And having a hotel room makes Pagan events so cozy... though I still love my camping events. Camping events like...
Ramblewood Beltane. Put on by Turtle Hill Events, THE Beltane, as they call it (to distinguish the event from every other Beltane celebration) is a Pagan oriented sacred sexuality event. The program is a mix of sexuality discussions, views of Polyamory and other lifestyles that view romantic love as greater than a two-person couple, and discussions and technique demonstrations of various kink lifestyles such as dominance/submission and Sado-Masochism. There was also a basic spirituality block represented on the schedule.
In the realm of spirituality, Arianna Lightningstorm, my long time friend and singer of the band Kiva, spoke about Palmistry as a relationship builder, and about reading lip prints; Blue Star member Amy Sinatra demonstrated Belly Dance techniques; and Luna Bear (mom of Jillian Eller, who did the cover art on my Black Cat Blues CD) led a ritual for bounty.
On to the realm of sexuality: there was a discussion on non-monogamy and one on the pitfalls of Polyamory; a ritual for dominance and submission; a workshop on orgasming without touching; demos of hot wax play and rope techniques; and a workshop on sexual healing. And many others on the very full schedule.
The after-hours activities included an open "play room," where people could explore Kink play such as rope play, fire play and blade play; a cuddle party; and my favorite, Sexperiments, led by Denise "Dirty Mother" (who runs the "red tent" at various Pagan festivals) which was essentially a sex trivia contest led by strippers, with a chance for anyone present to perform on a pole or lead titillating games. There was also ample opportunity for participants to explore various lifestyle play at all times throughout the event (I am euphemistically saying that pretty much anywhere you looked someone was being tied up and whipped).
Both events were great, and highly recommended (THE Beltane is, as you can imagine, an adults only event: Ecumenicon was attended by all ages, including Ms Tufts teen daughter, who seemed to enjoy it immensely).
I am at Whispering Pines right now, the site of May Fair. May Fair will be smaller this year: the organizers expect about 60 people, down (on purpose) from 125 last year. The organizers hope to create a more intimate atmosphere by allowing fewer participants. As always, the event will include the burning of a Wicker Man, as well as workshops and yours truly in concert. Should be awesome...
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