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My experience at Pagan Spirit Gathering 2014, Pt 8 of 9

...continued from Part 7


Saturday, June 21st:

Because there was no punch, people were making their own mini punches and passing it around. I drank too much for sure and was feeling pretty groggy in the morning. I think I slept until after 6am, which is late for me. When I went to the coffee meet, I actually walked over there with my travel mug and asked people to take pity on me and give me coffee. Every other morning, I came with my own tea, but that was not going to cut it. And that was after I had already showered. I was so out of it, I didn’t even have the strength to get out of my silky robe and dress. There wasn’t any sugar (and honey would have been nasty), but it was flavored with vanilla, and there was instant cream, so I made it work. Someone also brought over fresh donuts thanks to someone who was able to make a run into town, so the glazed, cakey goodness compensated for the lack of sugar in my hot, caffeinated beverage.


In fact, I was so groggy it took me a couple hours to tear down the photo booth and open up my art booth again. But, I really wanted to make that morning meeting happen, as it was the Solstice, and I figured it would knock the groggy out of me. So, I dressed up in my cheerleader outfit, and I walked over there with my pom poms. I wanted to cheer on the sun all day! People must have thought I was a weirdo, but I loved being my weird-assed self. In fact, I now want to look into ordering a proper uniform and make that my thing for Solstice at PSG every year. I’m sure finding a company to make me a uniform won’t be hard. It’s a competition sport these days, doncha know!


I did a pretty good job of keeping the R-Word at bay, but Nature decided the weekenders needed a taste of what we had experienced all week long. Yup. You guessed it. More rain later that day. I will say, I was pretty good at tearing down by that point, so it was no big deal. I closed up at 2pm, and that was the end of sales.


After the rain, I attended a handfasting by the tree affectionately called Grandmother Willow. I’ve been to a few handfastings before, and I’ve been to formal weddings, and I will say with all sincerity Carlee and Adam’s handfasting was the most beautiful I was ever privileged to be a part of. I felt I wasn’t dressed for it, still in my cheerleader outfit instead of something more formal, but it was nice to be welcomed all the same. Many blessings to you both!


(What a beautiful couple at at beautiful handfasting!)

That night, I also attended the main ritual. I can see what they were going for, and some parts were wonderful, but overall, I am going to be that guy and say it did nothing for me. I’m really not good with Reclaiming’s style with stuff going on all around me, and standing in one place for long periods of time is hard on me. (I don’t feel right bringing a chair to a ritual.) I liked the start, where we moved around and such, but the bulk of it was standing in one spot and the ritual coming to me. I’m definitely more of a movement, hands-on kind of girl, and I’m more of a half hour tops type. I am happy though others found it meaningful, and I did like the burn included.


After that, people made their way to watch the fire spinners, of which Carlee and Adam did a performance together. They are such an adorable couple! Again though, I was standing for too long, so I had to get up and do something. It was a clear sky again, and less muddy, so I was able to get my journey in.


As I posted on Facebook, here is what I typed immediately after I returned on my phone:


Every year, I disappear for a while to walk alone in the darkness. It's something I cannot experience at home.

For one thing, we don't have stars in Chicago. If you're lucky, you can see the moon and maybe a planet.

For another, there is no way in hell I can "walk without purpose" on a dark street in the city by myself. That's the sort of thing that can get you mugged or raped.

And also, I catch tiny snippets of peoples' conversations that I find so fascinating, and sometimes people stop me during my little walk to just say hi. Who does that - make eye contact and just say hi to a total stranger? Even your building neighbors? That's weird at best and suspicious/creepy at worst. But at PSG, that's just normal.

Reason #325 why I love coming here.


I stayed up and chatted with folks for a while, and we all got up to look for some other folks, grabbing our chairs. We made our way to the bonfire circle, where many were getting in their last chance to dance and drum with the flames. I just parked myself and let the flames lick my face from afar, nodding off. I realized I was falling asleep, so I made my way back to my car, crawled in and slept. be continued.

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Lori Dake is a life-long native several generations back, a mom to an adult son and has been together with her husband over twenty years. She is a real estate broker primarily serving the North Side and has also worked as a paralegal for several years. Sometimes, she’s a hardcore fashionista, and sometimes a concert shirt and jeans are more her style. Hobbies include painting while listening to 80’s metal, writing, participating in various forms of philanthropy and creating fabulous meals on a budget.


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