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My experience at Pagan Spirit Gathering 2014, Pt 1 of 9

I had so much to say from my adventure, the article I had written had a high enough word count to be considered a novel. So allow me to break things up for you by day. Read on!

 

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The Gods are among us

For Pagan Spirit Gathering this year, one of my workshops really isn't work to me. It's more of further expressing a part of myself I ordinarily am unable to do. I'm one of those extreme extroverts the introverted either are are okay with me in small doses or are straight up annoyed with. That's just who I am, and yeah, I do try to rein in my personality some, but I don't always succeed in that. I'm not any type of activist really, or hardlined into politics, or get overly enthused with intellectual stuff. (Not saying I'm stupid or less than worldly, but academia has its place... over there - something to occasionally peruse from a shelf.) In all honesty, I'm just your typical urban American who also happens to be Pagan, which I've come to find over the last couple of decades usually goes the other way around.

So this workshop - it allows me to be me in a big way. I did it for the first time last year, and it was well-received, but there were definitely bugs to work out. What is it? It's hosting a photobooth for the big party known as Pan's Ball. And yeah, that's how I've always seen it - a party. A drunken barn dance. An outdoor night club. A costume party. A kegger in the woods without the keg. For those who follow the Hellenic path, it was much more than that; it was a ritual. And this year, one of the main features has been changed up in order to keep everyone safe and happy - taking out the punch (aka Jungle Juice). There was a very long discussion over the change, which also included starting the festivities early and kicking it off with a costume parade. Sure, it's still BYOB, and yeah, we'll actually be able to see some of the costumes since it'll still be daylight during the parade, but for some folks who preferred the old way of doing things, it was a disappointment. Change is hard, but for those who saw Pan's Ball as a ritual, I'm certain things can be adjusted to bring the ritual part back into it.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
What I learned from PSG

Hello everyone, and welcome back to another posting! This month, I wanted to take some time to share with you all just a smidge of what I experienced at this year's Pagan Spirit Gathering. Honestly, I would need about twenty generalized categories to even come close to tapping on all the fun I had and knowledge gained, so it's a good thing I'm pretty narrowed down here.

One of the nice things about PSG, in comparison to other Pagan festivals I've attended, is the community love and support for our Warriors. At PSG, there are many areas dedicated for people to commune together, combining that reverence and mirth notion depending on the need. One of the areas, just past the entrance gate, is the Warriors Center. Each morning, active duty and retired military personnel gathered to meet with one another, with last Thursday morning being a special gathering: The Warrior Blessing Ritual.

I'm going to be completely honest here - I've been Pagan for nearly two decades, and I've never had that "peak moment" during rituals, in groups or alone, so many gleefully share. I joke it's because I'm like M&Ms with the hard candy shell but with the sweet center. I've never even been moved before during a ritual, at least not fully. Sure, there's been parts of rituals I've thoroughly enjoyed, and there have been many, many times where my spellcasting worked - sometimes a little too well. (Kind of like the time I really wanted to have a summer off, and I broke my ankle at work just before Memorial Day and collected workman's comp until the cast came off just past Labor Day. Fun times! Oh yes that was! Uh huh.). But this ritual, all I can say is WOW! There wasn't a dry eye in the house, and when I say I was moved, I'm talking that scene in Old Yeller.

I posted quite a few pictures this morning over at Pagan Newswire Collective, which you can see that article by clicking here. But what I would like to share here is the one on one time I got with many of the Warriors themselves - their stories and back stories.

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