Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Pagan Spirit Gathering 2009--The Beginning of the Journey of the Rest of My Life

I'm finally home for awhile, which I’m sure my cats will appreciate. I may even get all of my July newsletters out on time! ;-) At any rate, the campground was cold and wet, then hot and sticky, and buggy, and we had to deal with porta-potties, but I survived living in a leaky tent for a week and managed to get to most of the rituals and workshops that I wanted to attend. Camp Zoe, Missouri is large and hilly and mobility was truly a challenge, but it was beautiful as well, and for someone whose idea of “roughing it” is a hotel room without a Jacuzzi, I think I did pretty well.

I was officially "croned" and am now considered an elder in certain circles. Pagan belief is that a female person goes through three stages—maid (from birth to having a child of your own); mother (from giving birth to menopause); and crone. The maid is carefree; the mother’s energy and wisdom are centered in her heart and radiate out to her family and friends and the rest of the world; and the crone’s energy and wisdom are held in her womb and shared with the discretion of experience. Becoming a crone means letting go of control of your children and grandchildren, but being there to dispense wisdom when they ask for it. Letting go has always been difficult for me, so this will be a major transition.

The main solstice ritual was planned by a theatre professor and moved me to tears. It also taught me something about myself and how much easier it is for me to be kind and loving toward others than toward myself. Learning to love myself is one of the challenges set for me for this next year, and that ritual helped me to take a big step in that direction. I can’t begin to describe this ritual, yet it is etched in my brain and will stay there for a long time.

We’re already planning for next year’s trip. We plan to acquire better quarters—at the very least a tent that has more space, is water-tight, and a more comfortable camp bed. We learned that if we bring an outdoor extension chord, we can have electricity in the disabilities camping area which means I can take my CPAP machine next year, and quite possibly a fan. I also need to find a stronger sunscreen for my face. Of course, what I would really like is a motor home.

More urgently, I need to manifest a new car. Mine is starting to have multiple problems and we were not able to take it on the trip. We rode with a friend in the cramped back seat of an “extended cab” truck with our knees beneath our chins and were besieged with delays caused by other members of our caravan. If I’d had my own car, we would have been out of the campsite two hours earlier and home a good six hours earlier than we were. I can’t even imagine how tired our driver was. Next year, we will plan to stop overnight if we need to.

Finally, one of the musicians told me that I should have planned to sell books at the event. Despite the fact that my books have nothing to do with paganism or mythology or any of the pantheons, methods of divination, or magic they would have sold well because I’m “one of our own.” I did give away several promotional post-cards, so hopefully they will translate to sales.

I am still tired from the trip, and will post this tomorrow. All I did today was rest. It was glorious, but now that I’m back to the real world, I need to go back to work. There are WIP’s percolating in my head that need to come out.

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