This week, PAGAN FEST, in Ontario, facilitated by Earth and Sky Connection will be taking place on July 17th – 20th. The theme is “Spirited Hearts” this year. The seventh in a highly successful run, this year promises to be the full of activities for the whole family. Located on the spiritual retreat property of Earth and Sky Connection that surrounds the Willow River, this festival is one of the heights of the season, with many from the Southeastern Metro Detroit Pagan community attending as a tradition.
This group is as varied as can be, with their target audience aimed toward Wicca, , Druid, Shamanic, Buddhist, Taoist, Hermetic, Christian/Pagans, various First Nation (Native American) Celtic, Rastafari, Odinist, Asatru, Voodoo,and other Pagan sensitive beliefs. The festival is open and embracing of those who are also Pagan friendly and curious as well, with the value of respect being a part of all interactions.
This year’s agenda has something in common with Pagan Pride Day Detroit, insofar as both will feature a mass Handfasting ceremony. Participants in the ceremony will have their camping and concert fees waived. Organizers have put into place the option of having the ceremony be subject to natural law or civil. All participants must preregister.
In addition to this, they shall also feature a Bardic Circle, where all are welcome to drum, chant, recite, sing, do a skit, or in some way perform for the enjoyment of all. The outstanding among them will be recognized and awarded. Yet this is not a competition, but a celebration, and the Balefires will be tended and burning all throughout the time. All are welcome to FireDance.
For those who are percussive in nature, there shall also be a Drum Circle. Attendees can bring drums, dances, sistrums, or whatever other instruments they believe will move them. Many in the Pagan community use drums in order to reach ecstatic states, and in this environment it would be a practice that would be expected.
On Thursday, there shall be a Sweat Lodge. For those who regularly read this column, many may have been able to attend the ones locally in Southwest Detroit at the American Indian Health and Family Services location. For those new to the experience, please refer to a previous article on the practice by following the link here.
Campers can avail themselves of portapotties,
The event itself is located at 461 Penetanguishene Rd, in Barrie, Ontario. That is a quick trip across the Ambassador Bridge, or through the Detroit/Windsor Tunnel, and a reasonable drive through a country many have made their second homes for years. To call for more information, attendees and interested parties can call them at 705-739-0171. This event is hosted by Tamare White-Wolf, well known Psychic and Shopkeep.
There is also an activity that participants can get physical doing called Box Wars. Think Boffers, but not. Guidelines are that guests can
“Create your own suit of Armor and Weapon out of ONLY Cardboard and Duck Tape”
The object is to rend the cardboard armor from the opponent’s body without harming them. Time to release that playful warrior energy.
Other activities include Fire Spinning, a Community Feast (Pot Luck), Concert and of course classes and workshops. Here a just a few:
- Opening Pipe Ceremony & Herbal Tea with the Fire Spirits
- FIRE SPINNER ~ RiverHawk
- Herbal Tea with the Fire Spirits
- Children’s Programming
- Performances by Eric Mandala, Pamela June Catt, and Newman Newstone, Jackie DovesWing
- Dance by Trish
- Workshops by J. Andrew Baker, Joanne Bradshaw
- Story telling
- Lightfeather – “Rainbow Journey to the Merkabah Center”
- Water Spirit Woman – “Woman’s Talking Stick Circle”
- Intawuk – “the basics of knife throwing,slack roping,juggling and poi”
- Morning Whispers – Healing with the ARTS
- and more
And for those who are into working metal, there will also be a workshop on “Copper Creations” by Bobfoot.
For more details, please visit them at http://paganfest.ca/index.php.
To find out more about Pagan Pride Day Detroit’s Handfasting event, “Our Big Fat Pagan Wedding”, please visit www.paganpridedetroit.org.