[Festival season is beginning in the United States as Spring returns and warmer weather creeps slowly back into our lives. Today we welcome guest columnist Star Foster to talk about her festival experience. Foster is a polytheist living in the Midwest. She is a former Pagan Channel editor at Patheos, and she is allergic to cats.]
“This the best shit Pagans are doing right now.” – Murphy Pizza, Ph.D, author of Paganistan
“It’s a spiritual banquet. You get to choose what you put on your plate.
ATCHINGTON, Minn. — For nineteen years, Harmony Tribe has been hosting its annual Sacred Harvest Festival (SHF) in Minnesota. This year is no exception. Now located on private campgrounds in Atchington, the festival kicked off its week long event Mon, Aug 1. The day began at 3 pm with a Tribe Meeting, followed by an opening ritual called, “Together we Dream.”
CLEAR LAKE, Wis. — Judy Olson-Linde and Nels Linde are longtime members of the Pagan community in the Midwest U.S., and one of the things this married couple is known for are large community rituals, which they often organize at festivals such as Pagan Spirit Gathering and Sacred Harvest Festival. After 20 years of facilitating large public rituals, the couple has written a book, Taking Sacred Back, so that others may benefit from their practical experience in this area and run rituals of their own. We caught up with Nels Linde as they were packing for Wic-Can Fest, where they will be putting their skills to use. Perhaps the most important takeaway from that conversation was that any ritual organizer needs to know the audience.
On June 6, The Firefly House, a pan-Pagan organization in Washington D.C., organized a ritual on the steps of the Supreme Court of the United States. Spokesperson David Salisbury explained that the ritual’s goal was “to channel energy from the goddess Columbia, which [they] used to cast a spell upon the nation for love and justice, in advance of a decision on marriage equality.” Salisbury is referring to the Obergefell v. Hodges case, which was argued on April 28. As we reported, the case has the potential to “effectively, make same-sex marriage legal in all 50 states without eroding each state’s right to regulate marriage laws as their citizens’ see fit.” Of this past weekend’s ritual, Salisbury said, “We focused objects of power to send the energy: Justice cards from the tarot, a rattle to shake up change, a rainbow flag for hope, a shield to protect against bigotry, a wand to manifest the desire for equality, and a quartz stone to anchor the dawning of a new equality era.”
Pagan Voices is a spotlight on recent quotations from figures within the Pagan community. These voices may appear in the burgeoning Pagan media, or from a mainstream outlet, but all showcase our wisdom, thought processes, and evolution in the public eye. Is there a Pagan voice you’d like to see highlighted? Drop me a line with a link to the story, post, or audio. “Discussion of Paganism often centers around what a Pagan is. Terms like “nature-centered” always come up, and occasionally reference to the spirituality of the countryside is spoken.