TROUT LAKE, Wash. — Over the weekend, Columbia Grove, ADF hosted its first Pan-Pagan camping festival at White Mountain Druid Sanctuary in Trout Lake, Washington. The festival, called Beyond the Gates, was attended by 35 people, and featured a variety of workshops and rituals. For example, ADF Archdruid Emeritus Reverend Kirk Thomas, who co-owns and operates Trout Lake Abbey on which the sanctuary is located, offered two lectures: Celtic Arthur and The Ancient Celtic Religion. Phaedra Bonewits was there to host a workshop on Ritual Participation and the Life and Times of Isaac Bonewits.
This past weekend I traveled to the historic town of Salem, Massachusetts for Covenant of the Goddess’ (CoG) yearly Merry Meet Convention. This multi-faceted four-day event includes rituals, leadership training, social activities, shopping and the ever important annual business meeting called Grand Council. This year’s Merry Meet was artfully hosted by CoG’s New England-based local council – the Weavers. Before I recount the experience, I want to make one thing very clear. I am a proud CoG member and have been for years.
Two weeks ago, I reported on the production and release of the film The WinniPagans by Dodie Graham McKay. Shortly after that article was posted, Covenant of the Goddess’ North California Local Council (NCLC) offered to host a screening at PantheaCon. The screening will be held in presidential suite 1054 on Sunday, February 17 at 10am. Dodie will be on hand to field questions and take comments. Last week I was fortunate enough to receive my very own copy for review. It wasn’t long after my trip to the mailbox that I was comfortably settled into to my seat, popcorn in hand, to watch the film. In anticipation of the U.S. premiere of The WinniPagans, here is my review:
Film Review: The WinniPagans
The twenty-five minute documentary is a gentle examination of Pagan life through the eyes of the WinniPagans. Dodie takes us on a journey into their personal lives, their homes, their workplaces, and their social spaces. On camera, the WinniPagans share stories, reflect on experiences and discuss the unique regional challenges that they face in Winnipeg. The film feels like a sampling or an appetizer, if you will, to something much greater. It gives us a peak behind a curtain into something that seems foreign but, yet, at the same time very familiar.