Wellspring 2012

I recently posted about how I was anticipating Wellspring as a way to rejuvenate my Druidic studies and practice.  Weretoad and I were able to attend from Friday afternoon to Sunday morning.  For those of you who don’t know, Wellspring is a major ADF Druid festival held at the Brushwood Folklore Center in Sherman, NY.  There are large rituals, initiations, consecrations, workshops, competitions, concerts, and potlucks.  Always a good time!   This year was a busy and sometimes frustrating weekend, but it’s all worth it for the learning, fellowship, and reinvigoration that occurs.  I also got to meet fellow blogger Inahawksi!   I took a few photos to share but am quickly realizing that I much prefer a digital SLR to the built-in camera on my iphone.  It works well but it’s so hard to hold still and focus – especially in the sun.  I apologize for the blurry ones!

Stonecreed Grove, the hosts of the event, have been making improvements to the old nemeton. They’ve replaced the rotting, wooden idols of the Earth Mother and Gatekeeper with new stone versions made by an ADF artisan. They’re visually striking as you approach!  At night, when the flames shine upon them, they are truly breathtaking.

The  Gatekeeper with offerings.
The Earth Mother with offerings.
A major activity I helped to organize was weekend-long flametending  through the Brighid special interest group (SIG).  Fellow member, Bonnie, was absolutely amazing at coordinating with Stonecreed  Grove, providing incense for people to give as offerings  when needed, and working with The Magical Druid  to obtain special Brighid tokens as thank-yous for people who took part.  This kept me very busy as I made a point to tend to the shrine three to four times a day, sometimes meeting with other members.  It was wonderful to put faces to names and join them in such a sacred act.    We learned much from our first year of this and want to continue, possibly expanding to other ADF festivals.  It was interesting and moving to watch the shrine grow with offerings over the weekend.  Brighid is very much adored by many Druids.
As I said, there were competitions.  The Warriors Guild  showed their physical prowess on the field but I did not get an opportunity to attend what with all the other activities.  I participated in the Artisan Competition (I submitted the doll Blodeuwedd I’ve shown before).  That was a really stunning art show.  So many beautiful pieces in different mediums!  Meeting with my fellow Artisans was fun and we came up with a lot of great ideas for the next year.  Finally, Wellspring is known for its bardic competition.  Adults and children alike competed  and there were some excellent examples of voice, composition, poetry, and storytelling.  Ian Corrigan won in the end  so congrats to him!  He’s got such an impressive voice and personality.   Truly, ADF has so many talented folk.  I am very proud of us!
Near the nemeton is the Runestead – an area Heathens use to worship the Norse Gods.  I just love the runic fence!  Hubby and I made a visit to pay our respects to the Gods of the rest of our bloodline.  We especially wanted to say hello to Thor.
In  a shaded area, towards the back of the forest, is a dark, ghostly figure – a crone-like Goddess with sagging breasts  and decaying limbs.  She is an impressive, powerful idol.  I always feel a bit apprehensive approaching her.  I half suspect she’ll suddenly look up or reach out…!
Because of timing, I was only able to attend one workshop this year – but it was an interesting one for both me and my husband – brewing!  Robb (far left) lead the workshop, demonstrating how to make beer but also discussing the methods used to make wine and mead.  Robb is certified to judge brewing and actually handles yet another ADF competition – the Brewers’ Guild competition!  (I sampled a few entries – delish!)    He was very encouraging and knowledgable.  I really want to try my hand at mead soon!  Weretoad is interested in making beers.
A special, commemorative pin everyone received!  I was sad for a bit… I thought I lost it in the mad rush to change from ritual garb so I could dance around the bonfire in the drum circle!    I found it this morning mixed in with my makeup.  Figures!

It was a wonderful weekend.  I’m so happy we had a chance to go.  I feel a stronger bond with my grove, better connections with fellow ADF Druids from all over, a deeper relationship with Brighid, and a greater drive to study, practice, and worship.  I’m pumped to dive back into the Initiate study program!  If you live near Sherman, NY and have an interest in Druidism, I strongly encourage you to consider attending!  If not, I invite you to look into other Pagan festivals or conferences.  They are great sources of fun, education, inspiration, and friendship.

8 thoughts on “Wellspring 2012

  1. great pictures! sounds like a terrific time! I will be attending Eight Winds this year – my first ADF festival and very much looking forward to it 🙂

  2. Looks like good fun.

    One of my ambitions is to try and identify an original nemeton in Britain.

  3. I loved attending, and was so glad to finally meet you face to face! I’m really hoping to attend again next year — and by then, hopefully, will have finished my DP work and started on the Bardic and Naturalists’ study programs. 🙂

    ~Jennifer

    1. I always enjoy meeting people who follow my blog! It’s very humbling to know people enjoy the crazy assortment of stuff I share. 😀 I wish you luck in finishing your DP! As for myself, I plan to worker harder on the artisan and initiate study programs this summer! I’d love to do the naturalists’ study program as well. So much to do!

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