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Archive for the ‘Wellspring’ Category

ADF’s new Arch Druid made The Wild Hunt!  Check out the lovely photo.

[ For my LJ friends, please visit me at: http://adfcatprints.blogspot.com/ ]

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Wellspring really motivated me to delve deeper into the study programs I’m working on.  I kept making excuses for why I wasn’t working harder.  Some of them are arguably valid, such as being tired after work, but I only work for five days out of seven.  There are two days that I could easily get something done.

Tonight I started to edit a book review for Oak Leaves, continued my work on the muse essay for the Artisan study program, and did a full ritual.  I used ogham to seek guidance from the Kindreds and they seemed to have a lot of positive things to say about my desire to do a ritual every week.  All signs point to it being the best thing for my spirituality.  The Kindreds seem to be saying that in doing so, I will grow closer to the land, myself, and the Kindreds in general.  I made an oath that, so long as I’m physically able, I will perform a full ritual once a week.  Should I fail, I will give up the internet (my biggest time sink) for the following week.  The only exception to that is my work email.  Otherwise, no surfing or checking status updates at all.  I’ve been pretty good about keeping my oath to do a devotional every day unless I participate in some other ritual.  Oaths motivate me.

So I feel pretty good about myself and my spirituality tonight!

In other news, my garden is doing so well!  The marigolds are starting to blossom which adds some much needed color to what is otherwise a collection of green.  I can’t wait until my forget me nots blossom!

[ For my LJ friends, please visit me at: http://adfcatprints.blogspot.com/ ]

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My 21 Lessons of Wellspring

Emerald, our Bard Laureate of ADF, posted her “21 Lessons of Wellspring” on Facebook and I thought it was a lovely idea!  Here are my own.  Enjoy!

1) Next year, pack less clothing.  It’s not like I really need to wear it there anyway…
2) Sarongs are the BEST item of clothing ever invented.
3) Regardless of whether or not sun screen causes cancer, I need something on me or else I will burn burn burn!
4) Hanging out with naked people is actually not awkward at all!
5) People in ADF are some of the nicest, most hospitable people ever.
6) Drumming makes rituals more exciting!
7) Dancing barefoot in sand is a great way to exfoliate your feet.
8) Stoicism is basically common sense but talking about it really puts things into perspective.
9) Use your diaphragm!
10) There are a LOT of vegetarians in ADF!
11) People with a cane and a leg brace are still capable of dancing!
12) Skip can dance!  I’ve seen it with my own eyes!
13) It’s actually a lot of fun to run back and forth between a freezing pool and a boiling hot tub!
14) Kirk does look pretty in a tiara.
15) Whenever I say “regalia” I have to look around and prepare myself for a spanking.
16) Vegan marshmallows make people really uncomfortable.
17) 6’5″ men in nothing but leopard print sarongs and purple fairy wings make people even more uncomfortable.
18) Druid Sticks looks really scary.
19) I do believe in reikie!  I do!  I do!
20) There is a boy Grey!
21) Pack less clothing but bring more blankets!

[ For my LJ friends, please visit me at: http://adfcatprints.blogspot.com/ ]

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Like many, I don’t really know how to describe my time at Wellspring.  The word that keeps popping up in my head is transformative.  I had a wonderful time and learned a lot about myself.  I feel closer to my grove, the ADF community, and the friends I’ve made there.

It was great to finally meet so many people who I’ve only known online.  I spent some time with the Daws and Lesley who I know through Facebook and the ADF chats.  I also met my lj friends athenamsb and Thread_of_Song.  It was amazing to spend time with them.   I briefly spoke with Michael Dangler, Seamus, and Jamie.  I also saw Robb for the first time in a year or so!   I wish we could have talked more but such is the nature of a festival I guess!

Weretoad and I spent a lot of time with our friend Parallax who moved out to Albany earlier this year.  We’ve not been able to see her as often as we’d like to, so having her at Wellspring was great!  Her husband wasn’t able to come but we’re already plotting plans for next year!

I feel that Wellspring was transformative for me because not only did it increase my bonds with ADF as a whole, but it helped me to better understand my own insecurities and then deal with them/move past them.  I thought that being in a clothing optional campground would be hugely stressful.  In the end, it became very normal and even relaxing!  I felt more at ease and secure in my own beauty and worth than I ever have.  Like Michele said to me in the hot tub, eventually a switch goes off and you realize that there’s a definite difference between nudity and sexuality.  This was also my first time camping so I learned a lot and know better what I do and don’t need next year.

The rituals I attended were wonderful.  Kirk’s installation as Arch Druid was moving and powerful.  I’ve never seen so many Druids in one place!  The symbel on Sunday was a lot of fun and different from any ritual I’ve ever been to.  My husband’s favorite was the closing ritual on Monday.  He liked that it was more relaxed and that he could sit (he liked that about the symbel as well).

Goodness…  What else happened?

– I attended several helpful workshops including the Daws’ lecture on Stoicism and Kirk’s basic ritual skills.  I got a lot out of them!

– Several of my dolls were for sale in the ADF Store.  I even sold six of them!  I hope that everyone enjoys them!

– I entered the doll at right, Manannan mac Lir, into the Artisan Competition and won first place in the Sacred Art category!  Woo!

– Weretoad and I fell in love with sarongs.  I think they’re now our favorite form of clothing.

– I bought several sarongs, a dragon statue for my garden, and the book Real Magic by Isaac Bonewits.

– I enjoyed the annual meeting.  I especially liked Kirk’s idea to honor some of the most helpful people with certificates and rewards at the end.  It’s good to acknowledge the many dedicated volunteers!

– I did a LOT of dancing and it felt wonderful!  My grovies want me to do a workshop on dance sometime.

– Candee and I spoke a bit about reiki and she did some on my face because I was feeling so sick on Sunday.  It really helped and I am so grateful to her!

All in all, I had such a spectacular time and am so amazed with the hospitality of everyone from Stone Creed Grove to the solitaries!  I am honored to be a part of ADF and I cannot wait until next year!  Congratulations to everyones accomplishments!  Hail to the folk and our Kindreds!

[ For my LJ friends, please visit me at: http://adfcatprints.blogspot.com/ ]

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Hello readers!  I’m back, safe and sound, from my wonderful weekend at Wellspring.  I’ll post more about that later. I have a lot to share! 🙂

Right now I wanted to explain the name change.  When I first started this blog, it was called “Grey Catsidhe’s Den.”  This was really a place holder until I could find something better.   When I moved to Northern NY, “North Country Pagan” seemed okay for a time.  Indeed, I was once considering making Pagan culture in the North Country (or lack thereof) the focus of this blog.  However, things did not turn out that way.  This quickly became a place for my personal progress, reflections, and rantings.  It became more general.  I wanted a better title but I couldn’t think of one.

At Wellspring, the annual ADF Druid festival hosted by Stone Creed Grove at the Brushwood Folklore Center, I had the pleasure of seeing old friends and meeting people I’ve only ever known online.  I was full of emotions – insecurity, excitement, joy, and shyness.  I found myself occasionally saying things that, upon later reflection, seemed really goofy.  Most were because of excitement and/or sleep deprivation.  I lamented to my husband, let’s just call him Weretoad, that am so ditzy.

Now my husband has often told me that I’m ditzy.  This isn’t really insulting because he also tells me I’m quite smart – and I know I’m smart in some ways.  I have a college degree, have completed my DP, am very self-motivated, and love to learn.  All the same, I say and do goofy things that make me look, well, ditzy!  Can a Druid, an icon of intelligence and eloquence, also be ditzy? This blog will help me explore my own faults, growth, and the fun I have along the way.

“But Grey!” you cry, “By calling yourself a ‘ditzy Druid,’ you’ll be giving yourself a label that will possibly stick!  Is it really okay to be so self depreciating?”  I asked Weretoad what he thought on the way home, before I made the change.  I explained to him my concerns but he thought the title was perfect.    Really, it is.  I am a ditzy Druid – a mixture of eccentric silliness and child-like whimsy with serious respect and study.  Perhaps, by accepting this aspect of my personality, my insecurity will improve.

[ For my LJ friends, please visit me at: http://adfcatprints.blogspot.com/ ]

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Today was busy but in a good way.  I went to Massage Works in Watertown for my monthly massage.  My therapist says she noticed I didn’t have as many knots this time.  I asked her about lomilomi massage, because I was curious, and she did some on me.  It was interesting but not something I would want for an entire session.  It’s very intense and, in some ways, rough.  She only did a little bit, and I definitely felt like she was breaking through something.  My lower back feels really limber now!   Next time I might reserve a longer period and have her do some reflexology on my hands and feet.  They always seem to cry out in jealousy after my back and neck get so much attention!  Perhaps I’ll practice some reiki on myself later to make up for it.

I also bought fabric for a cloak I’m going to make for Wellspring.  I hope it turns out well!  The fabric store in Watertown is just not as good as the one in Utica.  It’s very disappointing and I hope it improves… They didn’t have enough of most fabric, so I decided on a moss green velour and a gold faux satin for the lining.

Speaking of stores in Utica, I heard a rumor that Accents of Ireland closed.  Is that true?  If so, that is very sad.  

[ For my LJ friends, please visit me at: http://adfcatprints.blogspot.com/ ]

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Now that it’s May, Wellspring is right around the corner!  I’m so excited to meet more of my fellow ADFers.  Yesterday at Muin Mound, I learned some very exciting things about Wellspring!  For one, Skip told me that the ceremonial installation of Kirk as the new Arch Druid will take place on Saturday.  This means I won’t miss it!  YAY!  Second, apparently they’re having a professional videographer coming to film the entire thing in the hopes of distributing it to something like the Discovery Channel for a documentary about us!  Holy dandelions!  That’s so exciting if a bit nerve-inducing as well.  I would really love to take part in it but struggle with displaying my Pagan life in such a public way.  Someone at Muin Mound suggested making myself and my husband masks.  I think I’ll do this.  We were highly encouraged to have ritual garb anyway (or just dress nice), so this gives me a good excuse to put together a new cloak at the very least**.

In other news, since Skip is now the head of the ADF store, I talked to him at length about the possibility of vending at Wellspring.  I explained that I didn’t have a tax license and that I knew it was illegal to sell without one.  I’m just not willing to risk the huge fines, even if it’s unlikely that I’ll get caught at Wellspring.  After talking to Skip, I found out an even more important reason why one shouldn’t sell “under the table,” as it were.  Apparently there are vendors at the Brushwood Center all festival season, and they have to pay a hefty insurance fee to be there – slightly over $600 a year.  In my opinion, it just wouldn’t be honest or ethical to sell under the table when there are other artisans legitimately selling and paying so much for insurance.

Luckily, Skip explained that ADF has figured out the consignment issue!  Thanks to some of Kirk’s connections, ADF has a lawyer and a CPA.  ADF is now able to legally contract its artisans to sell through the online store and at festivals.  Skip gave me a contract to fill out (he said I was the first person to get one!).  ADF takes a cut and I have to fill out a W-9, but I don’t have to worry about having a tax license*** (ADF takes care of that as well as the Brushwood insurance), and anyone (not just ADF members) can visit and purchase from the ADF store****.  I’m really excited and am definitely planning to sell some dolls at festivals and on the internet store.  I spent much of today going through my old inventory and  making new dolls!  I started two large dolls and am nearly finished with over a dozen little Goddess dolls.  Whoo!  I’m a one-woman sweat-shop!

* I know I’ve been posting a lot today…  I guess I just have a lot to say!

** My husband wonders whether or not people in masks and cloaks will make everyone look like loonies, but they’re such an integral part of modern Paganism and general “shamanic” practices that, in the right context, I don’t think it’s a bad thing.  It’s our liturgical wear, our neo-ethnic wear, and our mental key into ritual.  If people like to dress up and really express their inner selves during such a spiritual time, I don’t see it as a bad thing.  I completely understand my husband’s ponderings, and I often have them myself, but in the end I love dressing up.

*** We don’t charge taxes anyway because of our church status.

**** I highly encourage any artsy ADF members to look into it, especially if you were thinking about selling anything at Wellspring.

[ For my LJ friends, please visit me at: http://adfcatprints.blogspot.com/ ]

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