Monday, March 4, 2013

Pagan Fire 2013

I’ve just returned from Columbus, OH, and the weekend at the second Pagan Fire Seminar, hosted by Three Cranes Grove, ADF. The folks at TCG are friends, and L and I had a very nice time hanging and chatting, all questions of actual content aside : ). Thanks, Cranes!
Pagan Fire is a one-day intensive (so far). It was held in a metropark facility with a nice kitchen, gas fireplace and carpeted floor. Quite comfortable, though it will get pretty full as the attendance grows. I know the organizers have other irons in on that. The event price included three meals if one counts the plentiful continental breakfast, and everything was handled quite nicely by the Grove staffers. While the target audience was certainly local, folks actually came from Michigan and even Mass!

Lovely rustic setting...

The event is arranged as a seminar, with good AV support, and a nice 30-page book of notes and follow-alongs that covered each of the programs presented. Later this spring a proceedings book will be available, with the copious stuff I provided as well as further notes and articles from the presenters. You can see last years book, on moving from private spiritual practice to leading public ritual, here. Last year’s event featured our Archdruid, Kirk Thomas, who brought his theater training to bear on the work of public ritual. I’ve found that small book useful, and I’m sure the next will be as well.
The topic of the day was magic, and the development of a magical practice inside of a Pagan Druidic system. Our Druidry was developed primarily to serve community gatherings as religious ritual, and it has been a gradual process to develop practical magic workings inside of our format. We’re really getting there now, and various results were displayed on this program. I  was one of four presenters at the event. The other workshops included  Ethical Sorcery,  Applying Magical tech to Druidic Liturgy, and an exposition of a traditional Hellenic house-warding charm. I learned something new at each one. 
I did two sections of teaching – the first on general magic leading to techniques of consecration and a practicum on using our Two Powers model of energy-working for magical work. The second was on classifying the spirits, leading into a discussion of summoning and intending a practicum on Threshold Vision and perceiving the spirits. I am only so satisfied with either.
The last several years have been a time of active ferment in my brain. Stuff that had been slowly soaking for a while has been sprouting and blooming. However I am as yet not very able to arrange it all in hour-and-a-half units. Since the event I have had several “I coulda done this…” moments. Nevertheless the practicums were well-received, and I sold a nice pile of books, which usually indicates that folks were interested. I just have to get a tighter grip on dividing the material into useful and focused chunks. More this summer…
Finally, I just want to shout out to Michael and Seamus at The Magical Druid. This time it’s for turning my little drawing into a beautiful fire-ring altar-piece made of granite! For years we have been using a ring of candles surrounding a censer as an indoor Fire of Sacrifice. We’ve had items and versions of various levels of quality, including our classic one made from a craft-store clock-face. Now this lovely and handy indoor fire-implement will be available to all, in an affordable wooden version from MD. 
Trancework Teaching at Aradia’s Garden
Coming up next month (April 11th) I’ll be giving a one-shot talk at Aradia’s Garden in Eastlake. It will be called ‘Celtic Trancework – Seeking Vision’ and will be a general introduction to trance in a Pagan context, intended especially for those who have been struggling with printed instruction. I’ll have more on that soon.

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