From the Oak: Let’s hear it for the God!

Many are those that focus on female divinities, leaving male divinities in the shadows if they get mentioned at all. This is a shame. Here I will share my thoughts, stories and prayers on male divinities. Currently focusing on divinities placed in an atheist "graveyard".

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Dragonfest in Detail

I've been on staff for this small retreat for [mumble] years and have attended for many more before that.  Dragonfest is a family-friendly pagan and polytheist retreat situated in the foothills outside Denver, Colorado.  This retreat is my home away from home that I only get to visit for a short 5 days, once a year.  It is the place I dream of when stress has taken over my life.  It is the place where I feel the most accepted.  Since it has been awhile since I've posted anything due to an extremely busy summer, I thought I'd tell you about this year's Dragonfest which ran August 3 - 7, 2016.

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The theme for this year was "Share your Path".  The focus was on sharing your path and learning about the paths of fellow attendees.  Many of the workshops and rituals were built around this theme.  There was so many things to do, try and experience that it wasn't possible to go to everything that catches one's eye.  So let me tell you about what I did attend.

First was the opening ritual for the festival on Wednesday evening.  Presented by the Co-Directors of Operations, aka the Dragonheads, it brought together several different paths to emphasize the festival's focus.  It was a great start to the week.

The next day I attended a drum and chant workshop.  Due to shoulder issues, I can't drum but I did get to practice with my rusty pipes, singing several songs that were new to me.  (One of which became an ear worm for the longest time...) Later in the day, I went to a meditative coloring workshop.  I enjoyed coloring while listening to others talk about the practical and magical uses of coloring.  Thursday evening, I attended the Women's Mysteries where we all got to speak our truth.

Friday, I attended the silk dyeing workshop where I re-dyed a silk top.  The remainder of my day was taken up with preparation and then walking for the Multiple Drawing Down where vessels invoke a divinity for querents.  This year there were only four Vessels and I was a walker for the vessel who drew down Isis.  While I've attended this ritual every year, this was one of the few times I have assisted and had some unusual experiences of my own despite walking.  This ritual is always a powerful experience.  I was awed at how many attendees waited for long periods of time patiently in the rain for a chance to speak with a divinity.

Saturday morning, I spent at the Dragonfest Corporate Meeting where festival business is discussed, including nominations for the board of directors.  Saturday evening, my family and campmates attended the festival's traditional stone soup meal.  The soups are made by the Kitchen volunteers with the assistance of our community's teens.  I enjoyed the Duchess soup while I'm told that the Vegetable Medley and Italian Wedding soup were also very good.  The evening ritual was a modified (as I understand it) Heathen Blot (I'm sorry I have no idea how to add the proper o with two dots!) which really gave me food for thought.  (Are you sharing your path in a way your descendants will remember?  What will your legacy be?)  Saturday night was the first time I was able to make it to one of the drum circles and even got to see a shooting star.

Sunday is always a bittersweet day, being the last day of the festival.  The closing ritual is presented by Dragonfest Teens and they did a terrific job.  That ritual was followed by the Giving Tree Ritual where people leave magical tools, crafts, books and other items so that they may find a home with someone who needs them.  This year I was surprised to find myself in possession of a rough staff that I'm slowly finishing as time allows.  

In all this I haven't even yet mention all the various things my son did at Youthfest.  There were various crafts and workshops for him to attend which included building a fairy garden, pottery, drum and chant, nature walk, shield decorating, face painting and Heathen Games to mention only a few.    

There were many workshops and rituals that I missed:  Flower Frenzy, Goddess Walk, henna, Working with Ancestors, Yeast Herders Gatherum, Magical Herb & Oil Roundtable, Chance in Ritual, Gender & Sexuality 101, Nine Noble Virtues, Body Painting, Hoop Drum making, Personalizing the Spiritual Path, Sharing a Spiritual Connection, Steppin' into Hoodoo, Intro to Modern Divination Techniques and so much more. 

What else have I missed mentioning?  Breakfast at the community center.  Coffee at Phoenix Circle.  Trance Drum Circle.  Merchant Row.  High Tea at the Lavender Pavilion. Hearthfire Sanctuary.  Sigh.  So much to do, so much to see, so many friends to visit with...I can't wait to go back next year!

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So much has changed for me in the last year. I'm an eclectic polytheist whose main divinities are Heru-ur, Isis, Zeus, Hermes and Hestia. I'm a mother, wife and Librarian living in the Rocky Mountains stumbling on my path and wondering what the heck I'm doing. Blessed be.

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