A week ago yesterday, at almost exactly midnight (and about twelve hours after we had intended), Aradia and I disappeared into the woods for the thirty-first Heartland Pagan Festival. Last night, just an hour short of a full week away, we pulled back into our driveway.
Last year, I found myself spearheading the ritual crew for the thirtieth anniversary extravaganza. It was one of the hardest things I’d ever done, but it was an amazing experience. Then some cruel bastards decided that I should be in charge: first they put me in the chair of my committee; then, when someone stepped down, I let them put me on the Board of Directors.
A year as ritual crew lead did not prepare me in any way, shape, or form for the amount of work I found waiting for me as Chair of the Sacred Experience Committee. The decision to put on four workshops (three of which were interconnected and had to happen the same day) didn’t help. And it turns out that coordinating with guest speakers to participate in the main rituals is hard. And where the FUCK did all the Heartland drummers go? (Seriously, you used to trip over at least two drum circles on the way to any given port-o-john; now I struggle to recruit three drummers for ritual.) Oh, and that whole near-miss-with-the-tornado thing? Yeah…. that happened.
I’m still processing. There was a lot of really good stuff that happened. There was some really shitting stuff that happened. There was just a whole lot of STUFF that happened. And the weather. Did I mention the tornado? I’ll be processing all week.
And if you’re in St.Louis this coming weekend, you should come process it with me, possibly over beers or coffee, because I’ll be wearing my PR hat and schilling for the festival at St. Louis Pagan Picnic. And, speaking of Public Relations, if you were there at the festival with me, please fill out our post-festival survey! The survey is anonymous, and you will have the chance to enter for a free pass to next year’s festival!