originally published in Spring 2007 p.60
PSG 2006, for me, was the year of Balances. This was my second one, and it was much cooler and wetter than 2005. More than that, though: some of the soggy ritual fires didn’t light as readily as hoped, but the rain kept us huddled under shelters, having deep, spirit-feeding conversations which don’t happen many other places - - and which struck fires of inspiration and hope.
We missed Spiral Rhythm, but Incus had us dancing in the mud under the lightning until the speakers crackled. We missed Emerald Rose, but Celia brought us all to tears with “Symbol”, her plea to put the Pentacle on Sgt. Stewart’s grave marker.
And while there was no Sacred Hunt, we had instead Windwalker’s splendid “Awakening the Blade” ritual, with rain and torches and deeply serious seekers working through potent questions about personal power and responsibility.
Which isn’t to say it was all Too Serious For Words; our camp took great pleasure in introducing red clown noses and Zorro masks and snorkels to the Morning Meeting, and dressing in elf costumes & caroling “I’m dreaming of a dry solstice...” on Tea Dance night.
There was beauty all around, too: much of the week’s rain came in quick, intense storms which caused a crackle of activity as we buttoned up camp, awed us passing over, and left rainbows which caused some of us to break out in song at the sheer wonderfulness of it all. And once again, the Brazilian Carnival parade blew through the grounds in a samba thunderstorm of feathered beauty, clearing the air and leaving us festooned in strings of beads.
We had no lack of top-notch workshops to choose from; most memorable for me were Windwalker & Drake’s workshop on PTSD and Soul Loss, Garan du’s talk on Dionysian worship, and Ivo Dominguez’ workshop on Divination, Prophecy & Oracular Vision as mapped to the Tree of Life. This I’ve come to love about PSG: I am ever amazed at the scholarship of the presenters and the technical virtuosity of the performers. And even more than that, at how so many who come to PSG bring the best of whatever they do: their drumming, their costuming, their contact improv, their singing and their mead.
The grand challenge of the week for both me and my wife Ursaluna was our work as co-coordinators of the Mens’ and Womens’ Rituals, with Garan du and Nora Cedarwind. We were both humbled at the generosity of time and energy all involved brought to the ritual work. The Mens’ Ritual focus was Fatherhood in three aspects: Fathers of Children, Builders of Community, and Mentors to Spirit. The Men present crafted pledges of how they would be good fathers in the year to come, according to whatever aspect they felt most strongly about, and presented them to the Community as a whole during the next day’s Morning Meeting. I was proud to stand among them as they crafted their pledges, and I was also glad the ritual happened on Wednesday so I could enjoy the last half of the week without fretting!
Wrapping up the week was the Saturday night Main Ritual, this time coordinated by Ivo Dominguez and the Assembly of the Sacred Wheel. Once again, something you only get to see at PSG: a cast of characters in gorgeous matching costumes, and a really innovative way of speaking to a group of hundreds while letting sacred words run together and fall apart like golden threads in a tapestry. Inspired ritual work by a talented group of people.
Yes, of course I’ll be back. Right now, in the slush and the salt of a Wisconsin winter, nothing sounds more appealing than to be flagged in by loving, beautiful people calling out “Welcome Home!”