Pagan Spirit Gathering

Pagan Spirit Gathering (37)

psg 2015 small

June 18, 2015 Statement Update: 

Three days after the flash flood at Stonehouse Farm, the Pagan Spirit Gathering supply truck rolled out of the gate and our volunteers are on their way home.  Circle Sanctuary extends deep and profound gratitude for all of those volunteers who went above and beyond to push stuck vehicles, help one another pack, and ensure that every PSG participant was able to head home safely.   We also thank all of those around the world who have been sending support, energy, and encouragement.  The theme of this year's Pagan Spirit Gathering was 'Celebrating Community,' and we could not have a clearer illustration of all we have celebrate than the response -- from near and far -- to this disaster.

While PSG 2015 is over at Stonehouse Farm, the clean-up and recovery process continues.  This Saturday, June 20, Circle invites volunteers to come help our tired PSG take-down crew to unpack the PSG truck and to help clean, repair and sort all of the gear that is needed for the festival.  To RSVP, please see the Facebook invitation here.

Even once the last tent is dry and stowed, there is still a great deal yet to be done.  Circle Sanctuary will work to answer post-PSG questions and concerns, however it will likely take some time for us to gather all the information we will need to make decisions and offer accurate information.  We hope to reopen the Circle Sanctuary office for normal business by July 1st.  Until then we ask that questions be directed to psg@circlesanctuary.org.  We will respond as information becomes available, and we thank the community for your ongoing patience and support.  The energy and well wishes have truly been felt, and we are humbled and awed by the strength of our community and all others lending their support.

 

June 16, 2015 Statement:

On Monday afternoon Stonehouse Farm, the campground in northern Illinois where Pagan Spirit Gathering is being held, experienced a flash flood.  PSG staff were monitoring the weather situation, and the Gathering activated emergency procedures.  What followed over the course of the next several hours was an amazing display of community unity and strength.  Numerous attendees joined the PSG community Guardians and volunteers in relocating all of the people and most campsites that were in low lying areas, or places where the roads could become impassable.  As a result of the coordination and community effort, no one was injured.  

While PSG has endured severe weather before, including a near-miss by a tornado at a different campground, this is the largest scale emergency in the festival's 35 year history.  Some tents and personal property were lost or became sodden and a small number of vehicles and campers were not able to be moved out of the flooded areas.  One unoccupied camper left in the flooded zone was destroyed by a fallen tree.  The vast majority of campsites and vehicles, as well as all of the people, were safely evacuated before the flood waters reached them.  

In the wake of the emergency, the community rallied to support those displaced and the PSG volunteers and Safety team.  Offers of spare tents, bedding, and food flowed in and people opened their hearts and campsites to friends and strangers alike.  Guest musician Wendy Rule performed for those displaced and waiting. This year's PSG theme is 'Celebrating Community,' and the community rose to the challenge.

In the morning it was concluded that the site conditions and weather expected later in the week were such that they could not safely and comfortably support the whole gathering of nearly one thousand people for the rest of the week.  A community ritual of healing and farewell was led by PSG founder Selena Fox on Tuesday morning.  Gathering participants are now leaving the site in stages, with those camped on less sodden ground helping those who were most affected by the flooding to depart first.  The whole gathering will depart over the coming days.

PSG and Circle Sanctuary plan to release further information later in the week, but for now the focus is on helping those affected and organizing a safe early departure from the site.  Circle Sanctuary thanks the PSG community for a truly awe inspiring display of strength and mutual support, and asks for continued understanding as together we work to get everyone home safely and respond to the ongoing situation.

 

 

Friday, 26 June 2015 05:36

Waiver

Written by

Pagan Spirit Gathering 2015 Guidelines

Each adult must read and accept this waiver as a condition of registration.

SITE: Camp, park, build fires, and stay within designated areas. No hunting, plant foraging or wood cutting. Don't litter - keep your site clean. Bring bags/containers for recycling. Don't bring pets, animal friends, people not pre-registered, firearms, illegal drugs, alcohol not intended for personal consumption. Swimming and wading are at your own risk.

MINORS: May attend with a parent/legal guardian or other adult caretaker designated by their parent/legal guardian. Caretaker MUST request, complete & return a Caretaker Registration form (.pdf) prior to event. Parent/Legal Guardian/Caretaker is responsible for supervision of minor(s) and for ensuring the minor(s) complies with all provisions of the Gathering Guidelines. When minor(s) is not in Childcare/Tweens Center or Young Elders Center, the parent/legal guardian/caretaker should retain control over and supervision of the minor(s). Neither Circle Sanctuary nor Stonehouse Farm staff will be responsible for your children at the Gathering. Use of the Childcare/Tweens/Young Elders Centers for minor(s) in your care is at your own risk and discretion.

PHYSICAL & MENTAL HEALTH CONDITIONS that may require medication and/or periodical medical attention must be described in the comment section of the registration form. Bring an ample supply of any needed medications - there is no nearby pharmacy. A doctor's permission will be required for persons with health conditions that require ongoing support from First Aid and/or Psyche's Grotto.

ALCOHOL/TOBACCO use is limited to adults. Alcohol must be used in moderation. No sale of alcohol is permitted. No alcohol is allowed in Amethyst Circle or Sweatlodge area. If you smoke, be considerate of non-smokers: make sure butts are extinguished and deposited in an appropriate receptacle and not placed on ground.

RESPECT & RESPONSIBILITY: You are responsible for your welfare and the welfare of any minor(s) in your care, your personal property and the personal property of any minor(s) in your care. You and any minor(s) in your care shall:

  • Respect all participants, including those whose spiritual tradition, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, race & other ways differ from yours.
  • Be quiet in designated quiet areas and ritual spaces & at designated times.
  • Be honest, trustworthy & considerate in dealing with others including Circle Staff, PSG Staff & Stonehouse Farm Staff.
  • Respect the site, plants, animals, and all the Nature Spirits that dwell there.
  • Abide by PSG's privacy policy and photo guidelines as posted on the website.

All adults are required to sign up for & complete 4 hours of volunteer work during the Gathering.

Agreement & Waiver

  • I have read the guidelines above, and agree to comply fully with them.
  • I will not sell or barter goods or services at PSG, unless I am a registered Merchant.
  • I agree to sign up for and perform at least 4 hours of work tasks during the week.
  • I will not bring anyone not preregistered/identified on this or some other waiver form. All minors under my care at this Gathering are identified by name elsewhere on this registration.
  • I assume full responsibility for my personal welfare, personal property, and any minors who are under my care at the Gathering under all circumstances.
  • I assume full responsibility for my conduct related to the gathering site environment, including its protection and conservation.
  • I understand that the Gathering is being held in a primitive camping area, and that I need to exercise caution to maintain the health and safety of myself and any minors under my care.
  • I understand that any medical, childcare, and other services at the Gathering I choose to use for myself and/or minors in my care is totally at my own risk.
  • I understand that if I and/or the minors in my care choose not to comply with the Gathering Guidelines, I will be required to leave without refund and I agree to comply.
  • I agree to hold harmless Circle Sanctuary, Inc., its directors, staff, volunteers and associates, Stonehouse Farm, its owners, staff, volunteers and associates, for any personal injury or loss occurring to me or any minors under my care as a result of my participation in or connection with the Gathering under any circumstances.
  • I agree to abide by the privacy policy and photo guidelines of PSG as outlined on the website.
  • By entering my information below, I attest that I understand and am in full agreement with the terms of this WAIVER.

 

psg 2015 smallJune 18, 2015 Statement Update: 

Three days after the flash flood at Stonehouse Farm, the Pagan Spirit Gathering supply truck rolled out of the gate and our volunteers are on their way home.  Circle Sanctuary extends deep and profound gratitude for all of those volunteers who went above and beyond to push stuck vehicles, help one another pack, and ensure that every PSG participant was able to head home safely.   We also thank all of those around the world who have been sending support, energy, and encouragement.  The theme of this year's Pagan Spirit Gathering was 'Celebrating Community,' and we could not have a clearer illustration of all we have celebrate than the response -- from near and far -- to this disaster.

Monday, 01 June 2015 16:22

In Memoriam

Written by

Pagan Spirit Gathering Community Beloved Dead

Email any updates/corrections to this list: memoriam@circlesanctuary.org

Margot Adler of New York (1946-2014)

De-Anna Alba (Wendy White) of California (1952-2012)

James Bademian of California

Dori Beyer  (Serenity de Namaste) of Wisconsin (1940-2004)

Isaac Bonewits of New Jersey (1949-2010)

Angelo Calderado (Lo Head) of Michigan (1967-2010)

Loren Caswick (Kyril Oakwind) of Wisconsin

Grey Cat of Tennesse (1940-2012)

Aileen Cheng of Illinois (1987-2012)

TJ Collins of  Ohio (1978-2010)

Duanne Colvin

Brigit Cook of Missouri (2000-2014)

Joanne M. Doak of Wisconsin (1949-2005)

Richard Harris Eney (Diccon Frankborn) of Maryland (1937- 2006)

Glenn Alan Fischer

Wade Jeffery Forshee of Michigan (1955-2007)

Joel Gainer (Wolfhawk) of Wisconsin (1948-2009)

Neta Gilbertsen of Wisconsin (1932-2014)

Wally Gilbertsen of Wisconsin (1928-2001)

Mike Gleason of Massachusetts (1951-2012)

Roxane Gonseth of Florida (1956-2015)

Pedro Gonzalez, Jr. of Pennsylvania (1944-2010)

Dave Grega of Texas (1984-2012)

Alison Harlow of California (1934-2004)

Bill Hassel of Washington (d. 1998)

Jennifer (Jenny) Jo Head of Alabama (1973-2011)

James Hershberger (Garanhir) of Texas

Karen Jackson of Illinois (d. 2007)

Steve Jackson (Ravenwolf) of  Illinois (1957-2014)

Kris Jensen of Wisconsin (1953-2014)

Jeane Blue Crow Julian of Virginia

Hilary Karnda of Wisconsin (1941-2005)

Pam Kolozsy of Illinois (1948-2010)

Jeff Koslow of Ohio (1949-2003)

Donald Michael Kraig of California (1951-2014)

Sandra Kuckla of Illinois (1955-1999)

Christopher Lannin of Wisconsin

Lado Stetak of Ohio (d. 2010)

Emily Lingen of Minnesota (1979-1999)

Sidney Malloch (Crow Wind) of Wisconsin (1938-2010)

Fran McIntosh (Lady Isis) of Arkansas (d. 2011)

Barbara Moss of Wisconsin (1969-2015)

George Moyer of Colorado (1952-2011)

Donald Mulligan (Laughing Starheart) of Michigan (d. 2008) 

Ronald Lee Naanes (Rainbow Man) of Indiana (1939-2007)

Wayne Ochs of Missouri (1944-2001)

Bruce Parsons of Wisconsin (1947-2010)

Amy Paul (Blessing Bird) of Maryland (d. 2011)

Gwydion Penderrwen of California (1946-1982)

Gordon Pepin of Wisconsin (1951-2012)

Leianne Pepper of Kentucky (d. 2011)

Henry Petrucci (Tree) of Michigan

Eva Phillips

Owain Phyfe of Michigan (1949-2012)

Grayce Porter of Iowa

James Porter of Iowa

Dennis Presser of Wisconsin (1958-2013)

Michael Ragan of Georgia (1931-2014)

Richard Ravish of Massachusetts (1952-2012)

Stevie Reynolds of Kentucky (1953-2012)

Jeff Rosenbaum of Ohio  (1955-2014)

Jim Runnels  (Moon/Mad Dog) of Minnesota (1941-2004)

Al Saddoris of Illinois (1950-2000)

Lisa Circe Santaniello (Antigone) of Texas (1954-2014)

Paula Schultz (d. 2014)

Peter Bruner Soderberg (Sparky T. Rabbit) of Illinois (1954-2014)

Sarah Ellen Taylor of Illinois (1983-2015) 

Paul Tuitean of Minnesota (1954-2001)

Carl Vaumen

Charlene Elizabeth Vierke (LoreSeeker) (d. 2007)

Gloria Villanueva of Wisconsin (1938-2008)

Wade Vorshee

Julie Wichman of Wisconsin (1963-2012)

Christine Elizabeth Wright of Indiana (1973-2014)

Morning Glory Zell of California (1948-2014)

 

Saturday, 30 May 2015 08:11

Pagan Spirit Gathering Themes

Written by

Private Land near Sparta, Wisconsin

  • 1980: Celebrating Summer Solstice (prototype PSG)
  • 1981: Growth & Survival of Paganism in the Years Ahead

Private Land near Oconomowoc, Wisconsin

  • 1982: Healing the Planet, Healing Ourselves
  • 1983: Pagan Music & Culture

Eagle Cave in Wisconsin

  • 1984: Shamanism for the New Age
  • 1985: Pagan Life Around Mother Earth
  • 1986: Celebrating Mother Earth, Solstice Sun & Magick Moon
  • 1987: Honoring Mother Nature & Midsummer Sun
  • 1988: Magic Music & Sacred Dance
  • 1989: Ecomagic
  • 1990: Heal this Planet!
  • 1991: Pagan Paths
  • 1992: Nature Peoples
  • 1993: Sacred Circles
  • 1994: Earth & Sky
  • 1995: Nature Communion
  • 1996: Culture and Community

Wisteria in Ohio

  • 1997: Sun, Moon, & Land
  • 1998: Pagan Towne
  • 1999: Sacred Mound
  • 2000: Magick in Nature
  • 2001: Horizons
  • 2002: Tree of Life
  • 2003: Family & Community
  • 2004: Wheel of the Year
  • 2005: Enchanted Celebration
  • 2006: Sun Magic
  • 2007: Celebrating Lights of Liberty
  • 2008: Bring Your Spirit Home

Camp Zoe in Missouri

  • 2009: Old Traditions, New Beginnings
  • 2010: Spirals of Spirit & Light

Stonehouse Farm in Illinois

  • 2011: Solstice Magic
  • 2012: Tribe and Spirit through the Ages
  • 2013: Connections
  • 2014: Heart and Harmony
  • 2015: Celebrating Community

 

Saturday, 30 May 2015 08:09

Pagan Spirit Gathering History

Written by

by Selena Fox

Pagan Spirit Gathering, also known as PSG, is one of America’s oldest and largest Pagan camping festivals.  Organized and sponsored by Circle Sanctuary, PSG is a Pagan village community immersion experience that takes place during Summer Solstice week each year and that continues year round through social media and other forms of interpersonal communications.

PSG was an outgrowth of Pagan networking and seasonal celebrations that I, along with others involved with Circle Sanctuary, began doing in the 1970s.  Pagan Spirit Gathering also is rooted in values prevalent in mid twentieth century social movements for peace, environmental preservation, equality, liberty, and justice for all.  PSG is an opportunity to create and live cooperatively in a society founded on those values.

Pagan Spirit Gathering started in 1980 as a weekend Summer Solstice festival on private land near Sparta, Wisconsin.  Although small, with only ninety people, this prototype PSG brought together Pagans from many paths and many places from across the United States and beyond to create and live in a Pagan village in a natural location.  There was no program book and no pre-established times for workshops, discussions, music sharing, and rituals at our 1980 festival.  Program activities were organized on site.

PSG emerged as a new kind of Pagan festival that focused on building connections and developing community among Pagans across traditions, as well as forming and strengthening spiritual relationships with sacred dimensions of Nature.  Each day and evening of that first gathering, we came together to create and nurture community in meetings, workshops, and rituals.  Festival drumming, which is now widespread across Pagan gatherings the world over, began at this prototype PSG.

The following year, in 1981, we expanded the length of our gathering to four days, increased the number of program activities from a dozen to forty, and published our first program book.  Our festival also got its name -- I named it Pagan Spirit Gathering to signify its Pagan spiritual community focus. 

At Pagan Spirit Gathering 1981, our community grew in size to 250 people.  Our festival encampment continued to evolve as a village as we established several centers, including Information, Health, and Childcare.  In addition, we began our work-sharing approach to festival staffing, which now has became commonplace for Pagan festivals organized by other groups in the USA and other countries.

Both our 1980 and 1981 PSGs were held at the same site in the forested hills of western Wisconsin.  This was the most rustic of the places where the PSG Community has made its home.  We hauled in all of our own drinking water, food, and other supplies, and, at the end of our gathering, hauled out all of our garbage and recycling.  Bathing was in the pond.  Toilet facilities were an open air outhouse and the woods. There was no electricity on site and no tents or other shelters for group activities.  

Pagan Spirit Gathering moved to a new home the following year.  This site was also private land.  It was home to PSG in both 1982 and 1983.  This second PSG site was in central Wisconsin along the Rock River near Oconomowoc.  It was still very rustic, with no electricity, drinking water taps, or shelter buildings.  We rented a large circus tent to have some communal indoor space, and under the big top, which we called “Tenthenge,” we had merchant booths and held some of our meetings and workshops there.  We trucked in drinking water in 55 galloon drums, and we bathed in the river.  For the first time, we brought in rented portatoilet units and had a parking lot for participants’ vehicles.

In 1982, we expanded PSG to six days long, beginning on the Friday of Summer Solstice weekend and ending on a Wednesday.  Participants had the option of taking part in several post-PSG events. 

At PSG 1982, we added gatekeepers and life guards to the list of community work jobs.  We expanded the number and scope of program activities and began cross scheduling workshops.  We supplemented the schedule in our program book by announcing activities via large posters on our bulletin board at our Information Center.  Workshop presenters scheduled themselves by signing up for slots and locations when they arrived at PSG.  The number of program activities increased to more than sixty that year and our program book doubled in size.

In 1983, PSG continued to grow.  The length of PSG expanded to a full week in length and the size of our community increased to 450 participants.  The Guardians, first known as the Guardians of the Fourth Face, formed that year and began doing PSG safety and security work.  Merchanting at PSG expanded from a few booths to a diverse and colorful magical marketplace.  Our growing Pagan village filled the entire 4-acre site.  Also at PSG 1983, we had our first community-created full scale theatrical production for our main ritual, featuring a variety of costumed dancers, singers, poets, and aspecting priestesses and priests.

In 1984, PSG moved to a new and bigger place, the big valley of Eagle Cave Campground near Blue River, Wisconsin.  This was our festival home for the next thirteen PSGs.  Our gathering grew in scope and size during this time, expanding to over 700 participants in 1996.  We added more workshop areas and more centers, including a place for counseling support, known then as the Centering Dome, and Amethyst Circle, an alcohol-free place with Pagan 12 Step AA meetings and other support for Pagans recovering from alcoholism and other addictions.  PSG added concerts to its program activities, using a flatbed farm wagon as a stage and an electric generator to make amplification possible.  The campground staff created a food stand and began selling meals and meal plans to participants.  

This third home to PSG included an ancient cave.   Eagle Cave, which is the largest onyx cave in Wisconsin, became a ceremonial place for us for several of our large community rituals, including my handfasting with Dennis Carpenter in 1986 and the Sacred Cave Mother Earth Communion Rite I led in 1995. 

During our years at the Eagle Cave site, community drumming grew to be an important part of PSG village life.  Drumming was a regular part of our town meetings as well as rituals. Experienced drummers began mentoring new drummers in workshops, rituals, and rhythm circles, and in 1996, developed drumming guidelines which our community adopted and continues to use.

During the time that PSG made Eagle Cave Campground its home, we expanded our work with Pagan youth to include programming for different age groups as well as a center with play area.  Also during this time, we added academic Pagan presentations, and did a PSG Tribal survey as part of a Pagan Studies research project.     

In late Autumn of 1996, Eagle Cave Campground staff and its site went through changes, and the big valley which had been our gathering home was no longer available.  The quest for a new and larger home for PSG began. 

After exploring a variety of places in Wisconsin and in several other states, PSG moved to southeastern Ohio.  Our fourth site was Wisteria, a new land project being created by a group of owners that included longtime PSG Community members. Although not yet a campground, this site had plenty of flat space for camping and festival activities. 

During the twelve years that Wisteria was home to PSG, we helped Wisteria’s group of owners develop their land as a campground and event site.  Money we paid to Wisteria owners for the use of their land and services for PSG each year helped them pay off their land debt as well as provided funds for improving their facilities.  Wisteria built a pavilion to use for operating their coffeehouse and a stage for concerts, ceremonies, and celebrations.

PSG Community members worked with Wisteria owners and staff on developing several ceremonial sites on the land.   These included a couple woodland circle areas, a large ritual circle, and two mounds. During our first PSG at Wisteria in 1997 and the following year, we created a small conical ancestral mound near the ritual circle.  At PSG 1999 and the two PSGs that followed, we created a large turtle mound made of rocks and soil in work sessions and rituals.  It served as a meditation and ceremonial place for group rituals.

PSG continued to grow in diversity and complexity.   In 1997, my husband Dennis Carpenter and I welcomed Chip Brown to PSG’s administrative team as Special Issues Director, and in 2004, we welcomed Sharon Stewart, also known as MoonFeather, as PSG Manager and Program Director. 

During our time at Wisteria, the number and type of workshops, rituals, and other program activities grew.  I began doing a yearly Pagan leadership intensive, the Tribal Dance and Drum Bonfire ritual took form, and the all-night Candlelight Labyrinth became a yearly tradition.  In addition, we began developing Young Womanhood and Manhood passage rite programs as well as the Spirit Hunt, a transformative shamanic rite, later to be called the Sacred Hunt.

In Autumn of 2008, PSG’s time at Wisteria came to a close as the owners charted new directions for their campground, including sponsoring their own festivals.   As we quested for a new PSG home, we looked for a place more centrally located in the United States and with improved facilities.

In 2009, PSG moved to a large music festival site in the magical Ozark mountains of southeastern Missouri near Salem.  This site, known then as Camp Zoe, had once been a Summer youth camp, and it had the most developed facilities of any of the sites that had previously been home to PSG.  In addition to electricity in multiple areas, it featured a full size professional stage with lights, large shower house, several cabins, and a beautiful crystal clear stream for wading, swimming, and rafting.

During our two PSG’s at Camp Zoe, we continued to innovate programming and community services.  We increased the number of workshops and workshop areas.  Training for Pagan priestesses, priests, activists, and other leaders expanded with the development of the Pagan Leadership Institute.  The Tea Dance, which had first emerged as a PSG mixer at Eagle Cave in the 1980s transformed into Pan’s Ball, a costumed dance party. Our First Aid and Safety center got a cabin for the first time, we added media support for Pagan bloggers and podcasters, and merchants had the option for electricity in the marketplace area.

In November of 2010, we learned that Camp Zoe was in the process of being shut down due to legal problems stemming from other events they had held there.  The quest for PSG’s sixth site began.  After an extensive and intensive search, we found our present home.

Since 2011, Pagan Spirit Gathering has made its home at an eco-retreat and campground now known as Stonehouse Farm.  It is located near Earlville in rural northern Illinois, about seventy miles west of Chicago.  This 37-acre site includes wooded areas, fields, gardens, a sandy beach and pond, several buildings, electrical hookups for campers and merchants, a new showerhouse, and its namesake, a historic stone house built in the mid nineteenth century by a Scottish stone mason.

The Pagan Spirit Gathering and its community have continued to grow and evolve since our move to Stonehouse Farm.  Our PSG village has grown in size to more than 1000 people of all ages.  Our our activities include a variety of life passages, such as handfastings and weddings, pregnancy and baby blessings, coming of age rites, and cronings and sagings. 

At our present PSG home, we have restructured some of our centers and added others.  Our centers now include: Gate, Safety, Information, Circle Network, Raffle, Childcare, Warrior Spirit, Teen, EnChantment, Sweatlodge, Temple of the Sun God, Moon Lodge, Maiden Circle, Crone Temple of Wisdom, Sage Temple, Dancing Shadows Lodge, Psyche’s Grotto, Rainbow, Amethyst Circle, and others.  In addition, there are specialty camping areas such as Presenters, Music, Family, Disability, RV, and Woods camps.  

At the Stonehouse Farm site, we have returned to using the main ritual circle for both our morning meetings each day as well as bonfire dancing and drumming all night.  Our marketplace is more centrally located as well as food service areas.  We have a large open field for our Candlelight Labyrinth and Saturday evening community ritual.

At Pagan Spirit Gathering 2015, we will be celebrating our 35th Annniversary.  We will look back over the years as well as look ahead to the future as part of our celebration.  We will thank all who have contributed to PSG and its Community.  And, we will reaffirm PSG’s founding vision:

Pagan Spirit Gathering is about communing with the Divine in Nature; aligning with the Elements of Earth, Air, Fire, Water, and Spirit; attuning to Sun, Moon, Stars, and Land; and celebrating the Summer Solstice. 

This Gathering is also about experiencing and celebrating Community; creating a magical Pagan village together; sharing songs, meditations, rituals, food, ideas, fun, magic; sharing work as well as celebration; teaching and learning from each other; examining ourselves collectively and individually as part of Nature Spirituality and Pagan culture.

Finally, PSG is about experiencing personal transformation: purifying, balancing, centering and revitalizing ourselves through spiritual encounters; living fully as our magical Pagan selves in spiritual community and letting this process enrich our lives.  It is about the freedom to be the Wise Ones we truly are, about connecting with our ancient roots and expanding our consciousness to shape tomorrows.  It is about making Magic and more fully coming to know ourselves as individuals and as a people.  It is about carrying the insights and energy we experience into our daily lives to help ourselves, others, and the community of life on Planet Earth and beyond.

Blessed Be, PSG!

Selena Fox, also known as Rev. Selena Fox, is senior minister of Circle Sanctuary and executive director of Pagan Spirit Gathering.  PSG founding vision at the conclusion of this history is adapted from her PSG introduction published at the start of the 1981 and 2015 PSG program books.  A version of this history is published in Issue 121 of CIRCLE Magazine.

Tuesday, 07 April 2015 15:12

Ritual & Bonfire Circle Guidelines

Written by

The Ritual and Bonfire Circle is a central area that serves as a gathering place for community Morning Meetings, and for drumming, ecstatic dancing, fire spinning and chanting every evening.  Our PSG community strives to make this sacred space welcoming, safe, and respectful toward all.

Community Expectations in Ritual & Bonfire Circle

Be considerate of others - please don't block dancers from free movement.  Please don’t stand in front of seated drummers so they can’t see the fire and dancers (even if you are a drummer yourself).

Be kind to each other - share your gifts and let others gift back to you, whether it is a different style of drumming, a new chant, offering water, or a sincere compliment.  Give appreciation to the volunteer firetender for their hard work too.

Be sharing - Groove Troop (the extended "family" that coordinates Bonfire Circle) shares several drums with the community.  Feel free to use them, but let others play them too.  If you have a drum you're willing to loan to others, make that clear.  Please ask first if you would like to play someone else's drum, and remember to remove your rings.

Be tidy - this sacred space is lovingly cared for by Groove Troop, who also coordinate a volunteer workshift to rake the sand and clean up every morning.  Most lost/found items will be moved to the area under the canopy, but if the item is high value and easily damaged (such as a camera) look for it at the Information Tent the next morning. 

Trash and recycling bins are located just outside the archway - please use them.  Tidiness in the drummer's area means not leaving your instruments here when you leave.  You might think you will "be right back" but much can happen between there and the bathroom.  In the meantime, that spot is not easily accessible to another player.

Be supportive - keep up a rhythm for a firespinner until they flame out; try not to stop drumming suddenly if you notice one of the dancers is in ecstatic trance; encourage variety such as chanting and different drum "voices".

Be helpful - if you notice someone not following the guidelines, respectfully help them learn what is expected by the community.  If weather threatens, offer to help move the canopy to protect the drummers so they can continue to support the dancers.  (It can be lots of fun to dance in the rain.)

Be open to others' needs - Bonfire Circle is sacred space where friendly socializing can happen side by side with deep transformative work. It's the heart of our community, and a place where we form strong bonds, renew our spirits, and express our joy. We all make this space.

General rules:  NO GLASS! Please transfer beverages to plastic containers before bringing into the area.  Smokers, for safety please only use tobacco in the designated smokers' area and put butts in provided containers. Do not put butts or other trash on the ground or in the fire.  Please replace benches if you move them for workshops & rituals.  Do not put anything except spiritual intentions, prayers, and sacred herbs in the Sacred Fire.

 

Tuesday, 07 April 2015 15:05

Safety & Responsibility

Written by

As a community, we work together to make sure that PSG is a safe, fun, and sacred space for everyone.  During the gathering please maintain awareness of your own actions and how they may affect others.  

Also be aware of those around you, and if they might need assistance, or if a situation may become unsafe.  Please report any unsafe situations as soon as possible to Safety or PSG administration by finding a Guardian or going to the Info Tent (during the day) or Safety Camp/First Aid Center (all hours).

Respect & Responsibility

You are responsible for your welfare and the welfare of any minors in your care, your personal property, and the personal property of any minors in your care.  You and any minors in your care shall: respect all participants, including those different from you in spiritual tradition, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, race, or in any other way.  You must be quiet in designated quiet areas and ritual spaces and at designated times; be honest, trustworthy and considerate in dealing with others including Circle Staff, PSG Staff and Stonehouse Farm Staff; respect the site, plants, animals, and all the Nature Spirits that dwell there.  All participants must abide by PSG’s privacy policy and photo guidelines as posted on the website and in the program guide.

Safety

PSG’s Guardians and administration work to keep everyone at the gathering safe at all times.  If anyone does anything that makes you feel unsafe, or you witness a situation that may become unsafe, please contact Safety or PSG administration immediately by finding a Guardian or going to the Info Tent (during the day) or Safety Camp/First Aid Center (all hours).  PSG, Circle Sanctuary, and the Safety team take all safety concerns very seriously and promptly investigate all incident reports.

Medical Emergencies

If a person passes out or becomes seriously ill, do not move them unless they are in physical danger.  Contact Safety immediately to get help by locating a Guardian and/or sending someone to the First Aid Center.  Only professionally trained persons should deal with these emergencies.

Harassment & Touching

It is your responsibility to monitor your own behavior and ensure that your words or actions do not harm, harass or threaten other PSG participants. Harassment can include, but is not limited to, offensive comments, unwanted touching, stalking, unwanted flirting or sexual behaviors.

Always ask before touching anyone and be mindful of others' comfort and boundaries at all times.  Many Pagans can be very touchy-feely in a caring way, but don’t assume – always ask before touching!  During a cathartic experience it is particularly important not to assume that someone may want or welcome a hug or other contact.  Ask before touching, and be willing to take 'no' politely.

If someone touches you or addresses you in a way that makes you uncomfortable, don’t hesitate to make that person aware of your feelings and ask that the objectionable behavior stop.  If the person does not stop after you have requested this, then notify Safety or PSG administration by finding a Guardian or going to the Info Tent (during the day) or Safety Camp/First Aid Center (all hours).  Please make this report as soon as possible after the incident occurred.  Guardians and PSG staff are on-call at all hours.  

Sexuality & Consent:

Pagans have many differing comfort levels regarding flirtation and sexual behavior.  What one person can intend as playful banter can instead come off as harassing or threatening.  Be mindful of the comfort and boundaries of those around you at all times, and if someone expresses discomfort change your behavior immediately!

Only sex between consenting adults is permitted!  Make sure that you have unambiguous consent before initiating any sexual activity.  Be aware that inebriation can impair the ability of people to give consent.  When in doubt, err on the side of stopping all sexual activity until the safety and consent of all participants has been clearly established.

If someone behaves in a sexual manner that makes you feel uncomfortable or unsafe, ask them to stop.  If the person does not stop after you have requested this, then please notify Safety or PSG administration by finding a Guardian or going to the Info Tent (during the day) or Safety Camp/First Aid Center (all hours).  Similarly, if you observe a situation going on where you feel someone else may be unsafe, please let us know immediately.  Please make this report as soon as possible after the incident occurred – including late at night if necessary. Guardians and PSG staff are on-call at all hours.  

PSG takes the safety and comfort of all participants very seriously – please let us know about any problematic situation or incident so that we can help keep PSG as a safe space for all.

All sexual activity must be done in private, personal space.  Please be discreet.  Practice safe sex and insist that any partners you have practice safe sex too!  If you have a sexually transmitted disease (STD), be responsible and discuss this with any partners before having sex.  Be aware that people can be carriers of AIDS and/or other STDs without knowing this. Condoms, when used properly, help prevent the spread of STDs. 

Sometimes participants, excited by the freedoms and possibilities at Pagan gatherings, get involved in new sexual relationships without considering how it will impact themselves and existing relationships after the festival ends.  Take time to reflect on the implications of new relationships before you act. 

Fires & Fire Emergencies

Should any kind of fire start to get out of control, shout for help immediately, radio for help on Channel 1, and also find Guardian and send someone to the Safety Center.   Fire extinguishers are in the buildings on site. 

Campfires are permitted in fire rings and above ground apparatus only.  You may gather stones to make fire rings and you may dig pits as long as you replace the sod at the end of the gathering.

Please be aware that extreme caution must be taken when kindling fires of any size and kind, including campfires, candles, and lighting cigarettes. Do not leave open flames unattended! 

Alcohol

Some restrictions on alcohol use apply, including compliance with local laws which do not permit alcohol consumption, even in a ritual context, by those under 21 years of age.  If you choose to drink, either socially or in a ritual context, please do so in moderation, and remain mindful of your surroundings and your behavior toward others.  If you wish to use alcohol sacramentally in a ritual, workshop, or other activity you plan to facilitate, you must arrange this in advance with MoonFeather.  

There is absolutely no brewing, cordial, or mead making or bartering allowed on site.  No alcohol is permitted at any time in these areas: the Sweat Lodge, Teen Center, Tween Center, Child Center, and Amethyst Circle.

Amethyst Circle is a sober camping and socializing place for Pagans in recovery from alcoholism and/or other addictions. Pagans in recovery are invited to connect with each other and be part of the PSG support group that meets daily during the Gathering.

 

Saturday, 28 March 2015 04:38

Town Council

Written by

The Town Council is comprised of Gathering staff members who coordinate various aspects of PSG Community life:

 

Directors Circle

Executive Director & Council Chief:  Selena

Assistant Executive Director:  Dennis

Assistant Director  & Special Issues: Chip

PSG Manager:  MoonFeather

PSG Manager Assistant:  Bob

Aide-de-Camp:  Brian

Circle Staff:  Blodie & Florence

 

Center Coordinators

Amethyst Circle:  Zan

Bonfire/Ritual Circle & Fire Spinning Zone

Bonfire Coordinators:  The G.R.O.O.V.E. Troop (Laurie, Barry, Lupa, Heidi)

Fire Team Leaders:  Allison, Adam, Carlee & Colin

Child Center:  Marty & Lisa

Circle Network: Blodie & Ashleigh

Community Altar:  Florence

Crone Temple of Wisdom:  Sandy Artistfair & Ana

Dancing Shadow Lodge:  Colleen & Bear Woman

EnCHANTment:  River, Jasmine & Ambiaka

Gate:

Coordinator:  Minerva

Assistant Gate Coordinators:  Stephanie, Willow & Messina

Heralding:  Derek, Rilla & Dru

Hospitality:  Shel

Info Center:  Evelyn & LeeAnn

Labyrinth:  Jilly Bear & Woodman Bill

Magic Tent:  Vic the Rock Lady

Magical Gift Exchange:  Judith

Marketplace:  Anji & Jenny

Media Center:  Bob

Moon Lodge:  Doveheart

Psyche’s Grotto:  

Coordinator:  Chiron

Assistant Coordinators:  Truly & Tonya & Amanda

Rainbow Center:  Shariff & Jesse

Raffle & Silent Auction:  Melanie & Sobu

Rites of Passage:

Young Women:  Jen Snow

Young Men:  John, Brad & John

MROPE:  Shawn & Zero

Sages:  Jim

Sacred Fires:  John & Kirsten

Safety, First Aid Center & Disabilities Support

Safety Coordinator:  Cat

First Aid Center:  Amy

Disabilities Support Aide:  Amy

Sweat Lodge:  Colleen & Dan

Teen Center:  Kirsten, Maddie & Jenn

Temple of the Sun God:  Paul & Dan

Theatrix:  Brian, Bob, Arthur

Torchlighting:  Kaleb & James

Town Meetings:  Dennis

Trash/Recycling:  Chris & Jimmy Butterfly

Tween Center:  Shannon

Warrior Spirit Center:  DawnWalker

Weather Working:  The Weather Collective

Workshifts:  

Coordinator:  Beth

Assistant Coordinators:  Charmaine & Ilya

Zodiac Potluck:  Messina & Jessica

Monday, 21 April 2014 07:40

Trash & Recycling

Written by

The PSG community prides itself on our respect for nature and the environment.  Please help us reduce our environmental impact by reducing, reusing and recycling whenever possible during the week. 

PSG has daily trash & recycling pickups along all of the major roads throughout Stonehouse Farm.  

Please separate out your trash:

  • General Recycling, including metal cans, glass bottles and plastic bottles and containers should all go together.
  • Aluminum Cans should be kept separate from the general recycling.
  • Paper Trash can be either recycled or burned in your firepit, if you have one.  This includes brown paper bags, newspaper, flattened cardboard & paperboard (e.g. juice containers, cereal boxes)
  • Regular Trash (food waste, flexible plastic food packaging, foam cups etc) should NOT be burned or placed in recycling. 

Bag your items securely and deliver them to the pick-up crew when trash collection passes your campsite.  The last trash pickup will be on Saturday at 5pm.  

DO NOT LEAVE ANYTHING BEHIND at the end of the Gathering!  There will be both a dumpster for trash and a container for recycling near the gate for final disposals before you leave the campsite.  Do not leave anything at your campsite, on the side of the road or at hand-washing stations.  

 

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