Last week on June thirteenth trough the fifteenth, I attended an incredible Festival in Belleville called 'Michigan Pagan Fest.' The experience was so bloody fantastic, it has taken me this long to properly digest what occurred and reflect accordingly! I went there with my friend and talented fellow artist Lindsay Mathers (check out her website!!) and the two of us had an absolute blast. I had no clue what to expect, but as soon as I entered the fairgrounds I found myself confronted by a deeply moving ritual involving the White Goddess. That day I was feeling emotionally vulnerable and a bit defeated...when we all stood in line to speak with the veiled Goddess, I fell apart, broke down and sobbed in her arms when my turn arrived. The truth is that It has been extremely stressful...everything I have done to create and promote my book; and all of my fear and love came tumbling out all at once. In a beautiful moment, the Goddess comforted me and said in a soft, loving voice, 'My precious daughter, you are on the right path. Thank you for your suffering.'
From then out out, my strength returned and I seized all three days with passion and fervour! I attended several workshops; the most fascinating of which involved the banishing ritual of the pentagram and the middle pillar, both of Kabbalistic origin (an area of esoterica by which I am particularly fascinated.) I have been immersing myself more and more in studies of Gnosticism, Judaism and the Old Testament. It is all extremely archetypal relevant to my life, it seems, and countless synchronicities have occurred in regards to this theme. I also dabbled in the earthier side of Paganism with Ogham divination and Runes. Absolutely fascinating!
The second ritual was also outstanding. It involved the climbing of the Tree of Life. At the beginning of the climb, I was blindfolded and insulted by a dark and powerful woman, whose voice insisted I would fail. I responded to her and said that I did not have to listen to her voice...that I had a true voice within of inner strength. She pushed me thereafter between two lines of people who guided me up the symbolic tree. Being blindfolded, I felt as though I was floating in an abyss, guided by one thousand hands. At the end of the 'climb', I entered a womb like space, accompanied by a heavenly voice which asked: 'Do you want to see the face of God?' upon which the blindfold was removed and a mirror was revealed. God is in me--this I knew already, but to endure that truth as an actual experience created a powerful, immovable memory that is imprinted forever on my spirit.
The event was riveting socially as well as spiritually--I met some truly amazing people and made some lasting connections for sure. I even sold a few copies of the Weather Inside to some very special individuals... <3 Oh yes, and I can't forget to mention the Meanad parade! That's right, I got to participate in a real Dionysian ritual equipped with wine, ecstasy, dancing and some breathtaking romance... ;) Talk about a dream come true. Honestly, I don't know that I've ever had so much fun in my life.
There is even more to say but I can't possibly explain it all here. Besides, a large part of the magic lies in what is left unsaid. All I know is that I will never be the same...in a good way.
I wish I had taken more photos. I feel a bit silly, but I was just so caught up in the moment! This is wonderful, though--I over think and over analyze everything, so living in the moment is often a struggle for me. Here are just a few pictures: