Tag Archives: events

Starwood XXXIII – 2013: Tree Leaves Oracle / Pirate Relief / Faeid Fellowship Booth


Starwood 2013:
The Tree Leaves’ Oracle, Pirate Relief, Faeid Fellowship, & The Naiads Well Booth

* July 9th-14th, 2013 * Starwood Festival XXXIII * Wisteria Nature Sanctuary * Pomeroy * Ohio * http://www.rosencomet.com/starwood/ *

For its seventh year as the manifestation of The Tree Leaves’ Oracle (of the 33 Starwoods), joined for its first year with its brethren of Pirate Relief and the Naiads’ Well, and the 5th year with the Faeid Fellowship – Tree Leaves presents its collection of treasures, art, clothing, incense, oils, bath and body works, leaf works, faeries, pirates, zombies, and fantasy collection at the annual Starwood Festival. First time they’ve attended on the new location of Starwood on the grounds of the Wisteria Pagan and Nature Sanctuary in Pomeroy Ohio. It was a fun-filled 6 days of vending through sunburns and drenching rains welcoming in new friends, extended family, clientele, and window shoppers for the duration of the event. A catastrophic storm demolished one of its 10×20 tents, a electrician helped try to solve the solar panel burnout, and a leaking RV roof only added to the adventure. Sales were decent, definitely covering festival costs, but nothing to write home about especially given the weather-induced damages. However, the festival was so incredibly fun that wasn’t a consideration as the crew plans to return next year. Albeit a different experience from it being held at Brushwood, Wisteria has a different experience and magic to be part of. Thanks for a wonderful Starwood!

The Tree Leaves Oracle, Pirate Relief, Faeid Fellowship, & The Naiads Well Booth at Starwood 2013
Wisteria Campground
* Pomeroy, Ohio * http://www.wisteria.org/ * * info@wisteria.org * 740-742-4302 *

Monday, July 9th, 2013
Good times as we were setup during Wisteria’s Wormhole event, so didn’t have to stress with the craziness around us of incoming traffic, choosing camp locations, building and erecting camps … we welcomed in newcomer’s, revelled with those who already had been there, and provided supplies and gifts to those who sought them. New friends and extended family was made. Weather bounced between overcast and rain with a sprinkling of sun. Good times.



Continue reading Starwood XXXIII – 2013: Tree Leaves Oracle / Pirate Relief / Faeid Fellowship Booth


Wisteria Campground (Pomeroy, Ohio)


Wisteria Campground
* Pomeroy, Ohio * http://www.wisteria.org/ * * info@wisteria.org * 740-742-4302 *

I remember the first time I ventured into the fabled lands of Wisteria. That was for Pagan Spirit Gathering held by Circle Sanctuary back in 2002. Alas, Pagan Spirit Gathering is no longer held here. But just as Starwood was akin to Brushwood, Starwood is now held (and for quite some time) at Wisteria. Wisteria is a great place for nature lovers, naturalists, Pagans, earth spiritualists, and alternative campers. It is also a fabulous site for festivals and events as acclaimed by the infamous festivals held on its grounds. It is a great place for large gatherings or small get-togethers, weddings, music festivals, and spiritual events. They are equipt to handle small groups of just a handful upwards of several thousand participants. Wisteria is set with a grand stage, bonfire circle, hiking trails, a faerie shrine, sacred sites, stone circle, an ancestor mound, a turtle mound, sweat lodge, workshop sites, the permanent setting of Caffeina’s Cosmic Cafe Restaurant and Coffee House, The Green Man Tavern, a swimming pond, a merchant loop, a playground, shower house, and wifi. Groups can rent space in the campground or hold private camping events. Wisteria is managed by itself as well as services of the site to make it an easier place to hold events by organizers. Wisterians are open-minded, professional, and very experienced with events large or small. They will custom tailor their event services to the festival organizer’s needs.


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Starwood 33: July 9 – 14, “2013”


Starwood XXXIII: 2013
* July 9-14, 2013 * Wisteria Nature Sanctuary * Pomeroy * Ohio * * http://www.rosencomet.com/starwood/

One of my most favorite festivals, Starwood is billed as the world’s largest Pagan / Magical / Consciousness gathering in North America and potentially the world. It began for me when it was at the awesome Brushwood Folklore Center campgrounds in New York, but have moved away from that location and is now held at the Wisteria Nature Sanctuary in Ohio. I remember fondly the days when Timothy Leary, Terence McKenna, Oberon Zell, Isaac Bonewits, Louisa Tesha, and many other famed authors and writers would hold workshops. Rituals were numerous and fantastic. This year was a bit different as it was my first time at the event held at Wisteria, albeit my 7th Starwood in my life (the other 6 were in New York). Starwood holds classes and workshops by local and internationally acclaimed artists and authors. Its known for its ecclecticism and diversity, great concerts, performances, dancing, drumming, film, rituals, and poetry. It is a one stop shop for a diversity of faiths and beliefs, religions, alternative belief systems and lifestyles. I’ve been introduced to Voodoo, hoodoo, Druidism, Wicca, Shamanism, Ceremonial Magic, and the Church of All Worlds during my times at this festival (and much more). Seven days of exploring the mind, body, and spirit with over 20 various performances of music, drumming, dance and theater on its four stages. In the clothing optional nature sanctuary of Wisteria, the landscape couldn’t be better. There was over 150 different classes, workshops, and ceremonies offered. Family friendly camping event with hot showers, hiking trails, swimming, co-op child care, kid village, multimedia shows, social events, parades, jam sessions, merchants, parties, giant puppets, all-night drumming, and a giant bonfire. This year was a combination of wet and wild, hot and relaxing, humor and weather. We merchanted the event so missed many of the workshops, but those we were able to make were fantastic. Vending selection was fabulous as was the food. The end bonfire was ecstatic and fun-filled, the drum circle momentous. It was our son’s first Starwood and found him addicted to drumming. A great place for all. Rating: 4 stars out of 5.


Continue reading Starwood 33: July 9 – 14, “2013”


New York Faerie Festival 2013


New York Faerie Festival 2013
* http://www.nyfaeriefest.com/ * Ouaquaga, New York *

Each summer towards the end of June a special portal opens to the Faerie Realm in the farmlands of New york state just east of Binghamton on a very magical nature sanctuary dedicated to the Fae. We decided this year to venture forth to this magical event. On our 2013 visit we came to enjoy the fantasy lands from June 28th until June 30th as the portal remained open. We were first to pass over the slippery muds from the rainstorms that dotted the event. Meeting goblins, mermaids, trolls, and orcs definitely sparked the imagination as we hiked along the paths to the stone circle, bathed on the mermaid beach, crossed the troll bridge, met the tooth fairy, and admired various altars. Frolicking with the Faerie queen, pixies, and elves … dancing to the amazing music of a plethera of talent on its stages. It was family fun for all ages. The merchant village had great artists and craftsmen, food stuffs, and goodies, and amazing faerie chai teas. Time in the realm, albeit wet, was wonderful as the festival was added to one of my current favorites. Rating: 5 stars out of 5


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2012 Dublin Zombie Walk

2012 Dublin Zombie Walk
* Saturday, 4 August 2012 * St. Stephen’s Green to Temple Bar * 2 pm – 4 pm * Dublin, Ireland * http://www.dublinzombiewalk.com/ *

The living dead rose to masses ranging from 4,000 to quoted 10,000 undead splattering blood, guts, and moaning for brains as they walked a long route taking over the streets of Dublin’s historic city centre. These uncanny zombies were oozing with delight as they stopped at several points as a large mass dance party to Thriller and other tunes. Tumbling out of St. Stephen’s Green park, the zombies walked around the park, down Dawson street, down towards O’Connoll street, and wrapping up in Temple Bar. The city was in full support and corralled the zombies assisted by the Zombie Tactic Squad who made sure none of the zombies wandered off the streets onto the sidewalks. Fun was had for all. Unlike many other zombie crawls which are atypical flash mobs, this one with its thousands was done as a fundraiser to raise Euros for charities such as the Irish Cancer Society and Barnardos. As a former zombie crawl organizer from the States, i was highly impressed by its organization and success.


2012 Dublin Zombie Walk, a set on Flickr.

Via Flickr:
Saturday, August 4, 2012 : 2012 Dublin Zombie Walk, St. Stephen’s Green to Temple Bar in Dublin, Ireland. Photography by Leaf McGowan, www.technogypsie.com/photography.html (c) 2012 – technogypsie.com.

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Visit us at the 2012 ShakeFest at the infamous Charleville Castle!

2012 Shake Fest: Charleville Castle, Tullamore, Ireland
2012 Shake Fest: Charleville Castle, Tullamore, Ireland

This year, Technogypsie Productions, Pirate Relief, and The Tree Leaves’ Oracle & Folk Fellowship are helping with the production of “Shakefest by creating a children’s (and adults) fun area as the “Faerie Glen” with a Wishing Well, Rag Tree, and a Madhatter’s Tea Party and much much more. After hours, we’ll be doing a sorta- reunion for our Irish Core Effigy friends we camped with at Tir na nOg this year at the Burn. Childrens Madhatter’s Tea Party is around 1:30 pm, while the Adults Tea Party is at the Witching Hour. Costumes required to participate. Dress as Pirates, Faeries, or someone from Alice in Wonderland. Face painting, Faerie Art, stickers, candles, and Tarot Readings also available. Saturday, May 26, 2012 – Charleville Castle, Tullamore, Ireland – Faerie Glen & Madhatter’s area open from Noon until an hour or two after the witching hour …Note: If you are coming for the Evening activities, please arrive by 6 pm – for bands and entertainment as gates close early.


Ian Welling & Paddy Charles Reception – Trace Gallery (Denver, CO)

Ian Welling and Paddy Charles closing reception
Ian Welling and Paddy Charles closing reception (Denver, CO)

Trace Gallery is pleased to present:
Ian Welling and Paddy Charles closing reception


Friday, April 6th, 2012


Please join us for one last look of these amazing artists work.

* Trace Gallery * 3700 Franklin * Denver, CO 80205 *

This is Ian Wellings first show in Denver since he returned from San Francisco. Ian Welling is a surrealist artist who draws and creates strictly from the imagination. Largely inspired by altered states of consciousness and the realms of the unreal, he attempts to capture the supernatural elements of the human imagination. While his older works draw from the psychedelic experience, his new work features strong apocalyptic thematic elements.
Ian has shown at galleries in Denver, Chicago, Miami and California.

Influenced by the early surrealists and Dadaists, as well as modern visionary masters and the writings of William S. Burroughs and William Blake, Ian is committed to continue churning out artwork that borders on the absolutely bizarre and esoteric.

Paddys art intersects a number of disciplines: pen and ink; the still-life; sumi-e; and screen printing, process (or cmyk) printing and the print industry (in which he has worked and been greatly influenced). The candy-colored, tattoo-outlined still-lifes emerging from this dynamic are curious arrangements of things you recognize and other things too, presented against austere, unprinted backgrounds to emphasize their icongraphy and abstraction. His work is an exploration of this style.

Born in 1978 and raised as a musician in a Chicago suburb, Paddy earned a BA in philosophy from Loyola University, Chicago before eventually moving to Vermont (2008) where he began making art. He is self-taught.

Trace Gallery is a multimedia art space located at the intersection of post-industrial and urban paradigms in Denver. Trace is curated by Saige of Pathways Art, a long-running group show that showcases a variety of artists who share a passion for finding new ways of understanding and expressing our collective vision. Trace continues this tradition, with more focus on individual artists. In addition to monthly gallery openings, Trace hosts workshops, classes, music, and community events.


Event Organizing: concerns and/or compliments

I’m tagging many movers and shakers from various communities, event coordinators, festival planners, discussion group organizers, entertainers, and/or vendors because I think this may be beneficial to you from one organizer / entertainer / and vendor to another. However, I realize I may be stepping on the toes of some who don’t agree with my following two cents. I welcome input and dialogue in this forum. If I’m wrong, I would appreciate being enlightened otherwise. It is my thoughts and beliefs, none other, but some thoughts/beliefs shared with others in the community. So its important to understand where some of us are coming from when we don’t support certain events or projects. I apologize in advance if it feels insulting, attacking, or personal, it is not meant as such. Especially the last paragraph. I realize that paragraph is a bit personal to a local event organizer, but it needs to be expressed for the upcoming events are seen as an insult and complete disrespect for many in the local community it is attempting to profit from. Many of these community members have asked me to speak out about it, and I’ve put it off too long.

I’ve been meaning to write this piece for awhile now. There has been a disturbing trend I’ve seen lately where too many “community” based events and organizers have been catching the “knickel and dime to death” virus that Corporate America, its airlines, its businesses, and its government has been initiating in our world since the “Dotcom” crash. (Prior to this point, the world and its corporations thanked their customers, their workers, their patrons, and often gifted them extras or benefits – something that has long since vanished)

I’ve held off on writing and publishing it because right about when I was going to ‘release’ it, a friend of mine, or a community member of mine, was hosting an event where they were showing signs of this virus. But now is the time to write it because instead of being approached with an event that was infected, I was blessed with an event last night that radiated exactly what has seemingly vanished. This event last night, re-established my faith that there are still community organizers out there like me who are NOT profit-driven and a bright example of entities that exist for “their community”. For those of you who are infected with the “greed” virus, I wish you the strength to get over your illness, and while this might be stepping on some of you “profiteering” toes, it needs to be said. Because such actions are “NOT” community. Commercialism does not equate to community. Now don’t get me wrong, it is totally understandable to want to be compensated for your cost, fund-raise for a specific cause, be paid for you art and time – but honestly, if a “profit” intent is your focus, please keep the word “community”, “non profit”, or “not for profit” out of your vocabulary. For those that are not infected with the said virus, I commend you for sticking true to ethics, for the hard work you give to community, and all the work you do for us. You indeed will be rewarded through time. It may not be financial, but I guarantee “goodness” comes back to you when you put it out. Call it Karma or what-have-you.

Last night I attended, and participated as a vendor, in an incredibly successful event that was held by “The Denver Community Collective”. (At least I hope it was successful – they appeared to have great community support, stunning attendance, fabulous entertainment, and most of the people I spoke to afterwards came out with a very empowering rush of community spirit) (Kudos for those of you who were responsible for such an incredible event). This event stated on their web page that it was created with a soul purpose of educating, empowering, and uniting the community through sound, art, love, and knowledge. I would say they were highly successful with that purpose and intent. They also stated that The CommUnity Family believes in only charging you for what the event actually costs, to ensure that more of you can be involved and enjoy this community experience. (this project is not profit driven in any regard, other than staying sustainable). Again, I say KUDOS and Congratulations again to the CommUnity Family. Four floors of entertainment, 5 domes, two stages, three DJ rooms, free water, free vending, free art space. 7 pm until 3 am. Wow. Admission: $14 pre-sale, $17 at the door. A bargain. Thank you for such a wonderful experience last night. I saw an incredible community spirit last night. I was beyond impressed. The entertainers, the artists, the musicians, the community came together to make this happen. It appeared to me to have more than 600 participants. (I’m not aware of the numbers, but the Sherman Center holds 2,000 and the place was pretty packed)

:: Begin Rant ::

From a struggling artist perspective, I was originally attracted to the event for (a) their mission statement and intent, and (b) the free vending as an artist. From an individual who had been a struggling “feast or famine” technogypsie artist travelling around to festivals “trying to make a living” this was like a heaven-send to me. I gave up that lifestyle 6 years ago because I couldn’t make it. Mainly because too many festivals after the .dotcom crash pumped up their vendor fees, knickel and dimed their vendors and entertainment, added on ridiculous rules, regulations, tax permits, licensing, insurance requirements, etc. making a life of a vendor too difficult to live off. So I gave up. I went to work for the Federal Government and a defense contract firm for a steady paycheck. 6 years later, I am now voluntarily leaving a secure job to go back to pursue the struggling artist lifestyle with knowledge of the fears and struggles that lifestyle has. But I have to say, the event last night gave me hope. As a vendor I did make money albeit not much. Had I paid the typical vendor fee that many events charge out there, I would have come out in the negative. I was impressed with CommUnity realizing that this is all-too-often the situation with vendors/artists and is what is collapsing the independent artist from surviving and many from pursuing such inspiration. Kill your art, you kill your entertainment and in many cases, you kill your event’s attractions. You kill the community’s purpose or intent on preserving the arts, culture, folklore, tribal focus, and reason for being there in the first place. Vendors are a festival’s “free information booth”, “guide”, “point of help”, and a draw to one’s attendees and participants. Certainly there is a place for a vendor fee or a commission of sales, but not to where it can destroy that existence of said talent. Honestly how many people would attend a Renaissance Faire without the vendor presence? very few. I’m not quite sure why the vendors who participate in the “worst of the worst” events that prey on vendors like the “Renaissance Faire” circuit does, attending and paying such ridiculous fees, perhaps it is worthwhile to some of the larger well known artists who can make a living from it. But for the small fry, or the “startup from scratch” artist, they don’t have a chance. Imagine if all the Renaissance Faire vendors, artists, and entertainers stood up and held a strike? I guarantee you the corporation behind that institution would drop their fees and plea for them to come back. I’ve been vending for over 10+ years and I to this day will boycott Corporate festivals that prey on the vendor. Usually its a boycott based on ethics, but sometimes even when I believe in the community and its event, it has to do with the cost and the knowledge of knowing I’d come out at a loss.

Continue reading Event Organizing: concerns and/or compliments


Widow’s Bane @ Brethrencon 2010

Widow’s Bane at Brethrencon 2010
* Saturday, 18 September 2010 Performance * Brethrencon 2010 * Denver Airport Marriott * 16455 E. 40th Circle * Aurora / Denver, Colorado * http://www.myspace.com/widowsbane * facebook *
Rocking the banquet hall, direct from the grave, as the risen dead came “Widow’s Bane”, a motley crew of zombies en-trancing their victims at Brethrencon this year. Colorado’s infamous zombie band, The Widow’s Bane has folk, gothic, and roots music and comes from Boulder, Colorado. They also describe themselves as “Zombie Death Polka”. They claim a fantastical origin “shortly after being poisoned to death by his wife, Governor Mortimer Leech was recruited by the Dark Lord himself to join the house band upon his ship, The Widows Bane. The crew exclusively consisted of men fallen at the hands of their beloveds, and it was there that Leech was introduced to the rest of the band. There was Rutherford Belleview, an accomplished accordionist hailing from Connecticut, whose wife hung him up to dry with a piano wire. Bartholomew Catacombs, lovingly refered to as Bat, had been buried alive. A hundred years later The Devil dug him up, and he was now holding down the low end of the band on board The Widows Bane. Franklin McKane, a drunken gambler of the potato famine era, had been shot to death by his blushing bride when she realized his banjo and deck of cards meant more to him than she ever would. And then there was Rictus Corpum, who met the sharp end of a scythe after his wife played him out for another man. The Devil, however, was kind enough to transform Corpums bride into a violin so he might exact his revenge by playing her daily for all eternity. The ghastly band consists of Mortimer Leech, Rutherford Belleview, Rictus Corpum, Franklin McKane, and Bat Catacombs. Gruesome and upbeat, this band knows how to please their audience. Good rhthymn and dance beat. Great performance that gave Brethrencon a good time by all. Rating: 3.75 stars out of 5.

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Brethrencon 2010

Brethrencon 2010 ~ A Pirate’s Life For Me!
* Denver Airport Marriott * 16455 E. 40th Circle * Aurora / Denver, Colorado * http://www.brethrencon.com/ * Phone: 720-841-8959 * Email: captaindrake@sunkenbones.com *

A first ever Pirate Conference in the Rocky Mountains’ Metropolis “Denver, Colorado”. Hosted at the Airport Marriott in the suburb of Aurora, pirates and scallywag’ns gathered together for debauchery, mischief, merrymaking, networking, and frolick on Saturday, 18th of September, 2010. $25 pre-sale, and $30 at the door gave the guests a myriad array of vendors, merchants, workshops, and panels to select from such as “Dragon Lair’s Armory”, “Southwest Enterprises”, “Marty Melville the Author”, “Katie and Ally”, the Masseur Miguel Alchandro, Charicture by Rigel, “Most Things Fantasy”, “Odd Child Underground”, “Cabachon and Peranic Kitty”, our own “Technogypsie.com/Tree Leaves Oracle/Pirate Relief, Ghost Cat Designs, and R.J. Whetstone Images. Workshops varied from Jasper’s Foul Tongue, Medicine and Health During the Golden Age of Piracy, Midnight Omen Deja Vu, Period Pirate Games, Pirate Insult Fight, Pirate Myths, Pirate Relief, Salamagundi Grog and Other Piratical Vituals Yearrghh!, Talk Like a Pirate, Voodoo 101, 17th Century Clothing for Lady Pirates, A Clean Pirate is a Sissy Pirate, A Crew Full of Jacks, A Shanty Sing, and Zombie Self Defense. Pirates vs. Zombies attack battle and dancing / drinking to the merriment of Pandora Celtica, DJ BilgeMunkey, Mondragon, and The Widow’s Bane. Hosted by the infamous Sunken Bones Society for their celebration of international “Talk Like A Pirate Day” and as an evolution of their 4th annual Buccaneer Bash. Games, contests, Liar’s Dice Tournaments, never ending Pirate flicks upstairs, a snack room, chill space, and many exciting panels were had. Rum Runners, Breakfast Buffet, The Tavern, and a Dinner were served and setup. Donation proceeds were sent to the New Orlean’s Foundations’ “Gulf Coast Oil Spill Cleanup” to assist in cleaning up and restoring the sea coastal environments affected by this year’s tragedy. After Hours hotel room parties kept the activities rocking throughout the night. For a “first” time convention for this crew, it was well done, especially for a “con” or “convention”. Fun was had by all. Get amped up for next year’s bigger and badder convention “Brethren Con II: September 17-18, 2011“.

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Chronicles: 9/18/10 – Pirates & Mayhem at Brethrencon

A Pirate’s Life in Denver:
Brethren Con 2010

Booty Girl Absinthe Alli, Captain Sir Thomas Leaf, Quartermaster Q

Saturday, 18 September 2010
* Denver, Colorado, United States of America *

Recovered from his trip to Burning Man, with just over 2 weeks of rest and work, The Captain, Sir Thomas Oisin Leaf McGowan was off on yet another tale of adventure. This time he awoke early, packed up his vardo the “Isis Adventure through Time” with merchandise, brochures, and the new draft of the upcoming journal for “Pirate Relief” and “The Tree Leaves’ Oracle” setting sail north for Denver from Colorado Springs. Accompanied by some of his mighty crew, Quartermaster Q and the ship’s booty girl Absinthe Alli, they unloaded the cargo hold with elements of found treasures, faeries, mermaids, and literature. Loading up the ramp to the Denver Airport Marriot in Aurora for “Brethrencon 2010” held by the infamous “Sunken Bones Society“. A mighty meeting as crazy as the Blue Moon can sometimes be, of landlocked “Pirates” living high in the Rockies “mile high” above sea level. Finding the coordinator, Captain Sir Thomas Leaf and his crew displayed their wares amongst the other pirate and buccaneering merchants. A tight space for seating, the crew worked their way behind the booth to greet those interested in Tree Leaves and/or Pirate Relief. Upcoming Adventures and missions were collaborated as new friends were made. Numerous workshops and classes were held, as was a adventure game of Pirates vs. Zombies held by Denver’s Zombie Self-Defense Tactics Group. Absinthe Alli and Captain Leaf held a discussion on Pirate Relief, but alas it was poorly attended. Sir Thomas Leaf discovered a vendor who was carrying hand-crafted faerie stars, exciting him greatly, and therefore purchased a few for upcoming travels. The grub was served and the crew was happy and content as they closed down the booth in preparation for the Buccaneer Ball. Mondragon, Pandora Celtica, DJ Bilgemonkey, and Widow’s Bane rocked the house. It was a successful voyage, as new friends were made, new potential crew-hands inspired, and fun was had. Ideas generated for “Project Gypsy“, “Project Black Pearl“, “Project Pacific Trash Island“, and “Project Sustainability“. Into the wee hours after midnight, the vardo was packed up again and the crew was headed back to Denver and Colorado Springs for rest and recovery.

Photos and videos below the cut:

Continue reading Chronicles: 9/18/10 – Pirates & Mayhem at Brethrencon


Temple of Flux @ Burning Man 2010

The Temple of Flux
Burning Man 2010 * Black Rock City, Nevada * www.temple2010.org *

Designed and constructed by Rebecca Anders, Jessica Hobbs, Peter Kimmelman and their crew from Berkeley, California. This year’s temple stands as a counter-monument rather than the usual Burning Man temple that echoes the churches and mosques of history. It serves to reference our impetus to create structure as well as to its relatin with the environment. A giant Gumby statue greets patrons of the temple. It beckons one to take a journey through its pathways by following its sensuous lines as they arc into the air. Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.

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Thunderdome @ Burning Man 2010

Thunderdome / Death Guild
* Burning Man * Black Rock City, Nevada * http://www.deathguildthunderdome.com/ *

Every year many Burners look forward to the infamous “Thunderdome”, the interactive art project of San Francisco’s famed “Death Guild”. It is one of Burning Man’s most famous landmarks and one of its most exciting projects/theme camps. Operating for 6 years straight, Burners come to expect Death Guild every year. Inspired by the movie “Mad Max: Beyond the Thunderdome” (starring Tina Turner and Mel Gibson as Mad Max), “Thunderdome” is a life-sized replica of the same named structure as found in the film. “Two man enter, one man leave” is not really the case here at the Burn, as only friends and friendly-foes who are looking forward to venting some frustration by battling each other with nerf bats while dangling and swinging off bungy cords. All the audience pile around the edge of the dome and climb the rafters to watch the sometimes extremely hillarious battles that take place. Afterwords, it is often a late night Goth/Industrial dance club. Not much activity takes place during the day, but evening it is a very crowded area of the playa. Rating: 5 stars out of 5.

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Burning Man 2010

Burning Man 2010: Metropolis
* Black Rock City, Nevada * Monday, 30 August 2010 through Monday 6 September 2010 *

Every year, in the heart of the Nevada Desert, a city known as Black Rock City is constructed to host the Burning Man Festival. It is a human created world with a dream of teaching self-reliance, self-sustainability (though is not sustainable in its existence on the planet, but attempts to teach its attendees how to become more sustainable with day-to-day life as a concept), and consciousness about community and the sharing of ideas, experiments, and lifestyles. It is a thriving metropolis of artists, freaks, scientists, musicians, dancers, theatrical sorts, and brilliance. The city focuses on community, art, self-expression, and self-reliance. It is a gifting economy with its own nightclubs, bars, classes, theme camps, costume stations, bodypaint stations, entertainment, hospitals, post office, rangers, cafe, ice house, and airport. It is primarily a “pedestrian” city. The city itself (not necessarily the attendee’s personal or theme camps) powers itself on a solar power array and bio-diesel. Every year it celebrates a new theme and for 2010 this was “Metropolis”. This year over 50,000 attended with amazing art, installations, and theme camps. In the next week, photo galleries will Here for a visual walk-through of the sites and scenes of my experience at Burning Man this particular year. Enjoy! Burning Man is a must-visit experience at least once in a lifetime before one departs this planet. Rating: 5 stars out of 5.

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Chronicles: Sept. 2, 2010: Thursday at the Burn, Bodypainting, Playa, Thunderdome

Thursday at the Burn 2010: Goddesses, Bodypainting, Playa, & Thunderdome

Thursday, 2 September 2010
* Utah-Nevada, United States of America *

Sir Thomas Leaf awoke and setup the Body Painting Station. Lots of wanderers coming in to get painted and painting each other when Leaf was gone. Leaf took a wander-a-bout in search of his brother the mad Docteur Mangor. No avail. He did find the Canadian Goddesses, whose camp he always enjoys a visit to see his good friends from Canada. Margaritas and Caesars all around, laughter, catching up, and excellent new friends made. Wandering around the playa and exploring the art was the theme of the day. Hot sun, dusty winds, and some revealing omens at the temple. Central camp was thriving and he did find Bonefinder, one of his best of friends from Canada. The floats and art cars were fabulous. An afternoon of bodypainting, as darkness fell, Leaf took a wander over to see his friends at Death Guild. He ran into his close friend, the wonderful Lady Karen of San Francisco for some vino and late night frolick. “Two Man Enter, One Man Leave” bungy battles in the Thunderdome. Much imbibing of alcohol throughout the evening at all the nightclubs and bars. Sir Thomas Leaf passed out near morning’s light.

Photos and videos below the cut:

Continue reading Chronicles: Sept. 2, 2010: Thursday at the Burn, Bodypainting, Playa, Thunderdome


Burning Man

Burning Man Festival
Black Rock City, Nevada

Burning Man is a week long arts and entertainment, sustainable and self-reliance festival that occurs every year embracing Labor Day. From 1986 until 1989 there was a Summer Solstice bonfire ritual held on Baker Beach in San Francisco by Larry Harvey, Jerry James, and their friends. Here they claimed, not inspired by the “Wicker Man” movie (they state they hadn’t seen it before their party), they would burn a 8-9 foot tall wooden man with his smaller wooden dog, and they did this not for Pagan offerings, but rather as an experiment in art, community, radical self expression and reliance. Apparently Larry’s girlfriend Janet Lohr’s friend, Sculptor Mary Grauberger had been throwing Baker Beach bonfire parties prior to Larry picking it up after she stopped organizing them. By 1987 the “Man” was 15 feet tall and by 1988 at a whopping 40 feet height making it much more of a concern on the beach to the authorities. They eventually called their event “Burning Man”. Because they didn’t have a permit for such a fire on the beach, they had to relocate, and in 1990 a separate event was put on by Kevin Evans and John Law of the Cacaphony Society in the Black Rock Desert on its large dry lake. They billed it as a dadaist event with temporary sculptures and situationist performance art called “Zone Trip #4: A Bad Day at Black Rock”. The Baker Beach Burn “Burning Man” event, after having been kicked off the beach, dissassembled their “Man” and brought it to “Zone Trip #4” just in time for the event. One of the Cacophonists in attendance, Michael Mikel, concerned that the attendees would not be familiar with the harshness of the desert environment, took on the name “Danger Ranger” and formed the “Black Rock Rangers” to make sure everyone was safe. It was here in 1990 that Black Rock City and “Burning Man” was founded. Word spread about the event and people from all over the world started to flock to this desert event. It was assembled of participants only with no paid or scheduled performers/artists, no separation from art space and living space, and no other rules except not to interfere with another’s experience and no guns were allowed in central camp. In 1991 they filed for a legal permit with the Bureau of Land Management evolving to a formal partnership in 1996 for them to own the name “Burning Man”. 1997 Saw the biggest changes in structure to the event when the remaining organizers formed the Black Rock City, LLC after John Law, Kevin Evans, and others left. As the BLM refused a permit for the event, it was moved to “Fly Ranch” that adjoined the Hualapai Flat mini dry lake bed. Since the event moved to Washoe County permitting, more heightened rules and laws were enacted, banning driving of non-mutant or service vehicles and guns, imposing a low speed limit of 5 mph for art cars, a imposed curved grid street structure, no campfires or tiki torches, all burnt art must be on approved burn platforms, bans on fireworks, firearms, and dogs. It was also then that a 7 mile long temporary plastic fence to be erected to surround the event as a 4 foot high “trash fence” to catch wind blown debris. After 2002, no attendees of the event could go beyond this fence. In 2006 was the first time that Burning Man was covered extensively by television, which continued as “TV Free Burning Man” from 2006-2008, and the coverage nominated for a news Emmy Award in 2007.

The man remained 40 feet tall until 1995. By 1997 it reached 50 feet, and by 2001 at 70 feet, from 2002-2004 at 80 feet tall, Then was reduced in size from 2005 until 2008 when it was pumped back up to 84 feet, and at an amazing 104 feet by 2010. In 2007 a well known prankster named Paul Addis set the Man on fire four days ahead of the schedule and was arrested for the incident. The Burning Man crew was able to still erect a replacement effigy in time for the scheduled burn. By 2010 it reached an attendance population of over 51,454 recorded paid participants. Burning Man attendees nickname themselves “Burners”. The festival is based on community, artwork, absurdity, decommodification, revelry, participation, self-awareness, self-reliance, and self-sustainability. In those regards, it has nothing to do with the modern Hippie movement even though the un-knowledgable compare the two as being the same. Burning Man is governed by 10 principles – (1) radical inclusion, (2) gifting, (3) decommodification, (4) radical self-reliance, (5) radical self-expression, (6) communal effort, (7) civic responsibility, (8) leaving no trace, (9) participation, and (10) immediacy. Burning man is a “gifting economy” in like to the tribal potlach ceremony, and relies on the unconditional “gifting” of resources. No cash transactions are permitted between attendees of the event (though the event will charge for entrance tickets (pays for event), daily ice (benefits the local Gerlach-Empire school system), tea and coffee (benefits the event) for those wanting it). The event is clothing-optional and nudity is very common. Once in the event you are highly discouraged from leaving. A re-entry wristband costs a high price if one needs to exit and re-enter. Portable toilets are throughout the event, a temporary airstrip/airport is setup along the event boundary, hospitals and law enforcement stations are setup throughout the city, as is ice stations. All attendees are responsible for bringing their own food and water as none can be guaranteed to be obtained elsewhere in the city. The Event is “Leave No Trace” and all attendees are expected to collet M.O.O.P. (Matter out of place) when observed. All attendees are expected to participate as much as possible, no water is permitted to be drained on the playa and much be either evaporated in a drain field or ported out when attendees leave, no fires without approved burning platforms, and observance of US and Navada federal, state, and local laws. Every year a different theme transforms the event. Art and entertainment, is centered around these themes each year. Numerous registered and un-registered theme camps are all around the city, including over 100 bars, and numerous art or mutant vehicles parade around the playa during the days and nights. Otherwise many participants have their own transportation with bicycles that they bring to the event. Some art is funded by ticket sales through art grants. In addition to the “Man”, a giant “Temple” is constructed and burnt on the last night of the event culminating ritual and interfaith spiritual offerings, prayers, sacrifice, and observance in its participation.

Leaf’s personal photos from Burning Man 2008; Burning Man 2010 (coming soon).

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2010 Colorado Faerie Festival

Colorado Faerie Festival
* August 7, 2010 * Vermijo Park * Colorado Springs, Colorado * http://coloradofaeriefestival.com/ *

More or less a market rather than a festival … this gathering of vendors, costumed faerie folk, Renaissance faire enthusiasts, and wandering-bystanders came together in Vermijo Park in downtown Old Colorado City – a suburb area of Colorado Springs. It was the first event of its kind to hit Colorado Springs as it was focused to cash in on the faerie craze across the country. While poorly attended and not very advertised, it still drew a curious all ages. In its beginnings, it had a decent amount of vendors show and set up with an assortment of fine goods, crafts, and art. Several food vendors set up in the parking lot. Parking was a little difficult towards the late afternoon. As not much entertainment was scheduled outside of the vendors, the band “Radio London” played the ballfield diamond. As the event was billed for 10 am to 6 pm – afternoon winds and threatening rain storms dispersed the remaining crowds mid-afternoon. There were some great costumes. Sue of the Vermijo garden welcomed attendees into the garden for a nice tour and painting of rocks for the garden spirits. Overall it was a fun day. The event was free for the public and had pricey booth spaces for the vendors. Granted I might be biased as I’ve travelled around the world to many extroadinary faerie festivals, but this was not one of them. Rating: 1 star out of 5. Maybe 2011’s will be better.

This was the view unfortunately for most of the day

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Faerieworlds 2010

Faerieworlds 2010
* Friday, 30 July 2010 – Sunday, 1 August 2010 * Mt. Pisgah, Eugene, Oregon * www.Faerieworlds.com *

Every year the portals between the worlds of mortals and faeries open in Eugene, Oregon. For these last two years, this magical space has manifested itself at the Buford Recreation Park in the Mount Pisgah Arboretum just south of Eugene, Oregon. Every year, Faerieworlds becomes more and more spectacular – and this year was none-other. Faerieworlds has become re-designed with an inner circle of camping consisting of over 300 camp sites on its eastern end with night-time activities going from dusk and beyond to dawn’s sparkling lights. Every year, more and more mortals and faeries come together to dance, celebrate life, frolick, play, dress-up, make music, art, and tell stories. A health-conscious food court awaits those hungry souls for culinary delights; hundreds of artisans and merchants brandishing their wares for the shopper’s pleasure, and costumery, face painting, books, authors, and artistry awaits those intrigued by written and artistic beauty with ability to meet the world reknown faerie artists such as Brian and Wendy Froud and Amy Brown. Mesmerizing music from Faun, Woodland, Delhi 2 Dublin, Tricky Pixie, David Helfand, Brother, Man Overboard, Gypsy Nomads, Talesma, Tyler Fortier, Taarka, Stellamara, Mingushki, Marcus Fire, Ghillie Dhu, Vixy and Tony, High Priestess, Madrona, and SJ Tucker amongst others. A new addition of a sacred Celtic standing stone circle and a wishing tree to enchant wandering souls in Faerieland. More recycling and conscious attention to healing of the Earth. Fires for music jam sessions, spinning, and storytelling in the evenings; a dome with DJ’s and dance parties. Aerial arts, hullahooping, fire spinning, and belly dancing. Lots of activities for the kids and adults alike. Swimming and cooling off with the selchies and mer-people in the Willamette River and hiking trails full of woodland creatures and winged pixies. As always, Faerieworlds never disappoints and was a spectacular whirlwind of fun and otherworldly pleasure. Still hands down the best Faerie festival I’ve had the pleasure of attending. Rating: 5 stars out of 5.

Faerieworlds: Day 1 – Good Faeries Day

Faerieworlds Day 2: Bad Faeries

Faerieworlds Day 3: Family Faerie Day

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Faerieworlds 2010: Day 3 – Family Faerie Day

Faerieworlds 2010: Day 3 – Family Faerie Day
* Faerieworlds 2010 * Mt. Pisgah Arboretum * Eugene, Oregon * Sunday, August 1st, 2010 *

The third and final day to the annual escape to Faerieworlds. The Final day is traditionally dedicated to children and families. Its a great day to see the children in their final costumery and fantastical outfits. The warm sun and clear skies, merriment on the dancing green, frolicking in the stone circle, final wishes being made at the wishing tree. Last minute shopping, greetings and farewells of friends, hula hooping, music, bubble blowing, and summer fun. On the Neverworlds stage beginning at 3 pm was Madrona, SJ Tucker, and the Gypsy Nomads. On the Main Stage beginning around noon was Tyler Fortier, Taarka, Faun, Woodland, and Stellamara. Unfortunately since we drove from Colorado and had a 23 hour drive home to get back to work in time on tuesday morning, we had to leave right after Faun exited stage. But from friends that stayed, was told of fantastical times that remained. Thank you Faerieworlds! Hope to see you again next year! Rating: 5 stars out of 5.

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The Portal

The Portal Mystery Concert
* Friday, 16 July 2010 * Boulder Theater * Boulder, Colorado * www.theportalmystery.com * http://www.facebook.com/portalmystery *

I received an email invitation from the now defunct spiritual tribal-rave band Kan’nal saying “The Portal” was premiering in their home town of Boulder, Colorado. So I enthusiastically got tickets online earlier in the week with hopes of seeing Kan’nal do a performance back together. Not at all. No Kan’nal appearances. They are still defunct. Instead we were inspired and enchanted by a multi-media rock concert that weaved together live music, video, folk tale, myths, and poetry into a comprehensive mythical experience. On the screen it presented us with “Dante” who is lured by the words and visions of a exotic woman following her into the most bizarre and fascinating realms of the desert pursuing a quest for enlightenment, guidance, and wisdom. Dante took us through the magical Portal into another world where we met various characters, archtypes, and reflections of Dante’s troubled heart. It is a journey into the threshhold of the mind. The multi-media presentation and music has bits and pieces of Pink Floyd, Kan Nal, Burning Man, Kahlil Gibran, Joseph Campbell, Paganism, Mythology, and the Modern World. It was filmed in Moab, Utah and produced in Boulder, Colorado. It was directed and produced by Luke Comer, and music put together and produced by Kan’nal’s own guitarist/producer Tierro Lee. The lead actor was Chris Kelly. It was a bit long, had a few mesmerizing moments, and overall a pleasant en-trancing experience. Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.


Three Wishes Faerie Festival (Bodmin, Cornwall, UK)

The Three Wishes Faerie Festival
* http://www.3wishesfaeryfest.co.uk/ * Colliford Lake, Bodmin Moor, Bodmin, Cornwall, England * June 18-21, 2010 *

One of Europe’s most infamous and exciting Faerie Festivals, Three Wishes does not disappoint in the Realms of Enchantment. It was my first (of hopefully many) Three Wishes Faerie Fests. A gathering place for the faery clans to meet with the mortal humans in heartland of the historic faerie tromping grounds of history … in Bodmin Moor, on the shores of Colliford Lake (where the Lady of the Lake presented King Arthur with Excalibur) right in the magical lands of Cornwall. Just taking an adventure in Cornwall is mystical enough … but adding a visit to Three Wishes definitely added to the charm of the exciting quest. A three day festival for kids, families, and adults with an assortment of fun. A whole different world than the infamous American Faerieworlds, you’ll find many of the same mystical folks and kindred wandering around. Set in the heart of Midsummer, a portal is opened into the realms of the fae where those curious can come out to play with the good neighbours and see the “little people” close-up. Why Three Wishes? According to the web site, Karen Kay – the founder and creator of this magical event, was out in her garden hanging out laundry to dry when she noticed a single dandelion seed head standing strong and tall amongst a recently cut lawn – and as she watched it, three of the little seed heads appearing like faeries flew up into the blue sky … and thence, Three Wishes was born. This annual three day festival in the heart of Cornwall has been growing by leaps and bounds sounding the horn for fae from all corners of the world to gather each year around the Summer Solstice. Concerts, artists, fashion shows, workshops, art exhibitions, forest walks, games, exploration areas, food, drink, festivities, friendship, kid parades, drumming, meditation, yoga, late night parties, wishing wells, clottie trees, and frolick abound. Sunday ended with a early morning greeting of the sun with a Druidic rite to welcome in the sun. What a mesmerizing time!

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Beltania 2010 (Florence, Colorado)

The Handfasting Saturday @ Beltania 2010

Beltania 2010: Overview
* Florence Mountain Park * Florence, Colorado * www.beltanefestival.com *

All across the world on May 1st, or the beginning of May, Beltane or May Day is celebrated. Here in Colorado, two enchanted souls – Joy and Walden – from the Living Earth Church, put on a family-friendly May Day Celebration and Music Festival annually. Its a time when the Earth Spiritualists, Neo-Pagans, and those of alternative religious paths like the New Age, Metaphysics, and other Earth-Based Spiritual Paths come together to celebrate the seasons, celebrate love, family, community, dance the may pole, do ritual, dance to music, and meet others of like-minds. This year the festival was held at the Florence Mountain Park just outside of Florence, Colorado which is about a half-hour drive from Colorado Springs, Colorado or Pueblo, Colorado. On 200 Acres of City and County Forest with a river, panoramic views of the mountains, and many clearings, there was plenty of room for attendees to camp, do ritual, have fire circles, drum circles, concerts, and a merchant area. Featured performances for the festival were The Gypsy Nomads, Lunar Fire, Kenny Klein, Tuatha, The Stone Walls, Skean Dubh, Lara Jai and the Mountain Trance Medicine Band. Also playing was Pandora Celtica, Orpheus Choir, Heart Beat, and Lara Jai. Saturday there was a handfasting of the May King and Queen as well as the infamous May Pole dance that they hope to eventually become the breakers of the Guinness Book of World Records for the largest May Day Dance. The Event, while open to the public, was not ticketed at the gate – in order to attend you had to pre-purchase a ticket from the web site before the event. Children under 12 were free. Primitive and RV Camping was available for all attendees and merchants were offered spaces in the vending area. Beltania is held annually by the Living Earth Church, Inc. The event officially started at Noon on Thursday, May 6, 2010 and ran through Noon on Sunday, May 9, 2010 with buffer time to pack up and setup. The Festival had plenty of porta-toilettes, had central trash dumpsters, a central stage, information/first aid booth, A meal booth with dining table, a food truck, central community hearths scattered throughout the festival groups, a Sweat Lodge with sweats running two to three times a day; A Sanctuary; rituals: Sweat Lodge Ceremonies put on by Don and Lorraine Voss with Ravencircle; A Sweat Lodge Building Ceremony; A Welcome to Beltania Opening Circle; Men’s Mysteries Ritual; Women’s Mysteries Ritual; Queer Mysteries Ritual; Drumming and Spirituality; Crowning of the Green Man and May Queen; Crone’s Crowning Wise Blood Ceremony; Maypole Procession and Ritual; Midnight Drawing Down Ritual in bembe-style; Mother’s Day Closing Ritual; All Night Drumming and Dancing in the Wild Meadow; Children’s Workshops – Labyrinths – Feeding the Fairies – Welcoming, Wicanning, and Naming – May Baskets – Chants Workshop; Wheel of Destiny Fundraiser for WRAPP; An Orientation workshop; Leather Mask Making Workshop; Exploration into Me-See; Totems, Animal Guides, and Totemism; Dance of Universal Peace; What is Traditional Wicca?; Primitive Fire-Starting Methods; Laughing Monkey Chant; Several Field Trips to Dakota Hot Springs; Neo Highland Games; Beginning Bellydancing; Introduction to Herb Magick; Introductory Mead Making; Faery Lore in British Folk Music; Ritual by the Seat of Our Pants; Make your own dream catcher; World Shamanic Practices for Mother Earth Connection and Healing; Chant Workshop: Music that Enhances Ritual; Love, Religion, and the Goddess Athena; Druidic Roundtable; Hula Hoop Class; Yeast Herder’s Gatherum; Introduction to Mandalas; Personal and Planetary Healing Ceremony with Japanese Ceremonial Sword Dance; Open Mic Hours and Up & Coming Hours. The Festival had a safe and beautiful festival grounds, incredible staff and volunteer support, nad alot of vision for a relatively new festival. Keep your eyes on this one – it’s going to grow by leaps and bounds and become one of the Pagan Festival Hotspots in North America. Total Festival Rating: 4 Stars out of 5. [Thursday: 1, Friday: 3.5, Saturday: 4.5, Sunday: 3] [ About the Rating System ]

Saturday @ Beltania 2010


Beltania 2010: Day 3 & 4 (Florence, Colorado)

The Handfasting Saturday @ Beltania 2010

Beltania 2010: Days 3-4
* Florence Mountain Park * Florence, Colorado * www.beltanefestival.com *
A beautiful sequel to my May Day festivities in Colorado as fond memories of last year’s festival whirl around my mind …. and the third year for the festival. Beltania is a family-friendly May Day Celebration and Music Festival held in Colorado each year. Its a time when the Earth Spiritualists, Neo-Pagans, and those of alternative religious paths like the New Age, Metaphysics, and other Earth-Based Spiritual Paths come together to celebrate the seasons, celebrate love, family, community, dance the may pole, do ritual, dance to music, and meet others of like-minds. This year the festival was held at the Florence Mountain Park just outside of Florence, Colorado which is about a half-hour drive from Colorado Springs, Colorado or Pueblo, Colorado. On 200 Acres of City and County Forest with a river, panoramic views of the mountains, and many clearings, there was plenty of room for attendees to camp, do ritual, have fire circles, drum circles, concerts, and a merchant area. Featured performances for the festival were The Gypsy Nomads, Lunar Fire, Kenny Klein, Tuatha, The Stone Walls, Heart Beat, Skean Dubh, Lara Jai and the Mountain Trance Medicine Band. Saturday there was a handfasting of the May King and Queen as well as the infamous May Pole dance that they hope to eventually become the breakers of the Guinness Book of World Records for the largest May Day Dance. The Event, while open to the public, was not ticketed at the gate – in order to attend you had to pre-purchase a ticket from the web site before the event. Children under 12 were free. Primitive and RV Camping was available for all attendees and merchants were offered spaces in the vending area. Beltania is held annually by the Living Earth Church, Inc.

Saturday and Sunday – Merchants were up and bustling throughout Saturday with prosperity in the air, we were slammed at the bodypainting booth knowing there were also two other booths doing face painting too that appeared quite busy. Today was the big day with an amazing procession of the May Queen on the May Pole around the Center of the Universe and the planting of the Pole. The actual handfasting of the May King and Queen added incredible love and passion to the ritual. The May Pole dance, while chaotic at moments (had two circles going around the pole and some reversal of directions causing weaving and energy tangles) – was stunningly beautiful, magical, enchanting, fertile, and quite prosperous – so much that it actually initiated some life-giving rains in the evening. Sweat lodges and incredible workshops I was told were abound and quite fantastic that I missed as was swamped with doing art with my comrades. The stage was teeming with some of the best performances around all day and night long starting with a children’s concert at noon, followed by Skean Dubh, then by Orpheus Choir, Pandora Celtica, Kenny Klein, Lara Jai, Mountain Trance Medicine Band, and an explosive re-set of The Gypsy Nomads. Then with a loss of a sense of time, Lunar Fire processed in and did a music ritual with fire spinning, dance, stilts, and ethereal performance as they hit stage with an enchantment captivating all around. What a most explosive day. At Midnight we hit the bembe-styled Drawing Down the Moon whre I got a good blessing of a cracked coconut atop my head – refreshing and purifying, cold and direct. On to the All night drumming and dancing around the Wild Meadows – we were awake until the light of day. Sunday was a beautiful day quite busy with the merchants winding down and closing up shop. I heard a few good workshops were held, again that I missed as I was busy breaking down camp and the booth. The Mother’s Day and Closing Ritual was extra special and involved alot of bonding and celebrating of our mother’s for giving birth to us all. It ended with a passing of the Bridgit’s flame from Ireland to individual candles to bring back to our hearths. Officially closing at noon the rest of the day was sweet farewells and much work at cleaning up site and breaking down camps. Saturday: Rating 4.5 Stars out of 5. Sunday: Rating: 3 Stars out of 5. [ About the Rating System ]

Saturday @ Beltania 2010

Continue reading Beltania 2010: Day 3 & 4 (Florence, Colorado)


Beltania 2010: Day 1 and 2

Friday @ Beltania 2010

Beltania 2010: Days 1-2
* Florence Mountain Park * Florence, Colorado * www.beltanefestival.com *
A beautiful sequel to my May Day festivities in Colorado as fond memories of last year’s festival whirl around my mind …. and the third year for the festival. Beltania is a family-friendly May Day Celebration and Music Festival held in Colorado each year. Its a time when the Earth Spiritualists, Neo-Pagans, and those of alternative religious paths like the New Age, Metaphysics, and other Earth-Based Spiritual Paths come together to celebrate the seasons, celebrate love, family, community, dance the may pole, do ritual, dance to music, and meet others of like-minds. This year the festival was held at the Florence Mountain Park just outside of Florence, Colorado which is about a half-hour drive from Colorado Springs, Colorado or Pueblo, Colorado. On 200 Acres of City and County Forest with a river, panoramic views of the mountains, and many clearings, there was plenty of room for attendees to camp, do ritual, have fire circles, drum circles, concerts, and a merchant area. Featured performances for the festival were The Gypsy Nomads, Lunar Fire, Kenny Klein, Tuatha, The Stone Walls, Heart Beat, Skean Dubh, Lara Jai and the Mountain Trance Medicine Band. Saturday there was a handfasting of the May King and Queen as well as the infamous May Pole dance that they hope to eventually become the breakers of the Guinness Book of World Records for the largest May Day Dance. The Event, while open to the public, was not ticketed at the gate – in order to attend you had to pre-purchase a ticket from the web site before the event. Children under 12 were free. Primitive and RV Camping was available for all attendees and merchants were offered spaces in the vending area. Beltania is held annually by the Living Earth Church, Inc.

Thursday and Friday – Merchants and Staff setup on Wednesday and as heard by rumor were bombarded by rain, snow, and winds that made festival setup difficult at best. We arrived on Thursday afternoon to find quite a few tents tumbled and torn up from the winds. The community fires were ablazing and warm in the Center of the Universe – the hearth of the festival. The hearths were a welcoming blessings with how cold it became towards dark. Wandering around to camps, joining in on festivities, and dancing around the hearth at the Wild Meadows with some great drumming on all nights of the festival were common themes of activity. No music or stages were yet setup on Thursday, but Friday morning they rolled in for Fridays entertainment lineup. Vending took off on Friday – as we were face and body painting becoming swamped with requests. Many of the vendors had some beautiful clothes, art, crafts, incense, and creation. Tarot readings, reflexology, massage, and healing was offered. While I missed most of the workshops, rituals, and the Sweat Lodge this year – I heard great reviews that they were all very well done and quite magical experiences. I did get to do a few of the rituals – and very magical and uplifting. The stage was opened up Friday after noon with an open mike broadcasting some great local performers and talent; At 4:30 Pandora Celtica hit the stage with some amazing music, followed by the Irish pub band … “The Stone Walls”. Kenny Klein took to the stage and took us back in time with some great tunes. Following Kenny was the incredible Duet from New York – The Gypsy Nomads who brought to life a magical Gypsy encampment of frolick, dance, and enchantment. Wrapping up the evening was Tuatha from Fort Collins who brought us into another world with a magical whirl. Friday night provided to warm up the cold with a reason to dance. Thursday Rating: 1 Star out of 5. Friday Rating: 3 Stars out of 5. [ About the Rating System ]

Friday @ Beltania 2010

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Punk Rock Flea Market – 4/24/10 – Pueblo, Colorado

“Punk Rock Flea Market” @ The Red Raven, Pueblo, Colorado
* Red Raven Studios * 1143 E. Evans * Pueblo, Colorado * Saturday, April 24th, 2010 * http://www.myspace.com/526688662 * All Ages Event *
From noon until about midnight, a host of talent as well as arts/crafts/collectibles/shirts/candles/and punk rock oriented gifts were presented to Pueblo’s alternative culture for a fundraiser held to get supplies and gear for Pueblo’s first May Day Celebration to be held May Day weekend. The Benefit brought together talent from Denver, Colorado Springs, Pueblo, and beyond. Tables were offered at an affordable $7 which included entrance to the show. Inbetween the shows, Nick and Chris from the ‘The Nicotine Fits’ were spinning records. The stage was blessed by the Conjugal Visits (members of the Nicotine Fits), M.D., Sonic Vomit, the Naked Bowlers, Katey Sleeveless, Inaiah Lujan, Made Up Minds, One51, The Good Morning Accordian Terrorist from Colorado Springs, Grace Champe, Brain Distortion, The Asssault Shakers, and many others. The Fundraiser was to raise money for the local artistic and musical communitie’s celebration of May Day – which they see as for the “International Worker’s Day of May Day” as well as the pre-Christian holiday of Beltane for rebirth and fertility. Overall as a nineteenth century working class struggle to gain the 8-hour work day when working conditions at the time were severe and common for a 10-16 hour day in unsafe conditions. From the National convention held in Chicago, 1884 – it was decreed that “eight hours shall constitute a legal day’s labor from and after May 1, 1886″. It was also from here that anarchist proclamations were printed appealed to the working class ”
Workingmen to Arms! War to the Palace, Peace to the Cottage, and Death to LUXURIOUS IDLENESS. The wage system is the only cause of the World’s misery. It is supported by the rich classes, and to destroy it, they must be either made to work or DIE. One pound of DYNAMITE is better than a bushel of BALLOTS! MAKE YOUR DEMAND FOR EIGHT HOURS with weapons in your hands to meet the capitalistic bloodhounds, police, and militia in proper manner. Not surprisingly the entire city was prepared for mass bloodshed, reminiscent of the railroad strike a decade earlier when police and soldiers gunned down hundreds of striking workers.” It was on May 1, 1886, more than 300,000 workers in 13,000 businesses across the United States walked off their jobs in the first May Day celebration in history for this purpose. In Chicago, the epicenter for the 8-hour day agitators, 40,000 went out on strike with the anarchists in the forefront of the public’s eye. With their fiery speeches and revolutionary ideology of direct action, anarchists and anarchism became respected and embraced by the working people and despised by the capitalists. To celebrate this important step in American history – the local community will bring together a celebration to honor those who stood up for their righs on this day, even though they were met with police harrassment, beatings, lock-outs, and riots. From these riots – eight anarchists rose above the rest – Albert Parsons, August Spies, Samuel Fielden, Oscar Neebe, Michael Schwab, George Engel, Adolph Fischer and Louis Lingg – who were arrested and convicted of murder, though only three were even present at Haymarket and those three were in full view of all when the bombing occurred. The jury in their trial was comprised of business leaders in a gross mockery of justice similar to the Sacco-Vanzetti case thirty years later, or the trials of AIM and Black Panther members in the seventies. The entire world watched as these eight organizers were convicted, not for their actions, of which all of were innocent, but for their political and social beliefs. On November 11, 1887, after many failed appeals, Parsons, Spies, Engel and Fisher were hung to death. Louis Lingg, in his final protest of the state’s claim of authority and punishment, took his own life the night before with an explosive device in his mouth. Today we see tens of thousands of activists embracing the ideals of the Haymarket Martyrs and those who established May Day as an International Workers’ Day. This is why they will celebrate May Day. The Event had quite a good crowd in attention through the day and evening, with a next-to-free potluck smorgasboard of delicious food and plethera of entertainment. The bands were great and fun was had by all.

Continue reading Punk Rock Flea Market – 4/24/10 – Pueblo, Colorado


Abney Park @ Faerieworlds Winter Celebration (1/30/2010)

Abney Park

Abney Park
* Faerieworlds Winter 2010 Celebration * McDonald Theater * Eugene, Oregon * January 30th, 2010 * 9:00-10:30 *
I’ve always been a fan from of Abney Park’s music, but this was an absolute pleasure to see them live, especially at Faerieworlds where the Faeries and otherworldly folk seasoned their outfits Steampunk style. The audience was absolutely rocketted and propelled with intense energy. A Seattle based band – Abney Park to many is the definition of “Steampunk” music. They since about Steampunk culture – about “A time that we wish had bee, a time where airships waged war in the skies, and corsets and cummerbunds were proper adventuring attire”. They definitely have a unique decorative style and influence. I was quite impressed. A goth/industrial band that resides in Seattle, Washington enchanting their audiences for over 12 years. They portray Steampunk airship pirates as crew members of the HMS Ophelia, a British Navy Zeppelin rampaging the skies in the fictional worlds influenced by time travel, Jules Vern, and the Victorian age. The band is not only flavored by Steampunk and Techno-Time travelling pirate and gypsy dress, belly dancers, and astounding outfits but armed with post-apocalyptic clockwork guitars, swashbuckling flintlock bass, middleastern instruments, violins, and Tesla powered keyboards. The Band consists of Robert “Dread Captain Robert” Brown who does lead vocals and songwriting playing the darbuka, diatonic button accordian, jembe, harmonica, and other instruments; teamed with Kristina “Angel” Erickson also on vocals, with navigation, keyboards, and flair; Daniel C on bass and pocket guitar; Jody Ellen on vocals; and Nathaniel “Two Sheds” Johnstone on guitar, violin, mandolin, bouzouki, and other such instruments. This band is absolutely fabulous and multi-talented. Rating: 5 stars out of 5.

Abney Park

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Faerieworlds Winter Celebration 2010: The Good Faeries Masquerade Ball

Good Faeries Masquerade Ball

Good Faeries Masquerade Ball
* January 29th, 2010 * McDonald Theater * Faerieworlds Winter 2010 * Eugene, Oregon *
Blossomed forth from the infamously successful Summer Faerie Festival extravaganza … Faerieworlds … comes a rather new evolution of their festival – The Winter Celebration. Hosted indoors similar to a “Con” rather than a “Festival” … partakers of the merriment gathered together to celebrate Imbolc and the season of Winter with concerts at the McDonald Theater and a marketplace with workshops, activities, and performances at the Lane Events Center in radical Eugene, Oregon. The first night of the event was the “Good Faeries Masquerade Ball” held exclusively in the McDonald Theater. A spectacular event put on by members of the band “Woodland” and the arts phenomena known as Imaginosis combining together to create “Faerieworlds”. The weekend of art, music, and imagination came together beautifully as a select group of faerie artisans had tables in the lobby, a full-service bar downstairs and upstairs in the balcony, and a place to get the concert artists souvenirs and music. Everyone’s costumes were fantastic and appropriately creative to toss one into feeling like one is in the world of the fae. Doors opened at 7:30 pm, and Adam Hurst opened the stage with a great performance at 8:30. Following Adam was the ethereal melodic rhythmns of the Pagan folk band “Woodland” enchanting the audience in faerie bliss from 9-10:30. At 10:45, Vancouver’s (BC) hottest Celtic-India fusion band “Delhi 2 Dublin” took to the stage mixing Celtic and Dub flavors fusing tabla, celtic fiddle, dhol, punjabi vocals, and electric sitar and electronic beats. Dancing was fantastic. The audience was captivated until a little after midnight when the Ball ended. Great evening of enjoyment. Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5.

Good Faeries Masquerade Ball

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Radical Societies ‘makeup’ Halloween / New Years’ Eve Party (Denver, Colorado)

Photos from Radical Societies ‘makeup Halloween’ New Year’s Eve Party
Denver, Colorado * January 31, 2009

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