Thursday, August 9, 2012

Brushwood Folklore Center - Sirius Rising Festival

The warrior combating flies & mosquitoes!
The Sirius Rising Festival was almost serious. There’s a strange conglomeration of folks that attend this festival. It’s not like anything I’ve ever seen. People dress up some, but there’s no real “period” for the costumes like at Ren Faire. There are pagans, druids, shamans, healers of all ages, and just some good ol’ hippies running around naked. There are also lots of very, very fat people…who are also running around naked. The entire grounds inside the entry gate are clothing optional, but most people choose to wear something, if nothing more than a sarong. 

Fire Night
Every evening there is a ceremony at one of the altars. There are five alters spread around the campground, representing the elements of air, water, fire, earth, and spirit. Each ceremony has an appropriate color for costumes for the night: yellow for air, blue for water, red for fire, green for earth, and white and/or purple for spirit. We were glad to have the costume bin handy so we could dress appropriately for ceremonies. The regulars here perform a skit of sorts that tells the story of a wayward healer finding her way back to her community and again becoming a healer. Following the skit, there’s a procession to the main alter where there is a continuation of the skit that leads to the lighting of a large bonfire, a drum circle, and lots of dancing around the fire. After about half an hour, as the fire gets hotter, people start to strip down and the party gets started—then we old folks go to bed and let the kids play.
Spirit Night

During the day there are a lot of workshops on everything from Tai Chi to an update on the latest research papers on witchcraft. In spite of our best intentions, we didn’t make it to very many of the workshops. We did go to a kundalini yoga class, which was fun, and in spite of the simplicity of the exercises, was quite challenging. Debby also went to a workshop on herbs for women’s health, which she loved. Unfortunately, we missed both Tai Chi classes—one because of the heat and one because of rain. We really want to try Tai Chi. 

There are lots of vendors at the festival, but you can see pretty much all they have in a day. There’s a pool house with a hot tub, group showers, and a pool with very cool water. The pool feels pretty good on hot days. Otherwise it’s time for shade seeking and recovery from the previous night. We dropped in often to visit the hashers that stayed on for the festival, about five in all, and they were camped in the Fairy Woods, where it was much cooler than in the RV parking area. We really enjoyed hanging out with them and getting to know them better and they were awesome hosts…thanks to Glass, Doodle, Prick-her, and Duke for their hospitality.
Here are a few pictures of the last night before the burn - Spirit Night when everyone wore purple & white:
we all walked the labyrinth with candles

tons of luminaries set off
All dressed and ready for spirit night.
Here are a few pics of Brushwood:
Fire Altar - where the drum circle and dancing took place.

For the Burn

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