Wow! Hekatee’s Sickle was absolutely beyond incredible this year ! The ATC family pulled together to create an experience highly magical, deeply intensive and downright fantastic. Our paths this year were Greek, Celtic and Egyptian. There was no doubt in anyone’s mind that the Gods spoke to us and through us this year. I was truly grateful to be able to do my 2-hour work duty and nothing more–a totally new concept for me! We had great workshops, which are a new addition to HSF.
Our honored guests, Rev. Sonya Miller and her husband Rev. Brian Miller from the Temple of the Sacred Gift-ATC out of Memphis, TN hit the ground running. They held three great workshops: The Principles of Ma’at, Men’s Mysteries & Stories from the Mid-South. Obviously, I didn’t attend the Men’s Mysteries, but the men were really fired up by Brian, and they want to bring that work here, which would be great. The Principles of Ma’at was a great class. We find that Ma’at is a way to live, not simply an Egyptian Goddess (she is the one with the feather crowning her). She is relative truth. I so enjoyed listening to Sonya, who is a fireball of energy and knowledge, not just about the Egyptian path, but about the Craft in general. We’re super glad to have her and Brian as part of the ATC family!
The final workshop on the stories from the mid-South really provided an eye opener for so many of us. We are very fortunate to live in Washington where individualism is acceptable; where the right to worship however you wish is acceptable. Very few of us here at the ATC remember the bad old days before Pete Pathfinder started stirring the pot to demand that Wiccans be allowed the same rights as other religions. Even so, we faced nothing like our affiliate families in the South. No snipers drawing a bead on us; no cops routing us and trying to arrest us for no good (or bad) reason; no rocks thrown through windows or drive-by shootings. The word pictures that Brian and Sonya drew of the bigotry and hatred that so many of our Southern brothers and sisters fought were gruesome yet heroic. We just don’t realize how good we have it!
Our other honored guest, Rev. Dana Ston, HP of the Sunrise Coast Tabernacle-ATC out of Savannah, GA conducted our Pet Rite of Release. I didn’t get a chance to attend, but word came back that it was a very special ritual. Dana also has a deep connection to and speaks with the Ancestors. He was a bit overwhelmed with people wanting to know if Dana had any messages for them from loved ones who have passed. Still and all, Dana was a wonderful and magical presence at HSF and I was pleased to be able to spend time talking with him!
Beads and Cords was held on Friday night instead of Saturday night. No matter what you do, this takes 2-3 hours to get through because we have so many wonderful people who give so generously of their time. The awards night being Friday instead of Saturday was a good alternative. Folks were still fresh and awake. There’s going to be a change next year, and I’m looking forward to it. Again, Bella’s thoughtfulness comes through, but I’m not going to tell! You’ll have to wait until next year.
The feedback coming in from the festival is overwhelmingly positive. Many folks were very happy not to be wandering around in the woods in the dark. The labyrinth and the paths to the Gods were lit up with over 600 luminaria! It was ethereal and beautiful and magical! One of our Crones walked all the paths to make sure that there were no hazards for folks, mobility impaired or not.
The very best part of the journey, by general consensus, was going alone along the path instead of in a group. I never liked the group thing—what is in my heart is for the gods alone and not for others. Too many of us didn’t connect with the Gods in past years because of that very fact; this is a private journey and many thanks go to our APS Bella for being so wise and knowing that this change would affect us in a positive way and allow us to open up to the Gods. At the end of the journey, I followed the maze that led from my path to the front steps of the dining hall. When I entered the hall, I was greeted by Dionysus (Dusty). “How was your path? How was your life? Would you like a hug?” What a wonderful transition! Inside, the dining hall was decorated with lights, a table with light munchies was laid out and Jeff Cox was the man behind the music. Welcome to the very first ATC Witches’ Ball! What a blast! I had been lobbying for this for several years. Thank you Bella! Thank you Pete! The ball allowed folks to relax and release to begin the healing process. It was such a blast. The last few folks left at the ball cleaned up the hall and pitched in to clean up all the luminaria around the site. I was really impressed by that.
As always with the ATC and its affiliates, the site was packed and cleaned up in record time with everyone pitching in everywhere. Closing circle was joyous as never before as we lowered the shields and opened the circle. The air was full of love and positive energy. I couldn’t stop smiling and neither could anyone else. If you’d like to see pictures from the event, follow this link. Kam Abbott was our photographer and did an outstanding job! Thanks so much for all your hard work Kam!
I’m already looking forward to HSF 2013. There will be more changes to come. I hope you join us.