Pagan Pride 2010 Event Blogs
BELTANE PICNIC - Sunday 9th May; The Forest
by David Knight
At last! The Sun came out to play. From what seemed one of the most dismal starts to summer (indeed its been the coldest May on record since 1914) came a bearable day of sunshine and warmth. The previous night had dark heavy clouds that even made us at Pagan Pride question if anyone will come. Thankfully yes they did..
The sun was strong and so was the wind, if there were elementals of the Air present one could imagine them being quite hyperactive. We descended upon the same spot in the Forest Recreation Ground as we did last year for the Pagan Pride Picnic and were welcomed by the blazing green of Nature’s grace and the welcoming sight of blue sky.
The picnic was a success as the highest head count was around 35 souls whom had come to join us for outdoor feasting and merriment. Apart from the usual catching up an having a good natter, there were the usual fundraising raffle (I wonder if Magrat uses some kind of magic on it-lol) and new favourite game ‘Name The Witch’ (Well done to Liese for naming her, Juniper); there was also the Pride ribbons on sale and new T-shirts for Pride which have been sexed up with beautiful designs from the delightful Cherry Button. Apparently you could see me wearing mine from about a quarter of a mile away- that’s the kind of publicity we need!
Eventually the clouds arrived and took away the warm Sun, but some of us kept busy with learning how to juggle (Thanks Tim!) and even poi despite the excitable breeze threatening to take away our toys. So, despite the weather turning a little sombre towards the end, it seemed that those who turned up did have a good time; whether it was interacting with friends or testing their dextrous skills and even the children being chased by leather-clad Orc-Monkeys, it appears the picnics are a winner when it comes to social activity.
Please remember that Pagan Pride is YOUR pride and can benefit from your output, so please get involved (we need volunteer marshals for the day) and please make suggestions for what you’d like to see in fundraising for Pagan Pride 2011. I remember last year someone asking if there was going to be any open ritual to mark the start of the picnic, we didn’t do it then and neither did we do it this year, not through any selfish intent, we just didn’t think of it; but if you’d like a picnic with a ritual slant then please let us know.
TREASURE HUNT - Monday 5th April; Nottingham City Centre
By David Knight.
I hate Bank Holidays. They feel like another Sunday in regards there is that whole feeling of time running out until you have to go back to work the next day anyway. With it being one of these non-days we thought we’d try something different instead of just going to the Dragon, we’d do something in town that involves people dashing around the city centre like sleuths searching for that vital clue which will land the suspected criminal in jail. So apart from thinking random acts of vigilante justice might not show Pagan Pride in a good light, we settled on making a treasure hunt instead.
Lumi-Witch (Sally) took upon herself to look around Nottingham City Centre and find all the tid-bits and those tiny golden nuggets of information to lead the hunters to the final destination: The Stage Pub. Of course all the directions of where to go next were cleverly revealed once the hunter had figured out the cryptic question, so all the hunters needed was the determination to succeed, the wit and the jolly old sense of fun.
We all met at the Left Lion (no one meets at the Right Lion coz it’s a chav innit?) and sent the hunters off in teams of three. Once they were on their way myself, Spider-Witch (Esme) and Lumi made our way up to the Stage thinking about the warmness once we get inside and enjoy a sit down. Like I said, I hate Bank Holidays, because when we got there the place was CLOSED! Yep, that’s right- the final destination point was shut, so what to do? We hung around the doorway and waited for the teams to come back, which they did within minutes of each other.
Not to be disappointed with a closed pub we made our way down to the Sal (ah, that favourite watering hole of the eclectic minority) and claimed the Cromwell Lounge as our own for that evening. A raffle was played and the winning team was announced: Magrat (Vicky) and Sarah. They were the last team to leave the Lion and got most answers correct and found us at the Stage in the quickest amount of time (a crackin’ 37:00 mins)!
Congratulations ladies and I hope you enjoyed your ‘ting. Well Done! To everyone involved and better luck next time.
MOON VIEWING RITUAL - Wednesday 31st March; The Forest Rec Ground
by David Knight.I walked along Bobbers Mill Bridge and kept looking at the sky (which way is north? which way is south?) mostly because I was watching the clouds. Oh yes, there were clouds, few had the mackerel-pink of twilight on the edge of their grey surfaces, though let’s just say that the other clouds didn’t bode well for the evening’s purpose..
Eventually making my way toward the kiddie-park in the FRC, I could see a bunch of shadowed figures clasping to the dark and huddled together as though safety in numbers would protect them against the evils of the night. At first glance the group of ne’er do wells could have been a gang of hoodies ready to jump me and take “Ma f**kin’ moneh”. Fortunately as I made my way closer it was indeed a gathering of a dozen or so Pagans who had conglomerated for tonight’s ritual of honouring the Silver Huntress herself.
The reason they were huddled together was because it was absolutely freezing! We must be a mad bunch to go OUTSIDE in order to venerate our celestial sister and lunar-Goddess; personally I think devoted is the appropriate word. Within minutes, it was decided we would perform the ritual on the grass, and after a few knocks in the face with the metal foldable table both myself and Dave Kolebuk (cheers matey!) had assembled what would be the altar table for the ritual itself.
We then set about outlining the Sacred Space by creating a ring of candles which kept blowing out at every opportunity- that’s why our ancestors used bonfires! I get it now! Although that would have been in honour of the Sun, so no fires aloud.
Suddenly everything was ready, the altar was set up, the candles were (more or less) lit and there were people! The count was 28 souls, one person for every night in a lunar month (She goes through all her phases during the 27.3 days She is visible), whom had turned up especially for tonight.
Conversation was had, Name the Witch was played, mead was drank (moreish stuff that) and pizza was donated (thanks Jan!) until the time came to honour the Sister-Moon. The circle was cast, the invocation was cited and yet… the clouds were as thick as ever and the wind as playful as the dog in the background… and still… no moon. It was her time to rise and it was, apparently, a no-show. Regardless we carried on the ritual and blessed all the items that everyone had offered (She’s around the Earth and shining her waxing full booty SOMEWHERE), strangely enough as we dispelled the circle, the wind calmed down. Funny that.
I was impressed by the good nature of the people who turned up (some I never met until then), I was worried that we wasted everyone’s time, and yet I don’t think so. I asked one fellow moon-worshipper (Nick Cairns) if the event had failed, he said “No, because its needed.” I think he’s right, it’s one thing to practice our religion solitary, and another as a group. Neither is wrong, yet to give modern Pagans a sense of unity and purpose, perhaps we need to venture OUTSIDE and worship together. Even if we do lose the feeling in our fingers.
Blessed Be, David.