I remember Saturday morning, July 5th. Kim, my lovely spouse, was having mixed feelings about doing her workshop because of the rain. I encouraged her. As it turned out the workshop started 2 hours late, the morning was cooler but warm and overcast. The image of her with blankets on the ground and flute music playing while she sipped her coffee was very serene. It was a very quiet and peaceful moment and the people came to her workshop...and beautiful and creative work was done.
Then there is the sad story of the mother mouse whose head was crushed as her new born babies were nursing when we tipped up the out house. All were sad, in particular, the two children who attend the festival. A crone step forth and in a loving way drown the baby mice so they would not strave to death. Several of us gathered around, including the children as we dug a grave for the mother mouse and her children and a prayer was given that their next life would be better....The woman who took on the veil of the crone was new to this experience and had never done anything like this before...strange that the sacrifical deaths of the baby mice, to save them from the experience of stravation was also this woman's spiritual initiation and ordeal into becoming a crone. Kali Durga came to her and open her third eye on the 4th of July.
There was sweetness in the woods at night as people made love in their tents...I was touched by this magic several times. Yet more as I would walk away from the ritual circle up the path I could feel the magic in the air as torches and fireflies (or were they the fay) lighting the way to the hay field...OH how beautiful the night sky, stars twinkling and the Milky Way spreading its mystery before our eyes. This is the wealth the meek and the wise do inherit and those who do have heart can see and breathe.
There was a ritual in which all participated and a man filled with the enthusiasm of the Lord of Summer, the Sun God, Danced naked to an enchanting recital of I O' Pan. This dance and chorus of nymphs chanting "Isis, Astarte, Deanna, Hecate, Demeter, Kali, Inanna" drew down the Moon Goddess who gave the Charge of the Goddess cloth only with the night sky. This lead to a chant and charging of water sweetened with honey blessings and eaten with bread given by the Goddess. Such enthusiasm and ecstasy as day became night!
Then Sunday morning there was a gathering in the sacred circle of sharing some final thoughts before every one packed up and left.
They was a man who shared some wise thoughts... I paraphrase here...but his comment was that there is a great emotional task of learning how to love others in the community when we do not like their behavior...how to bridge across and emotional support their goodness as they and we find our way on our spiritual path. Part of the answer is to remember others' goodness even as we disagree or do not approve of their behavior and to affirm our own goodness so we not be defensive. We all hugged and kissed and now have merry met and merry part and will merry meet again.
Such is the the Land Of SweetWood Temenos and its 6th Annual Freedom Festival.