June 27th, 2011

campfire, cooking

Pagan Spirit Gathering Recap

Good morning everyone!

As I settle back into Mundania (and what a crazy Monday morning it is!), I wanted to share a bit of my experience at PSG this year. You can also get a taste of my arrival from my weekly Warriors & Kin submissions. So here goes...

Thursday after work, I invested the entire evening doing last minute prep: I did grocery shopping for both my workshop and for my contribution (dinner for Media Camp), washed the bedding that's been in the closet for several months, dug through everything and lined everything up for packing in the morning. I only got in a few hours sleep, but that was fine my me; it was enough. I would rather sacrifice a couple hours of sleep than to miss out on anything haha!

Friday morning, I was up fifteen minutes earlier than expected, so I got a jump start on things. However, I ended up getting on the road an hour later than expected, as I just wasn't as coordinated as I had thought. I also forgot my hat and apron, so I lost the fifteen minutes there. Ron was thinking I wouldn't be able to pack everything in the car, but not only was I able to, but I definitely could have had a second person if I crammed things. Therefore, he needs to go next year!

I will admit I suck at reading maps, even ones with very simple details. For me, a co-pilot is important, because I always miss at least one turn. This journey was no exception, which caused me to be a half hour later than planned, but that's okay - I love road trips just to see small town America and all that is kitschy and camp. Besides, it wasn't nothing a couple of coffee drinks, a pack of smokes and some good 70's southern rock on the radio couldn't fix.

When I arrived, I was greeted by quite a few folks with a "Welcome Home!". I had never been to this location, but people were able to help me along with the registration process. After I parked my car, I walked back to set up and found the rest of my camp there to help me set up, fill me in on the goings on, make sure I was well fed and introduce me to a bunch of people. By the time afternoon rolled around, I was invited for afternoon cocktails and some of the most delicious hummus I've ever had.

Pan's Ball that night threw me right back to the Friday nights I had when I was in high school, but in costume! The only differences between this rave and those are we were not chased out by cops, no one was tweaking that I noticed, and we girls didn't have to drip dry after peeing in the bushes. Let's put it this way: I had so much hedonistic fun I drunk-dialed hubby back at home, but in email form. LOL! (I could have called him, since I was getting full bars for the duration, but I'm not that mean!) So yes, there was Internet access there, but with 1100 people trying to log on at the same time, it was only at night where I could really gain much access.

I remember mentioning about the stars - soooo many stars that night. One of the things I truly love about camping, be it for spiritual or for fun reasons, is to see the stars. I live in Chicago, and the only celestial bodies I ever see are the moon and bright planets - no constellations or even the Milky Way. When I was a girl growing up here in the 80's, I remember being able to see Orion and the Big and Little Dippers for sure, so the light pollution has definitely gotten out of hand. So yes, just being able to literally dance beneath the stars was that much of a drive for me to drunk-email Ron!

Saturday morning, I was actually surprised I wasn't hung over, though I was a little on the confused level. I attended the morning meeting, so it was good to get to meet more folks. I got in some shopping with the vendors, and I also took a stroll through the park to wave hello to everyone and see how they decked out their campsites. Needless to say, I have many new ideas for my next fest excursion! One of the tents I saw in the family area is a model my husband and I had just seen in a sales flyer the Sunday before; it looks like a ranch style home which sleeps ten (meaning five adults comfortably). Seriously - how much more comfy in a tent can you get? WANT!

At the meeting, I made mention of my workshop later that day, which was on camp kitchen witchery. I had a nice little gathering for that, and many more folks stopped by afterward to have a taste as well. So yeah, it was all good! I also donated a copy of my book for the raffle, which I understand helped Circle Sanctuary get some extra money. (Maybe someone from my workshop wanted the recipe to the bread I baked ahead of time!) As I mentioned during the workshop, there is nothing more iconic than a bunch of Witches stirring over a large cooking vessel together. That was a lot of fun for sure!

That night, I cooked for Media Camp, which I had made quesadillas and burritos with cucumber salad, and that went over very well. I know I personally was stuffed! Afterward, I went and did some exploring on my own before heading off for some drumming with my jingle stick. (It also served as a nice back scratcher for the cluster of mosquito bites I had gotten as well. Multi-purpose, baby!) I wandered around the swimming pond, and I'm glad I did, because the chirps, ribbets and peeps from there really set the tone for drumming afterward. There is nothing more enchanting than summer critter singing.

I made more friends at the drum circle, so that was very cool indeed. I stayed there until about 3am, since I knew my drive ahead of me was only a couple hours. Therefore, I was already planning on being lazy with the tear-down. (My brother is coming into town this or next week and will be borrowing my gear then, so I wanted to make sure everything was packed correctly for him.) The closing ritual yesterday morning was bittersweet, especially since I had not at least run into half the people I was hoping to meet. So for that, I do apologize. Ah well, at least my now IRL friends at Media Camp got some stellar pics and recordings so I may relive and experience aspects I had missed out on. ((((( Cara, Star, Iris, David ))))) (And for those wondering, the Jason stuff on #psg2011... he's a naughty boy!)

When I got home, which was turn-missing free this time, I arrived to a wonderful treat: Ron had done a bunch of cleaning and redecorating in my absence! Before I left, we had spent the week paining our bedroom with deep red walls, charcoal trim and a white ceiling. He completed the package by rearranging the furniture to where there is a giant open space in the center (perfect for yoga and drumming if I wish!), all the death metal stuff has been (re)moved, and he installed a dimmer switch to make things that much more romantic. (Swoon! Be still my heart!) Considering today is our 13th anniversary, the room was the perfect gift to ourselves. He also cleaned the rest of the place as well, even doing the grout in the bathroom, so yeah... it's simply awesome! (Well, except for the camping gear in the living room that needs to be put away...)

For his hard work and love, even though I was very tired, I made us one of his favorites for dinner: fettuccine alfredo and a large garden salad. In fact, I had made so much salad that's what we're having for lunch today here at the office. (It's definitely a perk to work together.) We watched the season premiere of True Blood while we ate, which the tone was comically set on the Cleveland Show a half hour earlier. (Wrong! LOL!) It was indeed a bizarre episode, though because this season is all about Da Witchez, I will be hoping it doesn't become another Marianne maenad clusterfuck. (I am also hoping Alan Ball got my memo about introducing Bubba and played by Bruce Campbell!)

So yep, I indeed had a wonderful time, and I am looking forward to it next year. I loved the location, absolutely loved it, and not just because it's in my back yard. The only thing I wished was available was PSG pre-stamped post cards for sale, just so I could mail them to people with a "Wish you were here!" greeting!