At some point over the last week I got a chance to sit and talk with one of the volunteers at Psyche’s Grotto at Pagan Spirit Gathering 2011. I told them that when I first arrived at PSG last year I quickly caught the community vibe. They asked me what it was that brought the feeling of community to my attention. My answer was when I noticed that the festival was so very well organized, I caught the vibe.
Let me explain. Pagans, as Jon Stewart humorously noted, are not known for organization. Pagan Standard Time is funny because it’s true. We’ve all attended rituals that were poorly planned and left us irritated. The mark of a community that cares lies in it’s organization. If you care about your people, your tribe, then you take the time and forethought to care for them properly. You take hospitality seriously. You make sure they are safe. You make sure they have water, electricity, first aid, mental health support, 12-step support, childcare support, heralds, rites of passage, working showers and more.
Considering that PSG is run by volunteers and it runs pretty flawlessly, I’d say that’s a pretty big investment in community. PSG works so well because the people involved care so much. The community is important, it is sacred, and it’s carefully nurtured by both volunteers and participants.
This year PSG was at a new location and, although there were emergencies and adjustments galore, PSG ran pretty smoothly from my perspective. I never felt I was lacking the care and commitment of the PSG staff, or that they weren’t on top of every challenge. They worked their butts off this year and I find them absolutely amazing.
The PSG community wouldn’t be possible without the people who invest their time and skills to make it amazing. Please take the time to reach out to the volunteers and coordinators and express your gratitude. Whether it’s the safety crew, the lady organizing the Crone temple, the people keeping drama llamas at bay or the folks guarding the gate, reach out and let these amazing people know you honor their service. It’s their care and commitment that forms the foundation of the PSG community.
Oh and don’t forget to let Circle Sanctuary know what you love about PSG, what services/centers you found helpful and what you think of the new site!