Some of you may have heard of the Ole Time Good Spell Feri Pagan Tent Revival (Can I get a blessed be?!) If you haven’t, let me say this about it: it is serious, but not sombre. It’s funny, but it’s not a satire or a joke. It’s a real, honest-to-whatever, pagan ritual styled along the lines of the traditional Christian camp meeting, with hymns and preachers and all. We call Quarters, cast Circle, and invoke the Gods, sincerely and with church-hat-ish flair.
Some folks aren’t fans of the Pagan Tent Revival. It does sound strange and possibly problematic. There are many ways that something like this could go wrong. In fact, we have made some mistakes; some were just blocking, others were about our assumption that *everybody* would recognize the gods we were calling. We’ve had to finesse the singing at times, or improvise endings. But, in general, all of the crew are well acquainted with moving energy and managing their relationships with Spirit. So things have turned out alright.
Generally, we hear one of two things from those who stop to talk ‘after the Service’. They want to tell us that they’d always suspected it could be so powerful and so much fun to do ritual like this, if it could be done without all the hellfire and whatnot. Or they want to tell us that they attended a church like this as a youth and had been really damaged by the messages they’d heard there and they finally felt like they’d reclaimed some part of themselves.
Others just enjoy it for a dancing, singing, hand-clapping novelty, which it also is 🙂
I thought I’d share some small part of one of our Services. This is my homily from our offering at Pantheacon 2012, “The Ole Time Good Spell Feri Pagan Tent Revival: Sympathy for the Devil.”
Let the breath you take in move into your body; let it fill and feed the physical form of you. The delicious wonderful physical form of you, that breathes and sleeps and eats and f**ks. Now my brothers and sisters, have you ever been told that your body is bad; that its tastes and its smells and its desires are evil? Have you been taught to ignore it, to tamp it down, to restrict it, to make it be quiet? I know you have, and so have I. But today, here in this space, we honor the desires of the flesh. We honor the magick in the animal of us. Now, do we love that animal? Oh, yes, we LOVE that animal! We feed that animal! We bless our delicious animal soul, with a breath.
Now, let’s talk about the Mind, that part of us that schemes and sorts, plots and plans. This is the curious, seeking-for-answers, part of you, the Philosopher. Also the Poet. Also the Scientist. Now my friends, have you ever been told that your mind is bad; your thoughts are bad? Have you ever been told that your imagination is evil because you were making up stories? Or that your intellect is faithless because you wanted to perceive before you believed? I know you have, and so have I. But today, here in this space, we honor the curiosity of the Mind, we honor the questioning, scientific intellect! We honor our musings and our poetry! Now, do we love that mind? Oh, yes, We LOVE that mind! We feed it! We bless our elegant, creative Mind, with a breath.
Now, bring your consciousness up to a spot right above your head. Feel the brilliant blue halo resting on your brow, that bit of God that is always with you, connected to all other beings everywhere. My darlings, have you ever been told that God is somewhere *out there*, judging us from on high? Have you been told that God will only love you if you behave a certain way? I know you have and so have I. But today, here in this space, we open to the Truth: Great Goddess Himself is everywhere, present in every cell of us and all the spaces between our cells. And there is a part of God that is solely concerned with us, our very own Godself and that makes us a God, too. And we honor that we are Gods! We honor that power to create our own worlds! We LOVE that Godly wisdom seated on our brow. We feed it! We bless the Starry Crown of our Divinity, with a breath.
Now take a breath for the animal-creature.
And a breath for the poet-scientist.
And a breath for the god-that-is-us.
And a breath for all Three~
Turn your face up and blow a kiss to All-That-Is, of which you are a crucial part,
And feel the rain of blessings fall…
The hymnal was designed by sister veedub.
The ‘simulated-preaching’ pic of me was taken by Brother Jason Mankey.