The Heathen at the Big Pagan Festival

The Heathen at the Big Pagan Festival May 15, 2015


It’s pretty rare that events come together in a perfect, almost magical, confluence that allows something great to happen in a person’s life.  I have been lucky enough to have that experience this past week – first I found out I’d be getting two long-shot days off of work.  The Heartland Pagan Festival is being held that weekend out at Camp Gaea in Kansas City, and I started to get a bit excited, thinking maybe I could make the drive down with my oldest daughter and experience my first really big Pagan festival.

At the prompting of a still (but not small!) voice, I shot a last-minute email to the festival organizers just to check if there might be some room in the line-up for one more workshop.  I quickly received a reply setting me up with a time and location, an honor I really wasn’t expecting.

At the Heartland Pagan Festival, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, I’ll be giving an introductory talk about Nerthus and holding a simple ritual in Her honor.  I’ve given a few talks and workshops before, at intro classes and my local Pagan Pride, and I have plenty of experience running public ritual – but never anything at an event this large.  Honestly, I’m a little nervous.

But the subject matter is intimately familiar to me; both Her lore which I’ve learned backwards and forwards, and Her spirit which I have loved and known for years.  As long as I prepare, I know everything will turn out exactly as it should.  I look forward to meeting anyone who comes to learn about Her, such an enigmatic and contradictory figure.  More than anything, I’m really looking forward to my first big outdoor festival!

I hope to meet friends who will be friends for a long, long time.  I hope to meet friends who will flit into my life to show a glimpse of another perspective, and then fade away, and maybe be found again someday.  I hope to learn a great deal from elders in the Pagan community who know a great deal more than me, and I hope to teach a few people a new thing or two.  I hope both my little one and I will have a lovely time, not letting shyness get in the way of good conversation.  I really hope it doesn’t rain, as my tent is not particularly waterproof!

If any of my readers are attending the Heartland Pagan Festival, please come visit me at 2:45 on Sunday; or just be on the lookout for a short lady with long brown hair in a flouncy dress – at the very least I’ll be attending all of T. Thorn Coyle’s workshops, and I’ll be wearing my Hammer.  I’d love to meet and chat with all of you!

“Bonfire” photo by Mrs.Gemstone creative commons license 2.0

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