My (First Time) Experience at GGG


Editors Note:    The 14th Annual Gaea Goddess Gathering (GGG) was held on September 16-19th at the beautiful Gaea Retreat Center.  This year approximately 150 women and young ladies gathered to honor and celebrate The Nine Muses, 2010’s chosen Goddesses. This report was submitted by a participant of GGG who wanted to share her experience.

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The theme this year was Inspiration. Imagine That! We honored The Nine Muses.

It all began that fateful night I volunteered to help Susan clean cabins for GGG. At first it sounded exciting and fun! Four days away from technology, out in the great outdoors, surrounded by women who would surely understand me, and an opportunity to learn more about my newly chosen life!

Anytime I do something new my stomach goes nuts. This was no exception. I was determined NOT to let my nerves keep me from going.  The fateful day arrived and I set out with a set of directions to some place I had only been to once before and I had a passenger who knew how to get there. I managed to find my way to Camp Gaia and to my cabin. At first I was OK with not bunking with my coven sisters. Then the thought of being with two strangers in a new situation started to sink in. On the other hand I did not want my coven sisters to feel they had to babysit me. So, I looked at it as an opportunity to branch out and make new friends!

Until. I discovered one of my bunkies was The Snake Lady! She was not able to bring her friends with her this year. (I was relieved.)  My other Bunkie was just as sweet and adorable as The Snake Lady. I had more in common with them that I thought I would.

There were too many workshops to choose from! I managed to narrow down my choices. Among the workshops I took: Meditation, Poetry and Spell Writing, Chocolate, and a class taught by Annie Cherry on Burlesque and The Art of Strip Tease (hubby was pleased!). I met more new friends and my head was crammed full of info. I am glad I always carry a notebook and pen.

The Big Bad Gina concert was totally awesome! The group spent the entire weekend with us and they held their own workshop. The ladies were extremely friendly and high energy!

Of course you can’t have an outdoor ritual without fire and drums. I saw fire spinning live for the first time! The Keeper of the Fire built many different fires to suit our needs. The drummers added to the overall spiritual experience by bringing us closer to nature and the Goddesses we were honoring.

There was one thing that took me totally by surprise. The scenery at Camp Gaia very closely resembles the Ozarks where my parents grew up.  Wednesday night as we were gathering for our pre-GGG ritual, I found myself feeling homesick. Not for my husband or technology. But for my maternal grandmother. Even though she has been gone for 30 plus years, I still feel her presence. Then I began to miss my paternal grandmother who is Native American. Just being outdoors and so very close to nature stirred feelings and memories deep inside of me that I was not prepared for.

I have no regrets except that this was my first time. I look forward to going back next year to deepen and strengthen the bonds I already have, and reconnecting with the new friends I made this year!

Desert Moon

During the process of getting in touch with her Native American roots, Desert Moon discovered organized religion no longer served her needs. About three years ago, she began to seriously study Wicca.  She is currently a member of the Luna Lushede Coven and is working towards Initiation.

The Pagan Temple for Families and Solitaries is holding Full Harvest Moon Ritual


From the Meetup Group The Pagan Temple for Families and Solitaries http://www.meetup.com/pagan-1327/

Full Harvest Moon Ritual
October 23rd, 5:00 pm

Tonight is the night of full moon, a time of beauty and magick. Ever since people began to notice the waxing and waning of that silver orb in the night sky, they honored its connection to women, its connection to the earth. We come together to embrace the power of the full moon and celebrate the Goddess within us all. At this time the moon is at its greatest power. Full Moon Night is a favorite night for women to reconnect with their ancient birthright of mystery, remembering a time when women were sacred embodiments of a life-giving goddess. This is also a night for men to connect to the Divine Feminine, to find comfort in the Goddess in all Her many aspects.

Tonight is the Full Harvest Moon is the full moon seen in October. Come share with us this joyous night and drink in the fullness and intensely intimate moment with the Goddess. This time of year the Goddess is in Her Crone stage. Lets celebrate this stage in Her cycle and that of the earths.

All are welcome.

Please bring a pillow to sit on, and a snack or drink to share. Also, if you have an instrument please feel free to bring it.

First PPP a success


On October 8,9 & 10th, the Pagan Patriarchal Phest was held at the Gaea Retreat Center with the goal to explore, discuss, honor and acknowledge the God in all His many forms. 

Here is a report submitted by Blair Marshall:

We had a total of twelve attendees at the first PPP. We shared ideas and views on life paths, beliefs, ourselves, fatherhood, mentorship and fellowship. The general feeling was that a foundation for future festivals was soundly laid, that a fellowship was formed and the continuous work of building a strong masculine community was begun. The Saturday night Sweat Lodge was well received and enjoyed by all who could attend it. Sunday morning we all covered some important topics that finished ideas presented after the opening ritual on Friday evening.

Pagan Patriarchal Phest has been renamed Pagan Patriarchal Paths. The
name change felt necessary once the fine tuning of the festivals mission and goals was accomplished and those who attended the Sunday morning discussion agreed that the change of “Phest” to “Paths” just fit better. Our Festival came to a close at around 11:30 and we were packed and ready to go home by 12:30. After a sweep of First Field to check for trash, damage to the land or gear left behind we all said our goodbyes and ventured back into the world.

We hope to see more of those who showed interest next year. More to come as dates are set, the website is redesigned and we secure presenters, rituals and other details throughout the coming year.

Luna Lushede announces Open Samhain Ritual


From an open invitation on Facebook:

The Lushede Grove would like to invite you to join us for our 13th annual Samhain ritual. This ritual is family-friendly and open to anyone who wishes to attend. Children are welcome and there will be “trick-or-treating” immediately following the ritual. Wear your street clothes, ritual robes or costumes for the evening. We request that no extremely scary costumes be worn due to small children who will be present. Thank you.

We do plan to have this outside, weather permitting. Inside the house should things turn off rainy or just too cold. Please dress appropriately. We will have a fire going in the large cauldron.

We will be feasting first for this holiday. A warm soup and bread will be served, and we will provide the tableware. Feel free to bring along another side-dish and/or desert with you. Please also bring along drinks for yourself and/or to share. Ice will be provided. Ritual to follow.

We also ask that all adults bring along a bag of candy. The children will be “trick-or-treating” all the adults AFTER the ritual (not before). Kids usually come away with a ton of candy from this alone. We appreciate the adults helping us to provide these community children with a safe Halloween experience.

There will be a plate set aside for you to serve a small portion of your food as an offering to your ancestors who have passed before. Also, if you wish to bring a picture of someone who has crossed to the other-world and place it on our ancestor table that would be welcomed, and feel free to light a candle in their honor. This may be any loved one – 2-legged or 4-legged (or feathered or finned – if that be the case).

If you need further information, see our website for maps at www.lunalushede.org or feel free to contact Selene at 816-898-2892′

Time:  Sunday, October 31 · 9:00pm – 11:30pm

Location:  Lushede Covenstead, 11505 East 78th Terrace, Raytown, MO

Approximately 150 attend 14th Gaea Goddess Gathering (GGG)


Submitted by: Wynter Wonderland <wynter76@ymail.com>

On September 16-19th , the 14th Annual Gaea Goddess Gathering (GGG) was held at the beautiful Camp Gaea Retreat Center.  This year approximately 150 women and young ladies gathered to honor and celebrate The Nine Muses, 2010’s chosen Goddesses.  Many activities went on such as rituals, workshops, concert, merchants, evening fires, and a silent auction. 

This event is held every year during the third weekend of September.  Founded by Carrie Moonstar and Rosalie Vaught in 1997, this event has evolved into a wonderful 4 day long event that focuses on the celebration of the Goddess in every woman.  Each year a new Goddess and theme is chosen to honor and learn about, allowing each women to find her own spiritual connection.

Rituals

Gaea Goddess Gathering is dedicated to honoring the Goddess within and all around us and to that end we feature several rituals during our event. The goal of our open rituals is to create a strong community of women for the duration of GGG so that we can all take the lessons, joy and strength back home with us to help guide our lives for the next 12 months.

To facilitate that goal, we have three major rituals throughout the festival. Opening Ritual is on Thursday night and is used to create a strong sacred space that contains elements to protect us and the camp from negative outside energy and to aid release of any negative energy the participants may wish to rid themselves during ritual or healing and a cleansing process to help women shed the outside world and prepare themselves for a weekend focused on themselves. The extents of the Sacred Circle is the entirety of Camp Gaea’s boundaries. Main Ritual on Saturday night honors the year’s chosen Temple Goddess to invoke the wisdom and blessings she imparts and is often interactive with the participants. Closing Ritual on Sunday is when we all gather to thank the Goddess for her blessings and protection, discuss the event, hug, laugh, and then close our sacred circle.

In addition to our main rituals, every morning at the Dining Hall we have our Morning Glory Ritual where we welcome the new day, recharge our Sacred Circle and get ready to face a new day of spiritual growth and fresh possibilities.

Workshops

The festival offers a wide variety of workshops encompassing:

  • Psychic Development
  • Self-Healing
  • Drumming
  • Hands-on Artistic Creations
  • Herbal Mysteries
  • Rhythmic Dance
  • Maiden Workshops
  • Goddess Lore

With workshops focused on inner strength, to connecting with others outside our realm, to singing, dancing, and writing, there was sure to be something for everyone.  This year we had the honor and pleasure of Annie Cherry presenting a fun and sexy workshop on burlesque dancing.  The women even got to make and wear their very own pasties!

Big Bad Gina was there to present a wonderful workshop on being each other’s muses.  These lovely ladies created a chant that allowed each of us to create one unified voice.  As a last minute decision, this chant was worked into the concert the following evening!

Concert

We have had many great musical talents join us each year.  From Wendy Rule, to SJ Tucker, to Ginger Doss and Bekah Kelso, each band has rocked the pavilion.  This year we were honored to have Big Bad Gina.  These three ladies from Fayetteville, AR rocked the house Saturday night with their unique blend of harmony and funky style of music, intertwined with sexy, sultry tunes that made the women hit the dance floor. 

Renee Janski, Melody Griffis, and Jori Costello are Big Bad Gina.  Together these ladies use their wide variety of musical talents to create their own sounds ranging from jazz, to rock, and yes, even country!   They recently released their first CD titled “Amazon Warrior Princess” and GGG was lucky enough to be among the first to have them for sale! 

We will definitely be asking Big Bad Gina to join us again, possibly even next year!

Other Activities

As always GGG welcomes merchants to come and share their products whether they be handmade or retail.  This year we had several merchants with a wide variety of items such as books, crafts, jewelry, décor, apparel, candles, and much much more.  We had the community fire each night tended by The Women of the Flame who did an awesome job building the fire and keeping them bright and beautiful.  A silent auction was held which a large part of GGG’s fundraising.  We had many great items donated by several women.  GGG also provides a meal plan available for purchase and our wonderful kitchen witches provided us with a fantastic Greek feast on Saturday night inspired by The Nine Muses.

Gaea Goddess Gathering is meant to be a place of fun, relaxation, and spiritual experiences.  We recognize each woman is different and it is our hope that each woman brings with them what they need to get the best out of this event, and each woman leaves feeling she has reconnected with her inner Goddess.

Raj Goyle Braves an Interfaith Panel


On October 4th, Raj Goyle, a Wichita native who is running for United States Congress in the Fourth District in Kansas, was interviewed by an interfaith panel on the River City Forum show on station KCTU.  The interfaith panel was composed of religious leaders from Christian, Muslim, Jewish and Unitarian Universalist traditions. Goyle’s opponent, Mike Pompeo, had been invited to the show but had neither accepted nor declined the invitation. During his introduction, Goyle mentioned that he sits on the board of directors for Inter-Faith Ministries of Wichita.

When asked what his first course of action would be in Congress,  he responded that it would be the creation of jobs. Goyle asserted that the creation of jobs would help to alleviate economic disparity as well as the atmosphere of fear and divisiveness against minorities because we can only expect the best of our society when all parts of it are doing well.  Goyle also emphasized non-partisanship was important for creating legislation that would be helpful to the population.  He also mentioned that he would like to bring back the manufacturing culture to Wichita in order to accomplish economic recovery.

After the interview, the panel continued the discussion with the open-ended question of “What is our vision for this world?”  David Carter of First Unitarian Universalist Church of Wichita spoke of the need for learning of different faith traditions to broaden our understanding of each other.  Rabbi Michael Davis of Congregation Emanu-El and Global Faith in Action described two ways to come to greater understanding:  the first was to actively study other faith traditions, and the second was to work together on a common project and learn about each other secondarily.  Pastor Rovilla Ritchey of New Dimensions of Christ Church urged ministers to step away from the pulpit and assist members in practical matters such as filling out job applications.  Lastly, Dr. Daisy Kabagarama of Wichita State University Campus Ministry urged religious leaders to be voices of hope in difficult times.

No mention was made on the role that minority religions such as Buddhism or modern Paganism have in the interfaith community of Wichita.  However, the panel acknowledged that Hinduism was included on the board of religious leaders although no mention was made of which individual represented the religious path.

The interview was observed live through the online KCTU website.

Family Friendly Samhain Fun in Wichita!


On Friday, October 29 from 7:00pm to 11:00pm, the Wichita Moon Lodge will be hosting a family friendly night of fun in honor of Samhain or All Hallow’s Eve.

Creepy, spooky treats will be provided alongside awesome games and songs. There’s even rumor of repainting angel figurines into little angels of death!  An altar to honor the Beloved Dead will be built, and everyone is welcome to bring a picture or item to contribute. 

There will be an abundance of children so please bring your own!  All ages and abilities are welcome.  The Moon Lodge can’t wait to see you there.

Location: Sun Lodge, 315 N. Ohio, Wichita, KS

For more information: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=113812352012633