SHF 2006 Review

Sacred Harvest Festival 2006 - A Review by Aislinn Firehawk

   I have heard about this event through the Heartland Pagan Festival via Nels and Judy for several years, and many of my friends have been encouraging Will and me to attend this festival. I had been in school and traveling was out of the question for awhile. Once I graduated, we finally had the time and money to attend. My only disappointment was that I didn't have the opportunity to do so earlier. This is an event that really works hard on sticking to their theme - History, Mystery, Witchery - and it showed in every ritual and most of the workshops that were offered.

I have always been one that likes to better understand the infrastructure of the various festivals I attend. So, in order to learn new ideas and concepts that I might use at other events, I frequently participate in the festival's Subsidy (aka Work Exchange) Program. This allows me to not just see, but experience, the inner workings of an event at many levels. So, I applied for a position, because I believe there is no better way to understand what's going on behind the scenes than being behind the scenes working.

The Subsidy Program that Harmony Tribe offers is excellent! From the time I applied to the program, I completely understood what was expected of me. I knew that my payment for admission would be cashed, I knew when I was to arrive, how long I needed to stay, and how many hours were required to take part in this program. There were no surprises, and I felt privileged to be allowed to join in the work/fun.

Upon my arrival at Harmony Park, all the Harmony Tribe Root members and all the Subsidy Program participants came together and defined each task. I loved the idea that I wasn't "stuck" doing only one job throughout the event, I loved the idea that I was "trained" to help out with every job, and I loved the idea that I knew exactly who I would be reporting to for each job. The orientation that I received was fantastic and afterwards, I was given a schedule of my tasks for the entire event. I also liked the idea that my refund was entirely my responsibility - if I didn't complete my daily assignments, if I didn't get the appropriate initials on my schedule following each assignment, and if I didn't turn in my paperwork at the end of the event - it was up to me to see to it that my refund was processed upon completion of my assigned work. I think that putting the responsibility squarely on the shoulders of the Subsidy participant is a good way to govern this activity. I personally feel that other festival organizers would do well to take a look at this program for their own events.

I attend many Pagan Festivals around the country, and of all the events I have attended, I found this one to be in the top three as far as a spiritual event! There was such a variety of Rituals scheduled that if you couldn't find one that suited you, you just weren't reading the program. There were Rituals for personal growth and enlightenment, Rituals for world issues, Rituals for honoring one another and Rituals for honoring oneself. There were so many Rituals scheduled throughout each day that it was sometimes hard to decide which ones to attend. But, I found several Rituals I felt were appropriate to my needs at this time in my lifewalk. I can't even remember how many Rituals I finally attended, but each one offered me the opportunity to learn more about myself, my lifepath and how I was walking that path.

Nels and Judy                 Chocolate Ritual by Momhen

Big kudos to Nels and Judy and all the Ritual contributors for the great job they did - everything from the scheduling and props to the actual performance was awesome! I also felt honored that the Harmony Tribe community allowed me - an "outsider" - to participate in a few of them. However, with all the Rituals I did manage to attend, I have to say the one that affected me the most was the Sacred Hunt! Julie and Frank did a fantastic job presenting this Ritual, and I must say that I never expected the level of illumination that I received from this! To sum up the Rituals - let's just say you had to be there.

Katrina Messenger              Patrick McCullom

All the honored Guests at SHF offered something to the community. While I wasn't able to attend any of the presentations, I did hear people talking about them, and everyone seemed to walk away with something from each one. I did, however, get to spend some time in the booth talking with several of the speakers and was impressed by their knowledge and what they were willing to share for the sake of community. The entertainment was - well, entertaining! Celia's sharing of "Symbol" was so powerful and moving, there wasn't a dry eye afterwards! The One Hat Band was new and different from other bands I've heard at various Pagan Festivals and they were quite enjoyable - especially their "little fiddler". Papa Joe Credit - what can I say, it's Papa Joe - 'nuff said! Mystic Mélange were their usual and incredible selves! Always a crowd pleaser with the fire play and music! But, my favorite entertainment were the impromptu "jams" when several of the musicians just came together and made music for the amusement of whomever happened to be hanging around the Heart Chakra.

The Morning Meeting was very informative and I thought it helped to bring the community together. I loved the Heart Chakra - both the concept and the management. I felt I had the potential to be informed of everything happening that day. The Village Shops were arranged fabulously and I loved having my "shop" right where I could work and listen to whatever was happening in the Heart Chakra around me all the time.

Some of the ninety seven children who attended!      

And, I must say thank you to my new friend, Wolf, the proprietor of Wolf's Den, for feeding us so well and having the coffee ready so early each morning! It was great hanging out with you and the coffee pot each morning and chatting myself awake!

I just cannot remember the names of each of the Harmony Tribe Roots. I also cannot remember ever feeling so welcome and appreciated for whatever I could contribute! All in all, everything from my arrival, the Subsidy Program, eating at Wolf's Den, participating in various Rituals, shopping, vending, the entertainment and speakers, and just watching everyone go through their day was a moving and spiritual experience I will have a very difficult time forgetting anytime soon! Thank you - one and all - for the fantastic contribution to my experience at Sacred Harvest Festival 2006!

Aislinn Firehawk
is a long time member of the Kansas City Pagan community and current Board of Directors Member, Spirit Circle and Speakers and Bands Chairperson for Heartland Spirit Alliance

The "Symbol" song Video was filmed at Sacred Harvest Festival 2006

"Symbol" has become the Anthem of the Veteran Pentacle Quest. It is a rousing call to the VA to honor Sgt. Patrick Stewart with his emblem of belief, the Pentacle, on his memorial plaque. And, it is a powerful reminder of the need to uphold America's First Amendment Freedoms."

-Rev. Selena Fox, Senior Minister of Circle Sanctuary