Notes on the 11th Northwind Homecoming Gathering
Some of the people who couldn't come to this gathering wanted to know "all about it" so I'm just sending this to them, plus most of the people who were actually here. If I made any mistakes, don't hesitate to chime in.
Ravenwolf arrived Thurs night, somewhat before I got home from work. We had a good talk and his son, Shaun, got to know my grandson BJ.
People didn't arrive very early on Friday, but then came streaming in. Special thanks go to Eagle who was one of the first here, the last to leave, and I don't believe he ever stopped working to make it a better gathering the whole time he was here! I love to see this quality of leadership coming up in a new class.
We were unreasonably lucky in that it wasn't nearly as hot as it had been in recent weeks but it also didn't rain--or even sprinkle so far as I know. We did do without a central fire, it just seemed a bit too warm to enjoy it. But the woods were reasonably cool and most of the time not far off comfortable.
We were about 25 in all, a few less than expected but more than enough for a really good gathering. Workshops included Sparrow's on pouring colored and scented candles, Ravenwolf did an advanced workshop on Power Mechanics which several people found very exciting; and on Sunday morning Grey Cat led a discussion on Wiccan Ethics. We also had some informal discussions on "What is Wicca", "What do the students expect NorthWind to do for them?", and "What do you propose to do FOR
NorthWind". We hope that this helped people to clarify their expectations.
Opening ritual was short and sweet with Ravenwolf as priest, Avian as priestess and Grey Cat as community. Hummingbird, Nightfall, Moonstone, and Canary called the quarters.
Main ritual was fairly elaborate and required a run through. Ravenwolf and Wren provided percussion to set the pace of the ritual. Moonstone was fire-bringer, Nightfall was potter, Phoenix was was water bearer and Patty was smith. Avain was HP calling the god as Weyland Smith, Starr as HPS summoned Brigid as bringer of writing. Grey Cat was narrator and Community. The ritual ended in a hilarious spiral dance in which
Moonstone didn't turn his ankle too badly!
Closing ritual caused most of the initiates to tear up as Moonstone was adopted into NorthWind and another individual took their Third degree as a Shaman of the Wicca. All NorthWind rang with praise for Robyn who had accepted the responsibility for having the circle set up for all these rituals. Her set-ups were flawless and without her stage diretion, the main ritual could never have succeeded. I had to ward off several attempts to bribe her to join another group!
In between all these activities, the 4th Annual Water War, an awesome pot luck and after ritual party, everyone made lots of new friends and old friends got a little time to talk together.
Just about everyone cleaned up really well (Eagle and Fairy went around last and took care of anything that had been missed.). They aslo cooked burgers for everyone for lunch. I'm trying to putter around the house a bit getting things straightened up a bit before I have to go to work tomorrow.
I want to thank everyone for coming and everyone who helped. Though I've mentioned a couple of specific people, there were more good helpers there: Shaun for happily (or at least acting as if that were so) running messages back and forth; Nightfall for helping a lot with the water war and for doing whatever needed to be done the minute he noted the need; Avian for entertaining Chris for quite a while and leaving a wonderful spell on him which gave his parents, and everyone else, a really pleasant weekend; Moonstone, who as well as doing anything he was asked to, was attired in such a sunny good humor that he made everyone feel more like smiling; Rainwater for being Tyler at the big ritual to ensure that no one was having any problems; Lord Avian for good humoredly becoming Lady Avian for the opening ritual when it became apparent that we didn't have anyone else at all to do the job. I could go on and mention just about everyone, but if I make this much longer, those getting their mail on Juno won't get the whole message!
Plans have already begun to grow in Wren's mind for a late fall gathering, possibly held at Sparrow and Chaemelion's place. Think about what you can volunteer to do to make this work. The date will be chosen in a week or so and we will post details as soon as possible on the NorthWind page.
I look forward to seeing all of you in October (at the latest) and hearing from you soon.
Blessed Be
Grey Cat
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