ADF UMWRR – Part 1 General Thoughts

June 8, 2015 at 11:06 pm Leave a comment

I had a fabulous time at the ADF Upper Midwest Regional Retreat, and Dan really seemed to enjoy it as well. He’s often felt reticent about my involvement in Paganism, not due to the religion itself, but the many difficult & problematic individuals, groups and social situations I’ve encountered. He cares about my well-being and wants me to have friends & community members that are supportive and encourage good habits rather than “poor oppressed me!” attitudes. Participating in the retreat helped us both feel a lot better about finding a Few (or more!) Good Druid/Pagan/Heathen folk, and brought us together as a couple. We learned a new amusing term- “Spagan” (capitalized or not?) short for  (non-Pagan) Spouse of Pagan. I really feel it’s important to be inclusive of our Spagans at events and show our appreciation to them- as much of our participation wouldn’t be possible without them- certainly that is the case with myself! Dan has chauffeured me to many a ritual & meet-up, including having to deal with bad directions/organization & communication! So even he has a vested interest in Pagan communities getting it together!

Going further back to How We Ended Up at This Retreat…I ran into Dale Frampton, the organizer of Whispering Spirits Protogrove, in Appleton, Wisconsin at Paganicon back in March. He was the one person who recognized & commented on my Gaeltacht Minnesota shirt  and asked about it in Irish.  I responded a bit clumsily, we laughed and began chatting about our Irish studies, and also founded we were both ADF peeps. By that point I’d really drifted away from ADF & let my membership lapse, after various frustrations involving attempts at grove organizing, and other people starting groves in areas I couldn’t get to, but talking with him, I got more interested. Earlier, Amy Castner, the Regional Druid, had sent a survey about organizing a retreat, and I hadn’t even bothered responding, rationalizing “well even if they have a retreat, it will be some place far away that I can’t get to, so why bother”. “Midwest” in ADF tends to skew to an eastern definition, in Michigan & Ohio, though we have a lot of members & groves there though, so there are Reasons. (Besides- we can change that!)  Anyhoo, other folks rose to the occasion in spite of all my cynicism. I was very excited to see a retreat much closer (around Wasau, Wisconsin)  and while I was working on getting my driver’s license, it was still up in the air and I definitely needed a camping buddy, so I asked Dan and he checked with his work schedule, took that Friday off and agreed!

We also managed to connect just on Thursday with a woman in Minneapolis who needed a ride- Dale had sent me a message on Facebook, but due to my self-imposed Facebook fast for June, I didn’t get it til I saw it on my phone. (Facebook is blocked on my account on Dan’s computer, but not on my phone, but there’s using FB on a tiny screen is…annoying!) Anyhow, we exchanged emails & phone numbers, and I was really glad we managed to connect, because it turns out Joy had just joined ADF so it was a nice way to welcome her into the Fellowship, and it turned out I had met & hung out with her at Paganicon as well! She said she’d been going around asking people their paths, and trying to find other Druids, and I was the only one she found! There are more of us, but I’ve been in the TC Pagan community for 15 some years, and she’d only moved here in 2012. We plan on getting together to do Dedicant stuff after my family goes back to Wyoming.

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