ADF UMWRR Part 2: Opening Ritual & Site Notes

June 20, 2015 at 1:16 am Leave a comment

The opening ritual for the 1st annual ADF Upper Midwest Regional Retreat was written & led by Dale Frampton of Whispering Spirits Protogrove. Some of his fellow grove members couldn’t make it to the retreat, so he recruited some of us to fill in. We were delayed by dinner from a local pizza place taking longer than expected (we were competing with graduation parties!) Though when it finally arrived, it was delicious! All the vegetables are grown in-house and the pizza is baked in outside wood-fire ovens.

But the result of the delay was the ritual was extra dramatic- in the dark, with a tiki torch lit procession. It was pan-Indo-European to be inclusive for a group of mostly strangers, but was quite effective. We focused on asking various Gods/Spirits of the sun, sky and winds to bring us a clear sunny day on Saturday, as rain was a possibility.

The retreat was held at Deeply Rooted which is a Pagan intentional community. Long story short, it was land owned by a family for multiple generations, but the land isn’t good for farming so it wasn’t going to use. (We found out why- the soil there is almost all clay!) So Wayland, the son of the family asked his parents “Say, since we’re not using this- could I get my inheritance early?” and he incorporated into a land trust with 501c(3) status. Not sure if I got that legal terminology right. Anyhow, I had no idea what facilities to expect- I’m used to knowing what to prepare for from going to state parks or commercial campsites, so we brought everything we could possibly need. I was planning on writing a review of the facilities to prepare other folks who might be interested in visited- especially in terms of accessibility issues. But it’s a bit tricky to judge them at the current state they are in- due to all the rain and the clay-based soil, things have gotten very washed out and they have not been able to put down the foundation for the community center they have planned to build. If you could help them out with donations, that would be awesome!

While I realize there have been various attempts at Pagan community centers that did not get off the ground, this one seems very well-organized. I suspect part of it, is in the bigger cities, people have the luxury of keeping to their own little sub-groups, but in more rural areas you need to set aside your differences and band together if you want to have anything. We have lots of Pagans in the Twin Cities, but they were not cohesive enough to support the Sacred Paths Center. Deeply Rooted has a more committed community, and they are planning on doing outreach to our area, I told them I’d be happy to help with that as I am familiar with the communit(ies) here. One issue that I’m not sure if is there is another group called Earth House, that has been raising money for years by holding a festival for a supposed community center. I’m not sure where they are with that, or there would be any issue with them resenting Deeply Rooted or if there is money and willpower for them to both do their own thing. It’s mostly the Wiccan Church of Minnesota folks that are involved with it. One thing I was glad to see was that a diverse range of groups are working together on it- there are Heathens, Wiccans, Druids and other flavors of Pagans, and they also rent space to other groups.

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Entry filed under: Pagan Events. Tags: , , , , .

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