The Bard and Jester

Welcome Readers! Here you will find some real life experiences and musings that I'd like to share with you. So, come on in, if you have the time and I'll do my best to be entertaining... Please click on my sponsors' links!!! Established March 12, 2005.

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Location: New York, United States

I can be a clown, a poet, a fool, a romantic, a diplomat, a beast...it all depends upon the timing and circumstance.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Dancing Naked With the Witch Covens of NYC part 2

A campground in the western part of New York state plays hosts to a huge annual Pagan festival called Starwood...in fact, it's the Woodstock of the Pagan world. People from all over come for this week long camping experience in a virtual city of tents and pavilions. Clothing is optional and many prominent nudists attend. By day, you shop at the booths of Pagan vendors or attend mystical seminars and workshops hosted by Pagan celebrities. You can have piercings done, or maybe get a nice massage. You can have your body painted or even tattooed. By night, you party to live music--contemporary and medieval--in the band hall or dance primeval around the campfire to a gathering of drummers. And if you stroll along the shadowed fields, further out from the partying and music making, you're very likely to chance across lovers making love beneath the moon. And on your way back to your tent, you can hear erotic sounds coming from the tents of your neighbors.

This was a Pagan gathering and, to these folks, sexual pleasure is a beautiful thing to give into, not a dirty sin to be condemned and leashed.

"All acts of love and pleasure are my rituals," says the Goddess, according to Wiccan lore.

I went to Starwood with my girlfriend, who, like myself, was a Wiccan at that time. This was the summer of 1996.

That first day, we attended a workshop--I can't really remember what it was all about now--and, for some reason, I chose to do the workshop skyclad. And I wasn't the only one; there was also a short, skinny, naked man there and what nature had denied him in height, it made it up to him in penis size. My girlfriend and I privately laughed and nicknamed him "Tripod".

At one point, towards the end of the workshop, we were asked to find someone in our little group and hug them...real New Agey stuff. As fate would have it, my girlfriend had found someone else to embrace, in fact EVERYONE had found someone...except for myself and Tripod. I can see the memory of that moment now in slow motion: people starting to embrace; me standing behind Tripod; he slowly turns as my head whips around looking in vain to find anyone--ANYONE--but him to wrap my arms around; Tripod completes his turn, a big friendly smile on his face; he sees me...I'm trapped! I stick a false smile on my face, open my arms and I hug a naked man for the first time.

And you know what? It wasn't so bad. I was a sheltered fool for making such a big deal about it. I learned since then that if you're confident in who you are as a person, then it doesn't matter who you hug in whatever state of dress or undress.

My girlfriend and I had a wonderful time. She had scored some magic mushrooms and we tripped beneath the moon as it did a slow dance in and out of the velvet veils of clouds.

At one point, as we tripped, we wandered along a trail through high weeds. I was in the lead and ahead of us, I saw an approaching glow. A figure came around a turn in the path then, a tall, thin, elfish man in white robes with a serene smile and a crown of battery-operated lights cresting his head. Seeing this, in my drugged state, I had a Lord of the Rings experience; I blinked in awe at what seemed to be Elrond visiting from Rivendell or the Gray Havens. The elfish man nodded to me and then passed us by.

Starwood culiminates with a Saturday night bonfire. Everyone gathers at one end of the campground to form a procession that marches to the beat of drums, the pluck of harps, the chirping of flutes and the chanting of voices toward a towering pile of wood.

Being a city-boy, this was my first bon-fire. We offered some prayers to the gods of old and then the fires were lit. Such heat! I could feel the air in my lungs burn! The final party then commenced. We sang and danced in a circle round the great fire, beneath the full moon. We seemed to be transported to another age, another place and we were all linked in a very spiritual way...something I can't really explain...again, spiritual experiences lose much in the translation. Suffice to say that it was a bonding, a sense of unity that I never found in any church.

Though I've long since moved beyond Wicca (and parted with my girlfriend), I've taken alot of it with me as I walk through life, building my own belief system.

I'm glad for the memories, glad to have experienced a wilder and lesser known side to the world.

And they do make for interesting tales.

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