A beautiful day, which started a bit too early after a bit too little sleep (it’s so nice to meet up with old friends again!) Getting to the venue in Lunteren proved to be a bit more of a challenge than anticipated due to some roadblocks but eventually we arrived. One of the things I love the most about these gatherings is the opportunity to see old friends and meet new ones. Getting the chance to say ‘hi’ in real life is so nice compared to all the online contact we have nowadays!
The schedule for the day was jam packed with tons of interesting talks, workshops and walks. I decided to go with the flow and see where that would take me. Starting off with the opening ritual which was done by the Reclaiming Tradition. Standing in a circle with such a big amount of people always sends shivers down my spine and today was no different. I loved the official opening of the conference and it was nice to know that so many people still have Merlin (my father) in their hearts. I feel so blessed to be part of this community and to feel the energy flowing around me.
The first talk I actually went to was by Jim Bennett about Gardnerian Wicca and sex magick. No practical exercises today, but a nice talk about part of Jim Bennett’s history of Wicca and how sex magick can be very valuable to those who wish to use it. A few examples were given of how the energy raised by such activities can be used in a magical way.
In between and during the workshops there was the possibility to have a look around the many stands. Beautiful woodwork, incense, clothes, books, jewelry and cards were just a few of the items on display. You name it and it probably was for sale there. It was lovely to see a lot of people with a passion for their products and the variety was amazing.
The venue had drinks and food for sale so the physical body could also be nourished. Having a break, sitting down with some friends and listening to a few songs played by Jyoti Verhoeff and Maya Fridman. A lovely way to enjoy a day like this!
Later in the afternoon I joined Abe de Verteller (Abe the Story Teller) for a walk in the small patch of forest next to the venue. Somehow he had located some beautiful trees which he could incorporate in his stories about different trees. We passed oaks, birches, holly and even some fruit trees amongst others. Abe is a fantastic story teller, and the way he speaks about trees and vegetation in general is catching. He has written a book about the symbolism of trees and it’s obvious that he is passionate about this subject. We got to know about the fight between summer and winter, the way nature keeps things in balance and what kind of branches you should use to make your own broom. Which obviously should be basic knowledge to all you witches out there!
I had a lot of fun during this walk and unfortunately I had to run off to my next and last workshop of the day.
Just in time I arrived back at the venue to jump into my next workshop which was going to be about the ‘Pagan Path Pentagram’. This workshop was given by Yoeke Nagel and Bliss. The main goal was to find out what our personal Pagan Path is. Who am I as a Pagan? Who do I want to be? What do I have to offer to the Pagan community? A lovely workshop which included speeddating (don’t ask, it was hilarious) a visualisation and a promise to take the first step towards your personal goal. Filled up with energy and inspiration I walked out of the room back into the main hall. Meanwhile people were packing up their stands and the band was starting to put up their gear on the stage.
The closing ritual was led by the same people as in the morning. We had a laugh, a moment for contemplation, dancing, singing and more laughter. A very appropriate way to close a lovely, inspirational day with tons of amazing people.
After all the hard work it was time for a well-earned meal. Unfortunately there wasn’t quite enough for everybody, but the organisation took care of this in a quick manner. The Chinese/Indonesian food tasted really good though, so no complaints there!
Whilst I was still letting my food settle down Harmony Glen started their show. A very nice Irish-Celtic folk band from Holland which got the crowd going straight away. More dancing, a drink (or two) and some lovely hugs to say goodbye to everybody.
My day was filled with love, inspiration, fun and laughter. I hope I will see you all again at the 14th PFI Conference! For those of you who couldn’t make it, hopefully we will meet next year!