Faerie Festivals for Fine Folks #5: Sunday Sermon
Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," your daily dose of downsized deities! We reject the One God and Only One God model, mainly because that god's praise and worship teams don't have a big, broad, flexible outlook.
Today we ask the question: Is it possible to find religion at a Faerie Festival?
Let's say you don't attend church, but you're interested in spiritual matters. You wander into a Faerie Festival to have a good time.
Most Faerie Festivals don't serve alcohol. This is a good thing. If you can be wild while sober, you rock. But this is an important point, because the sobriety lends a level of seriousness to the proceedings, if you want it to.
Take the Faerie Festival at Spoutwood Farm, Glen Rock PA, held every year on the weekend closest to May Day. This festival always includes at least one Celtic band. You can almost count on the lead singer having an Avalon accent. And these bands bring with them what I'll call That Old-Time Religion.
At last week's Faerie Festival, the band announced that it would soon be crowning the May Queen.
"Hey," I thought. "That's me! I'd better get over there!"
But of course I was the May Queen of LlynHydd Grove, not of Spoutwood Faerie Festival. Nevertheless, my surly tween daughter The Spare and I walked over to see the crowning of their queen.
What transpired was a druidic ceremony in which a crowd of at least 200 people paid homage to the Great Spirits of the Four Corners: Fire, Air, Water, and Earth. Just as in the service at LlynHydd Grove, this large group of people faced to each compass point and saluted that spirit. (Queen Brighid was the only one named, but Anne is sure the others weren't offended.) Each of the four tribes brought their ceremonial items to the stage as the prayers were completed.
For Anne this was a very special spiritual moment, despite the moody tween telling Anne not to be embarrassing.
Then the band led the crowd in a rowdy, ribald song, perfectly suitable for the revelry of May Day. (At LlynHydd Grove we sang "Here We Go Gathering Nuts in May," and we weren't referring to goober peas or lunatics, if you get my drift.)
The upshot of this is that a Celtic band quietly introduced the tenets of druidry, and its accompanying joyous spirit, to a bunch of folks who probably didn't even know they were participating in a religious ceremony. And some who did know.
As the One God model falls to the fanaticism of murderous zealots, privacy-invading bigots, deep-pocketed Masters of the Universe seeking to undermine public education, and the wretched excesses of pageantry, alternate ways of worship are growing. People are reaching back to the era before One God to find community and spiritual development.
So to answer Anne's question: Yes. It is possible to go to a Faerie Festival and, despite the best efforts of nasty Christian protesters, find a deep well of spirit and contentment.
Our operators are standing by to take your call.
One other note: My gentler readers might want to miss tomorrow's post. Anne needs to rant for the record on a personal matter. This rant will be so virulent that Anne has invited her nastiest companions, Milk and Cheese (Dairy Products Gone Bad). This super-steamed post will not become part of the permanent record of "The Gods Are Bored."
THE MERLIN OF BERKELEY SPRINGS
AREA 14, STAR 14