The Stag

It’s been a long and eventful year. The last post, The Hanged Man, details what seems to be the ending of that year. But the message seemed clear… things sucked, but suck it up buttercup, endure it, and learn to see the gifts in the present situation. But truth be told, I was impatient in leaving this period of tribulation.

With this mood of acceptance and openness I went to Faerieworlds. FW has become a yearly custom for me that I greatly look forward to. It is such a benefit to my spirit to surround myself with other Pagans and listen to great music for three days. I had planned on arriving early enough to get a camping spot in plenty of time to make the Spiral Dance (opening ceremony). As I parked my car and grabbed my rucksack I noticed I couldn’t find my iPhone. I searched front, back, under seats, nothing. A panic fell over me… I had set the phone atop my car as I opened the trunk for vehicle inspection. Did I leave it there and it fell of in the mile drive down into the dale? I asked a nearby volunteer if he had radio comms with the front, we radioed up to check for lost phones, and got a negative in reply. No choice but to set up my tent and continue mission.

my campsite for Faerieworlds on a hill 200 feet higher than the festival
my campsite for Faerieworlds on a hill 200 feet higher than the festival

After setting up my tent I ran up the hill, just under a mile of a run, at over 200 feet elevation change. Nice little run. I found nothing along the road nor at the top. I ran back down to the festival and checked in with the lost and found booth. Nothing. I ran to another location and bribed someone to let me access their wifi so I could check Find My Phone via Apple’s website. My phone did not show up. Not surprising, the entire area has zero cellphone signal.

I returned to the festival and told myself that without a phone for the next 3 days I would have a good time. I joined the spiral dance and had a great time. Afterward I walked back up the hill, carefully searching the ditches, the top, and searching on the way back down. Nothing. As I neared the bottom I was now resigned to my fate of losing the phone. It wasn’t the fact that I was without a phone for 3 days (no cell signal anyway) or taking no pictures, but that it was a cost I didn’t really want to take on at the moment. Loki entered my mind. I didn’t blame Loki for moving my phone, I was the one that did it. I was the one that set it onto my car. I was to blame. Apparently I needed to do this action to lose it so that I could learn something. Not sure what but I was open to it.

Then I started thinking… I had set both my phone and parking pass on my car. Yet my parking pass was hanging in the window. It was highly unlikely I’d grab one and not the other from my car. The phone HAD to be in the car. Yet I had searched it several times. But now I was positive and not running a low level panic and desire to run up the hill in search for it, which I had done three times total. So I returned to the car and searched in every small nook and cranny. And there, between the seat and console, wedged tight and low, was my phone. I gave thanks for finding it and accepted that I needed to just relax and that I’d get out of this time of tribulation when I got out of it. Accept what may be, change what I can, and move on.

I returned to my tent with the last of the gear. The first musical act was starting and I was going to go begin my fair experience. I drew a single card from the Wildwood Tarot to give me the message of what I needed for this day and the fair in general.

Four of Bows - Celebration
Four of Bows – Celebration

Four of Bows: Celebration was the card that I drew. The message was clear. I went down to the festival and watched to watch bands and drink. I found some horns made out of leather that I really liked. The Horned God was calling to me and I decided to enter the festival with this aspect.

I drank more, watched more bands and met some interesting people and characters. I had a blast.

Daemonia Nymphe on stage
Daemonia Nymphe on stage

The next morning I got up and made some coffee. I felt like apologizing to the campsite that was just under 50 meters away. I’m sure that my company and I made lots of noise between midnight and 0400. Instead I kept to myself and enjoyed the morning’s quiet. When it was time to go down to the fair, I drew another card for the day.

The Sun of Life
The Sun of Life

The Sun of Life card came to me. It wasn’t readily apparent what it meant (like the last one) save that perhaps I was now coming out of my chthonic state. I wore my horns down to the fair. One person, in passing, said “hello Herne”. I found it interesting because the aspect of the Horned God has not been felt by me for quite some time, and yet in the pat 12 hours I’d been referred to and called The Horned God, most notably in a make-out session.

The day was as expected. I sat and watched bands. I read from Jung. I drank beer and ate food. It was a grand day. The highlight of my day was to be Wardruna and I eagerly waited for the show, barely containing myself when the time approached.

Wardruna
Wardruna

A friend of mine showed up and we got a position near the very front of the stage. I went on a beer run and came back to find that two women had taken the space I was in. I was unable to stand with my friend. I could have pushed through to stand next to her, but it wasn’t necessary. I was content to be where I was at and didn’t feel slighted. Strangely, a few more friends of the two women managed to join her and now I was completely separated from my friend. I found myself standing in front of a woman that kept yelling out things to the band. At one point she apologized for yelling in my ear. As often as I am annoyed at yelling behind me, I was completely okay with her yelling. I told her that it was okay, she was yelling good stuff.

After the show my friend moved back to join me and the three of us talked. We decided to go see Rogue’s End at another stage and moved that way. On our way my friend ditched me (having met someone and made a connection) and it was just I and the person that had been yelling things. We went and watched Faun together.

Faun
Faun

We talked a lot and found a lot of commonalities. She is an exceptional story teller, telling me the story of Hugin and Munin while we sat near a small pond after all the shows were over. That night I made another great friend.

The next morning I got up and prepared to move down to the fair for the final day’s activities. I drew a card for the final day.

The Wheel
The Wheel

The Wheel was the card that I drew and it was a great card to see. It signaled a turning point, a shifting, a completion of one thing and a beginning of another. I went down to the fair. Soon after I met my new friend and we watched music together before time to say goodbye.

a group of trees
a group of trees

A few hours after my friend left, I too left and went home. I was still in a daze from the weekend, and quite tired. Soon after getting home I went to sleep and slept like death. The next morning I had lunch with my friend that I watched Wardruna with and discovered that she had had a great time at the fair also. We’ve been friends for a couple years now and she is one that understands the themes of archetypes and I go to her sometimes in discussing such deep matters. We had a great lunch. But prior to our lunch I had drawn a card asking for what just happened… what was coming… what was I?

The Stag
The Stag

The Stag was the card that came to me. It is number 8 in the Major Arcana and in the RWS system is akin to Justice. You reap what you sow. But something else was interesting here. For months I’d been incredibly bitter and angry at my last relationship. The sense of injustice behind it was too great to get over easily. I had sacrificed and given so much and was taken advantage of and other things. Yet after this weekend I noticed on Monday, when strangely enough pictures of my ex came over the screensaver of my Apple TV, I felt no bitterness toward her for the first time. I only saw her as a human being with deep scars and flaws and I wished for her happiness and health. What love was in me toward her is gone. What bitterness I had toward her is also gone. I felt, for the first time, that I was facing my days to come fully without looking back.

I took my drum out to Minto Brown park and found a secluded spot. I drummed and gave thanks for the weekend, for my journey thus far, for the present moment, and what might come.

offering thanks to the Gods, spirits, and ancestors
offering thanks to the Gods, spirits, and ancestors

I’ve met several wonderful people during the festival. It was an enlivening experience. I hope to follow up on some of the connections that I made in the Kindred and become more active. The friendship that I made with the storyteller is also a bright one and I hope to do well by it as well. So many blessings this weekend that I feel compelled to offer sacrifice in thanks. I do not know what it will be, but it must be meaningful, because I am truly grateful. With bright eyes wide open I look forward to the coming year.

nighttime
nighttime
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