Part of the Sacred Harvest Festival experience is spending a leisurely afternoon shopping along Merchant Row. You can find ritual robes, comfortable sarongs, jewelry, drums, and hand thrown pottery. I purchased a beautiful libation cup from Hawkdancing Studio. Some offer services such as energy work or body painting and henna. The merchants are willing to let you shop in silence or strike up a conversation. Some are willing to fill you in on their particular craft while you watch them work.
That is the case with Earnest Stevens, known by his craft name Skywolf SingingHeart. He makes brooms and he makes them only while he is at festivals or on other high energy occasions such as a full moon.
If you see Skywolf at a festival and you want one of his brooms, I suggest you talk to him the very first day or you may not be able to get one. The reason his brooms are so sought after is apparent once you watch him work and listen to how they are made.
Skywolf gathers the wood for the staffs from Lake Superior and travels to central Illinois for the broom corn. The staffs, broom corn, and his tools are brought to the festival, where he creates only 5 to 8 brooms.
“Each broom is made to order. If a person wants a broom they come in here and pick out a staff, the one they feel a personal connection to. Then I ask them what stones they want embedded into the staff or other personal touches.”
The one way every broom is the same is the addition of an acorn to the base of the broom. Once the broom corn is bound to the staff, the acorn isn’t visible, but Skywolf says the acorn is an important and historical part of each broom. “I’ve had feedback from Family Traditions that this was the way it was done. ”
One group receiving a broom at the festival was the newly formed coven, Circle of the Dragons.
“When we hived off from our mother circle, we wanted a special broom for our new coven. Something that would truly be us,” said coven member Dragonmyst. He went on to point out the gems in the staff. Gems that were chosen to represent the Gods the coven worships.
The broom was crafted on Friday the 13th, a date that the coven felt would give the broom more magical energy. “We are so happy with this broom. Skywolf got it just right.”
When I asked Skywolf why he spends so much of his festival time creating these works of art and magic he smiled and said, “I’m just happy to see people enjoy them.”