Harmony Tribe announces new theme for the 2011 Sacred Harvest Festival, Forest Family: Root and Branches Intertwined. New Council says theme changed due to attendee feedback.
PNC-Minnesota spoke with Jude K, Marketing Director of Harmony Tribe, about why the theme was changed and what this means for the festival. Jude says the old theme, Dreaming the Fae, was confusing to some festival goers. He says people didn’t understand what it meant and questioned if enough rituals and workshops focused on the Fae could be created. There was also concern about the precision needed to successfully and safely perform rituals honoring the Fae. “I honor other religions and would not want to disrespect their ways. We thought making people adhere to extremely specific ritual protocol would take away from the joyous and easy going spirit that we try to establish at the Sacred Harvest Festival,” explained Jude. He also said that the Council board wanted to make the festival more inclusive to all Pagan paths.
Dreaming the Fae was chosen by the previous Council during the 2010 Sacred Harvest Festival and announced at the last Village Meeting. In previous years the theme was picked by the newly elected council and announced at a later Harmony Tribe Meet and Greet. Jude says, “We, the present council, wanted to express our vision for the 2011 Sacred Harvest Festival and we felt we would have a hard time doing that with the theme chosen by the previous Council.”
To chose a new theme, the Council board spoke to area Pagans asking them what they would like to see more of at the festival, what they want to get out of it, and what the 2011 festival should be about. “The words ‘community’, ‘healing’, ‘respect’, ‘nature’ and ‘earth’ kept coming up,” Jude noted. ” Since we hold the festival in a beautiful Oak Grove, incorporating trees in to the theme just felt right. The Council asked people to think about a new theme and at the last meeting, which is open to the membership, we brainstormed and came up with several titles to choose between. Many had similar or the same words in them and others had ideas that over lapped.”
The board let the membership decide the 2011 theme at the recent Harmony Tribe Meet and Greet. They narrowed the theme ideas down to two and offered Dreaming the Fae as the third choice as some Tribe members said they liked the previous theme. In addition to Forest Family: Roots and Branches Intertwined, One Journey, Many Paths was also offered as a choice. Jude said both of the new theme choices embodied the idea of individuals uniting and, “encourage many different groups to contribute to a community of sharing and spiritual growth, and show our interconnection.” Using a multi-choice voting method, the Tribe membership selected Forest Family: Roots and Branches Intertwined as the 2011 Sacred Harvest Festival theme.
For those who are planning on attending or presenting at the Sacred Harvest Festival, August 6-14th, Jude offers the following suggestions for workshops and rituals: Connections with nature, power of trees, sacred trees and traditions, eco-spirituality, community building, plant knowledge and healing (of community and nature), being part of nature, how different paths relate to nature and the forest, and supporting the Pagan family. He says the Harmony Tribe Council would like to have regional people and groups put on rituals and present workshops.