When Pagans talk about The Mysteries, we are describing an experience that, by it’s nature, can’t be described. These aren’t secret things, Mysteries could be talked about in great detail and yet you would never understand them unless you were there. All kinds of things happen during Mysteries that set you up for The Moment. Some word or action or sight or smell suddenly sends a profound shock through your soul that continues to resonate long after the incense has cleared.
I’m just back from Sacred Harvest Festival and I can tell you, this festival was one of The Mysteries. I didn’t realize it until today at the last morning meeting.
I had had a perfectly delightful festival experience, perfect weather, good friends, lots of food. Yet I experienced that shock to my soul that signaled I was taking part in a Mystery all 9 days long and didn’t realize it until this morning. All these little moments – a conversation, the rustle of the oak leaves, a compassionate glance from Crystal Blanton, campfire smoke, sunrise the color of Star Foster’s hair, drums beating, holding my husband’s hand as we head to a ritual, laughing at a huge knit penis – were steps along the road to Eleusis.
I could write all about those moments, you’ll read about some of what happened at the festival over the next few days, but unless you were there you won’t understand The Mystery I experienced. Likewise, I can fill you in on the morning meeting, my “ear of corn reaped in silence” moment – but your soul won’t vibrate when you hear about it. I can show you a grimy, tattered wristband that I wore all 9 days, but your eyes won’t tear up in humble gratitude like my are.
At the morning meeting we honored a young man and gave him a spear. We thanked the Harmony Tribe board members, past and present. We auctioned off the green penis. Listened to a few songs. Found out that we honored a Hindu Goddess on the same night as millions of Hindus were also honoring her. Received a personal message from another Goddess. Held back tears, laughed, hugged. And then realized we were all leaving this place and these people.
Yes, I will see many of the people who attended SHF over the course of the year. I’ve seen them before and I’ve attended SHF many times before. I’ll be back to Harmony Park (where the festival is held) again. But I will never again be in that place with those people.
But I will carry that glimpse of The Mystery with me always.