My favorite memory of Sacred Harvest Festival 2012 was…

“Seeing my friends.” Grace

“The poker game.” Duncan

“My husband being crone-slapped in the middle of the morning circle right on his butt in front of the village.” Crystal Blanton

“Learning to say tagalog” (“No” in filipino) Orion

“Being able to have quiet space with Andras [Corban Arthen] and Yeshe [Rabbit] and Crystal [Blanton].” Lisa Spiral

“Having quiet time with my sweetie and then we danced the Rangoli together and I got to play the big drums. It’s been awesome.”  Helga

“Building the energy in the Rangoli, it was amazing. And doing the henna for one of our friend’s handfastings and she did henna on us as well.” Hemunset

“The rangoli. We got to dance around and have fun.” Seth

“Playing the singing bowls and meeting friends like Grace.” Willow

“The people. There is just an incredible amount of simpatico that goes on with the people that I’ve met. This is our first year [attending] and Willow got a chance to celebrate moving into womanhood. For us it’s been a real joy, a departure from living in small town America.” Pete Baker

“Reconnecting with old friends. That’s really special.” Linda Green

“Being with alot of other people I know. It’s nice to see them again.” Gray Cat

“My croning. It was wonderful.” Larksong

“It’s hard to narrow it down. The rangoli was great, the rituals were amazing, the guests of honor were wonderful, and I always love seeing free-range, happy children. This is all-around my favorite festival.” JRob

Sacred Harvest Festival – rebuilding, changing, and staying the same

Harmony Tribe, the group that produces Sacred Harvest Festival (SHF), a Pagan camping festival held in SE Minnesota, celebrated their 15th year last week.  While the festival experienced ups and downs over the years, most recently a split in Harmony Tribe in 2010 resulting in the board resigning en masse, it appears to be back on the upswing with higher attendance and new and returning merchants.

In 2011 the festival faced several challenges.  A wounded community tired of drama, a new zoning restriction on the park which limited night time drumming, and lack of board continuity and experience.  These challenges showed in the attendance numbers.  Approximately 150 people attended SHF in 2011.

To meet these challenges the board brought in Crystal Blanton, author, mental health counselor, and High Priestess in California to hold a Restorative Justice circle and begin the healing at the 2011 SHF.  The success of that move, which rippled out through the community after last year’s festival, can be seen in this year’s festival numbers.  Although final numbers won’t be out until Sunday, Harmony Tribe Council Officer Judy Olson says the numbers topped 200.  Ms. Blanton returned to SHF this year to continue the community healing that was started in 2011.

Crystal Blanton, Cara Schulz, Judy Olson, and Heather Biedermann

Continue reading