On Friday morning, we started driving north, running up US 23 and arriving about an hour before sunset. We were greeted warmly, and I was scolded for driving too fast in the campground.
The campground itself is amazing: there is cabin and tent camping, and the stars. . . my gods, they were beautiful. The area has almost no light pollution, and you can see deep into the Heavens and the shining night. The cabins were rather comfortable (I slept with druidkirk and Skip), and the bath and toilet facilities were also quite nice. The weather was absolutely beautiful for the entire weekend, too: I couldn't have imagined better weather.
When I asked about the program, I found out that Skip, druidkirk and I were the program, which amused me to no end. Fortunately, we more than managed to fill in all of Saturday with no dead time, really.
2/3 of the program
The first night was spent enjoying a roaring fire with a chimney log, which you can see below:
We used this fire for our first night's ritual fire, as well, and Flip opened the Gates as he strode around it. The video is not of high quality, but you can get the gist of the gate opening through it:
All day Saturday were workshops, with druidkirk presenting on sacrifice, me presenting on prayer, and Skip doing his "Food and Drink in Indo-European Societies" class. We also worked in some pretty heavy trancework after Skip's presentation, doing the Bear Posture from Dr. Goodman's Where the Spirits Ride the Wind. Honestly, the workshop lineup ended up being quite well-done, with each one working in and dovetailing nicely with the rest of the workshops.
I was particularly happy with the way the trancework ended up working out. It was nice to sit down and talk with folk about the posture after we'd done it, and see the commonality of experience wasn't just a fluke with the last time I'd done this posture in a group.
On Saturday night, the Unity Ritual included a wonderful healing working. druidkirk did the healing work, and I'm tasked with following it up as the moon begins to wax. It was also nifty to see how these two Norse Groves do ritual, which isn't something I've really had a solid opportunity to experience.
But probably the best part was meeting ADF members I'd never met before. Really, the theme of the festival really was one of Ghosti and hospitality. I also discovered that both Skip and druidkirk are more outgoing than I am, but I knew that anyway. I met a lot of new people this past weekend, and I expect that I'll stay in general correspondence with a few. There's something about going to the outskirts of our American Groves that just can't be defined.
I hope that folk will come out for next year's Midnight Flame Festival. It was certainly worth the drive for me. A couple of people mentioned that it would have been great if folk from Shining Lakes had come up, and a few others were also hoping to draw some Wisconsin or Minnesota members over next year. I do hope that they come up.
Anyway, the festival was relaxing, intimate, and truly a joy to attend. I highly recommend this one to anyone who can go.