Buckle in folks, I’m back and recovered from my long day in the sun at TempleFest 2011 and I’ve got loads to share! So much stuff it’s hard to figure out where to start!
Let’s start with the event overall. TempleFest is put together by the folks at The Temple of Witchcraft. I’m not sure what The Temple of Witchcraft community is like on a normal day, but I was amazed to find plenty of volunteers working at the event, and all of them seeming to be happy to be doing their tasks. Having gone to other events, I know it is hard to find volunteers to work and often times if you get some they end up being a sullen crowd wishing they were out in the thick of the action. Not the case here, everyone was brimming with enthusiasm.
Next I’ve got to talk about the vendors. I thought it would be fun to print out a flyer for TempleFest and then try and to get as many vendors, presenters, and staff to sign it like you would a yearbook. Well there were so many vendors and staff that my flyer looks pretty sparse. You guys know me, it’s not like I can just walk up and say, “Sign this,” and move on. I want to talk about the products they’re selling, or the job they’re doing. My Chatty Cathy ways left me missing out on talking to plenty of vendors and presenters, damn it! However here is my vendor rundown from who I did get to visit.
First, say hello again to Patrick and Rich from FairySpa! You may remember I met them at Celebrate Samhain 2010. It’s funny how despite only a brief meeting it was like seeing old friends again. I picked up some of their “Intense” lotion, because these hands, they need some lovin’.
Now I know it’s crazy because she’s been featured on the site a bunch, but I never actually got to personally meet Dawn Hunt of Cucina Aurora until this trip! She is so funny and filled with such joy, it’s pretty contagious. I met up with her shortly after arriving, so this is me falling asleep while waiting for Jim to take our photo!
Again, I “met” Michael Dolan when I interviewed him and the rest of FeatherScale for The Magical Buffet, but I had never gotten to meet him in person. He was there not as a musician, but as a craftsman, with Haunted Wood Crafts. He’s such a funny guy, I could have spent all afternoon in his tent just chewing the fat and looking at his awesome crafts. Alas, I did have other things on my agenda.
I got to meet the folks at Healing Touch Pottery. Of course the pottery was beautiful, but the detail and care that goes into each piece is what impressed me the most. They use quartz enhanced raw clay, then various crystals and minerals are infused during the firing process, gemstones and crystals are chosen to be added to areas of the pottery that you will touch, and lastly each piece is inspected and charged with Reiki. Can you say that about your morning coffee mug?
There were loads more vendors that I wish I had gotten to visit and spend some time with, but on top of the vendors, there were workshops to attend!
The first workshop I went to was Steve Kenson’s “The Fool’s Journey: Techniques of Ecstasy”. I was intrigued by this one for a couple of reasons. First, to me Steve Kenson is “Steve Kenson: Game Designer and Developer”, despite the fact that here he was “Steve Kenson: One of the Three Founders of The Temple of Witchcraft”. I was interested in hearing him speak about spirituality outside of gaming. Second, ecstatic practices are a tricky subject to discuss. They’re often dangerous and you can’t really discuss them without also talking about sex and drugs. Treacherous waters to navigate.
I’m happy to say Steve navigated the waters just fine. His presentation explained in detail the benefits of ecstatic practices without backing away from explaining the potential dangers involved. Sex was discussed with humor and candor without becoming too graphic for the mixed demographic crowd in the tent, and drugs were also handled with mature discussion. Personally, I don’t see myself undertaking the practice anytime soon, but it was an insightful workshop.
The other workshop I attended was “Origami Magick” with Adam Sartwell. What a great time! If you ever have a chance to do this workshop, go! He’s got such a great personality, I promise you’ll have a good time! I have to start out with admitting that the idea of using origami for magic is so simple and obvious that I cannot believe the thought had never crossed my mind! Adam did a great job of explaining the usefulness of adding origami to your magical work. Did I mention how silly I feel for never having thought of it before? Here’s the other thing, I really didn’t think I would be able to do origami. It always seemed like it would be complicated, however with Adam’s instructions I sat there making hats, cups, and Yakko-sans with relative ease.
Of course by now you have to be wondering, how did my presentation go. Well, here’s what happens when you share a time slot with Christopher Penczak.
Although in my opinion I still came out a winner because not only did I get to meet a bunch of great vendors and attend two really wonderful workshops, but Steve Kenson showed up about 15 minutes into my “presentation” and we got to talk RPG games, Pagan publishing versus game publishing, television, comic books, conventions and festivals, and other assorted chit chat. I told him to not let my suave demeanor fool him, once he walked away I was going to squeal like the silly little fangirl that I am.
TempleFest 2011 was a great day out! I hope to make it out again next year!