Spring Spirit Quest 2004 - Learning Circles
Welcome to Carolina Spirit Quest, where you will see familiar faces, make new friends, and have an opportunity to learn some amazing things. We have a diverse offering of learning circles (workshops) from Plant Medicine and Labyrinth Building to Medicine Wheels and Astrology. With our theme, Our Magical Paths, Our Sacred Community, you will find learning circles offered from many different paths. Our learning circle leaders are experienced and enthusiastic. We are excited about these learning circles because we think there is something for everyone!
Please register early as participation in some learning circles is limited. They are listed below. Remember, these are subject to change and other learning circles may be added, so check the website regularly.
Learning Circle Schedule
Please Note: Learning circles are subject to change. Please check with the web site, or the Learning Circle Coordinator, for any changes or additions.
A Special Welcome To Newcomers
We are so glad you are with us at Quest. We invite you to attend the Newcomers Circle 'So This is Your First Quest?' on Friday night (4:30 - 5:30). Attendance is not mandatory, but you will learn many helpful tips. Take a moment to look over the "What To Bring" list. If you think you will be lost without a certain item for the weekend, go ahead and pack it. Make sure you bring lots of ritual items, like clothing, staffs, jewelry, etc. During the Opening, Main and Closing Rituals, it is common to see participants dressed in their finest ritual garb. Robes, dresses, tunics, gowns, cloaks and capes decorated with symbols meaningful to the participants' traditions or body painting in colorful designs are worn by many. Plus, there is always lots of glitter!
Remember, you are here to have fun. If you have questions at any time throughout the weekend, please feel free to ask a Staff or Board member. We are here to help you have an enjoyable weekend. Be ready to meet many different people from many different paths. Bring an open mind and heart, and be ready to learn, teach, share, listen and make new friends. We hope you find yourself sharing YOUR Magical Path within Our Sacred Community. Welcome to Quest!
Learning Circle Descriptions
Understanding your Astrological Chart
Have you ever wondered why you don't act like a Leo? And just what on earth is all that "My Venus is in Aries" and "My Jupiter is in Taurus" stuff? During this learning circle we will examine our individual Astrological Charts. Each of the 12 Zodiac signs has its own unique flavor. We will examine the planets and other cosmic bodies and how they influence various parts of our lives. We will also take a look at house placements to find out where traits manifest themselves. And of course, we will delve into the four elements and what exactly is that cardinal, fixed and mutable label means. And finally, how all of the pieces fit together to make your chart unique to you. To have a fully accurate astrological chart, you will need to provide the exact date, time, and place of birth. There will be a $5 fee per participant which includes Friday lunch.
Facilitator: Becky Starr
Disconnect the smoke alarm 'cause we're making incense!! This learning circle will present a beginner's overview of making incense for personal or ritual use. We will explore the reasons for using incense, various ingredients, and magical correspondences to achieve a desired goal. We will be working with resins and herbs - including Frankincense, Sandalwood, and Rose - alone and in various combinations. Each participant will leave the learning circle with not only an ounce of each of the ingredients for future incense blending, but also a custom blended personal incense of their own design. There will be a materials' fee for this class of $15 to cover take-home ingredients and Friday lunch! Limit of 15 participants.
Shadow: Revealing Your Lost Self
Facilitator: Sharon Hill
In my youth, I sought perfection. Now, I seek wholeness. In order to know our Self in its completeness, we need to be able to see and accept all parts of ourselves. In this learning circle we will examine our Selves using some of the techniques that have been developed from the work of Carl Jung. We will talk about that part of ourselves that we are unable to see without difficult and challenging work. We will do some of this work, learning techniques and methods to explore the unexplored terrain within us. We will introduce our conscious Self to that illusive, hidden place within - The Shadow.
How is this magick? A magician must know him or herself, not just the favored parts. Come join us in claiming wholeness and with it the full power of the Self. There will be a $5 fee per participant which includes Friday lunch.
Lantern-Making Learning Circle
Facilitators: Garry and Andrea Wakely
Create your own flame resistant magical lantern with us using bamboo canes and tissue paper. Learn how to build stars, moons or almost any other shape you can imagine to be lit from within by tea light candles safely nestled in a wire "cage". Lanterns lend themselves to personalized realistic or symbolic decoration with paints, papers, feathers, bells, etc. On their own, they are an excellent way to focus energy and creativity, but together with other lanterns, they blend and transcend into a multifaceted community of magical light.
This learning circle will take three hours on Friday and two hours on Saturday, and will require the use of hot glue guns, so is not recommended for small children. PLEASE BRING YOUR HAIR DRYER - it will allow you to dry the layers of tissue paper in time to have your lantern for the procession. There will be a $15 fee per participant to help cover the cost of materials and for Friday lunch.
So This Is Your First Quest? - Newcomer's Circle
Back for its third year by popular demand, Quest is presenting a learning circle for new folks. This fun, fact-filled mini learning circle is offered to anyone attending their first Quest. Please come even if you are a veteran of other gatherings. Gryphon and Tammie have attended several Quests and promise you some fun and a few surprises. We welcome anyone who has attended Quest to come and offer their favorite tip.
Facilitator: Bill Elston
Since the beginning of time man has had a fascination with fire. Through understanding one can seek answers in the flames of wisdom. This learning circle will examine the how and why of using fire as a divinatory tool. Included will be the principles of Pyromancy, safety, what fuels to use, safety, how to build a fire, safety, how to interpret the images in the flames, safety, special effects and of course, safety.
Do you hear the call of the drum? Come learn the basics of West-African poly-rhythmic percussion. (Try saying that three times, fast.) You can develop a drumming "vocabulary" that will make your playing more interesting and exciting. It's way more fun than you can shake a (drum) stick at.
Facilitator: Socorra/Rusty Hayes
Traveling Medicine Wheel
The medicine wheel is a sacred hoop, a magic circle that contains all of the elements of life. To create a better world, we must be in balance and in harmony with the earth. The medicine wheel can teach proper balance. In the Native teachings all parts of the creation are our relations. We all require the same things from Earth Mother to live, so we are all related. By learning to travel around the medicine wheel, each of us learns how to live in a sacred manner, how to walk in a way harmonious with all the creation, and put our steps on the path of love and harmony. When enough of us are on this path, we will have a better world. We will be learning the components of the medicine wheel (according to Sun Bear's vision), building a small traveling wheel we can each take with us, and then doing some exercises and meditations using the medicine wheels.
Creating a Community Labyrinth
As a metaphor for a spiritual journey, the labyrinth has become a powerful meditation tool. Learn how to create and maintain different styles and forms of the labyrinth. Together, we will install and dedicate a Cretan rope labyrinth for use by the community throughout the weekend.
Plant Medicine: How to Choose and Use Nature's Healing Gifts
Facilitator: Kathy Sage
Learn the language of plant medicine, and how to use its healing gifts in your own life. We'll examine what medicinal herbs are, how to choose the right form and preparation, and what to look for in quality and various types. We'll talk about herbs to strengthen the body's defense system, those for digestive health, energy, good sleep, pain management and reproductive health and balance.
Facilitator: Chantress Maddy
I Ching, the Book of Changes, contains an ancient binary system that has been used as a method of self-awareness and divination for over three millennia. We will explore the use of coins, yarrow sticks and other methods to create solid or broken lines used to build tri-grams, identifying the elements in various forms. By combining pairs of tri-grams we will create hexagrams relating to passages in the ancient Chinese text.
Mother Gaia and the Golden Web
Facilitator: Gryphon Rosemead
We all feel isolated and powerless at times. Cut off from family and friends that do not understand us, we are very much alone. At the same time we may feel as if we do not have the ability to change our life; as if we do not matter in the general scheme of things. There is a deep well of power we can tap into, and always we are a valuable part of the sacred web. Touch your power and feel your interconnectedness with the help of Mother Gaia and the Golden Web.
Gift of Pleasure - Hand and Foot Massage
Facilitator: Dick Merritt
Being able to touch skillfully and sensitively enhances our sensual expression. To touch with awareness is a beautiful gift for a friend or lover. Massage and the healing power of touch underlie most bodywork and healing energy modalities. It can be a part of many diverse spiritual paths. Besides, it is fun.
Learning circle consists of demonstrations and practice. Participants will learn to and exchange relaxing and healing massage of the hands and feet. Wear clothing loose enough to grant access to the arm up to the elbow and the lower leg up to the knee. Bring a towel for each participant. Oil is furnished.
A Place for Worship: Creating Altars
Creating an altar, a sacred place of worship, can be confusing to someone who is just starting out in Wicca. In this learning circle, we will try to eliminate some of the mystery by discussing common tools used on a traditional Wiccan altar and looking at the history and symbolism of these items, such as the chalice and knife. Then, we will compare these items with those on a Traditional Witchcraft Family altar. Some items on the FamTrad altar, such as the skull, may be unfamiliar to Wiccans. This will be a great learning circle for anyone new to the Craft.
Facilitator: Danny Moses
A brief overview, discussion and exploration of what has come to be called "shamanism" among neo-pagans. We will be discussing various theories and exploring through exercises and sharing of personal experiences what shamanism is, as well as what it isn't.
The Fool's Journey: Exploring the Major Arcana of the Tarot
Facilitator: Lance Brown
The Fool's Journey is a metaphor for our journey through life. Each card of the Major Arcana represents experiences in that journey we must incorporate into our lives to fully realize ourselves. We will walk with the Fool as he steps off the cliff at the beginning of his quest and ultimately attains mastery of himself and the Universe before returning to the cliff and stepping off to begin the cycle again. If you have a deck (or several!) please bring them with you. We will be sharing from a wide variety of decks and the more the merrier.
Sword-Led Meditation: Beginning the Warrior Path
Facilitator: Torrin Da Mist
An active meditation where the user will learn a nine-shot sword form and its uses for the meditation. Participants will need to bring a sword or wooden rod in sword-length, as these will not be provided (swords are expensive!).
Dream catchers are a great tool to funnel positive dreams and visions to the sleeper while bad dreams get lost in its web. Native Americans have long used these tools but now their energy is open to anyone. Designing and creating your own dream catcher will make it more attuned to your personality and energy. There will be an additional charge of $10 for materials for this learning circle.
Weekend Intensive Learning Circle
Facilitator: Bill Elston
Ogham - The Celtic people of Ireland had a system of memory development that has evolved into an interesting tool for divination, contacting the Irish deities and healing. This system is the Oghams. Based on the letter valuation of the trees that populated Europe after the last Ice Age the concepts of the Oghams also became that basis of the Gaelic languages. This learning circle will examine the history of the Oghams, their evolution and uses by modern pagans. There will be a $5 fee per participant which includes Friday lunch.
Because each section builds on the next, participation in all time slots is highly encouraged!
Learning Circle Presenter Biographies
Amy Brann is a Pisces with Libra Rising going through her Saturn Return. Having been described by some as a "Hello Bastet Pagan," she follows the Egyptian traditions, with an insatiable curiosity about many other paths. Maybe one day she will finish a degree in Egyptology, but until then, she works as a modern day scribe (i.e. secretary). She is a member of CTC and lives in Hillsborough.
Becky Starr is an eclectic Egyptian pagan and has been playing in the herbs for about four years, primarily with incense blending. She is a teacher by profession and passion, finding herself a now frequent learning circle leader for Celebrate the Circle Learning Circles and Quest events. Becky is the Learning Circle Coordinator for Spring Quest 2004. Becky is a Priestess of Isis, member and frequent ritual team-member of CTC, and lives in Durham, NC.
Bill Elston, a Druid for over 30 years, a cook by trade, Reiki master, herbalism student, Tarot and Rune reader. Currently working on developing the Oghams (ancient Irish memory developing system) as a tool for healing.
Danny Moses has been exploring and practicing various forms of spirituality for over 30 years. This search has led him down many strange, interesting and unusual paths. For the last 6 years he has focused exclusively on the spiritual practices of the Northern Europeans.
Dick Merritt, a retired professional member of the American Massage Therapy Association, led massage learning circles for many years. Dick grew into paganism through the influence of eco-feminist spirituality in the 80's. It was a natural fit, given his agrarian background. He is an eclectic neo-pagan and Unitarian Universalist. Dick characterizes himself as a Joseph Campbell pagan because of his conviction that religion is metaphor. Strongly influenced by the Creation Spirituality movement, he describes himself as a panentheist. He enjoys frequent rituals and purification ceremonies. A techno-pagan, he is a UNIX technician.
Garry and Andrea Wakely are pagans living in Virginia Beach with their son, William. Garry is an Occupational Therapist and potter, and Andrea is the designer/textile artist behind Twin Roses Designs, a mainly web-based costume and clothing company. They have been participants and vendors at the past three Carolina Spirit Quests.
Gryphon Rosemead has been practicing the craft since the early 70's and has given learning circles and done rituals at many public and private gatherings from WV and NC to NY. She is a public Pagan, High Priestess, Elder and has earned a BS and MED from the University of Georgia. Gryph is a National Board Certified Agriculture Teacher in the mountains of NC and lives with her cat, Grandmother. For more information visit her website at http://www.angelfire.com/nc/gryphon. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Gwen has a master’s degree in history and has studied the world’s religions all of her adult life. Though Paganism from Celtic roots is powerful to her, she is also strongly drawn to Native American spirituality. Must be her Iroquois, Cherokee and Arapaho ancestors guiding her. Gwen has worked with the medicine wheel for several years and finds it to be a powerful, helpful tool for healing and obtaining inner awareness and balance.
Kathy Sage has worked with medicinal herbs for 12 years, during her tenure as team leader and educator for a prominent natural foods store. She studied with several herbalists across the country as part of her professional training, and has attended numerous intensives on herbalism, natural medicine and natural foods. She first awakened to the natural world and its gifts as a child in rural Northern Michigan, and developed her interest in travels to Nepal, Europe, Russia and the Caribbean. She has recently taught herbal medicine learning circles and given presentations at Rex Wellness Center, the Cary Library, and Carolina Spirit Quest's Quest Special program. Kathy believes that plants hold energetic wisdom and healing which extends beyond the realm of physical compounds, and are to be revered for their unique consciousness.
Kestral/Karen is an initiate of Clan of Ked, a Family Tradition from Wales and has been practicing the Craft for 4 years. In the mundane world, she works in the insurance industry. Karen is an avid sci-fi/fantasy reader (favorite author Anne McCaffrey), and her main form of crafting is juju bags and poetry. Karen lives in the Los Angeles area.
Lance Brown is an eclectic modern techno Pagan and Unitarian Universalist. His path includes influences from Wicca, Celtic Paganism, and Native American traditions with a strong focus on his patroness, Brighid, and Bear, his totem and spirit guide. Lance is a member of Celebrate The Circle and the Ord Brigideach. He has studied the Tarot for 17 years and has been teaching a series of classes at Celebrate The Circle on the Major Arcana for the past two years.
Lisa is a med tech at UNC Hospital in Chapel Hill. She has collected dreamcatchers since she was a little girl. She makes dreamcatchers as a way to funnel energy and connect with her Native American roots. With new designs, she finds ways to connect with the Goddess.
Chantress Maddy - Drawn to nature, mysticism, energy healing, and eastern philosophies since childhood, my concept of Spirit hasn't changed so much as it has deepened. When I began my exploration of paganism, I didn’t expect it to become my path, but here I am - a founding member and an Elder of the Sacred Order of Living Paganism. Studying the aspects of Goddess, I found a natural strength that had never before been encouraged, and have experienced changes in my life that I never would have imagined possible. As you might have guessed from the name, singing and other forms of music are an integral part of who I am.
R.J. Perz-Edwards - I used to say "I can only play the radio." But when I discovered West-African music, drumming became my life's passion. I had never heard such exciting and forceful music, and once I had, I was hooked. If you had told me 10 years ago that I would be supporting my family as a professional musician and drummaker I would have laughed, but here I am doing it!
Rusty Hayes/Socorra lives in central North Carolina.
Tamia combines her earth-based spirituality and finance/accounting training as the financial officer of a sustainable agriculture non-profit. A perpetual student, she studies an eclectic suite of spiritual topics ranging from the Aboriginal Australian Dreamtime to Industrial Applications of Feng Shui. Her path meanders in the vicinities of Celebrate the Circle, One Spirit Sanctuary, and PagaNet.
Tammie Ward, I was born and raised in Durham, NC where I continue to live and work. My path has a little of this and a little of that. I feel a deep connection with the Goddess in many forms. I try to remain open to where She leads me, but sometimes I go kicking and screaming. In my spare time, I enjoy cooking, reading, movies, backpacking in the NC mountains and attending pagan gatherings, many of them with Danny Moses. I have been on the Board of Directors for CSQ and I help in many areas of the Quest organization. I enjoy facilitating rituals and teaching learning circles. Ask me about Sacred Blood.
Torrin Da Mist has recently gone through large life changes, and now resides by the coast. He's currently working on Warrior, Elemental, and Kitchen Magic, and seasonally doing "Day of the Sword", Torrin has 'walked the path' since the age of 14 and has been swinging swords in combat- and non-combat styles since he was 15.
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Last updated 2/16/04