CSQ - Spring 2007 Learning Circles


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 Drumming and Rattle-Making to Massage and Astrology. Our Learning Circle presenters 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. A brief schedule of the Learning Circles is provided below, with links to where they are described in more detail.

Learning Circle Schedule

Friday Afternoon 2:00 - 4:00 PM
Meeting the Elements Through Meditation
Mosaic Altar Tiles
Releasing Fear & Trauma
Reiki 1 (runs until 5pm)
Friday Afternoon 4:30-5:30 PM
Newcomers Circle
Saturday Morning 9:00 - 11:00 AM
Basic Kaballah
Fun with Honey and Yeast
Hands on Exploration of Energy
Reiki 2
Ritual for Joy -- Working with Members who have Special Needs
Saturday Afternoon 3:00-5:00 PM
Dancing Swirls of Color: Hand Dyeing Magical Items
Forging a Sword for the Morrighan
Gift of Pleasure: Foot and Hand Massage
Spiritual Mission Statement
Wicca, Its in your Head
Sunday Morning 9:00-11:00 AM
Dreams of Eagles and Visions of Owls
Spiritual Warriorship
Merry Mead Again - Intermediate Mead Making
Living the Magickal Life

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 Workshop 'So This is Your First Quest?' on Friday night from 4:30 - 5:30 (see page 7). Attendance is not mandatory, but you will learn many helpful tips. Also, 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. Welcome to Quest!

Newcomer's Circle - So This Is Your First Quest?

Facilitators: Raven and Christine Ahrens
Time slot: Friday Afternoon 4:30-5:30

Back for its sixth 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. Raven and Christine have attended several Quests and promise you some fun and a few surprises. Anyone who has attended Quest may come and offer their favorite tip.

Learning Circle Descriptions

Basic Kaballah

Facilitator: Steve Stone

This course is designed to give you a basic understanding of the Kabballah from the original Jewish beliefs. It includes an explanation of the structure of the universe according to Kabballah including the creation of the four worlds, the meaning of the sephirot, and the concept of the Ayn Sof. Also included will be a brief visualization / meditation exercise designed to show the difference between Kabballic meditation and other types of meditation.

Please note: This is a basic course and will not include vibrational, numerological, or ritual practices.

Dancing Swirls of Color: Hand Dyeing Magical Items

Facilitator: Abby Spears

Come and learn to make beautiful hand-dyed altar cloths and ritual wear. In this workshop, you'll start with a plain white length of soft, drapey rayon fabric. You'll learn how to use fiber-reactive dyes, mix colors to your liking, and dye your fabric with intricate patterns of brilliant, permanent color. Will yours be an altar cloth, a scarf, a sash, part of a robe? It's up to you-this workshop is about the journey of learning a new skill.

Each participant will be supplied with a length of rayon approximately 18" x 55." You may also bring your own small white or light-colored cotton, rayon, or linen items to dye, but please be reasonable with the quantity-no bedsheets!

There is a $5 fee for this Learning Circle for the materials and take-homes.

Dreams of Eagles and Visions of Owls

Facilitator: Steve Stone

Meet a live eagle and owl and feel the energy of these amazing animals. Eagles soar to heights that mankind can only dream, while owls see a side of the world that man can only imagine. In this seminar, you will be introduced to the energy of the animals firsthand, and shown some of the realities of their lives. Additionally, all participants will be given a totem to connect them to the animals.

Please note: There may be a meditation in this workshop if time allows.

Gift of Pleasure: Foot and Hand 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.

Workshop consists of demonstrations and practice. Participants will learn to give and exchange relaxing and healing massage of the feet and hands. 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 Hands on Exploration of Energy

Facilitator: Mary Beth Samsa

In this workshop participants will explore energy in its various forms through hands on partner activities and discussion. These activities will include an investigation of auras, charkas, raising and grounding energy, psychometry, and healing techniques. Basic meditation experience is highly recommended as a prerequisite.

Forging a Sword for the Morrighan

Facilitator: Jennifer Perry

Lecture and discussion about following a Warrior Path in the modern world. Demonstrations of sword techniques and possible hands on introduction to sword fighting with safety weapons. Live steel competitions and demonstrations will also be onsite at other times.

Fun with Honey and Yeast

Facilitator: Ben Starr - Class Limit: 10

This Learning Circle will explore the art and science of making mead. We will look at basic techniques, recipes, equipment and ingredients for various meads. Attendees will go home with one-gallon of fermenting mead, an airlock and tubing to finish off their own luscious concoction. Alcohol is not permitted on the premises, so there will be NO tasting of mead at this event.

There is a $10 fee for this Learning Circle for the materials and take-homes.

Merry mead, merry part, and merry mead again!!!

Living the Magickal Life

Facilitator: Sage Nightstar

This workshop will focus on all aspects of being a Witch. Relationship with the Goddess/God; sabots/esbats; astrology; ritual; spell casting; magick; witchcraft; altars; creating a book of shadows; divination; using herbs; candles; incense; coming out of the broom closet; questions and answers, etc. Sage will also share her own journey from being raised in a traditional Christian religion to becoming a Witch and following the Wiccan religion. Handouts written and created on each topic by Sage will be provided to participants and samples of other learning materials and books will be presented.

Meeting the Elements Through Meditation

Facilitator: Helene

This workshop will cover the basics of mediation, and then participants will be led on 4 very different and unique mediation journeys where they will meet each element (air, fire, water and earth) individually. Very much in keeping with this year's Quest theme, this workshop really enforces the idea that it's the journey that is important. Handouts will be provided.

Merry Mead Again - Intermediate Mead Making

Facilitator: Ben Starr - Class Limit: 10

This Learning Circle is for the experienced mead maker. We will discuss spices, different yeast strains, and various additives used in mead making. Attendees will go home with one-gallon of fermenting mead, an airlock and tubing to finish off their own luscious concoction. Alcohol is not permitted on the premises, so there will be NO tasting of mead at this event.

There is a $10 fee for this Learning Circle for the materials and take-homes.

Merry mead, merry part, and merry mead again!!!

Mosaic Altar Tiles

Facilitator: Becky Starr - Ages 15 and above only

A mosaic piece can add a beautiful, decorative touch to your home altar when used as an altar tile (representation of Earth), trivet for hot incense burners (such as a caldron) or offering plate. In this workshop, we will be creating mosaic tiles using colored glass on a wooden base. There will be three designs to choose from: Spiral, Pentacle, or Ying/Yang. This is a hands-on, get-dirty workshop and everyone will take home a tile with stained glass applied, grout and directions to grout the project at home. Because of the use of cutting implements and sharp glass pieces, no one under 15 will be allowed to take this class.

There will be a $10 fee for this Learning Circle for materials.

Reiki.... An Ancient Japanese Hands-On Healing Technique

Facilitator: Catt

What is Reiki and what can Reiki do?
Reiki is a lying on of hands touch healing system. It connects the individual to the unlimited supply of Universal "life force" energy. Reiki is a Japanese name consisting of 2 words Rei and Ki meaning spiritually guided life energy (commonly known as Universal Life Energy), an energy that animates us all and is found all around us. Reiki is a form of spiritual healing using "Universal Life Energy" channeled through the practitioner to the recipient. Reiki can help you relax, improve your quality of life, and may help improve your health. Reiki helps to harmonize body, mind, and spirit for yourself or anyone you want to help. Reiki can be used for many ailments like reducing stress, relieving pain, headaches, stomach upsets, back problems, asthma, respiratory problems, PMT, menstrual problems, sinus, anxiety, and many more. Please observe that Reiki should never be used instead of medical treatment. It should be used as a compliment and a way to become and remain healthy.

Who can learn Reiki and how do I learn Reiki?
Anyone can "learn" Reiki. There is no belief system attached to Reiki so anyone can receive a Reiki attunement. As in any healing, the first step towards a healthier life is a desire to be healed. Reiki is taught through an attunement process where you are connected to the Universal Consciousness (REI) and are then able to properly guide your life force energy (KI).

Class Content:

What is Reiki?
What can be healed with Reiki?
The history of Reiki.
Performing a Reiki treatment on yourself and others.
Reiki principles and ethics

Reiki 2

Facilitator: Catt - Must have Reiki One Certification

Review of Reiki material and information. Sharing Reiki experience and stories. Teach the Reiki symbols and how to send Reiki Long Distance, as well as how to use Reiki to empower goals. Additional Reiki techniques. More practice.

Releasing Fear & Trauma

Facilitator: Kay Warren

Many of us face difficult times on our journey through this life. Some things we get through fairly easily, some we don't. When we get "stuck" in an event or a time frame, we stop progressing, sometimes for years at a time. EFT releases the trauma and blockages, allowing your to process what happened and decide what you choose to do about it in a non-invasive way. I promise, I will not drag you through your emotional muck. It doesn't matter what happened, how severe it was, or how long you've been dealing with it, EFT can resolve it, and fast. It puts YOU back in the driver's seat. I've been investigating and practicing alternative healing methods for over 20 years, and I've never seen anything work like this. I've watched 20 year old traumas resolve in 10 minutes flat. It's fast, it's easy, and it's also kind of fun.

Ritual for Joy -- Working with Members who have Special Needs

Facilitator: Marci Drewy

And what of those in your group who are unable to participate in ritual like everyone else? How to include those with disabilities and still fulfill the needs of others in the circle as well.

Spiritual Mission Statement

Facilitator: Manbo Sky Bradshaw

Have you ever wondered what direction your spiritual path would take in 3 months, 1 year, and 5 years? Of course with every new step your path can wind and wander, but it is good to layout the objective we plan to take. This course of study is to give a thought process to your "Spiritual Mission Statement."

Whether you are a solitaire or in a coven, Diaspora, Wiccan, or not found your path at all, this method helps you determine where your intentions lie within yourself and the community. Come prepared to answer hard questions about your spirituality; you do not have to reveal them to anyone but yourself.

Spiritual Warrioship

Facilitator: Will

An overview of the Spiritual Warrior Path, practice with bamboo practice weapons, learn arts of meditation, and testing energies, recognizing and feeling spiritual threats.

Wicca, Its in your Head

Facilitator: Marci Drewry

This course is designed to allow the individual to let go of the "toys" and concentrate on mental cognition through mental visualization, verbalization and meditative techniques. All too often we rely on that which is without and when not available, we tend to not have our skills honed well enough to be able to quickly change to within.

Learning Circle Presenter & Spring Quest Staff Biographies

Abby Spears is happiest when she's up to her elbows in textiles. She's been sewing for 7 years and working with fiber reactive dyes for 6 years. She was set on the path of dyeing by the women of Diana's Grove, but her primary teachers have been books and experimentation.

Becky Starr is an instructor by passion and training. She is a frequent workshop leader for Celebrate the Circle and at CSQ events. Becky is in her fourth year on the CSQ Board of Trustees and is Board President. Becky is an eclectic Egyptian Pagan, a Priestess of Isis and loves to do crafty-things.

Ben Starr has made more than 150 gallons of mead. He is a contributor to GotMead.com. Ben has won several awards for his mead, including Best in Show at the International Mead Festival. Ben has taught mead making for the past 2 years at Spring Quest.

Catt (Donna McCoy-Musselman) is a Usui Reiki Master/Teacher. Donna is an Ordained Reverend, Founder of the Church and School of Spiritual Alliance in SW Virginia, a Licensed Nurse, an Alexandrian HPs for 35 years, and an Eclectic HPs for 25 years. "I believe Reiki should be available to anyone with a real desire to learn how to use it to help themselves and others. I honor all lines of Reiki and invite you to share your experiences."

Dick Merritt, a retired professional member of the American Massage Therapy Association, led massage workshops for many years. Dick started his journey 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 retired UNIX technician.

Helene has studied/practiced witchcraft and paganism for over 35 years, teaching her first class on Witchcraft at the age of 15 to 125 attendees. Currently she is a member of the Reformed Congregation of the Goddess, Full Moon WomensCircle in Raleigh, is a flamekeeper for Ord Bridhideach, and is the High Priestess of a local coven.

Kay Warren has been a practicing medical massage therapist for over 20 years. Using Energy in her work was part of her initial training, and it remains a part of Kay’s practice to this day. Kay’s focus is helping people get their lives back. She works with fibromyalgia, carpal tunnel syndrome, thoracic outlet, sciatica, etc. The body and the mind are intimately connected, so Kay also holds a certification in Hypnosis, and the advanced practitioner certificate in EFT. She has been a witch since '89, teaching at PantheaCon, Enchanted Mountain Gathering, Wild Magic, and a few others. Kay loves what she does.

Raised Lutheran, Jennifer Perry was introduced to a Celtic/Wiccan form of Paganisim about 13 years ago. 6 years ago, The Morrighan came to her in a time of stress and lent her strength. After several spiritual whacks to the head, and a clear indication that Goddesses do not wait on mortal indecision, Jennifer decided it was time to stop being a doormat. She dedicated herself to The Morrighan and asked for the tools to build herself a backbone. Since then she has been active with Triad CUUPs, serving as President in 06-07, she trains with European Martial Arts of America, has created a unique curriculum featuring Spear and Targ, and she currently teaches broadsword in Greensboro.

Manbo Sky Bradshaw is the daughter of the Vodou tradition Manbo Sky initiated to Manbo Sur Pwenn into the peristyle La Source Ancienne by Manbo Sallie Ann Glassman, NOLA and Houngan Edgar Jean-Louis, Haiti in 2005. Co-founding Society of the Good Child, a private group in the Triad area, she continues on her path.

Marci Drewy is a 23 year Career Army Warrant Officer/CID Special Agent; always a Wiccan before understanding what that word was. Has ministerial credentials from Our Lady of Enchantment Seminary of Wicca studying under Lady Sabrina and is the Director of Military Affairs for Sacred Well Congregation of Wicca.

Mary Beth Samsa is a senior at Duke University majoring in elementary education and visual arts/ photography. Currently, she is student teaching first grade. As of Imbolc, she is a priestess of the Hearthfire Circle of SOLP. Mary Beth considers herself an eclectic mystic. She has a very free-spirited in my approach to paganism!

Sage Nightstar has been a practicing Witch and Wiccan for over a decade. Her knowledge and skills have been attained and developed through self disciplined, study, practice, applications, and relationship with the Divine. She has also studied the works of other well known Witches and Magicians through their writings, workshops, videos, tapes, gatherings and personal meetings, correspondences and ongoing with relationships including Silver RavenWolf, Dorothy Morrison, MR Sellars, Taylor Ellwood, Phyllis Curott, Raymond Buckland, Scott Cunningham, Chris Penzack, Carl McColman, Trish Telesco, Raven Grimassi, Diane Stein, Starhawk, Gavin Bone, Janet Farrar, Fiona Horne, Gerina Dunwitch and several others. Sage is a member of the Sisters of the Burning Branch, currently working on her first book, and has a column in "Priestess Pathways", entitled "Witcheries".

Steve Stone has been a teaching Jewish Kabballah since the early 1990s. He is caretaker for Beanca the Eagle, several hawks, owls, and other interesting animals. Steve is also Pastor of The Church Of The Earth Of NC, the oldest open membership independent Earth Religion church in the Raleigh NC area.

Will is a practicing Druid HP. He has been blessed by the God and Goddess in many ways. He has not taken a student as of yet, and may never... who knows? Founder of the Guardians By The Threshold, he teaches people to know the way of a Spiritual Warrior and practice with weapons. Will is husband to Catt, a HPs of many years.

For more information about Carolina Spirit Quest, please contact info@carolinaspiritquest,org.
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Last updated 03/20/07