Carolina Spirit Quest - Winter Quest 2006 Learning Circles


Learning Circles

Friday Evening

Heart Circle - Eric "Fritter" Riley

Heart Circle We are all divine beings, and in today's world we don't often get to connect with each other in a real, honest, heart-open way. A part of the Radical Faerie traditions from its very inception, the heart circle is a place unlike any other. Heart circle is more than a place where each person is "allowed" to speak, it is a place where you are free to speak from the heart. A candle is lit, a talisman is passed, the heart is opened, and we connect to each other heart-to-heart. Come and share your heart-space with each other.

Daily Practices to Connect to Spirit: Think, Feel, Act - Gryphon Rosemead

How do we hold on to our faith and continue to walk our Path, even when we are pulled by the responsibilities of our job, health concerns, day to day necessities and have little time and energy to devote to our spiritual practices? Making a simple routine can allow you to keep focused on your connection to the Sacred Web. Without your glowing point on the Web, it would collapse--you are that valuable! Come journey and create your own routine and talisman to fit your life style.

Journal Writing

Express Yourself / Create your own personal journal - Tracy Britto - Cancelled

Get in touch with your inner child and allow your creativity to flow as you create personal journals in which you can preserve your most inner thoughts and spiritual visions. In this workshop we will use various colored inks, stamps, watercolor pencils, chalk and decorative papers to embellish your journals.

Saturday Morning


Connecting with Spirit Through Rhythm! - R. Tigre Cruz

The pulse was the first rhythm that many people believe created the Universe. It is also the first rhythm we hear and feel as living beings in our mother's womb.

In this class, we will learn to connect with the spark of spirit within us, around us and in each other through the magic of rhythm by using grounding and meditation drumming.

We will do a jam session to end with happy energy!

Please bring a drum to this class. Please consider a good meal and proper sleep prior to the class to make your experience as beneficial as possible. All are welcome to this class. No drumming experience is necessary.

Basics of Crochet - Part 1 - Cynthia Campbell

Crochet is a wonderful moving meditation: Person Crocheting the motion of the hands, the slide of the hook through thread, the quiet of sitting with your thoughts as you create an item that will be treasured for years to come. In this two-part series, beginners (no experience necessary!) will learn all the basic stitches and techniques used in most crochet projects, from big chunky sweaters to delicate thread coverlets. In part one, you will learn the basics of how to hold hook and thread, and practice the first stitches. In part two, you will learn more stitches and also discuss how to finish a project. A crochet hook, skein of yarn, and pattern will be provided so you will be able to complete a small project at the end of the class. Limited to 10 participants. There is a $5 fee for supplies.


Polarity Therapy: Connecting with energy - Dick Merritt

Polarity Therapy is one of a multitude of hands-on healing modalities which works with the flow of the body's energies. It is, perhaps, the easiest to learn to use effectively. Through demonstrations and practice, participants will learn to use the fundamentals of polarity on one another. Polarity is practiced with cloths on. You can connect your energetic body to that of your subject through ordinary street clothing. Working with energy can be a part of many diverse spiritual paths. Besides, it is both helpful and fun.

Saturday Afternoon

Basics of Crochet - Part 2 - Cynthia Campbell

Part 2 of the learning circle started Saturday Morning.

Connecting to Spirit through Chanting - Fire Lily

Chanting is one of the oldest and most primitive tools that humankind has used to honor Singers the deities, communicate with others, and express their needs & emotions. Chanting reaches deep into the soul and speaks to that primal core that connects us all to the interdependent web of life. Come, join Fire Lily in this learning circle and together we'll explore this method of connecting to the Great Spirit, that universal energy force that brings healing to the Self, the Earth and all Her inhabitants. During our time together we will learn chants that heal, chants that raise energy giving power to our work, and chants that give comfort and transform. You don't need to sing "well", you just need to sing (and feel free to bring your drums if you desire.)

Earth, Moon and Sun

Multicultural Connections: A Different Kind of Process - Bob Tuggle

Perhaps you've done 'Mother Work' and 'Father Work' to learn about what makes you who you are. But what about the cultural environment you grew up in? What did you learn just by being in a world that believed certain things about certain groups of people? Racism, sexism, adultism, religionism, heterosexism and other isms are not just ways of looking at the world around you. They are also part of the range of shadows that can stand in the way of clear connection to a natural spiritual path.

I have been involved with multicultural initiative of The Mankind Project International since its beginnings. My understanding of how what I believe can keep me from being who I am has grown tremendously. I am blessed to be a paid presenter for the day long MKPI sanctioned 'Isms and Issues' training. This free workshop will use tools from 'Isms and Issues' and several other multicultural perspectives to give you some insight into what this is all about and how it can affect your life.

Some folks do not like it. Some folks love it. All folks seem to feel strongly about it.
Come stand in the fire.

Sunday Morning

Shell and beads

"How do I love thee? Let me count the ways..." - Prayer Beads for Pagans - Becky Starr
This Learning Circle is full

Many cultures and religions have used beads as an instrument of prayer - Islam, Hinduism, Christianity and Buddhism to name a few. These prayer beads, known as rosaries, malas or sha sha in Egyptian (for "luck"), have been used for hundreds of years to pray or connect with Spirit. We will explore the use of a rosary (from the Latin for "rose garden" or indicating the use of flowers in a circlet) as a moving meditation for our personal spiritual practices. We will create a rosary for a moon goddess, or goddesses, of our choice and write accompanying "prayers" or affirmations to use with this beautiful tool. We will also discuss other uses for prayer beads in our personal practices. No previous experience with prayer beads or poetry writing needed! "Recovering" Catholics welcome!! $5 fee for beads and handouts

The Magic of Tea - Patricia A. Duplantis (Teasane).

"Tea with us became more than an idealization of the form of drinking; it is a religion of the art of life . . .
Teapot and Cup . . .let us have a sip of tea. The afternoon glow is brightening the bamboos, the fountains are bubbling with delight, the soughing of the pines is heard in our kettle. Let us dream of evanescence, and linger in the beautiful foolishness of things."
-- Excerpts from the Book of Tea by Kakuzo Okakura

Come experience and find out why tea is meditation in a cup...

We will discuss the history of tea, the types of tea (white, black/red and oolong). We will also have a tea tasting, in which we will each choose our favorite tea to have with some tea time snacks, while talking briefly about tea for relaxation, medicinal benefits, meditation and magic. We will make our own tea blends, bath tea and/or potpourri (using tea and herb) sachets. $3 fee for tea, sachet bags and handouts. Join us for some tea and tea talk.


Hiking in the Winter Landscape - Staff
Fairy Stone has many trails to hike. One of the ways to listen to the rhythms of nature and to connect with Spirit is to take a leisurely hike through the winter landscape. It can be a veritable walking meditation in silence. Join us and enjoy the Zen of the winter world.


Becky Starr

Becky Starr considers herself an "eclectic Egyptian pagan". She is a training manager by profession and a teacher by passion, finding herself a now frequent learning circle leader for Celebrate the Circle and Carolina Spirit Quest events. Becky is currently the president of the board of trustees for CSQ and Ritual Coordinator for Spring Quest 2005. Becky is a Priestess of Isis, member and frequent ritual team-member of CTC, serious Quest addict and lives in Durham, NC.

Bob Tuggle currently works as an Information Services Manager for a local government and is co-owner of a successful Holistic Health Center in Martinsville, VA. He holds a degree in business and a masters in Computer Science and is a Nationally Certified Bodyworker specializing in holistic health and shamanic healing. His passion for working with people of many cultures has lead to the formation of Holistics, a center for health freedom, which has become the largest alternative health center in Southside Virginia. Bob has been facilitating multicultural awareness sessions since the spring of 2000. He served as a member of the Mankind Project Internationals Multicultural Resource Team. A bisexual white man, walking a shamanic path, Bob's mission is creating a world of joy, balance and strength by sharing, teaching and healing.

Cynthia Campbell

Cynthia Campbell is a 33-year-old pagan mom with a passion for crafts of all kinds. She especially loves fiber arts, including spinning raw wool into thread, crochet, and Tunisian crochet. She has been using her crochet hook seriously since she was 21 and learned from the best…her mother and grandmother!

Dick Merritt

Dick Merritt, a retired professional member of the American Massage Therapy Association, led massage workshops 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 retired UNIX technician.

Fire Lily is an Earth-theist and daughter of the natural world who honors and celebrates all the ways of the Earth - from natural health care, nutrition, & exercise to heal the body; through the use of magick & Runes coupled with the use of logic & intuition to guide the heart and head; to fiercely searching for the light of truth and warmth of love - within & without - to bring growth, peace, and wholeness to the spirit. She is the Director of Religious Education for the Unitarian Universalist Church of the Shenandoah Valley, the Facilitator for EarthWays (the church's CUUP's group) and DarkMoon, (a women's Goddess circle) and treasurer for Northern Shenandoah Valley Pagan Alliance. In her spare time, she is the Head Kitchen Witch at Harvest Moon, a local health food store and can often be found concocting delightful potions to tempt the palate.

Fritter Riley

A Librarian, Eclectic Pagan, Devotee of Venus, and many other things, Eric "Fritter" Riley is also a Radical Faerie from Washington, D.C. In his local Faerie group, Fritter is one of the Circle Keepers and he has led and participated in heart circles for the last three years. He also writes a quarterly column for White Crane: the journal of gay men's spirituality. This will be his third Winter Quest (2nd time teaching).

Gryphon Rosemead

Gryphon Rosemead has been practicing the craft since the early 70's and has given Workshops and done Rituals at many public and private gatherings across the southeast. She is a public Pagan, High Priestess and Elder and is active with Carolina Spirit Quest, Inc., CUUPS, International Pagan Pride Project and Pagan Wilderness Weekend. Gryph has earned a Bachelor of Science in Horticulture and a Masters of Education from the University of Georgia. A National Board Certified Agriculture Teacher, she has been listed twice in Who's Who Among America's Teachers. She lives with her cats, Grandmother and Josh and her K-9 companion, Skye. A syndicated columnist, she has turned her attention to writing full time. For more information, including her schedule and upcoming publishing projects, visit her website at She can be contacted at

Patricia A. Duplantis aka Teasane, OLoT (Our Lady of Tea), has been a practicing pagan for over ten years. Her current path is that of a Water Witch. She is an avid tea lover and professed tea snob. She is a Librarian who is currently working with computers and automation issues. She loves sharing her knowledge and love of tea..

R. Tigre Cruz

Tigre (Ron Cruz) is a Drum Mage, drum instructor, and drum circle facilitator. He is a Circle Keeper of the DC Radical Faeries, a member of the Church of Four Quarters, and a third-degree initiated High Priest in Wicca. In his thirty years of drumming, studying, training, and/or instructing classical and modern percussion, he has acquired a wealth of experience in band, orchestra, marching band, and competitive drum corps. He is immersed in traditional West African Djembe drumming and technique. He studies drumming and drum circle facilitation with Jaqui MacMillan. He has performed with and learned from Daveed Korup, Aesa Grayson, and Jim Donovan of "Rusted Root." Tigre facilitates groups to shape intentions and drum circles for a variety of reasons: ritual, meditation, inspiration, trance, healing, and enjoyment. Tigre has co-created formal and informal ceremonies for various organizations such as The Pagan Leadership Skills Conference, The Mid-Atlantic Men's Gathering, the Sacred Space Conference, and PagaNet, Inc. He resides in Washington, DC.

Tracy Britto follows an eclectic Wiccan path. She has been involved in the Raleigh Pagan community since 2000. She is currently a member of of the Carolina Spirit Quest Board, Sacred Spiral, and Sisters of the Enchanted Circle. Tracy was a representative at the NCPL Conference in Jan 2003 for Eclectic Arcanum and Co-coordinator for the 2004 Central NC Pagan Leadership Conference.

Learning Circle Schedule

Heart Circle Daily Practices to Connect to Spirit: Think, Feel, Act Express Yourself / Create your own personal journal (Free time)
Saturday Morning Basics of Crochet - Part 1 $5 fee Polarity Therapy: Connecting with Energy Connecting with Spirit Through Rhythm! (Free time)
Saturday Afternoon Basics of Crochet - Part 2 Connecting to Spirit through Chanting Multicultural Connections: A Different Kind of Process (Free time)
"How do I love thee? Let me count the ways..." - Prayer Beads for Pagans $5 fee The Magic of Tea $3 fee Hiking in the Winter Landscape (Free time)

For more information, contact Dick Merritt (Director) at

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Last updated 1/12/06