Carolina Spirit Quest - Winter Quest 2007 Learning Circles


Learning Circle Schedule

Runes - An Ancient Mystery "Take three deep breaths..." Grounding and Centering Heart Circle Magical First Aid Kit - PART 1 (Free time)
Saturday Morning Healing the Wounded Self Reiki Shamanic Trance in Ritual   (Free time)
Saturday Afternoon Mirror Meditation Outdoor Meditation Shamanic Journey Through Rhythm Magical First Aid Kit - PART 2 (Free time)
Make Your Own Divination Deck Hiking in the Winter Landscape Everyday Spiritual Magick   (Free time)

Learning Circles


Everyday Spiritual Magick - It's not just for ritual (circle) anymore - Abba Eridanus

In today's society, our Spirituality and Magick have become, simply, a facet of our lives. Not an integral way of living. Our ancestors had lives infused with Spiritual Magick. So can we. We'll explore our ancestors' ways of being and how we can have and live Spiritual Magickal lives ourselves.


Healing the Wounded Self - Sharon Hill

We are biological, intellectual, social, and spiritual beings. We can be wounded in each of these realms. In this workshop we will discuss the multitude of ways that wounds occur, and more importantly, how we can engage healing energies for each level of our being. This will be an experiential workshop including self-healing activities.

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.


Hiking in the Winter Landscape - Staff

Fairy Stone has many trails to hike. One of the ways to discover the divinity within and surrounding each of us 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.

first aid

Magical First Aid Kit - Dolphinmoon

Magical first aid kit is the art of finding your way to healing and not allowing yourself to be stopped by the circumstances. You will begin learning to see your way past the illusions of your perception to the true nature of the wound. You will begin to learn techniques to bring the essential core of the healing to the individual without having all the tools that you might imagine you require. This is a step beyond your boundaries:
1. to see what is broken,
2. envision how the individual would appear as healed,
3. see a way to bridge the gap,
4. and find one way with the tools you have to proceed to the next step.
Recognize that healing when done in this way will heal the healer and the patient and increase your self awareness. This is a class which should be taken by those with prior learning and experience with magic. Please bring your favorite divination tool, your favorite stones, your favorite herbs, your favorite poems, your favorite songs in CD form, and any other magical tool that you frequently carry with you.

tarot cards

Make Your Own Divination Deck - Gryphon Rosemead

Relax in a sacred circle of friends and let your wise inner child out to play and guide you to images, colors and symbols to create your own deck of divination cards. These will be made from collages glued to poster board that you can laminate later and they will be as individual and unique as you are. Magazines (and we have the GOOD ones-National Geographic!!), poster boards marked into card sized pieces and other crafty supplies will all be at your disposal.


Mirror Meditation: Seeing Deity Within - Becky Starr

Mirrors are powerful magick - reflecting back what is there and what is not. This learning circle will focus on bringing forth the power of Deity into our lives and ourselves. We will use the mirror as a tool to see ourselves clearly and then to see Divinity reflected in our faces. Techniques of meditation and visualization will be used to empower ourselves with the gifts of the Gods.

winter scene

Outdoor Meditation - Kara Mueller

Winter, time of stillness and introspection. Join an out of doors circle for a guided meditation surrounded by the beauty and crisp air of Fairy Stone State Park. Dress Warmly and comfortably.

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

Runes - An Ancient Mystery - Sharon Hill

The runes are the ancient alphabet of the Norse peoples, and so much more. These symbols are a magical tradition, possibly even, the curriculum of a mystery school. In this workshop we will discuss Norse culture and tradition as evidenced in the runes. We will also explore the magickal energies of these symbols and ways that we may access their power in our personal and group magickal practice. Runes are a direct access to ancient energies-- visually and through sound. We will participate in activities to help us to engage these energies in a sensory experience as well as intellectually.

Shamanic Journey Through Rhythm - R. Tigre Cruz

This learning circle will actually be a Shamanic Journey. Shamans use drumming and grounding to enter and maintain a deep trance state in order to travel through the veil to the spirit world or underworld, to gain knowledge, for healing, to seek power /spirit animals or acquire guidance from the great spirit and/or nature itself as well as other intentions.

We will journey to the other side into the astral realm together as one circle of Shamans. Once through the veil, we will all be individually experiencing the spirit world until we come back together through the shamanic guidance and return meditation. I would encourage you to be prepared to share your experience on the other side when we return for the benefit and education of all who attend this working.

If you have not worked with trance magic or meditation before, I recommend the Shamanic Trance in Ritual learning circle that will be offered before this learning circle, for some primary information about trance as ritual magic. It is highly recommended that you bring a drum, or your favorite personal drum, to this working. A very limited few drums will be available to borrow for the trance.

Shamanic magic is one of the oldest practices of meditation and trance originating in ancient Siberia. I hope you can join us and look into this branch of magical traditions.

Shamanic Trance in Ritual - Eric Eldritch

This Learning Circle provides a foundation for shamanic prayer, meditation and trance techniques in personal and group ritual. Learning the range and uses of these techniques will help ritualists build and maintain a "group mind" for deeper ritual effect journeying through the Spiritual realms at levels appropriate for a given purpose.

After a brief opening discussion, we will experiment with and experience a variety of vehicles for shamanic journey: breathe work; taped music; guided meditation; spoken mantras and song. Participants will gain skill of using a planning matrix, a useful framework for ritualists, when constructing ceremonies and balancing: intention, audience, context, tradition, spontaneity and shamanic tools.

This Learning Circle is designed for individuals who study and practice shamanic techniques whether beginner or experienced. It complements the next session Shamanic Journey Through Rhythm. Recommended reading: Zen and the Brain (Austin); The Intuitive Body (Palmer); Why God Won't Go Away - Brain Science and the Biology of Belief (Newberg and D'Aquili); The Way of the Shaman (Harner); and Shamanism - The Archaic Techniques of Ecstasy (Eliade).


"Take three deep breaths..." Grounding and Centering - Dick Merritt

Centering, grounding and going to your "safe place" are often used in meditations and rituals. Do you have problems achieving these states? We will discuss and practice some techniques to facilitate these transitions using progressive relaxation and the relaxation response.


Abba Eridanus - I am a Reflecting, Prismatic, Radical Faggot Magickal Being evolving as an Abba* - Elder** (with all of the entendres, double and more!). My vocation, in any moment, is in the variable blending of mystic, homemaker, oracle, student, counselor, and seer. Which is, sometimes, termed a prophet.

My personal Patrons are the Hekatae and the Purple God of Healing [Dian-y-Glas]. I am one of the founders of the Prism of the Purple God of Healing- a Queer, magickal working, joyful, and HEALING group. I walk between communities, and journey in the 'tween places. Besides my Prism work, I am involved with those who ask of me, in Connect DC, the Capital Pride LGBTIQ Interfaith Service, the Washington-Baltimore Pagan Clergy Association, and I'm a student of Reflections Mystery School. [Blessings Teacher and Systeri!]

*In the early Christian monastic and hermitic movements, the Abba was sought out for advice, counseling, and support. This is part of my vocation.
**These are my 4 stages in living my spirituality- Warrior, Magickian / Priest, Abba (Elder), and Sage. I plan to not be a Sage for quite some time.

Becky Starr

Becky Starr is an instructor by passion and training, having worked in the mundane world as a corporate trainer, instructional designer and training manager for over 10 years. Now, she is in the process of starting her own business, Starrlight Mead, with her husband, Ben. In the Pagan world, she finds herself a frequent workshop leader for Celebrate the Circle, the CUUPS chapter of Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Hillsborough and at events for Carolina Spirit Quest, including both Spring Quest and Winter Quest. Becky is in her third year on the CSQ Board of Trustees and is Board President for a second term. Becky considers herself an eclectic Egyptian Pagan, is a Priestess of Isis and lives in Durham, NC with her husband, teenage son, and cat, Missy. Becky is director of Winter Quest this year. 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.

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

Dick Merritt 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. He has been leading rituals for groups of up to 300 participants and studying those led by others since the late 80's.

Dolphinmoon is an eclectic panentheist Unitarian Universalist pharmacist. She has been studying paganism and magic for 15 years, and shamanism for 10 years. She is interested in sacred sweat ceremonies, journeying, spirit guide communication, and chakras. As a healer she encourages preventative medicine and health maintenance, believes in personal ownership of ones' healthcare, and practices patient specific medicine. In addition, she creates innovative approaches to healing, and from a holistic viewpoint supports exploration of the root causes of illness.

Eric Eldritch

Eric Eldritch studies Shamanism and Wicca as a member of both the DC Radical Faeries and the Four Quarters Interfaith Sanctuary. He has a third-degree initiation in Stone Circle Wicca. He is a community organizer with leadership experience in nonprofit and professional organization leadership for over twenty years. Eric specializes in ritual and organizational development based on principles of group identity, spiritual formation, sociolinguistics, cross-cultural relations, and interfaith organizing. Email: Phone: 202-309-5486

Fritter Riley

Librarian, Bookseller, 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, and is a regular contributor to the White Crane's "Gay Wisdom Blog". This will be his Fourth Winter Quest (3rd time teaching).

Gryphon Rosemead

Gryphon Rosemead has been practicing the craft since the early 70's and has given Workshops and Rituals across the southeast. A public Pagan, High Priestess and Elder, she is active with many Pagan organizations, earned a BS and MED from UGA, and is a National Board Certified Agriculture Teacher listed twice in Who's Who Among America's Teachers. She is currently looking for an agent for the first book in her Pagan shape shifters series. Website: Contact:

Kara Mueller lives in Northern Virgina, She has been part of the East Coast Pagan Community since 1993. Kara is ever the seeker in discovering new paths to the Divine and its expression. Kara is married with two sons and has an Alter Ego who referees for the DC Rollergirls.

Sharon Hill is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, healer, counselor, and teacher. She resides in Durham and both studies and practices magick, shamanism, rune magick, chakras, and other spiritual disciplines.

R. Tigre Cruz

Tigre is a Rhythm Shaman, Drum Mage, drum instructor and a drum circle facilitator. In his thirty two years of drumming, studying, training, and/or instructing classical and modern percussion, he has acquired a wealth of experience from band, orchestra, marching band and competitive drum corps. 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" and is the lead drummer for the recording artist/band KIVA. 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, and taught classes for various organizations such as The Pagan Leadership Skills Conference, The Mid-Atlantic Men's Gathering, Carolina Spirit Quest, and the Sacred Space Conference. He resides in Washington DC.

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Last updated 11/29/06