Friday, November 1, 2013

Sun Wheel Pagan Arts Festival

The Canada Day long weekend we spent at The Sun Wheel Pagan Arts Festival right here in Alberta!
Not only was it in our home province it was only a half hour drive from our house :) This was the second year for the festival but the first year we attended. We will definitely be going again next year!! We had an amazing time! This music festival also feature local handmade crafts and vendors. It is a camping festival and the Minions were excited to be tenting it. We arrived Friday evening and the Minions had the tent set up in record time. They wanted to explore the campsite before dark and see if there were any kids their ages.
Our home for the weekend
The people camping next to us told me they were pretty impressed with how quickly the kids put up the tent and how well they worked together, I was a proud Mommy :)
The evenings activity was something we had talked about alot on the trip to the campsite. A fire walk! I was excited it was something I always wanted to do. As darkness fell we gathered together to hear about the fire walk. First off we were to walk on broken glass....that freaked the hell out of me!!! I am all good with walking on a bed of hot coals but broken glass NO THANK YOU!!
The bed of broken glass
When they asked who wanted to be first Bug was the first one to put up her hand but I was like "maybe we should see first hun, could you wait and few people" She was ok with it but made sure to let me know that she would be doing it either way lol she is so fearless. We watched a couple people go and then Willowtree decided she wanted to take a crack at it.
Willowtree walking on broken glass
Next it was Bugs turn, she was a little nervous but not nearly as much as I was.
She walked it like she had done it before. No fear in this girl!! Then she walked it twice more lol
By this time I had worked up my courage, if my girls could do it so could I, it was quite the experience! The sound of the crunching of the glass under my feet was by far the worst part of it. I walked the glass with no cuts at all :) None of us cut our feet.
Me walking on glass

Getting the bed of coals ready
Then it was time, we made our way over to the fire and people started to drum and cheer everyone on. The intensity of the energy was AWESOME!!
Then the bed of coals was ready
Willowtree went first and threw out the night twice more

Then it was my turn. I found the experience very surreal and much easier on the mind than the broken glass walk. The heat under my feet was almost pleasant and I found myself fighting the urge the pause. I went twice and the second time it was a much deeper experience that I find hard to put into words but I know that I am a true firechild and if ever presented with the opportunity again I will defiantly walk again!
Me walking on hot coals
After the Fire walk we wandered over to the drum circle. The Shaman that facilitated the firewalk did a sacred pipe sharing ceremony another first for me :) it was a very moving way of sharing prayer and I was deeply honored to be able to participate in it. Then we drummed and drummed and the northern lights danced in a spectacular display. We went to bed that night so pumped up with the energies of the evening but sleep came quickly. The next day we were up bright and early and had a hearty campfire breakfast. The Minions went exploring and Willowtree and King Connaher quickly found kids their age to hang out with. Poor Bug tho she had no one her age at all but her siblings being the great Minions they are included her in everything they did. Willowtree and I slipped away for the women's mysteries circle and after I took in a beautiful herb walk. The music was supposed to start in the late afternoon but by early afternoon it was pouring rain and the performers were supposed to be on an open air stage so the music was cancelled for the night or so we thought.....the musicians were not ones to disappoint their fans so they gathered in the big cookshack and had a jam session that lasted well into the night. It was so awesome and had the feeling of a family gathering :) so fun, warm and inviting. It was such an amazing experience to be elbow to elbow with some of your biggest musical idols!! It rained threw the night but the next morning we woke to a blazing sun and WOW was it HOT! I am pretty sure we hit record highs that day and to say it was a scorcher was not even close to describing the heat! The Minions and their newfound friends had an epic water fight to keep cool and the musicians braved the heat and put on a fabulous show. First up was the excellent Chalice and Blade from B.C. I have been a fan for a few years and they did their hit song " I hear you calling " which I love.
Chalice and Blade
Next up was someone I have known for a few years now, Sable. She is a singer from B.C. as well and she and her husband have made the trip out here for our communities Beltane celebrations for years and we always look forward to seeing them. They brought with them another local B.C. talent Chad Mcleary who is relatively unknown but very good and I am sure we will be hearing more about him.
Sable and Chad

Next up was a group I had not heard before a local from Calgary Alberta Vanessa Cardui she is a bardic champion and a wonderful singer. Her song "The Dragon Slayer" was a big favorite of the Minions and is hilarious.

With her she brought the most pleasant surprise, one of the ladies accompanying her (the one on the right holding the violin) did a solo of one of her own original songs that brought me to tears. Her name is Sora and I bought both of her Cd's, her song was called Sulis Minerva and has not been recorded yet but as soon as it is I will be buying that CD as well. It was breathtaking! I have included the link to the whole set but Sulis Minerva is at 21:11 and is so worth it!!

Our homegrown local talent was next with the Edmonton Pagan choir. I wish we lived closer cause I would love to join this group.
Sharon Knight from California was another musician I had not heard before. She was very popular with everyone and I really liked her style. She's fiery!

They saved the best for last and one of my most favorite artists ever the Amazing Heather Dale. I Love her music and she has been my favorite since I first heard her a few years ago and best of all she is Canadian!! I will link her whole Sunwheel set and you will see why I love her. Her energy is amazing and she is the ultimate storyteller.  Heather Dales SunWheel set   Some of my favorites by her are Tristan and Isolde, The Maiden and the Selkie, Sedna, Joan, Culhwch and Olwen and Skeleton woman plus so many more. She is the reason I got the tickets to SunWheel and I was so happy with the whole experience we will definitely be going back next year. Maybe I will see some of you there!!

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