`..And Some things…that should never be forgotten…were lost..!’ says the begininh narrative part of the movie `Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring’.
In that spirit, I like to travel down memory lane, back 8 years, to 21st December 2004- when I had first taken on the task of running the Pagan Federation Open rituals in central London, from Brian & Trish Botham.
`The beginning is a delicate time..’ says the narration at the start of the movie Dune. And the same was true for me in December 2004, and for PF London. I was a relatively unknown `public pagan’ face (apart from in the private Initiated Wiccan/ Witchcraft Circles in London), and the few people who had known me, and known of a few rituals I had done in public (4-5 for Children of Artemis, 1 major Lammas ritual for PF London, the Opening ceremony at Pagan Federation Annual Conference in November 2004)…Well, actually come to think of it, by then people must have known me well enough as a public figure. 🙂
But the handover was basic – yes you are doing it full stop. No rules, contact lists.. petty cash..Nothing. Zero.
So I called on my ritual group Hern’s Tribe, gathered the help of a few Wiccan brothers & sister (coven links) to start creating a Yule Ritual.. to do in front of 50-60 people.. and set about the matter. On the organising side, I had to put in the last bit of money I ever had on planet Earth.. all of £136 (I had £140). I was unemployed but took a risk and put my money in…to book the smaller hall in Conway Hall…then a friend helped with printing flyers… I borrowed money to buy stamps (£40 worth) and posted the flyers to mailing list that Jean Williams had kindly provided (members of Pagan Federation who lived in London)..
And on the day.. 21st December 2004, we got there, I organised my team to help out with door, collecting entrance fees, sort food tables, then altar, ritual run through…and we did the Open ritual.. So effectively, we managed the whole preparations, the evening events, and did the main ritual itself.. (In movie terms, this will be considered `producing, directing and starring in a Movie, marketing, customer care etc’.) Not bad for a guy who had very little such public organising experience eh?
And we pulled it off.. Hern’s Tribe members and me. And we made back the money and more.. and we had set a new Wheel in motion. Nay, more than that.. we arrested a slow downward cycle of low turn outs, loosing hundred of pounds (they were doing it in larger hall, doing flyer mail outs 8 times a year.. where as I moved it to smaller hall,.. did flyer mail out quarterly.. etc). Of course we started adding new & old things.. Conventions, Masked Balls, Outdoor rituals, and even started promoting/ admitting young children with parental guide (yes, guys n gals, we started those..when PFL had no children policy before I took over!).
So as we get closer to Yule 2012 – I think of those early days.. and here is the flyer that started it all.. 🙂
It even has the magical sign of the coven hidden in one of the drawings.. (I showed it to Maureen Brown, High Priestess in the Whitecroft line of Wicca, who was dying at that point with Cancer..and she smiled…). It’s the Sun card …boy on a horse.. But if you look closely, you’ll see…it’s not an ordinary horse.. It’s a Unicorn! ( feature on Maureen was published in our online Magazine – Gaian Times last year. It will be re-published soon as a remembrance of Maureen Brown in January 2013)
We’ve done other Yule rituals too ..since then.. but those are stories for a fire side another time. 🙂
Bright Yule Blessings
(PF London Events Manager & webmaster ~ Dec 2004 to Oct 2012)
ps. The Full copy of the actual Ritual we did on 21st Dec’2004 is published in my NEW book `Yule Rites’
pps. I will be covering Event Managing for Pagans, Conventions, etc in the Esoteric Enterprises Bulletins.