HEARTH-FIRE PAGAN RETREAT FAQ
WHY A RETREAT?
The retreat structure offers continuity and contours for a cohesive spiritual experience that a festival may not. It is crafted as an immersive experience. There will be spiritual celebrations forming its framework. Trust-building exercises to increase an atmosphere of collegiality in community. Workshops and classes providing educational opportunities. Discussion groups encouraging open exchanges of ideas.
WHAT IS THE GENERAL OUTLINE?
Each day offers what we like to call principles of sameness and principles of difference. Principles of sameness refer to those experiences that occur each and every day. Principles of difference refer to those that are unique to each day. For instance, there will be morning prayers and other forms of spiritual celebration each and every day, but each will be unique in as much as we touch upon different aspects of ones spiritual journey.
WHAT TOPICS WILL BE DISCUSSED?
We anticipate a broad mix of newcomers, those well-familiar, and many in between. Therefore, some topics will be of immediate interest to beginners whereas others will be more advanced and a few considerably more advanced. For instance, we will have programs outlining basic ritual construction, a few on morality and ethics, and some on cosmology and theology. Naturally, given the brevity of the event, we will be limited as to the time we can devote to each subject.
IS THIS EVENT CEREBRAL OR EXPERIENTIAL?
It is both. This event is purpose-built as a holistic experience. There will be hands-on practice, meditation and creative visualization that will sweep one into stunning vistas of the imagination, and direct appeals to the intellect. The sense that we want celebrants to take with them is that they integral members of a vital community, brought together by choice, tempered by experience, nurtured and affirmed by others, and empowered in key ways to more confidently face the modern world.
WOULD YOU CHARACTERIZE THIS AS A FAMILY-FRIENDLY EVENT OR ONE PRIMARILY FOR ADULTS?
It is intended for the serious-minded student and celebrant, someone who wants to learn and grow. We will not limit registration solely to chronological adults, but all minors must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. This is not an appropriate event for young children, because we are approaching all matters contained herein with profound spiritual reverence and sobriety. We also posit that it is the right of students to have an opportunity to experience the event without distractions. However, we would note that we have a separate event, Faerie Fest, which is a celebration for the entire family.
YOU CHARACTERIZE THIS AS A PAGAN RETREAT. IS THIS WICCAN OR SOMETHING ELSE?
Hearth-Fire is the educational outreach of the Roman Caesarian Church, which equally values all positive paths within Paganism. Some of the material will be Wiccan while others will be Shamanic, Classical Pagan and more. This is not a promiscuous sampling of eclecticism, but a representative slice of the modern Pagan experience.
WILL THERE BE SECTIONS ON MAGIC, MAGICK, AND DIVINATION?
Yes to all three, but again, our goal is not to provide an exhaustive or comprehensive treatment of any subject. It is to acquaint you with a broad swatch of subject matter and gently encourage you to expand on your own. We will also be checking in with celebrants so as to determine which topics resonate the most and which less so.
DOES THIS RETREAT HONOR THE DIVINE FEMININE AND WELCOME A BROAD AND DIVERSE REPRESENTATION OF COMMUNITY MEMBERS?
Absolutely. Each morning prayer calls upon “all the goddesses and all the gods” and all loving and kind persons are welcome and shall be equally esteemed. We posit that whereas we are all descendants from a unitary source of being (pantheism) as manifested through a multitude of deities (polytheism) and resident as living spirits in all persons and things (animism), we are all, in effect, soul mates. This journey shall emphasize our commonality but not at the cost of our uniqueness. In this circle, everyone is equidistant from the center, but at a unique position around the ridge.
YOU CHARACTERIZE THIS AS A FAMILY-FRIENDLY RETREAT, BUT COULD YOU BE MORE SPECIFIC?
We purpose to create an atmosphere conducive to learning and growing; and nothing establishes that more securely than a profound sense of safety. While we never pass judgment on the choices made by creators of different events, our choice is to refrain from venturing into adult, in the sense of erotic, subject matter or behavior, clothing is required, and while moderate consumption of alcoholic beverages is permitted for persons of legal age, intemperate consumption is prohibited. We must also specify that the rules of our hosts, our loving family members at Our Haven, take precedence and shall be observed at all times.