Monuments of Ancient Ireland
A brief overview of various types of ancient monuments in Ireland. Including their structure, known age, and known use. Archaeologically significant sites will be covered in greater detail. Covers cairns, stone circles, monoliths, Ogham stones, passage tombs, wedge tombs, portal tombs, and court tombs.
Connecting with the Spirits of Locality
An expansion of Medb's Oak Leaves article about connecting with local spirits of nature. Explanation on how to form an appropriate reciprocal relationship with local nature spirits and ideas for rituals or prayers to aide in the process. A short ritual may be included if time permits.
Sensation, Perception and Mystical Experience
A workshop that covers the biological mechanisms of sensation and perception and how these mechanisms can lead to mystical experiences, also known as Unsubstantiated Personal Gnosis (UPG). In this lecture we will cover mechanisms of human memory, as well as variations in sensation and perception. The parts of the human brain that are affected during these experiences are also covered. Powerpoint available.
Principles of Avestan (Indo-Iranian) Religion and Cosmology
A brief discourse on Avestan/Indo-Iranian religion based on archaeological research /theory and the Avesta (sacred texts of Zoroastrianism). Includes the gods/goddesses and a religious practices/cosmology. Powerpoint available.
Avestan (Indo-Iranian) Ritual
An Avestan ritual in modern Neo-Pagan style. This workshop works well when paired with the Avestan Relgion and Cosmology workshop.
Indo-Iranian (Avestan) Deities
The Avesta (the sacred text of the Zoroastrians) offers us one of the best views of the Proto- Iranians. This lecture examines the sacred text of the Avesta, archaeological evidence, and Persian myth. Starting with a scholarly approach to the study of Old Persian religion and belief we will discover the Gods and Goddesses of the Iranic people as well as the religious practices and cosmology of the ancient Persians.
Grove Administration and Leadership
A two-part workshop on leadership theory and practice, church administration, ethics, and advertising. Covers topics such as public relations, conflict management, mandated reporting laws, group facilitation and dynamics, fund raising, accounting, pastoral counseling techniques and encouraging Grove members towards self efficacy and self-empowerment. Festival organizers may select specific
topics to tailor this workshop to the interests of their attendees.
High Day Ritual Feasts
A look at the foods available to various Indo-European cultures, which draws from mythological reference and archaeological evidence, and discussion of how these foods may be used to satisfy contemporary High Day feasts. Some food preparation may also be included along with brief prayers or food preparation rites. Powerpoint available. Festival Organizers may select any two of the following cultures:
Creating Children's Programs
How to create and maintain a children's program in your Pagan congregation. This workshop includes a booklet with 5 great starter projects and activities to try with the children in your group, Grove, circle, or Coven. We cover how to handle groups of differently aged children or coed groups. It also briefly covers child development and basic educational theory. Ethics, legal concerns, and safety are also covered.
Group Dynamics for Pagan Leaders
Group dynamics is the study of groups and group processes. This workshop focuses on recognizing the stages of your group's development and how to better facilitate those processes. We will explore patterns of communication, role assumption, dominance, group efficacy, and conflict.
Reflective/Active Listening Skills for Pagan Leaders
Almost everyone can benefit more from listening better. Using reflective listening skills allows us to hear not just the words that a person is saying but the message they are actually sending. We will discuss the theories behind reflective listening and how they may be applied to everyday life.
Motivational Interviewing Techniques for Pagan Clergy
Helping the members of your church, circle, coven, or Grove explore feelings of ambiguity and select their life-path is part of being a minister. In this workshop you will learn howto use Motivational Interviewing techniques in pastoral counseling to help prepare your members for change.
Ethics in Pastoral Counseling
In this workshop we will explore the significance of dual relationships, romantic/sexual relationships, mandated reporting, when to refer, and various other legal issues facing modern Pagan clergy. This is a broad overview, due to the variety of state laws it will not be possible to cover every individual state during this workshop. It is highly advisable that attendees do their own due diligence and investigate their own state's regulations on their own.
Rites of Return: Healing the Wounds of War.
There are lots of rites, rituals, and ceremonies involved in becoming a military service man or woman but few for the return home. For combat veterans this can be an especially hard time and the Pagan spiritual community can be a strong social support network for returning veterans. These rites allow returning vets to be given the space and time to re-adjust their minds and spirits. It also allows them to transition from the battlefield to the civilian world.
The Cosmic Wheel: Universal Indo-European Symbol
Throughout Indo-European cultures a single symbol is repeated again and again, in statues, steles, caves, stones, and votive offerings, the symbol of the wheel. In this workshop we will explore some of the most significant of these, across Indo-European cultures and examine the text of the Veda and the Avesta for clues as to its significance.
Pollution of Nature in the Ancient World
Modern Neopagans often see the people of our ancient world as living lives in sync with the environment and the land, but is this the truth or is it idealism? Together we will explore forms of ancient pollution, habitat destruction, and extinction in the ancient world.