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I had a great weekend. I was so worried about it and there was so much to worry about. My foot that I had surgery on in September was still in a walking boot and all the logistics that come with that. My 11 year old son was coming for the second year, he is normally a good kid but it is always a worry. I had the wreath contest I was running again which last year had secretly left me sick at having to stand in front of everyone. Last year I got through it, but I felt for my standards that I had done a horrible job. I had main ritual which I had a part to speak in to worry about, that always leaves me a worried mess. I had the Hecate midnight devotional which I had written a chant for last year, but this year was getting published in the weekend itinerary and would draw a bigger crowd, which I would then have to teach the chant to. Lastly and most importantly I had the workshop on ritual etiquette and ritual basics I was putting on with Meeow712. My worse and unconquered fear. In recent years I have been told more than once I don't come off as or appear to be an introvert. This is great because it means all my hard work has been paying off. I no longer feel awkward saying hello to strangers, no longer feel like a wallflower at new events, and most of all I am no longer afraid to voice my opinion when I need to. I struggle with all of them every once in a while but they no longer rule me. BUT and this is a big but I absolutely dread speaking in public. To stand and actually teach or provide a scripted speech for any length of time, this is my worst nightmare waiting to happen. I will forget how to talk, for get how to read, for get how stand, or will just some how end up naked in front of everyone.


I have been working on this steadily for years and running ritual has helped me. But even when you are running ritual there are three million other things to take attention away from you. Other people doing things giving you moments where you aren't the center of attention at all times. You even have moments where your are participating instead of leading depending on what is going on. This is not true of a workshop and even though it was two of us (thankfully), it was just the two of us the whole time. On top of that there was time management to worry about, questions to answer, and the knowledge that we were possibly being recorded for a podcast. Not sure the last happened but I knew the possibility existed and that was enough.

In spite of my nightmares, the workshop went off great. Meeow712 and I had a great rhythm going. I think we were informative, we time managed almost perfectly, and we answered questions without any hitches and usually with, we're getting to that. The few questions asked that we did not cover were easy enough to answer and the suggestions were often into the more technical points which as basics workshop I felt that while glad they were brought up, did not necessarily need to get covered. I did not forget how to talk, did not stumble, my clothes stayed on my body, and the world did not come to an end. I got through it and actually enjoyed it.

The funny thing is after all that worrying, it was smooth. At least thats how it felt like to me.

Sadly not everyone that should have attended our workshop did. That evening a main ritual we had one of the worse ritual etiquette breakers that I had ever seen. She was drunk and sloppy and loud. The woman wouldn't stop laughing and had the nerve to sing Kumbaya. Seriously, Kumbaya!!!!!! I almost died, actually I almost said something nasty to her. I really would have if it wasn't for all the great witches that were there. Rubibees and Greenwapiti were standing right next to me and spent most of the time trying to chant to keep her in from having an audience and so many of the other people followed along with them or tried to keep drunk lady in line. My lips burned to say something, burned and bursting with the need to put her into her place. Any other time or place I think, no I know I would have, but I just didn't want to stoop to her level, believed deep down that it would only give her more attention than she was worth. Plus since the ritual was honoring Hecate and we had evoked her present to circle in the form of three women who were channeling her, I knew that drunk lady would pay for her behavior. If hadn't been certain on those two points or if all the other wonderful witches hadn't been trying to help the situation, or heck if she had managed to disturb Meeow712 (who was unaffected by drunk lady) while she was channeling Hecate I would have said something and the word bitch would have been part of it.

I was so angry with her it even managed to override my fear and worry of what I had to say in ritual. I had gotten through the initial part with only a slight stumble due to inhaling smoke from the fire. (I really need to stop doing that) I had memorized what I needed to say and remembered it so I was already doing great. The rest was to be improv and I was super worried about forgetting something, and after the initial stumble I would have normally worried more, but I was so steamed that I forgot to worry. Not that this excuses her of her bad behavior, but at least something good came from it.

After ritual it was hang out time. the midnight devotional the night before had been awesome, we drew a big group and Hecate got lots of offerings and love. The workshop and main ritual were done and I decided I wasn't going to worry about the wreath contest. So it was time to kick back and relax. I have recently discovered that I am no longer allergic to rum so I have been working at building a tolerance for it and that night seem like the perfect night for rum drinking, after all we had Kraken (insert happy dance) and coke and good friends. We hung out in front of one of the cabins until a sleepy cabin resident settled in at which time the group split off into smaller groups. I ended up at the main hall talking about sex and desires. This happy conversation continued until others wandered in to the great hall and someone came looking for me because my son had woken up. He loves coming to Tides, loves ritual, and especially loves he independence I give him for the weekend (something he does not get the rest of the year), so having him get up and look for me at 2 AM caused immediate worry and instantly killed my buzz. He knows after midnight its cabin time unless it's an emergency. Alas the it was, some drunk guy had stumbled into our cabin and had thrown up all over the floor in between Meeow712 and my bunks. My son takes the top of my bunk and the drunk had woken him up then stumbled on to Meeow712 bed and then thrown up, my half asleep son watching. Another cabin member had gone in search for help and he wandered out looking for me. By the time I got to him to see to his well being he was already being calmed by some of the best witches I know. (Big thanks to all of them) At that time I was also told what was happening back at our cabin and that Greenwapiti was handling the drunk. Seeing my son calm I made one of the hardest decisions a parent has to make, I walked away, then secretly kept tabs while he wasn't paying any attention. I hated walking away, but he was happy and calm and I figured the best way to keep him that way was to leave him alone. Then Greenwapiti & Rubibees cleaned up the cleaned up the mess in our cabin. I'm glad they were there, the walking boot does not make for easy bending and cleaning the floor would not have been easy. So after that mess was done Rubibees came and got my son, who had by then joined me in the main hall and took him back to the cabin so they could both get some rest. Meeow712 then got sick, which we later found out that she wasn't grounded after channelling Hecate and drunk guy threw up on her Hecate bag where Hecate's statue was.(Coincidence, I think not) She got sick within 30 minutes of the incident. She was silly and buzzed, but she was not drunk, and not I'm gonna be sick drunk for sure. I stayed up with her and some others until I knew she would be ok, then around 4 AM hit the bed.

The next morning the full extent of the damage from drunk guy came to light. Not only had he destroyed Hecate's bags, but he had also irreversibly damaged the books I had brought as prizes for the wreath contest. I had a money kit that I was giving, necklaces that I was given to use as prizes, and the books. I was also supposed to have a resin to give away, but that never quite made it to my hands (I guess it has another purpose). This meant that I was now short on gifts. Thankfully I was sure Beachfyre had at least one of the categories won, so I could get away with having less if necessary. My coven understands. Still knowing this I now had to go count the ballots and give away prizes. Maybe its the fact that so much had gone wrong with the prizes, maybe it was the lack of sleep, maybe it was just that I was feeling more confident because of how the rest of the weekend had gone, but calling out the winners and giving the prizes was a breeze. I felt like I nailed it. I also got to watch my son playing Battle of the Witches. I love that he has no issues jumping in, that he is so eager to join the fun, and that he really doesn't care if he knows the answers, because he was there to have fun. I seriously hopes that never changes.

It was then time for closing ritual which, like opening ritual was wonderful and a lot more crowded than I am used to. Hubby picked us up along with our daughter who is desperately wanting to come to Tides with me. I am so not ready for that, but at least she got to see the sight. We then went home and the world went back to its usual crazy self. It's always sad to leave, but in many ways I was so ready to go home. Still I have so many ideas that came out of this year's Tides. I have a gift idea I want to make for the raffle and as one of the prizes for the wreath contest, I have a book exchange I want to consider, I have any ideas for the Hecate devotional for next year and dan dan ta dan..... I'm already considering another workshop. Ideas are a blooming.

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fariewytch77

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