Friday, October 21, 2016

Intra-faith with the Ancient Faith Alliance

            I was invited to perform a ritual at the All Hands Together Harvest Festival on September 17 at a Metro Detroit suburban park, where Pagan Pride Day has been held a number of times. The group formed about 2 years ago and want to be truly representative of the diversity of mostly non-monotheistic faiths.  Hence the name, as Pagan is possibly no longer the one catchall term for  non-Abrahamic faiths like ours.  The group is composed mostly of Heathens, Hoodoo and root workers, possibly some Druids and a couple of Witches.  So right off, this is not your typical umbrella group, to me at least. But there is a great deal of trust and friendship amongst the members. 
Matthew Orlando, President AFA
Matthew Orlando, the current President of AFA is also a Libertarian candidate for Michigan’s 9th Congressional District. He is one of the very few Heathen/Libertarian candidates running in the US at this time. My contact point and entry into AFA is through Kenya Coviak, an awesome Black Witch, HPS of the Black Moon Grove that has operated in the Detroit area for years. She writes for various Pagan blogs and was recently featured in the Wild Hunt in an article about Pagan Clergy and Counseling (I was too!).
            Ancient Faith Alliance, AFA, has done a number of community events over the last year, including the upcoming Fire and Frost Festival (December 3), celebrating Chili, of all things, and also stumping for volunteers, donations and other community projects supporting Pagans In Need (PIN) and a secret Santa Holiday program. They are supportive of many groups and orgs in Metro Detroit, including Pagan Pathways Temple, The Midwest Witches’ Ball, Convocation and others.
            Arriving at the Harvest Fest I was warmly greeted by old and new friends and immediately told where the Free Coffee was! Splendid! It was a cooler and rainy day; it had been raining for quite some time, though it did eventually clear up, including reasonably drier grassy areas for the various rituals and performances.
The Ancient Faiths Alliance
Despite the inclement weather there were lots of Vendor tables with tents, over 20 at least. There were at least a dozen classes set up for the 8 hour event and several rituals including my own, a celebration and workshop for The Waters of the World, something well known to members of the Covenant.
            I attended a Dream World workshop taught by a Priestess of a Celtic-Romano family trad. I had no idea they existed in my area and the workshop was informal but informational. There were also live performances. Day Oshee Maatin performed some intense rap numbers, sporting Mayan or similar ancient native garb from Central or South America. Quite a performance! DJ Brutal spun a variety of music, including some designed to get the kids out dancing. Kenya’s husband Kyle is also quite proficient at getting the young ones out dancing and being silly. There was an Art Exhibition with a chance to win some and a number of other children’s and other activities like coloring/painting, scavenger hunt, Hammer tossing and more.
            A local Priestess, Enfae performed a very sweet hand fasting in front of the DJ stage, which gathered a jubilant crowd and folks shared tasty chocolate cake afterwards.
            Later on I performed my Waters of the World ritual, explaining to the history of the water, between the United Nations and Covenant of the Goddess’ use and the story of it's collection from all over the world. Participants were asked to bring water from their own home or area, to also be added to the mixture and I taught the chant we use in Circle of Wondrous Stories’ ritual:
            Waters Wondrous, Waters True
            Gathered from the Oceans Blue,
            Rivers, streams, lakes and ponds,
            All here now, in one great Bond.
            Together, greater, than their sum
            Waters of the World . . . . Become!

With that I was done and as it was moving near the end of the Festival, I made my way around and said thanks and good bye to various folks, wishing all Blessed Be.

  Respectfully submitted by Oberon, National Interfaith Representative.

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