Yesterday I went to the 8th Conference of the Pagan Federation International (PFI) Netherlands in Lunteren. Last year I couldn't go, but this year I had bought my ticket in January already. I had planned to go with Wonder, but that was before his accident. It was too tiring for me to first pick him up and then drive to Lunteren. It looked like he couldn't go, but one of the girls from the Ara group had the solution. She lives in Breda (near Rijen) and she took Wonder with her. She had to work first, so they came in the afternoon.
I had to drive for about an hour, but had trouble finding a parking space. Fortunately I was in time for the opening ritual at 10am, a special ceremony with elements from Zoro-Astrianism, old Persia and Turkey, etc. It included interesting information, a poem by Rumi and a derwish dance. Very impressive!
I met a lot of people I know: from the Witchy Girls, Ara-group, PFI-workshops, etc. I talked to a lot of them and met some new people in the process. In the big hall were stands with books, gemstones, livewood and other stuff. I didn't buy anything, but it was fun to look around. I met the Chocolate Witches; two perfect things come together, withcraft and chocolate! ;-) I knew one of them from a meeting in Haarlem.
The first workshop round I attended a workshop by Elliot Rivera. For more then 30 years he is working as a spiritualist and medium. Elliott was initiated as a Santero more than 18 years ago in New York City. He is a priest of Yemaya for 17 years, and was initiated in Palo Mayombe more than 30 years ago. The workshop was called "Connecting with the ancestors". After some interesting info he led us into a powerful guided journey to meet one of our ancestors. Afterwards some of the group shared their experiences.
The weather was very hot, so I took a break and went for a walk in the nearby wood with some others. We encountered a little snake that turned out to be a hazelworm. When we got back, I joined the people outside on the terrace in the shade.
Wonder arrived just in time to join me in a workshop about chakras by Flora. She told us some general information and showed 7 mandala drawings, her interpretations of the chakras. they were very beautiful! Then it was time to do something active. For each chakra we learned a tone to sing / hum and an exercise to activate each chakra. Nice experience!
After another hour outside, talking, drinking, etc. Wonder and I attended a workshop by Marian Green: "Spells, charms and chants". I really like her way of teaching, very clear and down-to-earth with a good dose of humor. As always I learned a lot! In June she will be in Amsterdam again for a weekend workshop; I'm already looking forward to it!
The closing ceremony was performed by Ina Cüsters-van Bergen, the Magister Templi of the Temple of Starlight, and people from her temple. She studied occultism at the Servants of the Light school for Occult Sciences, and is fully initiated in the Golden Dawn tradition. Ina is senior supervisor for the Servants of the Light in Europe. The closing ritual was called "Re-membering of Osiris", ceremonial ritual with beautiful costumes and devoted performance.
For dinner we had an Indonesian buffet, very delicious! In the evening there was entertainment in the big hall with the band Stargazer. We were sitting outside, where it was much cooler! Wonder and I concluded the evening with a yummy Italian ice cream. I had to walk a few minutes to my car, but the weather was still lovely. In about an hour I drove home.