2018 Firefly Mabon Retreat


2018 Firefly Mabon Retreat
Weekend of September 21-23
Prince William Forest Park: Triangle VA
(Only 30 minutes south of Arlington)

Please read all information about the Mabon retreat carefully. Most importantly: there is different information for initiates than there is for general (meetup) Firefly members. The first part of this retreat is for initiates-only, while the second part is open to all members, guests, and their friends/family.

Lodging Options

If you would like to stay in the rustic on-site cabins with us, you can pay for that here. If you prefer to camp in a tent (be aware that the tent area is away from our section) or a hotel, that information is at the lower half of this page. There is no charge to Firefly if you plan to work out a tent camping or hotel situation. We are merely facilitating the cabin reservation process for you.

Firefly Mabon Retreat

If you would like to purchase lodging but have a special financial need, please do get in touch and let us know. We will have a couple of lodging scholarships available.


[Red = “Restricted to Firefly Tradition initiates only”]

Friday, September 21 (Firefly Initiates Only + san Fhasach members)
4:00 – 7:00 pm: Arrival and setup times
(you are welcome to come later but it will be dark by 7 pm. We will be settled in by 7 and less likely to be able to help you unload)
7:oo – 9:oo pm: Initiates fireside bonding (Fire Ring).
Copies of the charter and bylaws will be provided for review ahead of time. Join us for laughter, drink, and shared community by the autumnal bonfire.

Saturday, September 22
10:oo am – 12 pm: (Community Lodge)
Annual initiates planning meeting, brainstorming, and bylaw revisions/voting. Please set an alarm and be on time for this meeting, seated and ready to begin by 10am.
12 pm: Initiates Lunch

1:00 pm: General members welcome to arrive, unpack, and get settled (Cabin Camp 3).

2:00 pm:(Fire Ring) Welcome!
Please grant us 10 minutes of your time to go over safety and security logistics and to give you your name tags. Help everyone have a safe and fun time.

Fire Ring: The only fire pit in Cabin Camp 3. Meet here for outdoor social time and fireside bonding.

Central Clearing: The open space next to the Fire Ring, in the middle of the cabins and community lodge. Gather here for ritual and stargazing. The Pomona altar will be here.

Community Lodge: The open lodge on the hill overlooking Cabin Camp 3 area. Meet here for the main dinner, workshops, and indoor socializing. Feel free to bring music, games, snacks to share, etc.

3:00 pm: Workshop Slot
Shades of the Dead: Encountering the Spirit World in Modern Witchcraft, by Patrick Kyteler

Ghosts. Spirits. Ancestors. Phantoms of the night. Who are the dead? What do they want from us? What does the work of the witch involve when we encounter them?
As the veil between the worlds wanes thin towards Samhain-time, this class will explore these questions and more. Specific topics include:
⋆The difference between spirits and ghosts
⋆Honoring the ancestors both for devotion and in magical practice
⋆The witch as medium and channel
⋆The difference between mediumship and necromancy
⋆Protection from malefic spirits

4:00 pm: Ritual: Mabon ritual
Join us as we explore the holy mysteries of the pomegranate and the descent of the goddess into the Underworld.
Please be ready for ritual and in the space right on time.

5:00 pm: Dinner (Community Lodge).
Let’s feast and welcome the fall! A perfect time to sit and chat with other members as we head into the evening time. Don’t forget your potluck dish and a serving utensil! We will provide plates and cutlery. We encourage a hearty dish that can fill bellies right up, even if its store bought.

6:00 pm: Ritual:
san Fhasach will be hosting a ‘Wide Range,” which is a rite that takes participants through a series of vignettes, interactions, or divinatory moments to provide personal messages from other realms and beings. In this Wide Range, the elements and surprise guests will offer an opportunity to release, cleanse, renew, and listen.

7:00-10:00 pm: Bonfire lighting begins at 7pm (Fire Ring).
Volunteers able to help hunt for firewood throughout the evening are welcome and appreciated.

8:00 pm: Ritual:
Devotional circle honoring Paul Jeffrey, a san Fhasach and Firefly member and new ancestor of the Craft.
With the bonfire ablaze, join us to honor one of our own in this brief ceremony. Let us open the Western Gate and appoint our friend and brother Paul Jeffrey as a member of our tradition’s Beloved Dead.

8:30 pm: Workshop Slot
Dream-Work with Bonnie Maye May
Have you ever wanted to tell a friend about a strange dream you had? Have you ever wondered about how our dreams are magical, and what they mean?
In this workshop, we will explore the process of working our dreams in community, as a magical practice. We will learn how to work dreams in a group through the style of Jeremy Taylor, author of “Wisdom of your Dreams.” This process involves not just interpreting another person’s dream, but sharing the wisdom of the dream together as a community!
Bonnie will teach the practices of this specific dream work group style and then facilitate a group where we will work on one person’s dream. We will be able to practice using the techniques of working dreams together, so that if you want to, you can start or participate in your own regular dream work group in the future.
Recommendations: Please bring paper and pen! It’s recommended that we have about 5-8 people for this workshop, but we will do our best to accommodate whoever shows up! ”

Sunday, September 23
9:00 am: Morning Devotional (Fire Ring):
Join us by the fire ring for a short soul aignment, offerings to the land spirits, shared gratitude for this space.
11:00 am: Begin to pack up and start departing

General Park Information

What are the regulations of the camp?
All pets are prohibited in the cabin camp area, cabins and camp buildings (except service animals).
Smoking is not permitted in any of the cabins or buildings.
Cabins should be swept and free of trash upon departure.
Quiet hours are between 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m.
Please be considerate of fellow campers. Keep your cabin area and the comfort stations free of trash and personal belongings.
Please recycle using the proper container located within the camp.
To prevent animal and pest problems, please place trash in provided covered trash receptacles or carry it out with you
Fires are not permitted outside of the provided grills and fireplaces in the lodge building
Camping tents, screen tents or other structures are not permitted in the cabin camp
Removal or moving of picnic tables, beds, or mattresses is prohibited.
Vandalism of cabins and other buildings is against federal law and subject to stiff fines and/or prosecution
Electrical appliances (Stoves, AC Units, heaters, etc.) are prohibited.
Firewood purchased or brought from outside of the park must be USDA certified. Campers may use down and dead wood of less than 6 inches in diameter and no longer than the length and width of the provided camping grill.

What are the regulations of the Firefly House for this event?
Although this retreat is family-friendly, you must be 18+ if you are attending by yourself. Youth are welcome to come but must be supervised by their guardian at all times
As with all events, members and guests are expected to uphold our nondiscrimination policy [Charter, Code of Conduct, Article 2]:
“Expressions or acts of racism, sexism, transphobia, homophobia, will not be tolerated. Further, members will also not discriminate on the basis of age, gender, gender identity/expression, or national origin (ancestry).”
Not only will we keep this beautiful park clean, but we intend to leave it cleaner than how we found it. Please help by picking up trash as you walk past it, even if its not yours.
Alcohol is OK within reason. You MUST be 21+ to drink and you are expected to bring your own. Attendees of the Grand Fire Circle will be carded if you appear to be under 30.
Photos are OK. If you do not wish to be photographed, you will be able to note that on your name tag when you arrive


Meals are “on your own” so if you plan to stay a night, please plan accordingly. The park is close to the highway so some people like to go out to eat. We encourage you to eat with us if you’re able to, as it’s a great way to make friends!

Mabon Feast: Saturday’s dinner is a community potluck, as is our Mabon tradition. Please bring a hearty dish to share.

Tent Camping Info
Hotel info
Park directions

Other FAQ’s

  • Can I come to the festivities Saturday but not camp out?
    Yes! If you just want to come for the day, you are welcome to arrive on Saturday at 2pm or later. No charge (except for Park parking which is $7)


  • I’ve never even been to a Firefly event, or I have but still don’t know people well. Is this the event for me?
    Yes! This retreat is designed both to make new friends and bond with old ones. Many folks who come to this are new. You will be most welcomed!


  • I am very new to paganism and witchcraft. Is this event for me?
    Yes! Our main ritual will be very easy to follow, as will the couple of short workshops we’ll be having. Most of this event is a “get to know you” and bonding type of gathering. Our prime focus for the weekend is social.
  • Can I bring my children?
    Yes, but you are responsible for supervising them at all times. Several of our members have kids so they’ll most likely have someone to play with.


  • I’m a city-dweller and don’t have a car. Are there ride-share options?
    Welcome to the club! Many of us are carless and we love ride-sharing. If you’d like to try and get a ride from the closest metro station, post a comment on the Meetup page to ask.
    It’s technically even possible to metro and then take Uber/Lyft. The park is a 30 minute drive from Springfield Station and in the past, members have split Ubers to the park. Its not the cheapest option in the world, but it works. But it is likely that you’ll be able to find a ride through meetup.


  • So, how rustic are these cabins?
    They are pretty rustic. However, most of them have an outlet or two for electricity. There are even shower houses with hot water and real plumbing, which is great! There are raised beds inside with a thin plastic ‘mattress’ that’s not too uncomfortable. Some members like to bring extra padding and dress their spaces up. Feel free to do that!


  • Who sleeps in which cabins? Are they gender-separated?
    We will be renting several group cabins within the same park space and you are welcome to pick whichever ones you like. Usually, most of the initiates sleep in one big cabin while general members sleep in the others (this helps the initiates stay close for event planning purposes. If you have friends you’d like to be in the same cabin with, that is fine, but please note that beds are “first come, first served” so arrive on time so you can take your pick of your favorite. The cabins are not separated by gender, but the bathrooms and shower houses are (we wish the bathrooms were gender-neutral but this is a park stipulation that we can’t change).


Questions? Comments? Concerns?

Please post your questions or comments to our community meetup page for this event. That way, all of our priests and priestesses will be able to see it and respond.
If you have a private question or a detailed question that you don’t want on meetup, you can contact the logistics coordinator for the event, David Salisbury, at rainbowspikes@hotmail.com.