2017 Firefly Mabon Retreat

 

2017 Firefly Mabon Retreat
Weekend of September 23-24
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.

                 ~ CABIN BEDS ARE NOW SOLD OUT. PLEASE CONTACT US IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO BE PUT IN A WAITING LIST ~

 


altarSCHEDULE

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

Friday, September 22 (Initiates Only)
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 23
10:oo am – 12 pm: Annual initiates planning meeting, brainstorming, and bylaw revisions/voting (Community Lodge)

12 pm: Initiates Lunch

1:00 pm: Final setup before general members arrive

2:00 pm: General members arrive, unpack, and get settled (Cabin Camp 3).

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 (Community Lodge): Sigil Crafting – Dash will share some of his own insight into sigils, share how he uses them in his magical practice, and show you three different ways to create them.  Then, we’ll take some time to practice sigil crafting together by crafting a basic sigil rattle, for use at the main ritual immediately following class.

4:00 pm: Mabon ritual and devotional to the goddess Pomona (Central Clearing). Please be ready for ritual and in the space right on time. The autumnal altar to Pomona will be set up all weekend for your use. Feel free to visit it and commune/worship as you will at any 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: Workshop (Community Lodge): The Deep Heart of Witchcraft – A short talk by David Salisbury. Witchery for spiritual evolution can make you feel as if you could reach the highest heights and the lowest depths of the soul and this universe. But even with that power and all the beauty it holds, everyone can feel stuck. Have you ever felt like your practice hit a plateau? Or that you’ve done all you can do? Maybe you’ve hit a point where you don’t feel inspired as much? Reignite the passion for your art in this judgment-free talk that centers on strategies to unstick the creative powers of your magic and take your Craft to a deeper place. This class is based on the speaker’s book, The Deep Heart of Witchcraft. Copies of the book will be available for purchase.

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

8:00 pm (or thereabouts): Astrological stargazing (Central Clearing). Get a feel for what’s in the night sky as our resident astrologers point out the constellations and their associations. Guided by Richard Davis.

Sunday, September 24
8:00 am: Morning long hike (medium to hard activity, 2-3 hours) (Jay). Meet at the Fire Ring no later than 8am.
Or
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


Food

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.


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