Workshop Descriptions & Presenter Bios

Animism in Runic Work

Presenter: Gaarik Hamr

The Futhark, in its various forms, has been a staple of the work of Pagans of many paths for nearly fifty years. Throughout this time, there has been a tendency among rune workers to work with the runes as more than simple symbols, but little is actually said on the topic. Animism in Runic Work is a workshop for new rune workers and those looking for another perspective in runic practice. We shall discuss the practice of working with the runes primarily as spirits and how such a practice affects the use of modern rune resources.

Gaarik Hamr is a member of Spirit Valley Protogrove in Cleveland, Ohio. They have been working with the runes as their primary magical practice since 1998.

Art for Ritual & Honor

Presenter: Joel Moray

Learn unique ways to incorporate art into your rituals! Whether you believe yourself an artist or not, this workshop will help you gain confidence in how you can use the magic of your creativity to honor Deity, or simply help amplify your rituals! You’ll be given insights from Jael’s personal practice as an example of how to create your own and given the chance to create a piece during the workshop!

Jael Moray is a painter & writer with a love of fantasy, make-up, herbalism, history & the beauty in all things, as well as a Heathen re-constructionist & forest witch.

Beyond “Yes Means Yes:” Building a Culture of Consent

Presenters: Rev. Missy Ashton & Rev. William Ashton

This workshop is free and open to the public, but in order to maintain online security it does require registration — go here to register for “Beyond ‘Yes Means Yes.'”

While many of us have studied and worked to implement a solid “yes means yes” attitude when it comes to consent, we often don’t know how to implement the new attitude and understanding into a change in culture. This workshop is designed for folx who are ready to move onto the next stage and truly apply the idea of consent to their daily lives, including implementing consent as part of a family and a church community. Join us for a workshop full of resources, examples, and plenty of room for discussion. We hope you will take away at least one new practice and a host of new perspectives from this presentation. Notes and a full bibliography will be shared with attendees.

Revs. Missy and William Ashton have been ADF members for over a decade, serving the northern Front Range community in Colorado as members of Mountain Ancestors Grove. Rev. Missy is also an Initiate and Master Bard. They have both extensively studied social justice issues and consent as part of a greater focus on ethics and virtue from a polytheist perspective.

Do New Beginnings always start with Old Endings?

Presenter: Ryllwyn

How many of us start with “A Plan”, only to revise that plan multiple times? Or scrap the original plan in its entirety? What does it mean to “Start Over”? Does it have the same connotations as “Starting Anew”?  This discussion will look at the universal conundrum of “New Beginnings” based on the uniqueness of the individual, the situation, & how these conditions affect the individual & the ever expanding affect on others. How *ghosti plays a large part in any such endeavor will be explored.

I am known as Sharon R.K. Chenoweth, part of the Dayton area Pagan Community for about 30 years. Ordained through All Faith Religious Association/Church (A.F.R.A.C.) in 1997, I am High Priestess of The Fellowship of the Flaming Chalice as well as Temple in the Grove. Formerly with 6th Night Grove, I joined ADF in 2007.

Making Ritual Accessible in an Inaccessible World

Presenter: Rev. Chelly Couvrette

We never think about the accessibility of our spaces and our rituals, sometimes until it is too late. Accessibility not being at the forefront of our thinking when we plan a ritual can leave many participants out in the cold (sometimes literally). If when we plan our events we do so with accessibility in mind, we are also doing so with hospitality for all in mind. This workshop aims to bring accessibility and the needs of the disabled community to the forefront and will hopefully be the start to these conversations in the communities we live in as we take this information back home at the end of the weekend.

Rev. Chelly is a disabled initiate and priest who has sat on the accessibility council of their old college. While physical accessibility for spaces is something that Rev Chelly themselves needs, they also acknowledge that this is not the only type of accessibility requirements. Other than ensuring rituals are accessible, Rev Chelly tends to work from an environmentalist aspect as well as deals with a high level of Ancestor Veneration in their practice.

Now what? An exploration of Pagan Discernment

Presenter: Rev. Lauren Mart

Discernment is the process of evaluating things for spiritual direction and understanding and of being willing to look critically at the experiences you have. Touted often as “discerning the will of God” in other religions, we, as Pagans, need to be discerning as well – whether that is for interpreting divination, reading signs and omens, or simply making sense of the spiritual and religious experiences that form the backbone of our practice. Spiritual discernment is basic to having wisdom, going past the mere perception of something and making nuanced judgments about its properties or qualities. It’s not just “what is this” but “what does it mean (to me)”. Join Rev. Lauren Mart for an exploration of the ways you might use the practice of discernment to further your own pagan experience.

Rev. Lauren Mart joined ADF in 2012, after a rather eclectic, ten-year romp through the ranks of modern paganism. Ordained in April 2018, she is the Senior Druid Emeritus of Nine Waves Grove, ADF and is working her way through the second circle of ADF’s Clergy Training Program and the ADF Initiate Program. Her primary hearth culture is Anglo-Saxon, and her main practice takes cues from both historical and modern customs. She has a weakness for books and for fountain pens, and in a previous life was almost definitely a hobbit.

So You Think You Can’t Sing

Presenter: Dave “Thexalon” Kleinschmidt

A lot of people feel like they can’t sing. This often stems from a belief that singing and music is about simple talent rather than training and skill. But it’s a relatively short journey from being unable to sing to being able to sing well enough to make music that spirits and humans alike will enjoy listening to. If you are somebody who has always wanted to sing or speak in ritual and been afraid to do so because you think you sound horrid, this is the workshop for you!  In this workshop, we will be working on the basic techniques used by singers and speakers alike to improve the control, clarity, and volume of your speaking voice, and then applying those same skills to managing your voice’s pitch and singing both alone and in a group.

Thexalon is ADF’s Heartland Regional Druid and the current ADF Bard Laureate. He has regularly performed music at pagan festivals, including Summerland, Wellspring, and Sirius Rising.

So You’re New to Trance

Presenter: Ashley Price

Trance is a skill that any can learn, and that is innate to humanity. Developing a trance practice can be an important step in one’s spiritual development, and knowing how to do so safely opens up a world of possibility in both personal empowerment and devotion.  In this workshop we’ll discuss several trance induction techniques, how to re-integrate safely, what to do when things go wrong, and how a trance practice can be woven into your daily life. Come with questions and an open mind.

Hailing from Urbana, IL, Ashley is an ADF Initiate and Senior Druid of Prairie Sky Grove. Known for her high energy and infectious (or annoying) enthusiasm, she’s always happy to geek out with you about any shared interest.

Syncretic Rituals

Presenters: 3 Pagans and a Cat

Following the murder of George Floyd by the Minneapolis PD and the ensuing uprisings across the nation and the world, 3PAAC committed to not presenting at festivals in 2020 and 2021, in order to open space for BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Color) presenters. As such, they will not be presenting at Summerland 2020; we hope to welcome them to the festival in a future year.

You can read more about their commitment to the Movement for Black Lives and antiracism in paganism in their blog post, “Protest: Black Lives Matter. Police Brutality. Systemic Racism.”

The 3 Pagans and a Cat podcast started in late December 2017, when Car, Gwyn, and Ode got together around a microphone to start discussing how their three separate paths intersected. With the perspectives of a Druid, a Hecatean Green Witch, and a syncretic Heathen, 3PAAC discusses issues ranging from the basics of grounding and shielding to sexuality in paganism.

The Ritual of Games and Gameplay

Presenter: James “Pigeon” Fielder

In this session, Pigeon describes the shared “magic circle” of rituals and gameplay. Drawing from anthropology, psychology, and ludology (the study of gameplay), Pigeon illustrates how the temple and the tabletop both tap into the concept of liminality, or the rite-of-passage threshold across which participants cross into a new reality. Pigeon further offers ideas for building online liminality that strengthens distance rituals and gaming.

James “Pigeon” Fielder teaches political science at Colorado State University and studies trust and emergent political processes inside of game worlds. Pigeon is an ADF Non-Officer Director and has a habit of drinking all of Chokecherry Grove’s coffee.

Transplanting Place-Based Paganism

Presenter: Jane Webster

It can be difficult to re-establish balance and connection after we leave one stage of our lives and move on to a new one. Whether the transition takes the form of a move to a new home, a relationship or career change, or a physical transformation, these transitions can leave us feeling ungrounded and disoriented. When faced with these challenges, how can we properly honor where we have been, while still letting go so we can adapt our practices to our changing lives and establish right-relationship with our new surroundings? In this presentation, our presenter, who recently moved to Guam and had to adapt her pagan practices to a land with an entirely unfamiliar ecosystem and history, will be using historical examples and her own experiences to explore some strategies for adapting pagan religious practices to new environments and for re-establishing our sacred relationships after we have been “uprooted.” We will then apply those strategies in a guided meditation for re-establishing connections and balance after we have been “transplanted.”

Jane Webster has been a member of ADF since 2014, completed her ADF Dedicant work in August of 2018, and currently serves as the Senior Druid of Mountain Ancestors Grove in Longmont, Colorado. Jane is an attorney and legal editor for a bar prep course, where she creates course materials, researches changing laws, and helps students master legal concepts for the bar exam. She currently lives in Guam, where she is learning how to adapt her own place-based pagan practices to an unfamiliar land with a complex colonial history.