I got up really early to get to the airport in time for my flight to Tucson. I made it through security fine and got on my plane. I had a connecting flight in Dallas, which was late. I was in touch with ceolnamara through out my trip and let her know that I would be delayed.
Finally I made it to Tucson and got my luggage and then waited, and waited and waited. Just as I was getting a bit panicked, I saw chronarchy and mayden_dor walking up. I greeted them and soon our ride showed up, much to my relief. Arizona is an interesting place all dry, yet vibrant with life.
We arrived at the Festival and I was told that I was to stay in the stables in the tack room. It was a very nice room with a bunk bed and air conditioning. I was roommates with chirael, which was a nice surprise. I got situated and then went to the rest of the Diana Paxson workshop already in progress. Her group does Seidh-work, which is a Norse shamanic-like journeying oracle kind of thing. They go into a trance and then go to a place where they can get answers and then people ask them questions. Sometimes they channel Deities or ancestors briefly as part of the answer. First there was the workshop, then later that night during the opening workshop there would be a Seidh working.
After the workshop I met a bunch of new people and got reacquainted with old friends like, ceolnamara (whom I've known for a long time), druid_medb and musicnazi666 whom I had met at Wellspring last year. I hung out with musicnazi666 a lot and she was kind to put up with my presence. Overall, everyone was very friendly. It was a pleasure to see Ceiswr Serith, ADF's legendary scholar, in attendance. His class was very nice.
The food was very good and plentiful, and I was glad I was on a meal plan.
Later on Thursday was the opening rite and the Seidh-working. They decided to leave the Portals open all weekend. This is something my Grove did when we had our festivals, and so was quite familar to me. Sonoran Sunrise's rituals tend to be rather theatrical, but are very nice to experience. I was less than impressed with the Seidh working. The results seemed to be kind of off. Especially when the oracles slipped in and out of channeling different Deities. After having seen Red Oak Grove's channeling of their Gods, this seemed a pale comparison. Typically, what I've seen with Red Oak is that Deities take a toll on you when They leave. I saw no discomfort from the oracles, both Diana herself and one of her attendents at all. Although there were a couple of points that jived with what I had seen in Red Oak Grove. But over all, it was disappointing and I was not alone in my assessment.
However, there were tons of night hawks out and you could see them flying over head. I learned that there were an unusual amount of them out.<
I woke up and hung out. I went to some workshops. I can't remember exactly what I did, but I ended up staying up quite late talking with people. I did take a 3 hour nap to help get caught up to the timezone change. Oh, yeah, there was the hot tub as well
I woke up late and missed a workshop I had wanted to go. Saturday was more workshops and hanging out. Swam in the pool by the main house. That was nice. I got asked to do the omen for the main rite. When the time came I got the following omen: Isa, Berkano and Othala. I took this to be a good omen. A good ritual is when no one dies and you get a good omen. Everything else is icing on the cake.
I also did a bit of conditioning with a fellow ninja. That's how I got sunburned as we practiced outside in the bright morning sun. Met a lot of Warrior Guild members. There was this cool fire-making class. I learned a lot.
Sunday was my day. It started off with a trip to Colossal Cave. This was really neat as I have never been in an extensive cave before and finally there was proper humidity. After the cave was my Rún Valdr class. No one died. Both ceolnamara and musicnazi666 helped out with the attunements, for which I was grateful. musicnazi666 was particularily interested and I spent quite a bit of time discussing things and imparting secret knowledge. There was even a bit of magical drama, which I won't get into.
The closing rite was very nice. Then it was hanging out. I had a rather bad sinus headache and was grateful for just being able to sit around. I did have a nice discussion with chronarchy regarding the DP and Skip's book. He asked me to write an article for Oak Leaves about having different personal Gods than one's Grove. Then it was bed time at decent time
This was basically packing and getting ready to be taken to the airport. druidkirk drove me and Cei to the airport and we had a nice chat on the way. Cei was raving about my Little Green Frog story. I was pleased.
Finally it was time to board my plane. My connecting flight was delayed (no surprise). However my cell phone decided not to work. I later found out that I was late paying my bill. My lovely wife lisbet was there to pick me up and take me home.
Overall, I had a blast, and my paltry descriptions cannot do it justice. Arizona is such a pretty state. Not sure I'd move there, but it's really fun to visit.