KornuKopia Gathering 2013
Austin Lawrence, August 2013

The KornuKopia Gathering is a festival for Pagans, Heathens and their friends to celebrate the last bounty of the Summer and the Turning of the Wheel of the Year into Fall, honouring the Gods in mirth and reverence. This is the fourth time this Harvest celebration will be taking place. The festival features the ceremonial burning of a massive sculpted offering, to honour the harvests of the year and give thanks for blessings already on their way. The event also includes workshops by community members, a concert, celebration around the bonfire, and a communal thanksgiving potluck meal called the Feast of the Folk.

Workshops and Ritual Descriptions

“The Burning” (Main Ritual) (with MA, Auz, Jock MacGregor, the Folk)
We celebrate the turning of the Wheel of the Year into Fall; as the leaves turn their colours, as the sky darkens to nigh, as the Summer licks the vaults of heaven as a final flame. Each year at the KornuKopia Gathering our main ritual has featured the ceremonial burning of a communal offering; first a Bull and then a Boar. The folk put personal offerings into the wicker effigy as thanks for blessings already on their way, to express the gratitude of each individual personal harvest. And our designated Champion speaks to the Goddess on behalf of the Folk at the ritual. In this fourth year of the gathering we have a mysterious modification to this traditional Fall ceremony. This year the effigy will be new. This year the ritual will evolve. This year, again, we burn … we burn … we burn … for we give thanks for blessings already on their way.

Apple Mystery (with Myst)
We think of the apple as the symbol of the Goddess, of Her wisdom and beauty. This sacred fruit has been revered by many ancient faiths and demonstrates our connectedness to all life. We have a responsibility to learn and understand the Natural World, thereby gaining understanding of ourselves and our place in the Natural World. Come learn about the hidden message of this sacred fruit …

Bows and Axes (with Gypsy Birch and Friends)
Depending on the weather, we will have a scheduled time to shoot arrows and fling axes. Feel free to attend if you are a beginner with no equipment or an expert with your own equipment. We can show you how! (There is a material fee of $5 should you loose or brake an arrow.)

Bulls and Bullshit: What the Ancients Really Burned in Those Fires(with Juniper Jeni and Angela Grey)
Let’s face it: burning things is fun. All good ritual leaders know that throwing up an effigy or two is a great way to liven up an otherwise boring rite or holiday. The Ancients must have thought so too; after all, burning things at the drop of a hat a well-established aspect of ancient Pagan practice, isn’t it? Well, sort of. Many ancient peoples used fire in their rites, but what they burned, and why, varied widely across time and culture. Join us for a discussion of how and why fire was used in ritual throughout history, and how those practices have influenced our modern world.

Euchre Tourney (with Kalla)
Euchre is a trick-taking card game, usually played with four people. It is easy to learn, fun, a test of wits, reflects the fire festival spokes of the Wheel of the Year, and can be played with Tarot cards. How about a game?

Finding Meaning and Purpose: What is the Path to the Best Life?(with Michel & Pamela Daw)
What is the path to best life? What really matters? What can make us truly happy? In this presentation, we will look at how the ancient Stoics answered these important questions. We will discuss how the Stoics determined what really matters in life, and how this ties into why we are here. What goals should we be walking towards? We then introduce the importance of virtues to the Stoics and discuss what the good life is really all about. We will examine some ancient spiritual exercises, practices of reflection, connection and engagement, in order to better achieve Serenity in our everyday lives. Marking our journey, and mapping out our path, will help us to keep our goals in mind, even when the fog of the urgent obscures our way. (90 minutes)

Fishing: Harvest the River (with Gypsy)
Come fish with Gypsy on the Bonnechere River as we attempt to respectfully harvest local animals for the Feast of the Folk. Gypsy knows this river well and can teach anyone how to angle. Some gear is available to borrow, so complete newcomers are welcome.

Floral Wreath Making (with Dot)
[Description to come.]

Folk Feast (with the Folk)
For millennium the main form of spiritual communion of our ancestors has been the sharing of a meal. At the Feast of the Folk we end the KornuKopia Gathering by sharing a meal with one another, with the ancestors, and the gods, in honour of the Fall season and all it brings. Please bring an item to share at this potluck feast, as well as your own ‘feast gear’ (dishes, cutlery, etc.). Raven’s Knoll staff will be making a pre-contact, Iroquoian-style Three Sisters Stew and Fur Trade era bannock, as their contribution.

Harvest Season Herb Walk (with Laurie Benson)
Mid-September is traditionally the time of Harvest, and many plants are ripe for the present consumption or for preserving. But how do we know which are ready and which are not, or which should be plucked in the Winter or Spring? Roots and barks and fungi have different energies than blossoms, leaves, fruits and seeds. As you walk Raven’s Knoll with Laurie Benson at this time of Harvest, let’s fill our Kornukopia of knowledge (and maybe harvest a few plants to fill our literal Kornukopia) identifying those that are our best allies at this time of the year and those that can be preserved for the coming Winter season.

IO Unplugged (with IO)
IO is the cosmic orbit of musicians David Wolfsong Hutchinson, Debbi Earthsong Hutchinson, Evelore Willowsong and Rikki Bardsong LaCoste. At times, you will be swept away or lulled by a haunting melody, and other times compelled to jump up and move your body to the rhythm. Their repertoire includes traditional Native songs, Pagan anthems, ancient Sanskrit mantras, traditional southern mountain music, their own original material, and many more, both high energy and emotionally moving.

Oneness Drumming (with Rikki LaCoste and David Wolfsong)
Bring out your hand drums to learn and share in some musical spirit! Sound bowls, jingle bells, rattles, tambourines, shakers … are all welcome, as Rikki LaCoste and David Wolfsong guide the group through some rhythms, illustrate the basics of drum anatomy, drum voice, the spirituality of rhythm and trance, and offer other helpful tips. This is a “Oneness” circle where all contribute to the rhythm conversation in their own unique way, and be One with the group. With drumming, as in so many other aspects of our interaction with the world, we have a dialogue. We listen, and have a conversation with each other. Each participant is also welcome to contribute to the conversation with their voice, as the group drums and sings some sacred chants and other wonderful sounds. There is a role for everyone who wishes to express themselves within the Oneness of the rhythm. We believe that everyone can experience the most ancient forms of expression, and you are invited to come and be one – all levels are welcome!

Pagan Swap Meet (with Melissa Holly Wright)
Reduce, reuse … renew for the Winter. After the fun and success of the Pagan Swap at the Kaleidoscope Gathering, Melissa has decided to hold another at KKG. The idea is fairly simple; bring any gently used items of Pagan interest you want to passed on to a good home (books, clothes, candles, cards, scarves, etc.). An informal, auction-style event will take place, to re-home them with others. Basically, the first person who puts their hand up gets the item. If there is more than one person who wants the item, the ‘duellists’ roll dice for it and the higher number gets the loot. (No money changes hands, folks.) Items can be brought directly to the swap with you or dropped off at a box at Fey Camp.

Reinventing the Wheel (with Pamela Fletcher)
Even though we all follow different paths as Canadian Pagans we experience the seasons and celebrate on the same land. However, a lot of our rituals are based in Indo-European traditions which follow a drastically different seasonal pattern. So, celebrating the first of Spring at Imbolg is a little well “odd” for most of us. In this discussion we will take a look at our Sabbats and Celebrations and see if we can adapt our rites to reflect the land we live on.
Seven Grandfathers Teaching (with Skip Ross) – Join Algonquin Elder, Skip Ross, for a teaching explaining the Seven Grandfathers. [More description to follow.]

Three Mohawk Myths (with Austin “Auz” Lawrence)
Auz will be telling three Mohawk myths inspired by the Fall season and the heritage of his wife and children; “The Creation,” “The Bear Hunt,” and “The Three Sisters.” The myths are appropriate for all ages and will be followed by a brief discussion of the spiritual themes and pre-contact Iroquoian horticulture.

Walk on the Wildside: Paganism and Primal Human Nature (with Drew Thomson)
Journey back to a time where we were still wild and free. As we look at the basics of our inner beast. Is there room in our modern lives to let our instincts go and be wild again. Are we really that far away from the animals we live with or have hunted in the past? Join me in discussion, and visual journey with and open mind to a new way of looking at ourselves.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I vend?
Yes, and there is no extra charge. See the Kaleidoscope Gathering vendors’ page for more information, basically the same rules apply. The most important thing to know is that you need proof of insurance.

Can I bring my pet?
It is possible, but only so long as it is preapproved by Maryanne Pearce. Contact her early to find out.

Why is the KornuKopia Gathering so amazing?
Three reasons: 1) Because awesome people attend; 2) Because we burn large sculptures; 3) Because we get to celebrate the Harvest season together as a community at Raven’s Knoll.

Categories: Archived Post