This past weekend I attended the 20th Annual Trillium Gathering, and it was excellent, as usual. I’ve always really enjoyed Trillium. Not only does it mark the start of my festival season, but the community is absolutely lovely. When I go to Trillium, it’s like coming home. These are my people.
I met some new folks this year, and because the Trillium community is so strong, getting to know them and integrating them smoothly into our festival family was so easy. In some ways it’s really hard to explain that feeling, but you can catch hints of it throughout the festival programming.
The rituals the past several years have been community planned, meaning that one of the workshop slots for the weekend is “Planning the Main Rite” and whoever wants to can come together and plan the ritual as a group. It’s very egalitarian and I love seeing and experiencing the variety of ways that folks interact with the Spirits.
The workshops have always been good at Trillium. Normally they’re centered around whatever the theme of the year is, but since this year’s theme was just “Celebrating 20 Years of Trillium” the workshops had more variety. Everyone brought their very best. I especially enjoyed Wayne Keysor’s workshop on “Arguments for Paganism” which was focused on giving us strategies for bringing paganism into the public eye. He talked about common challenges that others may have and how we can defend our beliefs. But over all, it was a great set of suggestions on how to make us and paganism a more accepted part of society. Though it drew on a lot of philosophical concepts, Wayne did a great job of making it understandable.
Wayne also led a panel discussion on the ADF Priesthood. He invited Rev. Dangler (an ADF Senior Priest), me (an ADF Consecrated Priest), Rev. McAndrew (an ADF Priest), and Emerald (an interfaith seminary student). It was a really good way for folks to ask questions about what we actually do as priests, about the training program, and about the Call to priesthood.
Some other workshop highlights were Rev. Crystal Groves’ workshop on Marketing. It was full of great suggestions on how to promote your grove and navigate social media. Donald Smith presented on soil, and how to create and maintain good soil for planting. Adam Davis presented one of his great workshops on Nature Connections, which are always great. Linda Kazalski gave a great overview of the different kinds of energy work we commonly engage with as pagans.
I try to give a presentation every year at Trillium. This year I presented on Mentoring (what makes a good mentor and how to navigate the mentoring process). It went really, really well! Even though my voice recorder only managed to get about half of the presentation, I’m hoping what it did get will have good info to edit together and share.
Other highlights of Trillium are always the Bardic Circle, Warrior Games, Brewer’s Competition, Seed Exchange, Auction, and Alcohol Tasting. Of all the Bardic Circles at various festivals, Trillium’s is my favorite. It’s really chill and organic, and unlike other Bardic Circles which focus so heavily on songs and music, the Trillium Bardic Circle has a really good mix of stories, poems, and remembrances of moments in ADFs history that are really enjoyed by all those gathered.
Pre-registration for next year has already opened, and I’m definitely planning on attending again. Next year’s theme is “21 Years of Trillium: Coming of Age”. There’s supposed to be a good representation by the Brewer’s Guild, and both Rev. Dangler and I have been invited back as a presenters. I’ll probably be doing a a workshop on rites of passage, with a focus on coming of age and gender claiming rituals.
All in all, I’d totally recommend going to Trillium, and I hope to see you next year!
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