continued from Festival23 part 1.
After the opening ritual we stayed around for Cat Vincent’s workshop DADA 101: An introduction to Defence Against the Dark Arts. The name obviously drawing influence from Harry Potter, this workshop concerned magical protection and defence, with a focus on using visualisation and energy work to create a protective shield. It drew a chuckle when Cat called me onto the stage at one point for a demonstration, and I feigned biting me nails with eyes wide with terror when looking back at the workshop participants, but the exercise was really about sending and receiving energy, and Cat soon had everyone pairing off and trying it for themselves. Other techniques learned included creating an energy filter for only letting in desired energies and block those that might be harmful…
The final highlight of the evening for Dana and I was the Alan Moore film. Alan shared his views on counter culture and how he hoped Festival23 would help foment a new counter culture, and his announcement that he was donating free complete sets of his magazine, Dodgem Logic, to everyone that attended the festival. Dana and I helped unpack and distribute these from the community shop, where Dana was selling some of her Trollkona Crafts products.
The next morning we saw everyone getting excited about the Happy Hardcore Aerobics, something we had to miss due to our healing tattoos. Our morning therefore began with Dave Lee’s chanting session to empower an egregore that empowers chemognosis, or entheogenic powered magic. This consisted of runic chants and, if I remember correctly, a bindrune or sigil of somekind.
After lunch we wondered on down to the Pyramind stage to watch Planet 9 perform. This was a stunning performance. We had previous online contact with one of the vocalists, Jo Sims, and it was great to watch her perform and introduce ourselves to her after the show, even if our paths didn’t really cross again after that.
After watching Future Zen Puppetry (featuring the puppet Alan Watts) and Dr Bramwell discuss his haunted moustache, we arrived at Seani Love and Sophie Wisdom’s two hour workshop Eris meats Eros. One of the longer events happening at the festival, 2 hours went by quickly and seemed hardly enough. Time flies when you’re having fun! The highlight for me was the introduction of maybe logic into consent. Instead of binary yes/no consent, a maybe lets your partner know that you aren’t sure but might be willing to try. In effect it allows them to interpret the maybe as a yes or a no, but signals that they are crossing a boundary. It does this in a fun and playful way that enhances the erotic feel of the situation, rather than requiring serious explanation. Both Seani and Sophie were real stars…
My mind is pretty blank concerning the rest of Saturday evening. We were pretty tired, however we did make our first appearances as Agent V and Agent M that night, walking around most of the venues of the festival. Which performers were on as we wondered by I couldn’t tell you though.
We did take some photos in the various art installations of the Destablise area though, including with the ‘Pimp my dalek’ and the puppet William Burroughs.
Dana did her turn looking after the community shop on Sunday morning, and I helped out and kept her company.
We finished just in time to make it to Seani Love and Sophie Wisdom’s second workshop Chaos Tantra. This was pretty much a continuation of Eris meats Eros, although it had a mixed crowd. Dana and I got more adventurous this time round, deciding to partner with strangers for the exercises rather than each other. I think this allowed us to become more exploratory and discover more about ourselves. Again, the two hours passed quickly and I felt I could do with a long weekend of nothing but Seani and Sophie!
Next we saw The Book of Will -intentions. This was basically a run through of a play by Daisy Eris Campbell, with the main players and a few stand-ins reading out their lines from the first draft. The play was entertaining, mystical, humorous and Discordian. It felt great to be present during its very first read through. Especially since we had helped fund her previous project, the Cosmic Trigger play, but were unable to attend for various reasons.
However, later that evening I would get to see the Cosmic Trigger Cabaret, which featured much of the cast performing their weird and wonderful and amazingly hilarious routines.
By this time Dana and I were back as Agent’s V and M. MIB’s being effectively underworld spirits, come to close the ceremony, reminding us that all things come to an end, much like the role played by the Ghede in Vodou.
Which brings us nicely to what for us formed the closing ritual, the burning of a cross made of new age ‘self help’ books…