strive4balance: Green Female Dryad (female feminine genderbender greenwoman)
 OMG! Might be the best description of this fantastic event. Although some of the planning wasn't perfect we actually had a fantastic time. Not only did everyone that came together completely enjoy each other's company but the entire group plans to do it again. We will hold another gather this winter, 2012. Date and the Event name will be announced soon.

There were a few similarities in the group that are only loosely connected to their kin type, if at all. Most of the group were either cisfemale, transwoman, genderqueer, or a mixture of them. There was an underlying energy of feminine, that was very nice. Then of course all of us were otherkin, but there were no elves (oddly enough) There were all sorts of other, including therians, but no elves. Then there was one very important similarity, all of us were cast aside by others in the past. Shunned. dismissed. Together we dislike that energy so much that we brought in the opposite - an inclusive space. Something I have only dreamed of since my very first kin gather. A gather where a group of kin come together and work to understand and accept each other for enlightenment, not for any other reason. WOW, it happened... seriously.

Even with the heat of the summer, the AC was on and most of us piled inside. It seemed each time we tried to go outside it would storm and push us all back in. Interestingly though after one faerie was able to create an amazing dragon to be hung above the group alter. Then the entire place began to dance with each other. It was amazing to watch the shy open up with beautiful smiles and amazing conversation. Each element of the Faehaven was used. The divination table, the community kitchen, the trade table, the group alter, the snuggle room, the costume closet and the open sexuality room had various amounts of activity throughout the day. The yard provided play room for all and frankly the space was so flowing I am only making one small change for the winter gather - and that's a discussion board. More on that later.

This event brought together some very unusual folks that truly enjoyed each others company.... Don't fit in anywhere else? Come to the gather, you likely will - ha ha! 

Facebook : Faehaven (Otherkin Safehouse)
OtherWiki:  Faehaven (Otherkin Safehouse)

strive4balance: Green Feminine Mischievous Dryad (Green Feminine Mischievous Dryad Feary f)
 Dreamhaven is a new otherkin gather to be held in July 2012, in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania at Faehaven. The event is focused on the expression and exploration of our inner most kinship in a setting that has convenient access for all. The event will allow for a place of kin expression in a safe environment among other kin. The expression of your own kin will be combined with other kin at the gather and together we will explore the meanings of otherkin.

July 27th, 28th, 29th in Harrisburg, PA at Faehaven

This event is for all otherkin - regardless of species, experience, or self expression of any kind. The host and the entire event is completely inclusive. We welcome otherkin, therians, furries, all expressions of gender/sexuality, dark/light creatures of all sorts, humans, and anyone that is interested in exploring and expressing themselves within a safe space full of support and understanding. Faehaven is a sanctuary that welcomes all - this is a neutral zone - everyone is safe here. We can meet each other, support each other, teach and share our experiences in a safe place that has no right or wrong answers. We can play, discuss, explore, and express ourselves all weekend at Dreamhaven.

Although the event in itself is free flowing we have had a few individuals step up to guide workshops about various otherkin related discussions or activities. First of all rememeber that Faehaven encourages costuming by offering a costume closet, there will also be a play fire circle where everyone is encouraged to express themselves with music, drumming, dancing, spinning, hooping, story telling, singing, etc. There is also a divination station where you can choose to share divination items and everyone is encouraged to trade divination readings. There are two Trading spaces (Recycling Centers) where you can give away things that no longer serve you and trade for things that spark your interest now. One is outside and the other is inside for weather sensitive items. There will be a group hearth/alter both inside and out where you add a piece that represents you. Where as a group we can bring our energy together for support and community. Faehaven also provides space for those that choose to express themselves in a snuggle room (no sex but puppy piles are welcomed) and inside the sexuality realm that is in private and behind closed doors. Everyone is welcomed to make their own choices about where they particiapate at any given time during the event. No sexual pressure, only safe space to express it if you choose.

Please keep in mind that Faehaven is completely open to any other workshops/elements being added as desired.

=== Friday === (Playtime around Faehaven is encouraged in between things)

A theoretical discussion of why otherkin exist and what our purpose, if any, might be.

Dancing with the FireFlies- just as the sun is going down the fireflies come out to do a dance. We will dance with them with a lovely soundtrack of nature's transition and drumming. We will awaken our kin self from within, bring it forth and tuck away the mundane.

Group Meal

Fire Playground- let's play together, bring musical instruments, dancing gear, wear costumes, bring stories and songs, bring spinning toys, bubbles, and hoola hoops.


=== Saturday === (Playtime around Faehaven is encouraged in between things)

ReUse and Upcycle - Let's get our hands dirty and let's build something from "saved trash" to express our kinself. For some of this it would be wings, staff, a piece for an alter, ears, talisman, art, or whatever else you can dream of.

Afternoon Sweat - At the hight of the heated day those wishing to join us for an afternoon sweat are encouraged to join the group in a group movement where we use yoga and Tai Chi to flavor our movements in completely embodying our kin self. Expressing it together and even among each other and than later cooling off with a discussion about our experience.

Group Meal

Fire Playground Party - Come as you kin, play as your kin, and let's use all our tools.

Moonlight Howl - Come together to howl at the moon, flit about the garden and explore all the sights of darkness, offer light to our ancestors, and embody our kin self within the darkness.


=== Sunday ===(Playtime around Faehaven is encouraged in between things)

-Goodbye Discussion - Talk about what you took from the group, thank anyone that helped you, show appreciation for your experience, share hopes and joys.

-Plans for next year - Discussion of what and if we would want this or something else next year. Ideas and volunteers welcomed, let's create our own fantabulous time together.

 

Anyone is welcome to stay for a sweet ending on Sunday night that is completely random and playful. 

It is a smaller gathering, in the 20-30 people range. Attendance is $20 per person, which is being used to provide a meal plan of two hot meals on Friday and Saturday evenings. If you can't afford it, please contact us privately and we can offer a little work position like helping to clean up or prepare meals. 

http://anotherwiki.dreamhart.org/wiki/Dreamhaven
strive4balance: Green Female Dryad (female feminine genderbender greenwoman)
I strongly suggest that if you haven't already read my post "The Now" that you do so now before you continue with this story. It has way more meaning when you read the 1st story.

Part One Click Here to Read first

This time I was staying a little late at the nursing home after a long day-shift. I had agreed to stay until dinner was all cleaned up. The supervisor had placed me on the "area" of the nursing home I had only worked once before, way back in May. But this time they put me down a different hall simple because of who I was covering on this shift.

I didn't even quite remember what Lily looked like. I sat quietly to feed a woman that didn't speak a work to me - although she stared at me intensely. She couldn't speak and was sort of out of it... she needed full assistance. I sat to feed her dinner and as I stared back into her lost gaze I lost myself in thought. I was thinking that I have been so busy in the garden being creative I haven't had much time to write... then I remembered the story I wrote about Lily. Ohhh wait, she might eat up here, it was an option for her. I looked around the room and none of them were Lily. Some of them were familiar but none of them were Lily. She either ate in her room or she was one of those ladies at the big puzzle table eating. I had helped set up over there but I hadn't thought to look at their faces at that time... I will have to take a moment to look when I am done.

Soon my attention was drawn to the table conversation among caretakers and the ladies sharing funny comments about men, since one of the caretakers had just answered a lady's question about when she was going to get married. I always find this gender conversation familiar yet uncomfortable. Its a weird place to be in, but sometimes I get what their saying. Other times I want to say "Well not all men are like that." or "well if you would simply express what you REALLY want you might actually get it. guys are just easy." This time it was about one of the lady's ex husbands and she was saying how marriage was best for creating offspring. LOL... I always find this feminist POV fascinating and the woman in me loves it. 

I glanced over at the corner where the men sat... they all sat in silence and watched the game. I often wonder if any of those men are bored and wish they were over here with the ladies. Why is this generation so sexist? What will it be like to young people taking care of me? 

Finally it was time to clean up and I rushed through all the tables and worked my way around the dining room along with everyone else to clean up all the dishes and walk the nursing home residents back to their rooms. Finally after some monkeying around with the other employees to burn off a little steam I looked around. Not much left I just need to clean off that puzzle table, where I didn't really look at the ladies with their backs to the room. There was only one lady left at the table and she has dishes there, she has just pushed them to the side and continued with her puzzle. I looked down real close and realized I had discovered Lily sitting and putting together a puzzle, all by herself. 

I squatted down in front of her and said, "Hey there Lily! How are you?" 

She answered just as society had taught us, "I am good. How are you?"

I answered  practiced with "I am having a great day Lily." and then continued sincerely, "Have you done all these puzzles?" I pointed around the table at the dozen or so puzzles already put together of everything from wild animals to abstract designs, some big - some small. 

She mumbled a "Yup." and then went right into "What is the meaning of life?" and she turned away to look through the puzzle pieces.

My feet had fallen asleep because of the way I was squatted so I stood up and looked for a chair.... there was none, simply because everyone used wheelchair's around here. 

Standing I said, "I don't know Lily, can you tell me?"

She found the piece and turned with a huge smile on that troll like face. I squatted to get a better look. Her eyebrows had grown into the center of her eyes and she had several long hairs growing from around her eyes and mouth. Her face was troll like with a sort of "old witch" feeling.  She was wearing some sort of "dutch" type cap on her head. It was perfectly attached to the top of her hair that was tied up into a bun. She was wearing a plain blue dress that I suspected she made about 10 years ago along with an apron type cover that had no frills, just plain white. Very plainly dressed with that cap meant she was likely dutch or Mennonite, maybe even Amish. 



She said, "Take a guess and she placed the piece into the puzzle."

I smiled and almost with sarcasm said, "I don't know Lily? Is it puzzle?

She looked up from the puzzle and smiled so large she showed her teeth and she said, "Right., Good Job! What is life? Life is a puzzle. Life means puzzles." 

Then she looked at me with hopeful eyes and said, " What does life do?"

She looked away from me and down at the table to examine more pieces in the puzzle. 

I thought for a minute and she looked at me again with hopeful eyes. Holding her puzzle piece she looked up at me just as a teacher would and said, "It begins with the letter T"

I thought for a minute... what do puzzles do? Well .... wait, she's a teacher. Puzzles teach... it must be teach.

I looked at her like the smart student whom knew she had the right answer and said, "Is it teach, Lily?" and for the moment one of the dietary people came over to clear the cup I hadn't cleared because I was talking to Lily. I was a little embarrassed to be having this game with her as she was obviously an Alzheimer's patient and I knew that it would be seen as a bit strange to be holding a rational conversation with someone like her. But I truly love their world and I want to hear more... I hope he leaves fast.  He comes and goes fast as if he doesn't even see us, as if she quickly cloaked us.

He walked away and she looks at me and says, "Great job! That's right! Life teaches. Its a lesson. What have you learned?" and just as I was thinking about her question and trying to form an answer... she says just as she did the first time I met her.

"What is the meaning of life?"

Ohhh here is the repetitive questions for the Alzheimer's patients... there is a loop. She talks in circles, likely....

I had to go. A woman behind me demanded my attention, she wanted to go back to her room. She was so grateful I pushed her back... I was happy to have made her day. She blessed me and I walked towards the time clock. 

I was so excited...  I knew the meaning of life. Now what? 

 

strive4balance: Green Feminine Mischievous Dryad (Green Feminine Mischievous Dryad Feary f)
When I arrived in the yard I found flowers with no faeries - plots exploding with homeless faeries - I could smell and see the damage the chemicals had done. As I worked my hands through the soil I could feel the poison burn my skin. Only the strongest of fae remained, hiding throughout the "garden' within the aggressive species through the yard. These vines bore small red berries that were often ignored by most humans.

I agreed to live in the house as both a favor for the drunken Dragon and for my own desperate reasons... The house screamed at me from within to clean the hoard. Release the hord it was crowding her beauty. It took years and I had to release the hord a little at a time, the drunken Dragon had abandoned some items. As the Hord released and the Dragon cleaned - we promised to keep only the most precious items in the hord for the Dragon in exchange for the use of the rest of the house and garden. The Dragon agreed and our lives began in Faehaven. In the past 3 years I have been cleaning, cleansing the poisons, moving in creatures to help, balancing the environment.... .finally the earth was clean and ready for the fae.

I sat among the aggressive faeries and knew they were only taking up empty space and began to move them to more habital areas. As I took that space and began to create homes. Homes for faeries inside flowers and among forests of them. Among vegetables and herbs - they have began to move in. I have readied their space among the hidden "Recycled Garden" and made a sanctuary for all types of fae.

As I placed the first handmade recycled home among the tiger lilies and the Kniphofia Uvaria - the Lily Faerie did her dance for me. She danced around and flapped her wings and showed me just how much she appreciated the offering. She knew I had done no harm to the earth in my offering and she seemed to thank me in a way that I had forgotten these past 6 years. When the faeries really appreciate what you have done, when you have come from a really good place, and have worked hard at saving their mother they show themselves in a way that no other will ever see. They dance for you and kiss you.....and you simply must come back for another kiss.

P6090191
strive4balance: Green Feminine Mischievous Dryad (Green Feminine Mischievous Dryad Feary f)
 I love music... seriously I truly love it. It is an art form that touches my heart so deeply I cannot even describe it. My love for music has been a lifetime love and often I find music that helps me heal from things. It also helps me resolve life and other mysteries. Sometimes I hear a song that I just am so touched or I swear that the writer wrote that song just for me. Or the voice of the singer seems to massage my soul.... its a sensation I just can't describe. Anyway this song: Just Breathe by Anna Nalick not only has the voice that massages my soul but the lyrics seem like they were written for me.

Ohhh so many times have I been simply close to various women in my life that later we share some sort of intimacy that helps us both heal. I have experienced much judgement from the world around me, usually along with other women as I have stood by them. Either as lesbians we witnessed the "accusing their eyes" or either as adult sex workers..... or young mothers... boy scout leaders... many times in my past  this has happened. I love all those women that stood by me and took in those looks but still held my hand.

Then of course the man in my life that has been in it for over 15 years, I love him, but his lifetime relationship with alcohol continues to poison our relationship. I love him, he knows it... he loves me, I know.... but alcohol has poisoned it and he just can't stop. I can't remember the last time I spoke to him sober...ohhh yah, when I insisted he not call me again until he was sober....so he did. Once, about 6 months ago. I love his smile and I would like to hold him or caretake him, but I know inside that is not a good idea as I get caught up with these type of poisonous people. He will likely die as a drunk. I know it will break my heart to see it happen.... but there is nothing I can do about it.  So "maybe I will just sing about it."

Then of course the last part is not just my writing but my dancing.... although being naked in front of a crowd is easier for me to do than lets say share a story I wrote... .its the idea of being vulnerable. Something I been working on. The fae inside me is so vulnerable and here I am allowing you, the reader.... if anyone reads this shit... I am allowing you to see some of my vulnerable... its scary. "Just Breathe"

Art and loving art is vulnerable.
strive4balance: Green Feminine Mischievous Dryad (Green Feminine Mischievous Dryad Feary f)
I am a social creature and I need friends in my life. Since moving to Harrisburg I have struggled at finding friends that understand me, in an otherkin sort of way or even in a spiritual sense. I am not religious, just to make that clear. :) Although I do practice tarot, energy healing, and what might be called witchcraft or magik. Anyway, I would love to share in some of these things, as well as basic friendship with people I can meet in person. Nothing against my online friends, as they have their own place in my life, but I would also love to have more in person friends. As I have been searching around for local friends I have noticed lots of otherkin and furries that live in the area but all of them have the same complaint. "I have a hard time finding like minded friends in the area." This seems to be a common problem in Central PA. So in the effort to reach out, gather folks together, and support the community we have decided that its a good time to put together a weekly potluck.

So next Thursday and every thursday after that there will be "The Other Potluck" where all otherkin, furries, therians, and so on are welcome to join together. Welcome to everyone that is "other" or "other" friendly. It's free, just bring a snack to share with the group. Games, music, and performing will all be welcomed to share with each other each week. Drumming is available and an outside fire (inside in the winter time). There are resident animals and smoking will be outside. Everything else is negotiable.

Basic Information:

What: The Other Potluck
Where: Faehaven at 23rd & Derry St. area - Harrisburg, PA
When: Thursday nights 7pm
Who: Everyone that identifies as otherkin, furrie, therian, or is friendly with them
How: RSVP via email to strive4balance at g mail dot com asking for the address and letting us know your coming or interested in coming.
Bring: Food/Snack to share, games, instruments
Be aware: We have furry animals in the home so if you need allergy medication, take it/bring it

If this grows, we can meet at other places, have larger events, have themed nights, and any other ideas we can come up with.

Please share this post, especially if you know people in the Central PA area.

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strive4balance: Androgynous Dryad with bird (Default)
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August 2012

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