This is your brain on Starwood

Ah, Starwood. How to explain? Maybe the last night's bonfire...one of the biggest bonfire events in the country. Think a pile of flaming logs the size of a small house (the House of Fire! I must use that next year..."Welcome to the house of fire") with hundreds of people dancing around it and drumming, all night.

The moon is almost full, and hangs above the fire. I am wearing a lovely Chinese silk jacket that I just got, looking damn good if I do say so myself...this festival I have been manifesting the archetype of the Lover a fair bit (and more on that later), but tonight I pulling down a blend of the King, the Magician, and the Holy Goof, dancing around, coming up to people and telling them "Now don't tell anybody, but the moon...is beautiful." I am the King bestowing blessings; I am the Magician, teaching my secret knowledge. I have a hope that for someone, this will be the moment, the exact thing they needed to hear. But mostly I am the Holy Goof, for the whole thing is ridiculous, I am for some reason I cannot explain talking in a Tom Waits gravel voice.

I am dancing all night, the sun comes up and there are fewer but still many of us, some dozing off on the sides or wrapped in embracing couples or trios. A bunch of people in ridiculous superhero costumes come changing in and bring an infusion of energy - how can you not be joyful at the sight of a tall thin man in an American flag jockstrap waving an inflatable toy sword? A pretty girl - an old Starwood fling with whom I have, perhaps, reconnected - gets me to hula-hoop for a while.

Some of our fearless leaders, America's top alternative spirituality
leaders, arrive and start a bocche ball game in and among and dancers. I
overhear Ian Corrigan, Archdruid Emeritus of the neo-Druid group Ar
nDraiocht Fein
, and Reverend Ivan Stang of the href="http://catb.org/jargon//html/H/ha-ha-only-serious.html">ha-ha-only-serious Church of the Subgenius, talking about how they have no idea how to score such a game.

Jugs of "Discordian Juice" - some fruit juice and alcohol mix - get passed around. Rev. Stang produces a jug of "Subgenius Antidote" for the Discordian Juice (it seems to have the same active ingredient) and a hot blond girl grabs me by the hair and makes me drink some. I do not complain.

Around 8am I am exhausted, feel my work is done, start to gather my things. In one of those moments that means nothing to anyone but those involved, I find that my karma is still tangled with that of the only ex-lover with whom I am not on good terms, she is coincidentally standing right where I left my bags, talking to someone seated nearby. We do not speak (the last time I did that, she spat on the ground - yes, the energy remains that toxic) as I pick up my bags and start up the hill, only to be called back to the fire by perhaps my favorite magickal ritual.

A few years ago our good friend Brian Jefferson realized that the chorus from an old soul song makes an excellent chant. And now a bunch of sleep-deprived and intoxicated freaks and seekers dance around and embrace and sing to each other, "I want to thank you / for lettin' me / be myself, again..."

And this is your brain on Starwood.

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