This past weekend I had the great pleasure of attending a festival in southern Indiana called “Horn and Honey”. This festival is to honor Pan and Aphrodite. It took place at a beautiful 100+ acre piece of land nestled into the hills called “Our Haven”. Our Haven was the dream of a wonderful man named Manelqua, a Vietnam veteran who I had the pleasure of chatting with at length Thursday night. He is a kind man whose heart and mind reflect a man much younger than his body. He is quick with a smile, a kind word, and especially a story. His openness and honesty shows a man who is comfortable with himself and sees the best in people. I wish I would have had more time to exchange stories with him and I’m incredibly grateful that he followed his dream and set up a place that is “open to all positive paths”.
The festival itself included a variety of workshops, discussions, presentations, and ceremonies. While the discussions were linked to Pagan beliefs they were really universal in their subject matter and appeal. The core of each discussion was something that all of mankind in this day and age would benefit from talking about. Some of these subjects included problems with modern views of masculinity, powerful and sexual women, and facing the unknown.
The festival was also clothing optional and only adults were allowed into it. It was the most body positive place I have ever been. Many of the people would not be considered to have ideal body types by societies standards but the opportunity to shed clothing and inhibitions allowed an inner beauty to show through. Age, weight, or any other factor was not judged. Through the entire weekend I never heard a single negative or discouraging comment about anyone’s appearance while nude.
I certainly learned a lots about the belief systems that were present but one thing struck me as particularly important. Everyone loved and cared for each other and your belief system was irrelevant. I was never asked about my beliefs. At first I thought it was because everyone assumed I was pagan but I realized later it was because the religion I identified with was irrelevant. What mattered was my individual actions. Those present loved Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, worshippers of Greek, roman, Nordic, egyptian, or any other faith systems. They believe in people practicing what works for them. They are spiritual individualists.
It has been said that religion is the cause of most war. This is likely true but I think it is unfair to group faiths that are truly tolerant. The truth is, wars are likely caused by religions that claim a monopoly on salvation or claim a universal objective truth without any true objective evidence. Pagans won’t start wars, they care too much about the individuals they encounter and I’m proud to call many of these people my new friends.
I was able to observe great things, participate in beautiful ceremonies, and talk to amazing people. The only thing asked of me was to show the same respect I was given. A pretty simple request.
Sounds like a beautiful place with amazing people. I would love to experience a festival like that some day. Sounds like the same feeling of love and acceptance that I get at burning man only on a much more intimate scale. Love your say yes attitude to your journey. You are truly floating more.
There was definitely a burner vibe. Like a stream that flows off a major river the influence was there but it was still unique. I would be down to do something like it again.