So it seems that, in all the alternating depression and excitement of the last month, I forgot to announce some fairly important and amazing news!
My artwork was selected to represent the theme of this year’s Heartland Pagan Festival!
My formal Artist’s Statement reads as follows:
The image is constructed of circles interlocking in the manner of Celtic knots. The outer four circles contain the traditional alchemical symbols for the four Classical Elements: Earth, Air, Water, and Fire. The central circle reveals a landscape at sunset or sunrise, with a road stretching from the foreground plains to the sun-topped mountains in back. The plains are marked by a lake on the left and a tower on the right.
The symbolism may feel familiar to students of the tarot, particularly decks descended from the images of Pamela Coleman Smith, and this is no coincidence. The tower by the lake and the road evokes The Moon, which challenges the practitioner to face their fears head on. The tower, on its own, evokes The Tower from which the unwary fall when they cannot overcome those demons. The Sun shines down over it all: the mountain cliffs from which The Fool threatens to fall, the road The Chariot traverses, and the field where Death reaps. This is the magical and material World made up of the Elements which we must explore and master.
But here, in this public yet intimate space, I’m just going to come out and say that I’m fucking ecstatic. Seriously, I cannot even begin to articulate how happy it makes me to have my art representing the festival that has been such a significant part of my life.
Moreover, between my position as Chair of the Sacred Experience Committee, my committee’s close work with the Speakers and Bands Committee, and now the official festival artwork, I have a hand in most of the most visible aspects of Heartland Pagan Festival 2016. And just to be clear, this is not a power trip. This is me nerding out hard core. This festival has been a huge part of my life since I was eighteen years old. I have attended more festivals than not since 1999 — twelve out of sixteen, if I recall correctly. And now, just by virtue of having shown up to do the work, I have a significant voice in how this festival is going to be experienced and remembered by everyone who comes this year.
So please, allow me to invite you to join the festivities. Come to Heartland Pagan Festival 2016 and explore the four elements with me. (Please forgive the current state of the web page; we’re suffering some technical difficulties, but the registration system DOES work.) When you get there, look for the long haired, tattooed, hippie fuck in too much eyeliner working the Sacred Experience Committee booth, and tell him you want to throw back some mead with your favorite satyr.
And, if you live close enough that you’d like to get involved, don’t hesitate to member up at the same link. There’s a lot of work to be done to put on a festival, and we’ll be glad to have you.