Wednesday, June 15, 2005

What's wrong with this picture?

I will be going to a Pagan festival this weekend, but sometimes I wonder about my fellow nature-religionists.

The site is a campground at more than 8,000 feet elevation; the date is the weekend before the solstice with a forecast of mostly sunny weather.

And then the organizers announce "at the Sun's zenith . . .an adult-only sky-clad optional drawing down of the Sun."

My contribution to the ritual will be a partially full box of tubes of ex-Deutsche Bundeswehr Sonnenschutzcreme. If it's good enough for Hans und Fritz, maybe it will save you all from looking like the sunburn scene in A River Runs Through It.

A friend in California today was telling me of recent rituals in the Berkeley and Sacramento areas, with authentically (?) costumed Druids red-faced and on the verge of heatstroke thanks to their wool garments.

People, people, people, if you are going to practice nature religion, you have to adapt to where you are in actuality, not where you are in your fantasies.

It was not Pagans, however, who organized this weekend's Cañon City, Colo., "Gaelic Festival," although some Pagans whom I know plan to attend.

I lived in Cañon City for six years. It's an outlier of the Chihuahuan Desert. The summers are blistering. And I expect that people will be affecting Scots dress with lots and lots of wool. Maybe the smart ones will stay indoors, drinking in air-conditioned bars.


Anonymous vs-f said...

People who come to Northern California in June often think they will be experiencing summer. (Instead, it's our foggy and cold season, with true summer not starting until mid-August. Witness the goose bumps on the shorts and tank top-clad tourists standing in line for the cable car in San Francisco).

Over the years I've learned that the best ritual garb for an outdoor summer solstice event here in the Bay Area is polar fleece, and it can be a good thing to wear mittens and a wool hat, too.

Ya gotta dress for what weather ya got, not some fantasy of what the weather outta be for your ritual.

12:18 PM  

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