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The road to the grove

The Road to The Grove.

This article is about the first event of The Grove Gathering. See that article for more.

For privacy, this article uses a mix of Discordian, SubGenius, Pagan/Wiccan, and pseudonymous names.

The first event of the Grove Gathering, called The Gathering at the Grove at the time and later called The Grove Gathering I, was inspired by three things: a pagan esbat (planned on the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love) that included several Discordians, including one of the originals, in Texas; the Church of the SubGenius X-Day in Ohio; and a Texas reunion of members, friends and families of the Early Church of the SubGenius (1953 - 1975), all scheduled for early summer of 2017.

2017[]

The first Gathering at the Grove was relatively informal, featuring only a few pre-scheduled activities. It included an esbat full moon ceremony, music and dancing, a paganism workshop, contests, and various games including the Cloved Lemon Kissing Game. The Gathering was open to all ages, and several families attended. While some participants wore masks and/or clothing, a majority of participants were naked for at least part of the event.

While items including sunscreen, water, body paint, and artwork were sold, no necessary item could be sold at a profit. Many essential items were given for free.

Because some of the participants wanted their privacy kept, especially because many attended while topless or nude and unmasked, photography and even audio recording were greatly restricted. A crew making a documentary asked to attend and record The Grove Gathering, but were turned down for privacy reasons. Some participants agreed to be interviewed after the event.

Friday[]

Friday afternoon was largely setting up, with the main set-up being a large canvas and metal pavilion. In the evening, the group held a combined celebration and bardic circle, a concept borrowed from the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA). Participants sang, played instruments including guitar, flute, ocarina and drum, recited poetry, and danced around a campfire. Most who attended on Friday evening spent the night on site.

Saturday[]

Saturday featured several games and activities, many of them unscheduled. Two sets of pagan high priests and high priestesses led scheduled workshops on paganism. Other activities included a dance workshop, book and art projects, a sing-a-long, nude body painting, and various games. In the event, the main esbat ceremony led by a high priest and high priestess was held around a bonfire. The trees surrounding the clearing prevented the participants or the fire being seen from any public roadway.

Sunday[]

Turdis1

Sunday's activities were similar to Saturday's, except that instead of an esbat ceremony and bonfire, the event closed with a partially tongue-in-cheek awards ceremony.

Gypsie Skripto won for best wearable art made of natural material found on site; she created the Cloved Lemon Kissing Queen crown. Gypsie gave awards to Lady Leaf and Crambling for body finger painting. Best poem written on site was won by Owlian, funniest Barbie and Ken doll poses went to Clara Kindle and Emerald Fox, and weirdest dancing went to the Disco-Rdian Dancing Trip. Two portable toilets on site, labeled "HERS AND HIS" and "TURDIS" (a take-off on the similar-looking Doctor Who's blue TARDIS and the word "turd"), shared an award as Best Dump. Princess Unicornia, was named the Queen of the Cloved Lemon Kissing Game, or less formally Cloved Lemon Kissing Queen. She was a long-standing member of the Order of the Cloved Lemon and co-author with Reverend Loveshade of an article on the CLKG published in a number of books. An honorary award for Best New Word was "Retrofactively" coined by Alden Loveshade. The word means "Applying to the rewriting of history, the changing of the facts after the fact." (Alden also coined the adjective "retrofactive" retrofactively)

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