Starwood XVI (1996)

This area is dedicated the many stories that people tell us about Starwood. How much they enjoyed it, who they met, how long they drummed for, or wonderful tales of the goings on at Starwood. If you would like to add in your Starwood Story, please e-mail us.

From: Bill
Subject: WE LOVE YOU!
Date: Sunday, April 20, 1997 2:00 AM


We just wanted to say hey and share a few of last year's Starwood memories with you all. The first picture (ghettogumbo.jpg) is a pic of our campsite pals. We called ourselves Ghetto Gumbo (suprise.) We came from all over the country to be together...The second pic is of the full rainbow that occured after that wonderful rainstorm on Tuesday. We could only fit 1/2 the rainbow in a pic so we sent the good half! The last pic is of two of the Gumbo as we packed up to leave. If you look hard you can see the Gruple Dome in the distance. We felt this summed up our feelings of leaving such a place behind. (BTW all people in the photos agreed to their taking and sending them to you)

We can't wait for next year's event. We have started planning Ghetto activities and are eager to get there in July. Wait 'til you hear the stories of Tie Clad Cock-tail Hour....that is if you don't attend! And we even have planned something for Starwood in '99 (we'll let you know when we clear it with Frank.)

Well, we love you all and can't wait to see you in July! In the name of the Ghetto; Mary was neat and have a merry party!

the Ghetto Gumbo

This was found on the Noise Laboratories site:

Here's an excerpt from an e-mail sent by Chief Safety Inspector Steve Hoey about a pagan gathering called Starwood.

As far as pagan gatherings...they are by far the the thing(s) that have most changed my life in the past two years. OK I've been to three, all run by the same organization (it's called ACE, the Association for Consciousness Exploration, based in Cleveland Heights, OH)...the one in the summer, the biggest pagan festival in the northeastern US (if not the entire US), is called STARWOOD. It is the third weekend of July, and has been running for 16 consecutive years (this summer will be PRIME, 'cause it's #17 ). It's hard to describe, and of course it's different for everyone, but I'll tell you why I love it...

To read the rest of Steve's great experiences at Starwood jump to NOISE LABORATORIES

This account was written as a handwritten journal during Starwood, 1996. I keep such journals about activities or other involvements on which I may need or want to relfect on later. I had heard of Starwood by accident on the Internet, and was at a period of spiritual stagnation in my life where I felt a pull towards something new...
Maimu Alber

The Chameleon Club is the heart end energy behind A.C.E.
Our members come from various backgrounds, beliefs and interests
who like to throw giant parties, and to learn and experience new ideas,
philosophies, and concepts...we created Starwood for this purpose.

Here's what the Chameleon Club wants to say about Starwood

A Place Where Dreams Are Born

MMIt was the summer of '81. The weather had been hot and dry for two weeks. The papers had reported an eclipse of the moon expected that night, and we decided that though we needed to be "responsible" for the weekend, Thursday was our day to party.

MMWe had gathered at the site used by the S.C.A. (Society for Creative Anachronism) for the Pennsic War, Coopers' Lake, and camped on a rise we re-named Chameleon Hill. We circled our tents and prepared for the first Starwood festival.

MMOh, we had all worked on events before, with youth groups, the Hillel House, and the S.C.A; and our band Chameleon had performed at street fairs and cofee houses, but this was the first time it was all our own show. With a roster including Jim Alan and Selena Fox from Circle, Dr. Ray Buckland, Bill Eichman, Eric Raymond, Mike Shoemaker, Dr. Bryan Grotte, an S.C.A. Demo group and an electronic/percussive band called The Ancient Illuminated Seers of Bavaria (A.I.S.B.), we set out to run the first interface festival between the New Age Movement/Futurism and the Magickal Movemernt/Medievalism.

MMThat night was the first omen of the new energy we had invoked. I had recently bought a hand-carved Nepalese drum, two friends had brought a Bodhran and a Dumbek, and the A.I.S.B. had several percussion items. Add flutes, a gong, a sistrum and voice and we had our first spontaneous Starwood Drum Jam, under a full lunar eclipse, with the sound of 18-wheelers speeding by bouncing off the Pennsylvania hills.

MMThe fourth of July had been rainy, and a load of firewood and felled branches meant for a bonfire lay dry and unused in a small valley nearby. We asked the Coopers to sell it, and they traded it for some work to tear down a ruined fence. We added the 18 foot planks to the pile "tee-pee" style, not quite meeting at the top. Saturday night we lit the first Starwood Bonfire and drummed and chanted around it. When the fire peaked, a twenty foot tongue of flame shot out the top, sending us whooping and cheering in an expanding ring away from the blast of heat, under a full moon shining blue through the rising wood smoke.

MMThat first Starwood was a weekend event, with about 185 people, 20 classes, a movie, a concert, and what we billed as a "bon-fire".

MMSince then we've had 4 Starwoods at Devils Den Park near New Philadelphia, Ohio, for an audience of perhaps 315. Twice we held Starwood at Bear Creek in Canton, OH, and our audience grew to 400. At Echo Hills in Logan, OH we found a home for 2 years...our audience began to grow by 100 each year.

MMIn those years the program had grown to 4 and 5 and 6 days, and cross-scheduling and increased revenue permitted bigger name speakers and acts, multi-media shows and full size musical groups with a more substantial sound system.

MMIn the six years we've been at Brushwood, we've maintained our position as America's biggest and best festival of diversity. With over 120 classes and rituals, 15 musical and/or theatrical acts, and a full program of youth activities, Starwood remains a rising star in a forest of festivals, the scale against which others are measured.

Jeff Rosenbaum

MM"I see Starwood as a great, life changing spiritual event and a great party, the intersection of the counterculture of the 60s (evolved into the 90s), the Pagan scene, and other like minded movements. It is a place and a time to drum and dance in ecstacy, to learn, to teach, to serve, and to party with hundreds of friends. It is also a place to meet some of the great thinkers, Shamans, and religious leaders of our age, some among the featured speakers and many among those attending. When at Starwood, I feel free, a gathering of the tribes, and a sense of coming home."

Larry Cornett

MM"I actually remember my first starwood, i could not believe what a great time i could have. it took me a few days to get over the the culture shock after i got back; real life somehow pales in comparison to the absofuckinlutely mind blowing experience that is starwood. the organizers were so nice, and the other guests are such beautiful people that you just wish it would never end. i certainly plan on coming again this year, when can i sign up?"

So he did...

MM"Working on the "starwood project" has been a wonderful experience these past 10 years. just seeing the bliss and satisfaction that everyone experiences is enough to keep you high for months. if we could have starwood twice a year i'd be high all the time."


"Like architects design an ever-evolving dream...
so do we draw the promise of the pattern.
But Starwood's TRUE structure--
is forged by the expectation...
and cooperation of its attendees.
A truly unique structure, this hallway of perceptional doors.
Which ones you open,
or ignore,
are entirely up to you."

Victoria Ganger--Musician, Starwood Performer Coordinator

MM"I think we represent a way for people to do their own explorations. We provide a forum, so to speak, for that exploration. I always understood that starwood was a place where it was safe for us to be as free as we could get away with.

MMTo me, it's always been about having the freedom to explore our own consciousness. (It's hard to explore anyone else's consciousness). The freedom issue, to me, is the thing that brought me to starwood in the first place. It's the reason I keep doing this.

MMI keep thinking of the altered state I reach just before dawn while doing O's in the dome. That isn't really drug induced. It's the endorphins and the lack of sleep. and and and..... "


Starwood is the hot fudge on life's ice cream of pleasure. It's the brain-changing escape I need for perspective. When the pace of everyday screams out of control, I can always think to myself, "O.K., this IS really hard... but, ahhh! In July, there will be Starwood. And for a short blissful span of time, all will be well with the world." I get a glimpse of how things could really be... in our own private IdahoUtopia.

I've helped organize it for about 10 years, and the drive to keep it going on is strong. I've met fascinating people, seen unforgettable performances, and just plain had some of the best times in my life through my involvement with A.C.E.

Lisa Lefkort

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