Everything is a Quest in Winter: a Quest for food and warmth and direction. A Quest for game that has not flown south, or burrowed in, or hid itself away from the bitter cold. A Quest for dry fuel to feed our hearth, for the friendly fires of our neighbors across the acres of barren wasteland. Half the landmarks of the fields we know are hid from our vision under a blanket of white, and the familiar paths we walked only yesterday are disappeared beneath the swirling snow. And as night approaches, and a grey and overcast sky meets a shrouded horizon, we search in the gloom for a light, a sign -- a star to guide us on our journey.
Our Quest through the spiritual wasteland is much the same, as an enwintered mood wraps us in a numbing cloak, and clarity and direction seem to elude us. But to the Seeker with Vision on the Inner Path there comes a clearing, and a break in the overcast sky, and a Light to show us the way.
Come join us in our VisionQuest; join us in that clearing, in the warmth of good company, the companionship of fellow seekers, under a Winter Star.
Prem Das (AKA Paul C. Adams) was an associate professor at Antioch West and the California Institute of Integral Studies. Something of a legend in the New Age movement, he is making his first public appearance in over 15 years. A colleague of Timothy Leary & Ralph Metzner, he's studied with Huichol Shaman Don Jose' Matsuwa and lectured on Shamanism, fought for legal status of the sacramental use of peyote for the Native Americans, and studied yoga and Sufiism with Baba Hari Das (author of 5 books including Silence Speaks), giving workshops at Esalen and elsewhere. His descriptions of his peyote experiences have been printed in writings by Terence McKenna and others, and he's co-facilitated workshops and co-authored the book Shamanic Pathways with anthropologist Joan Halifax. Prem Das performed a popular New Age meditation tape called Journey of the Drum with Muruga Booker and Shakti (now available both as a Mind-Machine recording and a music CD) featuring Prem Das on water drum, Muruga on Nada Drum, and Shakti on deer-hoof shakers.
Muruga Booker is a percussionist with an incredible list of credits, from jazz to rock, world beat to techno-rave. He started drumming in Detroit in the mid 50s, playing with such legends as John Lee Hooker and Junior Wells, and with Jim & Jean on their albums Changes and People World in the early 60s. When he played with Tim Harden at Woodstock, he met Swami Satchidananda and began a three-decade quest in Sida/Kundalini Yoga, touring with Swami Muktananda and Ram Das, and eventually attaining the titles of Nada Yogi and Go Swami. He played with Paul Winter Consort on Something Wild in the Wind in '68, at Carnegie Hall with the Brubeck Generation in '71, and replaced departing Airto Moreira in the band Weather Report to record Sweet Nighter in '73. In the 80s he recorded several albums with George Clinton and the P-Funk All-Stars, and produced Journey of the Drum with Prem Das and his wife Shakti Booker. In the 90s, he was part of Merl Saunder's Rainforest Band, who recorded the classic album Blues For the Rainforest with Jerry Garcia and Sikiru Adepoju, and he produced a CD with Babatunde Olatunji and Sikiru called Cosmic Rhythm Vibrations (recently re-released as Circle of Drums). Muruga plays with his own group, The Global Village Ceremonial Band.
Sally Eaton is a Druid High Priestess and liturgist and a talented actress, whose credits include creating the role of the “Hippie Witch” in the stage production of the hit Broadway musical Hair, and performing in the Doric Wilson play Now She Dances!. A former partner of Isaac Bonewits, she contributed to many of the early ADF rituals and the songs on Isaac’s first albums. Her eclectic magical background ranges from Golden Dawn and O.T.O. material to Wiccan and Druidic styles, and she has presented lectures, rituals and performances at some of the earliest Starwoods and WinterStars. We welcome her back to the bill after over 20 years. Sally is a terrific singer, best known for her rendition of the song “Air” in Hair. She performed a live solo album called Farewell American Tour, and she sings the blues with her partner Cliff Grishman.
Marty Laubach holds a Ph.D. in Sociology at Indiana University on the Sociology of Altered States of Consciousness. He is one of the founders of the Crystal Serpent (a Bloomington ritual Magick group) and the Bloomington CUUPs chapter. He was an elder of the ELF Lore Family from 1985 to 1992 and editor of the Elven Chronicles newsletter (currently working with Black Moon Publications), and has co-organized major rituals (with Bete Cabal) at past WinterStar Symposiums and ELF Fests. He has practiced and taught Tai Chi since 1976, using William Chen's adoption of Cheng Man-Ch'ing long and short forms.
Patricia Monaghan (PhD) is one of the pioneers of the contemporary women's spirituality movement. She is the author of more than 15 books of poetry and nonfiction, including the classic encyclopedia, The New Book of Goddesses and Heroines, now in print for over 20 years, and winner of the Best Visionary Non-Fiction Award at the International New Age Trade Show. A winner of the prestigious Pushcart Prize for Literature in 2004, her work was also included in "Best American Spiritual Writing" that year. Her most recent books are Meditation: The Complete Guide and The Red-Haired Girl from the Bog: The Landscape of Celtic Myth and Spirit. She is bi-local, teaching as a member of the interdisciplinary faculty of Chicago's DePaul University during the week and planting trees and vines in Black Earth, Wisconsin on weekends.
Rev. Ivan Stang has (and sells) a Doktorate in the Forbidden Sciences from Dobbstown University, a Malaysian bastion of kookademia. He is the author of The Book of the SubGenius, High Weirdness by Mail, Three Fisted Tales of "Bob", and Revelation X. He’s the director of "ARISE!: the SubGenius Video" and numerous award winning animated films. A touring SubGenius preacher, spreading the word of J.R. “Bob” Dobbs, his syndicated radio show The Hour of Slack just reached its 1000th episode after 20 years on the air. A talented artist, he created the artwork for this year’s WinterStar flyer, and several other Starwood and WinterStar promotions.
Joseph Rothenberg (BA, RN) holds degrees in Psychology, Political Science, and Nursing. A director and founding member of ACE and the Chameleon Club and an original organizer of the Starwood Festival and the Winterstar Symposium, he has practiced as a counselor and a registered nurse for over 25 years. He has been working with light/sound meditation enhancement and Biofeedback since 1979. A member of the steering committee for Heights Families for Equality, he has worked on the successful campaign to create a domestic partners’ registry in Cleveland Heights, and continues to work to preserve it.
Jeff Rosenbaum is the executive director of the Association for Consciousness Exploration. He holds a B.A. in Sociology from Case Western Reserve University, and has spent over 25 years as a student of an eclectic array of spiritual paths, philosophies, and illuminating pursuits. He’s also run a steel metallurgical lab, been a mental health worker, president/CEO of a steel pickling plant, truck dispatcher and freight broker, and a precious metals reclaimer. He’s played guitar & percussion with Ian Corrigan and Victoria Ganger in the band Chameleon, performed on such ACE recordings as Bonfire Dreams, and been published in Green Egg Magazine and interviewed in the book Modern Pagans. He is the conceiver and a founder of ACE, the Chameleon Club, the Starwood Festival, and the WinterStar Symposium, and is both the primary event organizer and product manufacturer for ACE.
Ian Corrigan has been teaching, learning, singing and playing in the American Neopagan movement since 1976. Beginning by teaching ‘Witchcraft, Magic & the Occult’ for the Kent State University Free School, he has decades of experience in a variety of occult, pagan and magical topics. Having received his 3rd degree initiation in Celtic Traditional Wicca in the early 80s, Ian has led eclectic study groups, a traditional Wiccan coven and a Druid Grove. Beginning with early study of the Western Mystery Tradition, Hermetic Qabalah and the Tarot, Ian has spent over 20 years developing his understanding of Celtic Paganism and the Druid’s way. He became active in Ar nDraiocht Fein in 1990, serving as ADF’s first Chief Liturgist and first elected Vice-Archdruid and as Archdruid for a short time, and is now a fully ordained priest in ADF’s Druidic Order. He is an Elder of Stone Creed Grove, ADF’s oldest congregation, and the primary author and editor of ADF’s Dedicant training program. Ian is the author of The Portal Book: Teachings & Works of Celtic Witchcraft, Sacred Fire, Holy Well: Resources for Celtic Paganism, Grammary, and The Book Of The Dragon: Pagan Ceremonial Magic. He is also a fine singer and performer, as his CD Once Around The Wheel demonstrates. He sings the music of the British Isles, Pagan and magical songs, and things he likes. Along with Liafal, his partner and priestess, he is part of Awen, a Pagan folk duet.
Liafal, M. Ed, is a Chameleon, an ACE organizer, and a former Senior Druid of Stone Creed Grove. She is a professional educator and a Priestess of the Traditional Craft, past Vice Archdruid for ADF, a past officer of the Ohio local Covenant of the Goddess, and has been a major motivating force behind the Starwood Festival Kids’ Programming for many years. A talented singer, she performs in the group Awen.
Chas Smith holds a Master's Degree in Music from Cleveland State University, where his class "Roots of Rock, Soul and American Grassroots Culture" is the largest-attendance class offered (over 200 each quarter). He is the author of From Woodstock to the Moon: The Cultural Evolution of Rock Music and The Soul of Sunrise: Grassroots Music in America. His studies focus on composition, ethno-music and electro-acoustics, and he has given a lecture series for the Cleveland Clinic advocating alternative ideas in music therapy. He's been an avid proponent for exploring alternative ideas in music therapy, and a strong advocate of bringing the musical arts and science together in academic environments; and he works with the Cleveland Opera as a music mentor in grade schools. Smith has been playing keyboards and singing for over 30 years in just about every genre of music imaginable. He directs and plays keyboards, bass and theremin for Einstein's Secret Orchestra (AKA Einstein’s Stardust Outlaws), and has programmed and created soundscapes for ESO Swamp Radio at WCSB 89.3 FM in Cleveland since 1987.
Donna Boswell L.M.T. is a long-time Chameleon and ACE organizer, and a past director of First Aid and the Healers' Row at Starwood. She is a certified Alpha-Stim technician, a licensed massotherapist, the former president of the Ohio State Massotherapy Association, and a member of the American Association for the Study of Mental Imagery, founded by Dr. Bernie Siegal. She maintains a private practice in Cleveland Heights, Ohio.
Ea is an initiate in the Minoan Brotherhood, a branch of Traditional Witchcraft that is geared primarily toward gay and bisexual men. He has been involved with and lead numerous Pagan groups and circles over the last 15 years. Ea has studied various traditions of ceremonial magick with several different groups, practices Enochian Magick, and considers himself a Thelemite. A co-founder of the OAV, a Thelemic magickal order for gay and bi men, Ea is a co-facilitator of GLBT events at Pagan Spirit Gathering, and a member and co-facilitator of Green Faerie Grove in Columbus, OH. He writes about gay sex magick and the spiritual dimensions of arts and crafts and entrepreneurship.
The Gregory Morris Group is an all-original, collaborative quartet out of Cincinnati, Ohio, specializing in lyric-driven, folk-rock with jazz-tinged improvisational elements. Songs range from ballads about pirates (Yarrr!) and burning cities, to reflections on madness and the importance of a shiny old soul. And people like to dance to it!
Ron Slabe has been a seeker of unusual sounds for over twenty years, and will hit just about anything to find out what it sounds like. He has been using electronics to make sound since the late 1970’s, and burning things and blowing things up for considerably longer. Using electronics and found objects, he weaves diverse influences into a dense sonic web designed to invoke a variety of emotional states. His work has been featured at the Cleveland Performance Art Festival and at Cleveland Public Theatre, the Psychedelicatessen, and small and large venues around Northeast Ohio. He has performed regularly at ACE events since 1986 beginning with the first MusicStar Festival, and he has been the primary performer and mastermind of StarWood’s Brushfire Island Multi-Media Show since 1991, with his performance group Pyrosonics. Objects in close proximity to him display a curious tendency to burst into flame.
Click here for a full-size version of our Winterstar 24 poster by Rev. Ivan Stang
Expand the Frontiers of your Consideration.