sects & sexWinterstar 26

February 12-15, 2009 | Atwood Lake Resort

graphics by Denita Beyshek

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Winterstar is a village of cozy cottages, with nightly theme parties offering drumming and dance, bardic sing-a-longs, rock-n-roll, pyrates and more exotic pleasures. Evenings feature entertainment and spiritual transformation, a perfect blend of the aesthetic and sacred. Days are spent enjoying the luxurious amenities of the Atwood Lake Resort Lodge, shopping in our merchant room, and participating in rituals and experiential classes.

When master drummer Babatunde Olatunji came down to the Starwood Bonfire with Halim El-Dabh in 1997, he told us, "The energy is very much like the tribal fires of the villages of my homeland. This feels very familiar to me." Fifteen hundred American Neo-Pagans, New Agers, and assorted seekers felt like home!

A tribe is an effort to reach the scope of achievement of a society, without losing the qualities and comforts of a home. It's as big as a family can get before becoming gradually more impersonal. And just as so many people today are seeking alternative spirituality to fill a void mainstream religion has not, tribes are forming all around us by people unfulfilled by mainstream society; some based on ancient paths, some on visions of future horizons. With so many marching to the drums of change, I think back to the words of Olatunji in his talk Speaking in Drums ten years ago:

"You know, we are engaged in something, you have no idea how big it is. It is a cultural revolution. We are using, you know, this instrument and getting together, singing, chanting, and playing, to really answer so many questions that are unanswered and that some people don't want to touch. … and we spend so much time blaming some people like politicians -- don't spend your time doing that. You just continue to do the right thing. So it's important that you know that you are doing a tremendous job in making this happen. And whoever they are, you know, you don't have to like all these leaders, these politicians, you just keep doing what you are doing….
So, continue. Continue to do that. Because sooner or later, you know, you'll see the change will come, and then you will become a part of history."

Come get Tribal with us at WinterStar!

Registration for the WinterStar Symposium opens Thursday at 6 PM in the Hospitality House (Cottage 17). At 7:30 PM the event starts with the Welcome Wagon Pot-Luck Party, where we’ll be drummin’ and jammin’ late into the night and greeting the late-night arrivals. A great opportunity to make connections early in the program!

Merchant set-up begins at 9 AM on Friday, and the Opening Circle is held at 1:30, with classes running from 2:00 - 6:15.  After the dinner break, the evening program will begin at 8pm. Cabin parties will follow late into the night.

Classes continue Saturday from 9:30 AM until the 6:15 Dinner break. The evening program begins at 8:30 and is followed by cabin parties.

Sunday Classes begin at 9:30, then we'll break for lunch (and Cabin checkout), attend the Closing Circle at 1:30, and take our last opportunity to visit our merchants and for warm farewells.


There’s nothing quite like the late-night activities at WinterStar, the perfect indoor festival to break up those long winter months. We’ve set up cottages to host parties of different styles on Friday and Saturday nights. The cabin parties will include:

 The Folk-Rock Cabin

The SpaceJam Cabin - Ron Slabe, Bob Mozik, Michele George, and Steve Brazier; new ambient video animation "Cerebral Refformatter" by Rev. Ivan Stang

The Drum-Jam Cabin with Dennis & Linda Murphy, The Dragon Ritual Drummers and drummers from the WinterStar community.

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