Melody and I spent this past weekend in Berkeley Springs, WV. The 15th annual Festival of Lights was held at the Ice House and Melody had at table there. If you haven’t been to Berkeley Springs yet you definitely need to plan a trip down there – you can walk through the town in 20 minutes or less, but it has several unique shops, a great metaphysical vibe, and of course the spring water and spas. If you want to read more about Berkeley Springs, check out their website here: http://berkeleysprings.com/
We usually visit Berkeley Springs once a month when she reads runes at Portals, a metaphysical shoppe on Fairfax Street (http://www.portalsnewage.com). I’ll post up more about Portals and the other venues we go to later – for now a little more about the Festival of Lights 🙂
The Ice House is home to the Morgan Arts Council (http://macicehouse.org/aih.html), who was given a 40,000 square foot former storage building in 1996. The building is used for many different events throughout the year. This past weekend the first and second floors were filled to the brim with more than 80 metaphysical readers and merchandise vendors. When I say “filled to the brim,” I mean that there were readers in the hallways and with card tables situated in every walled corner and archway in the place and the building’s classrooms held five to seven readers/vendors each.
You might think that having readers with card tables and stations bursting out into the hallways could be more-than-chaotic, but it really wasn’t. The whole place had a nice vibe to it and you didn’t see the distance (both physical and otherwise) between readers/vendors that you see at events like the Celebration of Life. That’s not necessarily a good or a bad thing – each venue we go to has a different feel to it. We enjoy the Celebration of Life as much as the Festival of Life but they each have their own unique personalities.
There were more than enough clients and browsers to go around to all of the different vendors. Every venue has its share of “regulars” and the Festival is no different. This was Melody’s second year and she saw clients from last years’ event as well as new. What was really surprising was that Melody was placed on the second floor in the classroom in the very back of the place and clients (new and old) still found her. That says a lot about the flow of the place and the efforts of Festival organizer Mary Ellen to promote the event.
We were glad to see fellow practitioner and friend Lynn Lewis (Heal Your Past Lives) for the second year in a row. We also had the pleasure to talk shop with Jeff Firesinger (Thoth Tarot Card Readings). Firesinger is a third-generation reader of his deck, which has been passed down from teacher to student. It was interesting to learn about his unique method of reading the Tarot.
Check out the Festival of Light next year! Mary Ellen and her wonderful crew of volunteers did a great job handling the flow of people and vendors alike.
So what did I do all day? You may be asking…
I watched our baby Bean of course! As one of the vendors remarked, with the Bean around I didn’t really matter that much. The Bean, on the other hand, received smiles everywhere he went and he even got a kiss on the forehead. We helped Melody set up her spot and met her for lunch and helped take things down at the end of the day. Aside from that we just wandered around town aimlessly. Almost…
You can’t be married to a psychic for years and go with her to all of these events without picking up a few things. Melody and I both created the Rune Card Deck together and we usually talk through some of her class preparations and booth arrangements at home. This also means that I get to take her classes before anyone else 🙂
The first place I went to after she was set up on Saturday was Portals. It was a great morning to walk around and the house reader, Geoffrey Wendell, wasn’t in yet so I sat by his table in the front window and chatted with the owner, Tom Grinder. Tom casually mentioned that they didn’t have a rune reader in that day. I left Portals a short time later to peruse some other stores in town and as I walked down the sidewalk my hands felt my bag of runes and rune card deck in my pocket and I had one of those “moments of clarity.” Portals didn’t have a rune reader that day… and I had these things here in my pocket that look and feel a lot like runes… and the kid was sleeping most of the day away… so what was I doing again?
To make a long story short, I did a test reading and passed. I will be making my own reading debut at Portals next month on December 28th as long as the weather holds up for the trip. Melody will watch the Bean for a change and explore Berkeley Springs while I sit on the hot seat and give this rune reading thing a go. When I talked to Melody about this being a “test run” she laughed and said that I’d be fine – the only person I had to prove anything to was myself.
What does this mean for us in the future? Who knows… It’ll be interesting to find out!
~ J.R. Bishop