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The Pagan Spirit Gathering (PSG) is one of the United States's oldest and largest nature spirituality festivals, organized by Circle Sanctuary. Since its inception in 1980 it has been held from Sunday to Sunday during the week around the summer solstice. Pagan Spirit Gathering is set up to represent a temporary Pagan Town.
At first, the festivals were held in Richland County, Wisconsin, but it outgrew the facilities and in 1997 moved to a location near Athens, Ohio, at Wisteria. In 2009, PSG moved to Camp Zoe near Salem, Missouri, then in 2011, to Stonehouse Farm near Earlville, Illinois. After a flash flood caused PSG 2015 to close early, PSG moved to Tall Tree Lake near Vienna, Illinois.
Many rituals take place regularly at PSG, including:
PSG has youth programming grouped into three categories: the Children's Center serves those under 7 year old; guided activities are provided for tweens (8-12); and the Young Elders (13-18) have a teen center with snacks and amenities. Most workshops are open to youth, and many are open to tweens and children.
The PSG registration process includes agreeing to abide by rules set down by Circle Sanctuary, mostly for the safety and health of the participants. Some rules, such as those regarding alcohol and drugs or the nudity of minors, are put in place to assure the legality of the festival under federal and state laws. The Guardians of the Sacred Circle are a separate protective order which provides safety and medical services for the festival.
PSG is clothing-optional throughout most of the campsite. Relatively few attendees go skyclad. There are some limitations for minors (in more private circumstances where adults are also present) in order to assure compliance with state law.
At PSG, each adult must perform four hours of community service or equivalent (as determined by Circle Sanctuary staff) during the course of the week. These periods of time are referred to as "workshifts". Many of these workshifts are great opportunities to interact with festival-goers in other parts of the site.
Music is very much a part of the activities at Pagan Spirit Gathering. Chanting and singing can be heard at the Morning Meetings, at musically oriented workshops, and one can find drumming and dancing into the night at the Bonfire Circle. There is a performing arts show on the main stage and concerts every afternoon and evening of the event.
The main stage has hosted numerous performers and bands, including Owain Phyfe, Skinny White Chick with S. J. Tucker, Damh the Bard, Coyote Run, SONA, Arthur Hinds, Ruth Barrett, Heather Jinmaku, Murphey's Midnight Rounders (formerly Dunn County Clerics), Celia, Shibaten, Spellsinger, The One Hat Band, Lezlie Revelle, Todd Alan, Incus, MotherTongue, Abbi Spinner, Wendy Rule, Stone Ring, Gypsy, Sentinel Grove, Green Crown and others.