David Coffman. David is a Virginia Beach attorney. He regularly presents a workshop on "Pagans and the Law" at the Hampton Roads Autumn Moon Festival / Pagan Pride Day. David represented PagaNet, Inc. from 1998-2010, and served on its Board of Directors from 2000-2003. David has served on the Hampton Roads Pride Board of Directors from 2017 to present.
Mel Mystery. Mel is an eclectic Hellenistic Druid with a little bit of Norse thrown in. Mel hosts his own podcast "Discovering the Male Mysteries" for gay and bi Pagan men. Mel recently published a book on LGBT werewolves in mythology and folklore titled "The Gay Guy's Guide to Werewolves and Other Man Beasts." Mel also dabbles in photography.
Mike Gwydion Ream (aka Gwydion the Grey - Magus & Bard) as been a publicly performing pagan & actor since 1994. Over the years he has been involved in such groups as ADF, RDNA, PagaNet, & The Living Wiccan Foundation.
He currently lives in Columbus, OH & is a Freelance Instructor & Intuitive Consultant @ The Magical Druid.
|Tomás Prower. Tomás Prower is a graduate of the University of California: Santa Barbara with degrees in Global Socioeconomics and Latin American Studies. With fluency in English, French, and Spanish, he has worked for the French Government as a cultural liaison throughout South America with extended assignments in Buenos Aires, Santiago de Chile, and the Amazon jungle. Since then, he has been the External Relations Director for the American Red Cross of Nevada, LGBT+ Programs Director for entertainment productions in Los Angeles, and a licensed mortuary professional in California and Nevada. Currently, Tomás resides in his hometown of L.A. as a writer and author of popular fiction and non-fiction works.|
A multicultural deep-dive into the mythology of Underworld/Death deities, legends, and lore about from around the world throughout human history. As well as practical advice on funeral/after-death planning for queer pagan men by a queer pagan licensed mortuary professional.
Students will learn:
The history of necromantic magic and mysticism.
Funerary rituals in religions around the globe.
The macabre lore of Underworld deities and divinities of the Middle East, Africa, Europe, India, East Asia, Australia, Polynesia, Latin America, and Native North America.
The cultural and historical context for death rituals and afterlife beliefs that is displayed in various cultures’ lore, myths, and legends.
- How to navigate the modern hetero-normative Judeo-Christian funeral industry to ensure you get the queer Pagan spiritual send-off you want and deserve.
Paganism and the Law -- is an interactive live workshop allowing Pagans and their allies an opportunity to ask an attorney legal questions involving the Neo-Pagan movement. This year (2021), questions should be submitted virtually in the Zoom chat box or Q&A box. The questions should be general in nature and involve Neo-Paganism, not personal legal advice. Hosted by Virginia Beach attorney, David Coffman.
Paganism and the Pandemic -- A forum or open discussion on how our Pagan practices and communities have changed this past year due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
QUEER MAGIC -- Hosted by Tomás Prower.
- A multicultural deep-dive into the mythology of queer deities, legends, and historical leaders from around the world throughout human history.
- Students will learn:
- The history of magic and mysticism from an LGBTQIA+ lens.
- The infinite forms of queerness in religions around the globe.
- The queer lore of deities and divinities of the Middle East, Africa, Europe, India, East Asia, Australia, Polynesia, Latin America, and Native North America.
- The cultural and historical context for the queerness that is displayed in various cultures’ lore, myths, and legends.
Self-Care During Difficult Times -- Discussing strategies to take care of ourselves during the pandemic and other stressful times in our lives and in the collective.
WALKING THE WEIRD WAYS --Incorporating elements of Discordianism, Chaos Magick, & Pop Culture into you magical and personal practices. In this broad overview workshop, we will touch on such topics as 'reality tunnels' & 'mind hacks' from Robert Anton Wilson , "symbols of the Devine in the trash stratum" as per Phillip K. Dick, various creativity techniques from William S. Burroughs, and whatever other weirdness we can squeeze in. Hosted by Gwydion.
Welcome and Icebreaker -- An introduction to Brotherhood by the Bog, our theme for this year, an overview of our guidelines and code of conduct for the virtual retreat, and an ice breaker activity to introduce ourselves.
WEREWOLF SEXUALITY (18+) -- Hosted by Mel Mystery.
Do werewolves lust after more than just blood? This discussion will focus on the sexual appetites of werewolves and other shapeshifters in popular culture, mythology, folklore, and historical accounts.
When we think of werewolves, we often think of violence, homicidal tendencies, and blood lust. I'd like to suggest that sexuality and sexual lust have also been associated with werewolves since the beginning of time. I'm going to weave a story of shapeshifter sexuality throughout history. Whether it be homosexual initiations into ancient wolf cults, gender-shifting fox spirits that bring both good luck and venereal disease, or sexual deviancy associated with those accused of being werewolves in the Middle Ages. In many modern werewolf movies, there’s also this idea that werewolves have heightened sexual lust and allure as part of their animal nature.
EXTREME, FULL CONTACT, BARDIC/OPEN MIC & DEATH MATCH
well, now that I got your attention, it's actually more like just us entertaining each other.
Do you sing? Tell stories? Play an instrument? Do stand up? Know some stupid human tricks? Why not share with the rest of us.
Each participant will be given a 5 minute block of time. Do you need more time? A second consecutive 5 minute block can be added to your request based on the number of participants and over time restrictions.
Registration for our Virtual Brotherhood by the Bog retreat is free!
All attendees must agree to and adhere to our Virtual Policies and Guidelines.
Registration is simple this year. Just join our 2021 Virtual Brotherhood by the Bog Facebook group.
The schedule, announcements, virtual links to workshops and activities, and other relevant information will be shared in this group.
We encourage you to take in as much of our virtual retreat as you can, but we realize you may not be able to attend everything due to your work schedule, differing time zones, and other factors.
Brotherhood by the Bog: A Spiritual Experience for Pagan and Pagan-friendly Men
April 22-25, 2021
We're going virtual this year!
This year's event is free!!!
Brotherhood by the Bog
Brotherhood by the Bog is an annual men's spiritual and bonding experience. Our event usually takes place in the spring at First Landing State Park in Virginia Beach, but this year we've decided to go VIRTUAL. The focus is primarily Pagan though all respectful seekers are welcome. We welcome men of all sexual orientations and backgrounds.
Be sure to join our general Facebook group for overall announcements.
We will be creating a special Facebook group for those attending this year's virtual retreat and a Facebook event page where you can RSVP (links coming soon).
Want to host a workshop?
We have a number of workshop slots open at this time. Your workshop should be related to the concept of "metamorphosis", Paganism, Pagan paths and practices, Pagan men, or the men's movement. Rituals, crafts, and other activities are also welcome. We value diversity and would especially like to invite gay and bi Pagan men, Trans men, and Men of Color to present. We will be filling a dozen or more workshop slots. We do not have a specific deadline for workshop proposals though the earlier you get your proposal in, the better chance your workshop will be approved. A full schedule of will be posted to our 2021 Retreat Facebook page as we get closer to the event.
Virtual Brotherhood by the Bog
Guidelines, Etiquette, and Code of Conduct
By participating in the Virtual Brotherhood by the Bog event, you agree to the following guidelines, code of conduct, and virtual etiquette policies. Violation of these policies may be grounds for dismissal from the virtual retreat.
This is our first virtual event, so other items may be added to this list as we go along. We hope to offer a finalized version at the start of the retreat on April 22.
Attendance to the Virtual Brotherhood by the Bog (BBTB) is open to all respectful seekers who feel they have something to learn or offer by participating. The event itself is marketed toward Pagan men, but we welcome curious non-Pagans and even women to the event - though it should be realized that the focus of the weekend is brotherhood, and our workshops and activities will be Pagan-oriented and male and masculine focused. Gay, Bi, and Trans men are welcome and will be represented. Straight and cisgender men will also be represented. The event is open to all respectful seekers regardless of path, practice, political or religious affiliation, or other characteristics.
We realize that many folks will be attending our workshops and activities while juggling mundane activities such as work, family, and other obligations. We encourage you to take in as many workshops and activities as you can, but we realize that you may not be able to attend everything. We hope to offer recordings of our workshops and activities at a later time for those who cannot attend during their regular scheduled time.
This virtual event is free. To attend, you must agree to our “Guidelines, Etiquette, and Code of Conduct” and join our Virtual BBTB Facebook group. Links to all workshops and events will be posted there.
Minors over the age of 16 may attend with parental approval. They may not attend any workshops or activities designated as 18+.
Please use the discussion board on the Virtual BBTB Facebook group for any necessary communication during the retreat – this includes sharing workshop and activity links, technical difficulties, if a workshop or activity is running late, and so forth. Please reserve communication on the main discussion board to necessary communication related to logistics of the virtual retreat. Please use rooms within the Facebook group for socializing and/or extended conversations regarding workshops and activities. If you have any questions or concerns, you may direct those to the main discussion board or contact any of our staff directly through Facebook Messenger.
Workshop and Activity Proposals
We welcome you to propose and present a workshop, ritual, or other activity. We have a limited number of workshop slots available. Your workshop should be related to the concept of "metamorphosis", Paganism, Pagan paths and practices, Pagan men, or the men's movement. Rituals, crafts, and other activities are welcome. We value diversity and would especially like to invite gay and bi Pagan men, Trans men, and Men of Color to present. If your workshop will discuss mature themes, please let us know so we can add an 18+ rating to your event. We will be filling a dozen or more workshop slots. We do not have a specific deadline for workshop proposals though the earlier you get your proposal in, the better chance your workshop will be approved. A full schedule will be posted to our 2021 Retreat Facebook page as we get closer to the event.
To keep things simple, we have opted for the following virtual platforms during the course of this event.
Virtual BBTB Facebook Group -- this group will be a primary means of communication between the planners and attendees and vice-versa. To protect the privacy of attendees, this group requires approval and acceptance of our “Guidelines, Etiquette, and Code of Conduct” to join. Here announcements will be made, links to virtual workshops will be sent, and links to recorded workshops will be shared. Attendees and workshop presenters experiencing technical problems or other issues may share them here. We may offer “rooms” as a social component during the retreat.
Zoom -- most workshops and activities will take place in Zoom. This is a common virtual meeting platform that many are already familiar with during this pandemic. Zoom offers a virtual chat function and also the ability to record workshops to be shown again later.
BBTB YouTube Channel -- we have created a private YouTube channel to share recorded workshops and other events.
Vendors / Networking
We ask that you keep the sharing of your group, services, and vendor information and links to a minimum during the retreat so as not to distract from the weekend’s activities or clutter the discussion boards. We do want to offer you the opportunity to share your information and feel the best place for this is in your virtual introduction at the start of the retreat and also when saying goodbye at the end of the retreat. Please share any group, services or vendor information and links during your initial introduction on the Virtual BBTB Facebook group at the beginning of the retreat and feel free to remind folks of your relevant links and contact information on the discussion board once the retreat has concluded. All introductions and goodbyes should be brief and relate to the audiences represented in the retreat.
Please be aware that most workshops, rituals, and activities will be recorded so that those who could not attend can watch them at a later time. These will be shared to a private YouTube channel. To protect the privacy of participants, please do not share this link with others who did not attend the virtual retreat.
The recording, sharing, or publishing of any video or photos from the virtual retreat for any reasons beyond the retreat itself are not permitted.
Brotherhood by the Bog reserves the right to use some images for archival and marketing purposes and on our website. If you have any concerns about your personal image appearing anywhere public, please contact a staff member.
Code of Conduct
- Please be respectful and courteous to other presenters, other attendees, and staff during the virtual retreat.
- BBTB is a spiritual retreat, not a political one. Therefore, any discussions of politics should relate specifically to Pagan or men’s concerns, if these are discussed at all.
- Hate speech will not be tolerated.
- Abusive language or behavior will not be tolerated.
Virtual Etiquette and Moderation
- Please be on time for all events as this will allow presenters to start on time and minimize distractions during their workshops. In most cases, presenters will start allowing participants in 5-10 minutes early so the activity may start on time. If you must be late, please enter quietly.
- Please mute your microphone during workshops and activities when you are not actively presenting or contributing to discussion. This will help reduce background noise..
- Presenters will state their preferences whether they will accept questions during the workshop or whether there will be a Q&A session at the end. Please abide by their preferences.
- A timekeeper / moderator will be appointed for each workshop / activity to ensure that each event wraps up on time. He will alert the presenter by private Zoom message at the 15-minutes, 10-minutes, and 5-minutes before the scheduled end of the workshop. The timekeeper will also watch the virtual chats and alert the presenter by private message if there are any questions or comments that require attention. In some cases, the presenter may ask that questions and comments be saved until the end of the workshop.
- We encourage you to participate in workshop discussions, but you aren’t expected to talk.·
- Please don’t dominate the conversation. Allow other folks time to talk when audience participation is allowed.
Photos of Brotherhood by the Bog Past Retreats
The current Brotherhood by the Bog retreats started in 2016. Most photos were taken by Mel Mystery or David Coffman.
These retreats were put on by mostly the same organizers and ran from 2003 to 2007. Most photos were taken by Mel Mystery or David Coffman.
Please use the Brotherhood by the Bog link menu to the right of this page to navigate to other retreat specific pages.
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