What Place for Pagan Men?
April 21-23, 2023
This year we return to the Bog!
We will be camping at First Landing State Park in Virginia Beach, Virginia.
Our theme this year is "What Place for Pagan Men?" Paganism is often considered a feminine, Goddess-centered religion. We will explore questions such as: Where to Pagan men fit in? What rites and rituals like rites of passage are important for Pagan men? How do men fit into various Pagan paths like Wicca, Druidry, Norse Paganism, and others? How can we promote diversity and advocacy for gay, bi, and trans men; elders and youth; People of Color; and even support women?
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 either in the cabins or at the campsites. Due to Covid, the retreat was cancelled in 2020 and we went virtual in 2021 and 2022. This year we are back in-person! The focus is primarily Pagan men though all respectful seekers are welcome. We welcome men of all sexual orientations and backgrounds.
Be sure to join our general Facebook group for to receive general announcements about Brotherhood by the Bog and future events.
Confirmed Panelists and Activity Leaders 2023:
Norsewyk Grimnir. Norsewyk is a leader and teacher in the Hampton Roads Pagan community. He is active in the Eastern Beach Kindred and teaches regular classes on Northern Magic and Northern Lore at Mystic Moon. He also regularly facilitates workshops and rituals at Mystic Moon and at events such as May Moon and Autumn Moon. -- Confirmed for 2023.
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. -- Confirmed for 2023.
Sir Hex Nottingham. Raised as a Shield Knight and Priest of the Loyal Arthurian Warband by Arthur Pendragon in Stonehenge, student of the Order of Bards, Ovates, and Druids, member of the Ancient Order of Druids in America, and appointed as Principle Drummer of the Stonehenge Druids. A lifelong Witch, studying the many ways of the Craft since childhood, Hex has made 5 pilgrimages to the United Kingdom visiting some of the most sacred Druid and Celtic temples, and worked with many amazing people along the way, even sharing the stage with international Pagan recording artist Damh the Bard to an audience of 400 Druids in Glastonbury and two private shows of 100 in Pennsylvania. In 2015, Hex conducted the Midsummer Sunset Ceremony inside Stonehenge to a crowd of about 30,000 people. Hex, along with Stonehenge ArchDruid Rollo Maughling, made history by being the first booked musical act at Stonehenge Summer Solstice since its 30 year ban. Hex may also have been the first Druid to make global news on Yahoo's global news homepage. -- Confirmed for 2023.
Ignacio Ceja was born in Illinois (silent 's') and moved all around the Midwest during his upbringing, ultimately landing in Kansas. Following a twenty year career in the military, he now works as a card reader. It's hard not think of "Yu-Gi-Oh!" whenever he says that. -- Confirmed for 2023.
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. -- Confirmed for 2023.
|Wes Jolly. Rev. Wes has had a long and varied path, growing up in the Ozark mountains of Northern Arkansas. Like many who grew up in the rural South, his path began in a Christian church, in his case Southern Baptist. As a young man he suffered a crisis of faith that led to walking down many different paths, but when he found Ár nDraíocht Féin he found a place where his oddly shaped peg fit. He completed a twenty year career in the US Navy, raised five children, and too many dogs. He is currently ordained through the Universal Life Church, but he is working on completing the Dedicant Path, with the intention of seeking ordination as clergy in the ADF. He keeps a post-Viking Celtic hearth, and worships as a member of the Three Branch Rivers Grove in Hampton Roads, Virginia, where he serves as the Grove Preceptor and Purse Warden. He also serves as the Listmaster and Forum Moderator for ADF, and the Coordinator of the Military Outreach special interest group. -- Confirmed for 2023.|
Confirmed Focus Groups, Panels, and Activities for 2023:
Introductions and Icebreaker
Just a chance to get to know each other better. Everyone will get a chance to introduce themselves, tell us their path, and what they are hoping to gain from the weekend. We'll also have some kind of icebreaker game to make it fun.
Beach Ritual -- Led by Wes Jolly
A short and simple ritual on the beach Saturday evening leading into our evening drum circle on the beach.
Bog Trivia by the Fire -- Hosted by Mel Mystery.
Test your knowledge in the four categories of Mythical Creatures; Historic (Pagan and Magickal) People; (Pagan and Magickal) Places and Events; and Folklore, Superstitions, and Magick. Prizes will be offered to winner of each round.
Drumming on the Beach -- Led by Sir Hex Nottingham
A drum circle on the beach Saturday evening. Please note that the drumming must end promptly by 10pm as that is when the park's quiet hours begin.
Focus Group: What is the Place of Pagan men in the community?
Some of the questions posed might include: What are the roles, experiences, and aspirations of men in the local Pagan community? What is our sense of community and connection? What are the needs and concerns of Pagan men? How do these differ from the needs and concerns of women in the Pagan community? How do men fit into a feminine-dominated goddess-focused religion? What needs and roles aren’t being met for Pagan men? What are the challenges to us connecting and bonding as men?
Focus Group: What is the need for Diversity and Allyship in the Pagan Men's Community?
Questions might include: What are the experiences and issues for gay, bi, and trans Pagan men? What about Pagan men of color? Older and younger Pagan men? Do we value our elders and our youth? How do concepts of polarity potentially exclude gay, bi, trans, and non-binary people? What can we do to address and challenge the use of Pagan symbols by hate groups or at least distance ourselves from being associated with those groups? As Pagan men, how do we support the women in our communities and call out sexism? Can you follow a path your ancestors didn’t or is that cultural appropriation? Can you split into separate gender peer groups without being sexist or transphobic?
The group will hike the varied terrain of First Landing State Park from the sandy beach through the forested areas to the Cypress bogs and back to camp.
Men’s rites of Passage were an integral part of pre-Christian Pagan communities. They were often orchestrated by the adult men and elders of a community, or sometimes by the local shamans. What are men’s rites of passage? How have they been done by modern Pagans? Has the essential role of rites of passage been neglected by the modern Pagan community? Who, if anyone, is currently doing men’s rites of passage in our local community? Have up to four panelists.
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.
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.
Please realize that retreat staff may be involved in logistics related to workshops and activities currently taking place. If you can’t reach us individually, we are not deliberately ignoring you, but we may be indisposed. Please consider posting general non-urgent questions in the Facebook group.
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 "Strange Magick: Off the Beaten Path", 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 2022 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.
- Save the daily schedule sent to the Facebook group ahead of each day’s activities to access all the Zoom links for each day. Don’t rely on last minute Zoom links or announcements between workshops to get your information.
- Please reach out to retreat staff if you have questions or concerns. Please realize that retreat staff may be involved in logistics related to workshops and activities currently taking place. If you can’t reach us individually, we are not deliberately ignoring you, but we may be indisposed. Please consider posting general non-urgent questions in the Facebook group.
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 2022 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.
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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