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.
This year the retreat is being co-sponsored by Brotherhood by the Bog and the Tidewater Spirit Coalition men's group.
Thursday, April 22, 2021
1pm - Welcome and Introduction to our 2021 Virtual Retreat. Hosted by Mel Mystery.
3pm - History of Brotherhood by the Bog (presentation). Hosted by Mel Mystery.
5pm - Dinner Break
6pm - "Show and Spell" Icebreaker (activity). Facilitated by Eric Eldritch.
8pm - Opening Ritual - A virtual ritual near the Beach featuring Mel Mystery, David Coffman, and Sage Haver.
9pm -- Pagan Game Night (entertainment)- Hosted by Gwydion Ream.
Friday, April 23, 2021
11am - Paganism and the Law (workshop). Hosted by David Coffman.
1pm - BioCosmic (workshop). Hosted by Sir Hex Nottingham.
3pm - Self-Care During Difficult Times (presentation). Hosted by Sage Haver.
5pm - Dinner Break
6pm -- Transformations and Tribulations (panel discussion). Facilitated by Wes Jolly.
8pm -- Friday Night Ritual. Hosted by Gwydion Ream.
9pm - EXTREME, FULL CONTACT, BARDIC/OPEN MIC & DEATH MATCH (entertainment). Hosted by Gwydion Ream.
Saturday, April 24, 2021
11am - Our Haunted Lives (workshop). Hosted by Sir Hex Nottingham.
1pm - Walking the Weird Ways (workshop). Hosted by Gwydion Ream.
3pm - Morbid Magic (workshop). Hosted by Tomás Prower.
5pm - Dinner Break
6pm - Paganism and the Pandemic (discussion). Moderated by Roger Scott.
8pm - Main Ritual
9pm -- Alexian Music Concert (entertainment). Hosted by Alexian.
Sunday, April 25, 2021
11am - Werewolf Sexuality (18+ workshop). Hosted by Mel Mystery.
1pm -- Ancestral Paganism (workshop). Hosted by Eric Eldritch.
3pm - Queer Magic (workshop). Hosted by Tomás Prower.
5pm - Dinner Break
6pm -- Thinking Outside Covid (discussion). Moderated by Roger Scott.
8pm - Closing Ritual - Virtual ritual at the Native American burial mound.
9pm -- "Bring Your Own Pizza" Party and Wind Down Session (social).
Presenters and Workshop Descriptions 2021:
Alexian. Alexian delivers the message of the Goddess in a modern electronic style. Whether it’s a big crowd like the Heartland Festival or an intimate evening at a pagan bookstore, his performances run the gamut from deep messages of Earth-centered spirituality, as in “Save Me,” to fun dance tunes, like “Cool to Be a Witch.”
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.
Eric Eldritch. Eldritch is a Radical Faerie, Urban Shaman, and a Priestx of Stone Circle Wicca (USA), who lives near Washington, DC. Eldritch is a community organizer with leadership experience in organizational development based on principles of group identity, sociolinguistics, and cross-cultural relations. Drawing on over 20 years of experience in ceremonial and ecstatic forms of worship for ritual construction, he specializes in designing interfaith worship, planning spiritual retreats and leading men’s gatherings. In 2019, he was ordained Rev. E. Eldritch, by Circle Sanctuary and is a co-administrator for Circle’s Ministry Training Program. Eldritch consults with Pagan and community groups to create events that organize, energize, and inspire.
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.
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.
Roger Scott was raised by wolves in the wilds of Canada. According to his she-wolf mother, he never mastered the art of marking his territory. At the age of 12, Roger joined a traveling carnival. This experience engendered in Roger an intense sexual fascination for clowns and an irrational fear of funnel cakes. Roger's many talents include boiling water, playing the national anthem on his armpits, and the harmonica. Roger is a certified music therapist moonlighting as a medical case manager for people living with HIV. His upbringing in a wolf pack makes him especially suited to facilitating group discussions, as he often had to break up fights with his siblings.
|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.|
|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.|
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.
Our Haunted Lives - Hosted by Sir Hex Nottingham.
From the curious to the comforting, the hilarious to the utterly terrifying. Spirit activity and ghost sightings have been a part of the human story since before there were words to tell it. As the darkness embraces us, sit with me by the fire light as we hear the tales, delve into the variations, discuss the mysteries, embrace the science, and ask the questions some of us have yet to ask. Some of which we've always wondered, some we've never considered. And why would the late Brooklyn rap legend, Biggie Smalls be reaching out to a Witch from South East Virginia?
Join us in Brotherhood by the Bog, and you may just believe that it happened.
Paganism and the Law - Hosted by Virginia Beach attorney, David Coffman.
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.
Paganism and the Pandemic - Moderated by Roger Scott.
A moderated 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 - Hosted by Sage Haver.
Discussing strategies to take care of ourselves during the pandemic and other stressful times in our lives and in the collective.
"Show and Spell" Icebreaker - Facilitated by Eric Eldritch.
Show and tell us about a favorite magickal item, something you've made, your favorite book, a spell gone right or wrong, promote your own Pagan book or product, tell us about a Pagan group or event you're involved with, or share something symbolic of a transformational moment in your life. Each person attending will be given five minutes to show us their item and talk about it. After everyone has had a chance to share, if there's time left, we'll do another round, maybe even two.
Thinking Outside Covid - Moderated by Roger Scott
A moderated discussion on coming up with and implementing long-term goals and changes after Covid. How do we move forward with our lives and goals?
Transformation and Tribulations: A panel discussion - Moderated by Wes Jolly.
WALKING THE WEIRD WAYS - Hosted by Gwydion.
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.
Welcome and Introduction - Hosted by Mel Mystery.
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.
Opening Ritual - Featuring Mel Mystery, David Coffman, and Sage Haver. Led by Mel Mystery.
Join us virtually near the beach among some water oaks for our opening ritual.
Closing Ritual - Featuring Sage Haver, David Coffman, and Mel Mystery. Led by Sage Haver.
Join us virtually at the Native American burial mound at First Landing State Park for our closing ritual.
Main Ritual - Hosted by Wes Jolly.
An ADF style ritual focusing on change and transformation.
Music Concert by Alexian.
Alexian delivers the message of the Goddess in a modern electronic style. This one hour concert will run the gamut from deep messages of Earth-centered spirituality, as in “Save Me” and "Listen to the Wind", to upbeat fun dance tunes, like “Cool to Be a Witch 2.0.” Don't miss the magick!
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.
Pagan Game Night - Hosted by Gwydion Ream.
Join us Thursday 4/22 @9pm Eastern Time for a relaxing round Robin of party games. Gwydion will be our MC for such fun & frivolity as WeirdoTrivia, Two truths & a lie, hangman, Madlibs, and more.