Dargonshine Pagan Commune: Fairy Tale or Road to Perdition?

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Solitaire and Gracey

I leave the white bread, pop-country confines of Nashville for the pagan commune named Dragonshire in the heart of the bible belt countryside. Not the easiest place to gain entry, but with a friend living there, we are shepherded through.

Gracey Tedesco and I visit Dragonshire resident Sean Ivan, her step Dad and my host.

Pagans have a flair for the dramatic; passing the dragon en route through the grottos to an actual castle, there’s an omnipresent, dark, fairy tale feel.

1Gracie #12Last Gracey3Gracie #2

Solitaire, the caretaker and artist in residence, greets us under the bower for some discourse on Dionysus, Greek god of wine and revelry. Then we arrive at the center.

4Gracey & SolitaireSolitaire and Gracey

5Gracie #4Gracey at the castle

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We soldier on (enjoying cocktails and craft beer) at the castle as night nears, sans Gracey to avoid the Brothers Grimm fairy tale ending, though we now sorely lack our only photogenic team member. We still have the heretofore unmentioned Kevin with us, but he sleeps rough quite often and is unafraid of excess, though he fortunately brings a strong hand to the guitar so we have a soundtrack as we wander. Even in fake quests, everyone needs to bring a skill to the table.

Just a lazy Saturday afternoon working on the castle before the out-of-town pagans arrive for the dark festival. Set-up not unlike a big family barbecue, except with an altar, pentagrams and such.

8Building
Castle under construction

Solitaire, more somber as night comes, checks our bona fides for the festival.

7Medallion
Witch bag

Night falls, and the atmosphere changes more than expected.

6Leader
Solitaire in black

Casual day attire with a witchy spin.

9Witch
Dark altar 

Midnight is upon us, with the pagans dancing to chanting and drums in a trancelike state, the music crescendos.

10Fire #4 11Fire #3