Hearty party

A community of bohemian artists and healers gathered over the weekend for the second annual Mystic Garden Party at the Jackson Wellsprings.

A circular formation of shade structures framed the party. Booths offering an array of healing- and health-themed products rounded out the grassy field of the Wellsprings.

A stage showcased performers in nearly constant rotation. Crowds of people dancing, hands intertwined undulating to the beat of the music trampled the grass in front of the stage.

Love nests were scattered throughout the property. A man named Brother Nature invoked those in attendance to bless the love nests with lavender.

"This is our Mystic Garden," Brother Nature announced to the crowd midday Saturday. "We are growing this blessed garden together."

The party emerged as a means to distribute music and help the artists get their work more exposure and recognition, according to event organizers. What has developed is a community celebration of healing and healthful living, they said.

Pacific Domes of Ashland provided a geodesic event dome in the form of the Visionary Arts Village. Inside was a display of artwork by various artists, many current and former Ashland residents.

Workshops also were offered throughout the weekend. Jacob "Rhythmic Dragon" Wyatt of Ashland led a workshop about The Day Out of Time, which always falls on July 25. Wyatt spent much time at his booth representing the Foundation for the Law of Time, an organization that promotes a thirteen moon calendar for telling time.

Kandice Karves, a Hula-Hoop instructor, offered her hoops for all to use. Karves guides and encourages people of all ages to Hula-Hoop.

"The key to Hula-Hooping is having patience with yourself," Karves said. "Everyone can Hula-Hoop. As an adult, you need a bigger, heavier hoop."

Massages were offered in the spirit of healing. Paul West, a man lying face down on a massage table is being worked on by a woman named Beloved.

At the First Aid booth, a woman named Special prepared to get stitches taken out of her finger. "I was chopping potatoes at the Krishna booth at the Oregon Country Fair two weeks ago and sliced the end of my finger," she said. An attendant at the First Aid booth named Dixie spoke to Special about her body's healing properties before stitching her up.

As the festival drew to a close, many vendors and visitors were already speaking of next year's party.

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