Welcome to Crossroads!

Every year, our events evolve a bit. As we entered 2018, we had no idea that we’d be adding the D+G events to our portfolio of fun and educational opportunities for you our wonderful community. When we decided to take on these events, effectively rescuing the kinky, geeky community that used to go to the ones the old ownership put on under the Geeky Kink Events banner, we thought about the future of Crossroads. Would it be something we could do without killing ourselves? Ramping up from 2 to 4 events in a year is a very difficult task for a little company like ours. We decided to reexamine what Crossroads could be and think about the people who actually go to the event. With that analysis in mind, and with our energetic limitations, we chose to consciously make this event smaller and more intimate, and to thoughtfully curate a very small pool of presenters to give focused and quality programming to our attendees. So you’ll find that the event is probably among the smallest you’ll ever attend at Ramblewood. And the programming is not as wide as at Beltane or other past events. I hope you enjoy these changes and discover the unique mix that is right for you at this time. You’ll find me relaxing and enjoying our wonderful little event, as I hope you’ll do. See you in the pool, around the fire, in the dining hall or wherever our paths cross. Enjoy, heal, regroup, relax. That’s my plan, too.

Meet the Presenters!

Jump to Thursday Programming!

Jump to Friday Programming!

Jump to Saturday Programming!

Thursday 1:00pm - 3:00pm

Creating Space for Sacred Sexuality with Thista Minai - Cabin E&F

Are you drawn to the idea of sacred sexuality, but uncertain of how to start practicing it yourself? Are you looking for a way to give your intimate encounters a deeper connection to the sacred? Would you like to add a few new techniques to your sacred sex practices? Join us for a practical introduction to creating sacred space for sexual encounters. We’ll examine the basic features of ritual, and discuss a spectrum of methods for engaging in sacred sexuality, ranging from formal and ceremonial to simple and spontaneous.

Being a Better Metamour with Madame Tak - Back of the Dining Hall

Relationships can be hard. Polyamorous relationships can be exponentially harder! Join Madame Tak and Entropy Bound for a workshop of how to increase your communication, channel some compersion and be a better metamour! From learning what love language you and yours speak to navigating jealousy, change and your particular flavor of poly, delve into some of the finer points of supporting your significant other's significant others.

Thursday 4:00pm - 6:00pm

Ooo so pretty! : Fire Play 101 with Jakal - Barn

Jakal is back to teach you about the amazing world of fire play! In this class you will learn about all about safety!  You must, or you will probably hurt yourself. We will also be discussing different types of fuel, wands, ignition types, aftercare, carrying cases, etc., and where you can pick up all of the items you need to get started. Join Jakal for a brief demonstration of fire play, and an change to answer all of the questions about fire play that you have.

Meet and Greet the Fire Team with CrossFire Team - Upper Fire Circle

On Thursday night, we do a meet and greet at the Fire Circle for the participants in the weekend’s magic.  Come join us early to see where/how we start and set up.   Be a part of creating the space for the weekend.  

Thursday Evening

Open Playspace Hours (Barn - 8pm - 12midnight)

Meet and Greet…and Relaxation...at the Fire with CrossFire Team - Upper Fire Circle, 9pm

Come join us for the opening fire circle, meet your fellow magic makers.  Drum, dance, converse, and get settled in.  At MIDNIGHT, we will be doing a Relaxation Ritual around the fire.

Oaths, Divination, Healing: the Ethics of Magical/Spiritual Workings with Others with Eyrie - Back of the Dining Hall

Whether one simply holds an altar and a space in the heart for deity, or is a god-slave, or anything in between, what do YOU do when deity calls?  Say 'yes,' unequivocally, or negotiate with the request?  What if it involves someone not bound to your deity or tradition?  When is it ok to 'read' a person, or offer magical or divine intercession? Is consent necessary before doing such work, and if so, when and why?

This class will cover reflections, questions, and strategies to consider how to say yes (or sometimes, a polite no or 'not yet') with a clearer understanding of intent, tasks, and desired outcomes.

Real-life scenarios of ethical challenges will be discussed, and participants are encouraged to bring their own dilemmas.

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Friday 10:00am - 12noon

Inventive Impact with Madame Tak - Barn

Necessity is the mother of invention, with impact scenes being no exception. Not everyone has or needs a fully decked out kit, but with some common items available at vanilla stores, you can boost your bag of holding. Pick up some tips and tricks to make the most of your tools and surroundings, enhancing your scenes!

Singing Through Sex with Christine Laplante - Cabin E&F

One of Christine's most popular and sought after classes, Singing Through Sex is both lecture and experiential.  Oxygen aids in intensifying orgasm but many people, when nearing orgasm will do two things: they will stop moving and they will stop breathing.  This workshop introduces concepts and techniques that will help integrate an experience.  It is designed to teach you techniques to vocalize and increase nourishment during sexual encounters. The result is a creation of beautiful harmonies with the energy of voice as well as body.  This is a hands-on, clothes off, solo or partnered, workshop.  Bring something to lie on and whatever else will make you physically comfortable.   Please feel free to bring whatever sexual enhancement items you are called to.

Event Survival with Finn - Back of the Dining Hall

Multi-day events can be extremely taxing on the mind, body, soul and even other personal relationships.  Exhaustion, overwhelmsion, jealousy, event drop, illness... All of these things can prevent you from getting the most out of your event. This will be part class, part discussion and part brainstorming to share issues that come up at events and get ideas and strategies for self-care.

Friday 1:00pm - 3:00pm

Rough Body Rope: Introduction with Jakal - Barn

What is Rough Body Rope? Exactly what it sounds like. Rough body play and rope play all smashed together in a fun little bundle. In this class you will learn get a refresher on rope and rough body play safety. You will also see a demonstration of a few different types of rough body rope. And finally we will do some hands on tormenting! (This class is intended for partners, but we may have one for you. People should bring 3 - 30 foot hanks of rope or whatever size you like to tie with, and at least 3-5 carabiners, paracord or twine if you have it, and a good imagination.)

Fire, Magic and More with CrossFire Team - Upper Fire Circle

Building a fire for community is not just about stacking some wood.  Thought, prayer, and appreciation for the energies that create, tend and close the space are crucial to a connected experience.  Join us as we talk about the elements of the Fire Team and participate in getting the space ready for the night.  

Sanctify Your Kink with Thista Minai - Cabin E&F

Are you yearning to bring your kink into the realm of the sacred? Have you stumbled into that numinous place where the boundary between sex and spirit disappears? Do you want to incorporate an element of spirituality into your existing kink dynamic? Join us to learn skills and strategies for bringing spirituality to your scenes, and nurturing the sacred moments you discover in your play.

Friday 4:00pm - 6:00pm

Rope Magic with Thista Minai - Barn

Dive into the ‘woo’ of rope! In this class we’ll learn how to infuse rope with energetic intent, and work magic with knots, lines, and postures. Connect with your partner or with yourself. Quiet the static that plagues your spirit. Release the potential you hold back. Collect your pieces, and find a happy whole at your center. This class includes both demonstration and practice, so bring some rope and a partner if you’d like to participate. All skill levels welcome!

Nourishing Your Submission with Polyphonist - Cabin E&F

This class is for those who want to nourish and explore their submission but may not have an active partner. The presenters will facilitate a safe space to discuss practical ways of engaging with your submission, deepening understanding of what kinds of submissive experiences you seek, and exercising your submission to full strength. We will share personal experiences and tips and tricks. Even better, there will be handouts to take home and an exercise resulting in an individualized path forward.

Rhythm is a Rite with CrossFire Team - Dance Pavillion

Our hearts beats and our bodies vibrate.  We inherently respond to the rhythm within and around us.  Our feet move, our hands tap, our eyes close and we go…. Join some of the musical space holders of the CrossFire team to learn and prepare for the evening’s ritual.  Or just come and learn some cool things to play on those instruments you might have with you!

The Ramblewood Ramble with Eyrie - Meet at entrance to camp

Join us in a walk-about of some of the better and lesser known sites at Ramblewood, and hear true tales of magic, sexiness, and the history of the site as we show (and tell) the spirits of the land how grateful we are for the work that is possible here.  Participants are encouraged to include their own offerings of stories and thanks.

We will begin at the entrance to camp and focus on the more accessible sites, however, the last part of the workshop will include a short hike on the back trails, so good shoes, long pants, and bug spray are encouraged.  A golf cart will be available to aid accessibility of this activity for attendees with limited mobility.

Friday Evening

Open Playspace Hours (Barn - 8pm - 12midnight)

Turning the Wheel (Fire Circle Ritual) with Crossfire Team - Upper Fire Circle, 10pm

Humans invented the wheel and it is upon wheels that most of us travel to meet, again and again, in sacred space and beloved community. Come join us at the fire circle where we will create a sacred wheel and use the energy of our movement, voices, and connection to get that wheel turning, turning, turning.

PENMRA Mixer with Polyphonist - Back of the Dining Hall

Polyamory / Ethical Non-Monogamy / Relationship Anarchy! Join us for a safe space to meet other ethically non-monogamous people. Introvert friendly: please come to the hosts as a safe space for making introductions or just quietly sharing space.

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Saturday 10:00am - 12noon

Silly Sadism with Madame Tak - Barn

Are you bored with the same old song and dance with your impact scenes? Learn some tips and tricks from a sadist with a sense of humor! Negotiate some silliness into your play and see the difference in your scene dynamic shift. We all love a good scene, so why not get a little goofy sometimes? [Bad dad jokes welcome!]

The Art of Saying No with Finn - Back of the Dining Hall

In society we are often conditioned to avoid conflict and try to make others happy so we become reluctant or afraid to say no. Whether it be turning down a date or saying no in a scene, many people find it so difficult that they ignore their own desires and boundaries to please others. It shouldn't be that way. This workshop will offer strategies, guidance, role plays and hopefully insight into why we avoid saying no and how we can do it assertively, with less regret.

Saturday 1:00pm - 3:00pm

Rough Body Rope: Implementing Carabiners with Jakal - Barn

Another rendition of Rough Body Rope - exactly what it sounds like.  Rough body play and rope play all smashed together in a fun little bundle. So! Carabiners are just for suspension and such right? Wrong! In this class we will be teaching people how to take a simple karada, a hand full of carabiners, and your sadistic mind to make things way more fun (and painful) than this tie was intended to be. (This class is intended for partners, but we may have one for you. People should bring 3 - 30 foot hanks of rope or what ever size you like to tie with, and at least 3-5 carabiners, and a good imagination.)

Fire, Magic and More, Again with CrossFire Team - Upper Fire Circle

Building a fire for community is not just about stacking some wood.  Thought, prayer, and appreciation for the energies that create, tend and close the space are crucial to a connected experience.  Join us as we talk about the elements of the Fire Team and participate in getting the space ready for the night.  

Sacred, Not Secret: An Integrated Approach to Sexual (R)Evolution with Christine Laplante - Cabin E&F

No amount of talking about sex is going to diminish the mystery of the experience of it.  In Sacred, Not Secret, Christine delves into two systems of human development: Eastern (Chakra) and Western (psychological/developmental) theories.   Discussing the non-linear, and cyclical, nature of development, as well as our potential systematic traumas during those phases, this class is based on her recent book,  and provides exercises and stories that open a dialogue to exploring our sexual, sensual, emotional and energetic health.  

The Sacred Way of Consent with Thista Minai - Back of the Dining Hall

The most universal concept in kink is consent; it is in the premise of our lifestyle, that informed consenting adults may do as they please with one another. What are the spiritual implications of this core belief? Come explore how consent can be more than an ethical justification. The concept of consent can show us a sacred way of living and engaging with one another. It can guide us to our better selves, and teach us how to form deeper, more fulfilling connections with others.

Talking Circle for Sexual Abuse Survivors with Hillary - Dance Pavillion

While there are lots of opportunities for fun at festivals, sometimes they can feel overwhelming or triggering to those who have experienced the harmful side of kink/sexuality.  This circle is a safe space where survivors have an opportunity to share what they're going through, or they can simply listen and provide support for others.  Partners of survivors who can retain respectful silence and help hold space are welcome.  All genders are welcome.

Saturday 4:00pm - 6:00pm

Common Animals: the Science of Shamanism for Trauma Recovery with Eyrie - Cabin E&F

The lizard brain, the mammalian brain.  Fight and flight.  Embodied and genetic/ancestral memories.  As neuroscience and trauma studies move ahead at breakneck speed, western science is starting to discover the deep truths in ancestral shamanic practices, and some are even turning them into modern treatment approaches.  What do animals know about trauma resolution that humanity has seemed to forget?  What kinds of touch and connection harm and what kinds heal? Why are 'gut' instincts so valuable, and where do they come from, biologically?  Come learn about some emerging treatment modalities for bodyworkers, therapists, and first responders that tap deeply into the science of shamanic wisdom, and practice some basic techniques that you can use with anyone immediately or long after a bodily or mental shock to reduce the likelihood of traumatic memories.

This workshop is for anyone interested in learning techniques of compassionate presence to support their own and other's healing.  Come alone or with partners, there will be opportunities for paired and small group interactions.  Touch-based activities will be opt-in and of a nonsexual nature.  Specific traumas will not be discussed, and the techniques do not require explicit awareness or verbalization of traumatic memories.  

Fire Wand Making with Jakal - Back of Dining Hall

In this class, you will learn a few different ways to create your own fire play wands. Dr. Jakal Blackwell will be teaching you about the materials that work best, techniques for a long lasting fire wand, and teaching a hands-on demonstration for making a basic fire play torch. Every person that participates will walk away with a playable Fire wand and a basic safety sheet on how to use it. Space is limited to 20 participants; please sign up in advance at Check-In to reserve a spot.  Walk-ins will be admitted if open space remains.

There is a $10 per person materials cost for this class; please bring cash.

Singing and Dancing Our Space with CrossFire Team - Dance Pavillion

While the rite of music pounds out a beat, our voices are strong.  What we say, how we speak, is impactful.  When we create a sacred space, we amplify that magic.  Join us for a continuation of how you can experience and contribute to the Fires.   We will breathe into the class and expand our voices as we prepare for altering and amplifying the Fire Circle that night.   Or, again just come and enjoy getting to know your voice!  Voices…poetry... spoken word… breath...songs….oh my!  

Saturday Evening

Open Playspace Hours (Barn - 8pm - 12midnight)

The Ordeal of Self Care (Fire Circle Ritual) with CrossFire Team - Upper Fire Circle, 10pm

In our endless quest to care for ourselves and give ourselves time and energy to heal and replenish, we often find we don't think we deserve it and can feel guilt or selfishness for doing it. This ritual will focus on the ordeals and energies we can utilize to allow ourselves the space for our own self care. Join us as we simultaneously explore our boundaries of ordeal and our boundaries of nurture.

Sadistic Spelling Bee with Madame Tak - Back of the Dining Hall, 8pm - 9:30pm

Are you really good at spelling or like getting spanked? Do you like showing off your oral skills? Shove your skills in everyone’s face at the Sadistic Spelling Bee! The winner will be awarded a fantastic prize and special sash! From stuffing your mouth to being distracted by impact, there will be certainly be some surprises in store!

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Meet the Presenters!

Christine Laplante, LMHC is a licensed mental health counselor and sex therapist who has been writing, working and presenting in the field of sexuality and relationships for over twenty years and has been attending festivals on this land for about the same amount of time.   Christine provides authentic & integrated care from a human perspective, oh and... Music Medicine.   Some describe her as: "an awe inspiring, thought provoking warrior woman who is committed to her life's work. Christine is a true healer in the sacred sexuality community,  grounded in theory and experience.  She brings a much needed voice of clarity, openness and honesty to all of her lessons."

Eyrie is delighted by paradox, craves the liminal, and is unabashedly inquisitive about all aspects of human behavior.  She is a polyamorous, demisexual slut, who's spirituality is very much bound up in kink, sex, and the science and magic of ritual-making.

Among the many roles and titles she embodies, such as mother, submissive, student, and writer, Eyrie is an epidemiologist, trauma researcher, and licensed social worker who has developed and taught workshops for young people and helping professionals about teen sexuality, resiliency, strategic sharing, and institutionalized power dynamics. Her research in the neuroscience of trauma and recovery intersects with her understanding of the power of magical communities: particularly in how synchronicity, rhythm, and connection create opportunities for profound learning and growth.  She is a contributing author to Queer Magic: Power Beyond Boundaries.

One day Finn woke up and realized he was an educator.  Confused about how that came to be, he decided that if people were listening, he better come up with good stuff to say.  Drawing on more than a decade of experience in the scene, he strives to incorporate humor and accessibility into his classes.  Queer and trans, he is driven to build community and safe spaces wherever he goes.

Hillary has been on their trauma recovery journey for over two decades and has spent many festivals exploring the intersection of that with spirituality.  They have been studying and speaking to various audiences on spirituality for nearly as long.  This is their first workshop explicitly combining the two interests.

Says Jakal: “I love to teach and extend my knowledge onto others as well as learn new things myself. I pride myself on being approachable almost all of the time so please feel free to come chat. I mainly teach about fire & wax, rope, and rough body play, but have started creating fun games for the kink community as well!  As an instructor, I have been teaching kink related materials for about 4 years, and I have just started outwardly seeking more events to teach at. However, I have been teaching people the knowledge in my head for about 15 years. I love to teach people new concepts and ideas regardless of the platform. As a player, I have been doing rope for about 10 years, fire for about 8 years, and rough body play for about 8 years. I also have a bit of martial arts experience as well. I took Taekwondo for about 6 years and I am trained in Army combatives level 1 and 2.

Madame Tak is a lifestyle Domme with a flair for intense experiences and facilitating scenes. As a graduated Master, this polyamorous Pansexual uses her deep love of education and communication to share with others so they can strengthen their own connections with BDSM. Her style has been shared with residencies at Club Orpheus and Risqué. Her experience includes versatile impact and sensation play, navigating multi leveled relationships from long distance to live in submissives, running a Dungeon, as well presence and intention.

Polyphonist is a pagan relationship anarchist, published writer, singer, nonbinary gray ace, burlesque dancer, actress, activist, switchtastic switch who's been in and around the scene for twenty years.  Ze is the former Artistic/Programming Director for JME. As Femme Fae la Butche, ze co-founded the White Elephant Burlesque Society. As zirself in the past two decades, ze has directed and performed in local theatrical productions, and also has taught classes and been on panels for things such as rose flogging, R.A.C.K. play, polyamory, burlesque, body positivity / movement / seduction for all body types, and water fitness.

In addition to the above, ze has an abiding affection for tea, driving, leather, laughter, reading, snow, ukuleles, fountain pens, energy play, cuddling, musicals, making out, hiking, Harry Potter, knives, kayaking, candles, and intimate, meandering conversations about sex, poly / RA, paganism / spirituality, kink, love, creativity, music, and gender – inclusive and exclusive of each other.

Thista Minai is an author, priestess, ordeal facilitator, and gleeful sadist. Benefiting from a professional background in education, Thista teaches classes on a wide variety of topics, including sacred sexuality, the ordeal path, catharsis, impact, and needle play. With more than fifteen years of experience in designing and conducting rituals, Thista travels the country championing the value of spirituality and empowerment in kink and BDSM.

CrossFire Team is made up of an assortment of beings ready to help you create the space to transform and transmute.   We are musicians, fire folk, and tribe-oriented magicians.  Below are a few of the folks ready to bring you to the space:

Orien and Christine Laplante have been teaching classes and working fires together for over twenty years, on this land and others.  Bringing lessons of divine union, the passion of fire, art and creativity through song and wood and banging and more…they delight in witnessing the blossoming of the space and the illuminescence of the faces and bodies that create it.  

Keiden Bren was born and raised just outside of Washington, DC and comes from a family of educators. He is passionate about language, communication, and identity, as well as creating safe spaces for people to just be themselves. He has taught a wide range of classes on connection, sexuality, and spirituality. In addition to his work in education, Keiden is also a drummer, a sacred fire tender, a member of Universal Temple of Spirits, is an ordained Priest of The Order of the Golden Gryphon, and is a graduate of Gryphons Grove School of Shamanism

Shannon Humm has been traveling to pagan events for 18 years as a participant, vendor, teacher, and as ritual leadership and staff. Her interests and experiences are vast, including dance, yoga, art, and various healing modalities. Shannon is an IKYTA certified Kundalini Yoga instructor, certified hypnotherapist, and has completed her first year of  training with Gryphon’s Grove Shamanic School. Shannon is a member of Universal Temple of Spirits and is an ordained Priestess of The Order of the Golden Gryphon. She recently finished her degree in Gender and Women’s Studies at UMBC, where her research focus was on the recovery and healing benefits of community ritual for those who have experienced sexual trauma. She is grateful for all the people and experiences that have helped her on her own healing path, which she shares through teaching, art, and ritual in various communities with her husband, Keiden Bren.

Patch Kyaio is a dynamic and engaging percussionist whose spiritual and musical passions have come together to form a personal path that is as loud as it is enlightening. He has been making noise since birth, practicing djembe for over 18 years and has found his connection with the world through the drum. His influences range from Traditional African, Middle Eastern and Caribbean traditions to Jazz, Hip Hop, Folk and everywhere in between. With an indomitable spirit and an infectious smile, Patch weaves rhythm into every aspect of his life and teachings. His work has included education and performance for colleges, public and private schools, music festivals, spiritual festivals and fundraisers. He has performed with a wide array of musicians, including Overton Barry, Barney McClure, Mark Lewis, Norm Bellas, Karin Kajita, Easa Grayson, R. Tigre Cruz, Pash’n, and more!

Barry Wagner is a full time farmer and father who spends his days cultivating consciousness through sustainable and spiritual agriculture. He is a student of biodynamic farming, permaculture, Native American traditions, Pachakuti Mesa traditions, bushcraft, pottery, and fire. A friend of the fungal kingdom, he also enjoys foraging mushrooms and long walks in the woods.

Erin Fergersen hails from south Louisiana, where the water and the swamp helped to form her spirit and song. Music has always been a large part of her life, and the fluidity of its movement through the body. For many years, she has been a part of the spiritual scene and festival scene along the Gulf Coast, and for the past two years has been working her way up the East Coast. She brings her fluid dance and sacred space holding everywhere she goes.

Sacred space is safe space, and keeping that space safe for all of the sacred work anyone is in need of is a primary goal. Safe does not always mean "easy to stomach," nor does sacred always mean "rough and difficult." Erin teaches about guardianship and the depth that job entails, and the parts that you must be willing to accept on anyone's path, even if it is not a part of your own.

Adrien is a queer, primal, fae-thing who walks the edge between many worlds. They have a Zen Buddhist focus on the here-and-now, and their approach to magic and energy work is usually to make it up as they go along. They are a somatic mystic, who uses the connection between their own body and others' to make magic happen. A stray cat who found a home with their fire tribe, Adrien can usually be heard banging out a rhythm around the fire during ritual and revel alike. They are also passionate about cooking and kitchen magic, and building community around the hearth. Adrien was born awake in a world of sleepers, and has spent a lifetime acting as a catalyst promoting love and authenticity.

Allen Dowling The quiet between the cracks and hisses, Allen has taught about and tended fires for the last 14 years. For the past 10, he has been a mainstay at many of the events at Ramblewood. Doesn't talk much, but if you've been around one of our fires, you've likely been warmed by his work.