It seems your Javascript is disabled.
For this site to work correctly, please enable your Javascript.
If you need help doing so, you can go to the following site for assistance.
activatejavascript.org
Between The Worlds
A Spiritual Gathering For Men Who Love Men

Frequently Asked Questions about BTW

The following are answers to some commonly asked questions about Between the Worlds, along with links to resources of potential use to festival attendees. Answers to a number of questions may also be found elsewhere on this site, particularly in the Covenants section.

What are the requirements to attend Between the Worlds? Between the Worlds welcomes cis- and transgender men who love men, age 21 and older, who have an interest in alternative spiritual paths. You do have to have an ID to verify who you are upon check-in. Travel to and from the festival, and attending to your physical needs during the festival, are your own responsibilities.

I am a bisexual, questioning, or open-minded man
(straight or "heteroflexible"). Can I attend?
Yes—there's no checking of your "queer credentials"–however, be aware that you are choosing to enter queer male sacred space, with all that entails. While you can expect community members to adhere to our Covenants for sexual etiquette, know that BTW is a sacred space for openness. Do not expect the gathering to conform to heterosexist norms or to change to suit your comfort level with queer spirit. In short, BTW is a fine place to explore and get in touch, but not a place to sightsee or gawk. Respect the sacredness and purpose of our gathering, and only attend if you feel you can be in harmony with it.

I am female-to-male (FTM) trans.
Can I attend BTW?
Yes

I don't know that I consider myself "pagan".
Can I still attend?
Between the Worlds is open to spiritual seekers of all paths, all tha's required is an open heart and mind, not a particular label. Note, however, that the community has little tolerance for proselytizing of any sort and attendees should be prepared for a pagan atmosphere to the gathering. If you find paganism objectionable or feel the various practices and rituals will make you uncomfortable (rather than challenging you to stretch your boundaries in a healthy way), then please do not attend.

Can I sleep in my car, van, or camper? Yes. Please see the Covenants for more information.

What should I bring with me? We have a Suggested "What to Bring" list. The true essentials are: a place to sleep (tent or camper), bedding (sleeping bag and a sleeping pad or air mattress) and suitable clothing (as it may get quite cold at night and/or warm during the day).

What if I don't have or can't bring my own tent? There are a limited number of tents available for rent from the Green Faerie Grove (emphasis on limited), please inquire if you are interested. Please do not attend without making some prior plan of where you will sleep!

I have physical disabilities or challenges. Should I attend? If you are unable to handle the various aspects of outdoor camping for a week, or doing so would potentially endanger your well–being, then Between the Worlds may not be for you. We regret that we cannot make special accommodations for our differently–abled brothers, but the land, location, and timing of the gathering impose certain restrictions. That said, we have had attendees with various physical challenges attend BTW and find support there.

I have use a xPAP type device, will there be power? We understand that camping can be hard when you have a x-PAP type device. And, while the land does have availabile power, it is limited to first come first serve basis for those with a medical need. The good news, there are other power options and machines you can look into for camping. Below are a list of links on alternate power sources and info for x-PAP type devices:
CPAP.com - Power Solutions
C-100 Battery Pack - from Amazon
Batteries from Cpap Supply USA
Modern Out Post.blogspot.com - Camping With Your CPAP or BiPAP Machine
Please note that the links above are for information purposes only; we are not endorsing or advertising for any of the links above.

Even with the scholarship, I can't afford to attend.
Is other assistance available?
The Ganesha Scholarship is the only financial assistance available for BTW attendees. We regret that the gathering is beyond the financial means of some, but have only a limited ability to redress this imbalance.

I'd like to help promote Between the Worlds We have had requests from people asking if there was a way to help promote Between the Worlds. If you would like to help promote Between the Worlds in your area, please help yourself to the Pull-Tab Flyer we have available or our Promotional Flyer.

* * *

Top Ten Excuses for Not Attending BTW

So, you're thinking about coming to Between the Worlds, but you’re not entirely certain. Maybe you've got concerns, or something about the idea puts you off. Maybe you'd really like to go, but you're not certain if you can, or should. Let's take a look at some of the commonly–heard reasons for not attending Between the Worlds: debunking the misconceptions and clarifying the concerns.

"I can't afford the registration." Sure, not everyone can (although if you think about it spread out over a year rather than all at once, it's not so bad: lots of folks save a little each week or month for their attendance). The BTW community understands not everyone can afford to go, which is why the Ganesha Scholarship Fund was established: to help out those in need who would really benefit from attending Between the Worlds. If you're in need for a scholarship, apply for it! You won't know unless or until you ask.

"I can't take that kind of time." Sometimes it's difficult to take time out of our busy schedules and if you’re too busy, you're too busy, but consider making the time for important things in your life like spirituality. While BTW isn't exactly lying on a beach or visiting an exotic foreign land, members of our community often say it's one of the best "vacations" they have each year. More than just a break from the workaday world, Between the Worlds is an event to truly recharge and revitalize you spiritually, to reconnect with nature, the divine, and a true spirit of brotherhood and community. That's worth a little of your time, isn't it?

"I don't know if I can get there." Travel is certainly an issue for some, especially once you get outside the Midwest and easy driving distance. Still, men come to BTW from as far away as both coasts, from California and the Pacific Northwest to New England and Canada, and it's a testament to the festival that attendees are willing to travel in order to be there.

If you're concerned about bringing enough camping equipment with you on a plane flight, you should know that other attendees do it successfully every year. If you need a ride, either from where you live or where your flight arrives, talk to other attendees and try to arrange a carpool or ride-share: it's a great way to get to know people even before the festival begins!

"I don't want to go on my own. I'd be too nervous." Being nervous going into a new situation is perfectly natural but don't worry, we don't bite (yeah, yeah, include your own joke here about some of us biting if you ask...). We try to make a special effort to welcome newcomers to our festival and community, but if attending on your own is a concern, there are some things you can do about it.

First, don't come alone! If you have a friend who might be interested, get them to come with you. Between the Worlds sees many pairs and small groups of friends who attend the festival together, and you can do the same.

Next, take the opportunity to make some friends before you come to Between the Worlds: our community is quite active online, with a mailing list, website, and Facebook page, and many members of the community are active on LiveJournal and Facebook (see the About BTW page). Get to know some people and you won't feel like you're joining a group of strangers, but finally getting to meet all the friends you've made in person!

"I'm not experienced enough as a pagan to attend." Did we say anything about an experience requirement? Between the Worlds is for men of all experience levels and backgrounds. We've all got things to share and to learn from each other. BTW attendees range from men with no previous experience with pagan paths to elders in our community. It's a great opportunity to explore, learn, and experience the joys of discovery, both on your own and through the eyes of those new to the experience.

Oh, and elders? Not only does our community want and need your experience and insight, but we've found you might well enjoy meeting some of the younger and newer members of our community; they are truly an inspiration!

"I'm not Wiccan, or even pagan!" Although Between the Worlds is a "pagan" gathering, we mean it in the broadest possible sense of the term. Attendees belong to a wide spectrum of spiritual paths and traditions, ranging from well–established Wiccan or Witchcraft lineages to Druidry, northern and Heathen paths, Afro–Caribbean (Santeria, Voodoo, etc.), shamanism, solitary pagans, ceremonial magick, Thelema, mystical Christianity, and much more. The diversity of our community is reflected in the workshops and rituals it offers, enough so almost anyone will find things that are both comfortably familiar and intriguingly new and different. You don't have to come wearing a particular label, just bring an open mind and heart.

"Camping? Um, no thanks." Okay, so the idea of spending time camping under the stars in a beautiful natural environment–without a concierge or room service–doesn't do it for you. Fair enough, but we'll point out that it's really not as bad as you might be expecting.

First of all, the area where Between the Worlds is held does have some amenities: there's a shower house with hot water and "Caffeina's," a roofed "coffee–house" where you can sit and get snacks as well as worship at the Altar of the Bean (for those of us who have to have our morning coffee or tea!). Portalets provide sanitary facilities, so you're not totally in "the wilderness" (to say nothing of the fact that you can just drive into town if you really need to).


Second, there are plenty of experienced campers in our community who are willing to help out those not–so–experienced with suggestions, advice, and a helping hand when it comes to choosing gear, setting up (and breaking down!) camp, and so forth. Just ask! Odds are you'll get plenty of guys offering to help out.

The festival's meal plan eliminates the need to bring and prepare your own food, if you'd rather not, or you're unable to do so.

Finally, even if you're not into camping for recreation, do consider the benefits of spending some time out in nature, "unplugged" from the day–to–day world. The festival site is a beautiful natural environment and, once you've seen the stars shining more brilliantly than you could ever see them near a city or felt the wind whisper through a green-shaded grove, you'll understand just what you've been missing. Pagans are supposed to be nature worshippers, right? It's definitely something to experience first–hand.

"I can't stand pagan festivals." You might have had some... well, let's just say "difficult" experiences at other pagan festivals. All we can ask is that you approach Between the Worlds with an open mind and consider that many attendees have said it's different from any other pagan festival they've ever attended.

One community member says, "I have to attend a lot of festivals for work, and Between the Worlds started out for me as just another one of those, but after my first time it has become the only pagan festival I make it a point to attend every year, just because it has always been such a special experience."

"The whole thing is just an excuse for a bunch of guys to have sex in the woods." No. Don't get us wrong, we've got nothing against sex, and consensual fun is part of the experience at BTW for some (and you all know who you are...), but the festival is not a "meat market" or a place just to hook–up, and anyone attending for solely that reason is really missing the point.

Our community's guidelines are perfectly clear: no means no, and each person's boundaries are respected. On the other hand, BTW is a safe space for men to flirt, play, and be themselves, and many attendees have praised the experience of being able to be truly open about themselves for a change.

"Ugh, an all queer festival? It's going to be all bar attitude and drama. Puh-leeze!" It's really not... no, really. When we say "Leave the bar attitudes at the gate" in the guidelines, we mean it. Between the Worlds has been remarkably successful at creating a truly sacred space where queer men can be themselves. Attendees who feared the worst aspects of pagan gatherings and gay bar–culture instead found BTW managed to keep the best aspects of queer and pagan culture and ditch the worst.

A favorite example is the Komos(an evening dance in honor of the gods of ecstasy): all the fun of a club (including dressing up!) but with men of all different backgrounds, ages, and types having fun together. You find the same sort of spirit in our rituals, workshops, and even just our shared meals and drum circles around the community fire: men coming together in brotherhood and community, which, after all, is what Between the Worlds is all about! We truly hope you'll take a chance and join us.