I am the Lord of the Double Wand of Power; the wand of the Force of Coph Nia--but my left hand is empty, for I have crushed an Universe; & nought remains. -- Liber AL vel Legis 3:72
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are the answers to the most frequently asked questions. Have a question you don't see answered? Please feel free to contact us and ask.
- I see Coph Nia often referred to as a gathering for "gay pagan men". What if I follow another path or do not consider myself Pagan? What if I don't identify as "gay"? Should I still attend Coph Nia?
- I'm new to my spiritual journey or do not have much experience with ritual, magic or Paganism. Will I fit in at Coph Nia?
- I found this site online and while I'm a gay or bi man, I've never really thought much about spirituality and I know very little about Paganism but I'm curious. Should I attend?
- Can a trans man (FTM) attend Coph Nia?
- I'm a straight man but very gay friendly. Can I attend Coph Nia?
- I've never camped before or don't have much experience camping. Any advice?
- Are there weekend passes available?
- I have mobility issues or a disability. Should I attend Coph Nia?
- I noticed that many but not all of the staff members have "Frater" before their names. What does this mean?
- I'm a musician or other type of entertainer that would be interested in performing at Coph Nia. How do I get invited to be a guest at Coph Nia?
- I want to attend Coph Nia but will need to travel by airplane to get there. How can I get my camping gear and supplies to the site?
I see Coph Nia often referred to as a gathering for "gay pagan men". What if I follow another path or do not consider myself Pagan? What if I don't identify as "gay"? Should I still attend Coph Nia?
In a word, YES! While it is short and direct to say that Coph Nia is festival for gay pagan men, we are open to all men who love men--gay, bi, queer, questioning or otherwise. While many of Coph Nia's staff and organizers are gay pagan men, Coph Nia is open to all positive, alternate, spiritual paths. Our attendees come from a variety of tradition, not all of which are "Pagan". Attendees include Pagans, Wiccans, Druids, Heathens, Thelemites, Ceromonial Magicians, New Age thinkers, and even some that solely consider themselves "spiritual". We just ask that you come with an open mind and be willing to share of yourself and your experience. Most attendees are comfortable and happy with their chosen path so proselytizing or pressuring others to join your group or tradition would likely be frowned upon. The public rituals at Coph Nia typically are based on a Pagan framework as this is the most common frame of reference at the gathering.
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I'm new to my spiritual journey or do not have much experience with ritual, magic or Paganism. Will I fit in at Coph Nia?
Absolutely! Pagan festivals, Coph Nia included, often include people with all levels of experience. The organizers of Coph Nia attempt to balance programming such that there will be workshops and rituals that will appeal to and help practitioners of all levels of experience. There are many workshops of a "101" nature as well as workshops for the highly experienced. Part of what makes Coph Nia such a moving experience is that it allows those new to their spiritual journey to interact with more experienced practitioners, be exposed to various paths and traditions and share their experiences in a relaxed atmosphere.
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I found this site online and while I'm a gay or bi man, I've never really thought much about spirituality and I know very little about Paganism but I'm curious. Should I attend?
We've found that many gay men consider themselves "spiritual" or don't have a formal name for their spiritual outlook and some could be considered "seekers". Coph Nia is an excellent place for such men to explore their spiritual nature, be exposed to many different types of spirituality and meet other gay and bi men who have found a spiritual path that embraces their queerness. While many of the men who attend Coph Nia have adopted the term "Pagan" to describe their spiritual world view, Coph Nia is not limited to gay Pagan men and is open to all positive, alternate paths of queer spirituality.
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Can a trans man (FTM) attend Coph Nia?
Yes! We welcome all gay, bi, queer and questioning men who follow pagan or alternate paths of spirituality. Our general policy is that as long as you identify as a man who loves men and have a legal picture ID that states your gender as male, you may attend. NOTE: We understand that not all states are very progressive with the laws surrounding changing one's gender on legal forms of ID. If this is the case for you, please note your situation on your registration in the special needs section and we will make arrangements for you to attend. The event staff will absolutely respect your privacy and will be as discreet as possible while admitting you to the gathering.
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I'm a straight man but very gay friendly. Can I attend Coph Nia?
Coph Nia was created to provide a space for gay pagan men to practice the mysteries in their own space surrounded by other men to whom they can relate. While we appreciate our supportive straight brothers, straight men may not find Coph Nia to be a comfortable environment. While we won't turn you away, we do ask that you think about why you wish to attend Coph Nia and if you will honestly be comfortable in queer sacred space.
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First of all, check out "What to Bring" list. This will help you line up the necessary gear. At minimum you'll need a tent, bedding and food prep tools. Our list includes many extras that will likely make your camping experience more comfortable.
second, don't be shy about asking for help. Our community is composed of gay and bi men with varied amounts of experience camping and attending festivals. Some of us have been doing this for more than 10 years and others are attending their first festival, just like you. The men that attend Coph Nia are very willing to help and to give advice for new campers. Just ask.
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In short, we do not offer a cheaper weekend pass option for several reasons. First, we strongly encourage people to commit to attending the whole gathering, if possible. This really provides the time for people to get to know one another and for the bonds of community and friendship to develop.
Secondly, it is our goal to keep the cost to attend Coph Nia as low as possible. Many of our costs to put on the event are fixed in that they don't really change based on how many days someone attends. It largely costs us the same for the person who attends one day as the person who attends the whole event. Rather than charge more for the whole event and offer a discounted weekend pass, we've made the conscious decision to keep the overall cost low to encourage people to attend the whole gathering. Attendees are welcome to arrive late or leave early but we do not offer a discounted rate for this.
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I have mobility issues or a disability. Should I attend Coph Nia?
It really depends on how severe your mobility issues or disability is. The site has dirt/gravel paths and roads and large grassy areas. Some of the paths are steep. There are portalets and there is one wheelchair accessible shower stall in the shower house. While the site has hosted people with mobility issues and disabilities, each person must make that decision on their own. If you are unsure or have specific needs, please contact us to discuss them and we can answer your questions. You may also want to consider bringing a helper along as we do not always have adequate staff to assist.
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I noticed that many but not all of the staff members have "Frater" before their names. What does this mean?
The term "Frater" mean "brother" in Latin. The Ordo Aeternus Vovin sponsors and organizes Coph Nia and many of our staff members are initiates in the order. The term "Frater" before a staff member's name merely denotes that they are an initiate in the OAV. As Coph Nia is a community based gathering, we also have staff members from the larger community who are not initiates. These staff members do not have the "Frater" title preceding their names.
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I'm a musician or other type of entertainer that would be interested in performing at Coph Nia. How do I get invited to be a guest at Coph Nia?
That's great! We're always looking for new and interesting performers to entertain the attendees of the festival. We have some basic criteria of what we're looking for. Since Coph Nia is a gay pagan men's event, performers must be male. While bands are more than welcome, we currently only consider groups of male performers. It is our goal to help promote new and up and coming gay and bi artists and while we prefer Pagan artists as well, we do not require performers to be Pagan. However, performers should be interested in a spiritual event such as Coph Nia. We prefer acoustic acts that can provide a more intimate concert experience around the bonfire but do not rule out other styles of music. We prefer that guests attend the whole event and participate as a member of the community. For more information or to be considered for future events please use our contact form to reach out to the event staff. If possible, please include a short bio and a link to your web site or somewhere were we can listen to sample of your music. NOTE: We are open to other performers as well such as stage magicians, comedians, etc. If you have videos or other samples of your performance online please send us a link so we can carefully consider your act.
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While travelling by airplane with camping gear can present a bit of a challenge, it is not impossible! We do have an onsite food vendor and the site is very close to French Lick, Indiana so you can purchase meals which elminates the need to bring food and food prep items with you.
Here are some more tips. These tips come from Alpine Scott, a presenter at Coph Nia 2013 who traveled from Denver, Colorado to join us.
- I only fly out with two large items of luggage. My first one (my biggest suitcase) is solely devoted to my outdoor camping stuff: a small tent, tarps for over and below the tent, a battery powered air mattress, sheets and a blanket, a small pillow, etc. My second one (a large duffel bag with wheels) is solely devoted to my clothes and sunscreen and personal toiletries.
- Because Coph Nia is clothing optional, packed clothing can also be kept to a minimum. A robe and / or cloak is fine for warmth during day or night (I happen to have a wool cloak which is great for cold nights, even over my naked body). A sarong or kilt or even a pair of shorts is fine when you don't want to be naked, and these can all be re-worn over the course of the festival week. New T-shirts, sarongs, etc. can also be purchased as needed from vendors at Coph Nia.
- One minimum good set of "mundane world" clothes (jeans, shirt, jacket, etc.) is adequate for getting from the airport to the festival site and then back again. Method (a brand of biodegradable cleaning products which is widely sold at Target and at other stores) makes a small sized 3.2 oz bottle of biodegradable laundry detergent. It's perfect for packing in your personal clothing bag and can be used to soak any dirty clothes at the festival itself and / or in a motel room sink prior to you then flying back to your home city.
- Because of traveling by airplane, I don't typically bring a lot of ritual items with me, unless it's absolutely necessary for me to do so. In past years for Between The Words, I've packed a drinking horn and a small drum and drumstick together with my clothing.
- Packed toiletries can also be kept to a minimum. A bottle of biodegradable shampoo also easily doubles as body wash. I also personally like using The Body Shop's brand of Tea Tree Body Wash as it's also very good as an underarm deodorant.
- I purchase any additional needed items (food, additional outdoor camping gear, etc.) at the same local area location of the festival itself. If I end up with too much stuff to bring back with me on the airplane, I then go to a local UPS store to ship the extra items back to myself at my home address.
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