Pagans around the world celebrate the autumnal equinox with festivals to offer thanks and wish for continued abundance. Part of Broward County's "Pagan Pride Harvest Celebration" is dedicated to a formal offering of thanks. The day includes drumming, a Sun Celebration Circle, and Handfasting -- a marriage-like ceremony performed by High Priestess Sophia Letourneau. During the Handfasting, the left hands of a couple are tied together to represent the joining of their lives, after which Letourneau has them jump a broom, an activity drawn from African traditions. As the High Priestess is an ordained reverend, the Handfasting can double as a legal marriage. The rest of the festival includes an outdoor labyrinth and a series of activities inside the Unitarian Universalist Church (3970 NW 21st Ave., Fort Lauderdale): face-painting, storytelling, and workshops on drumming, creative mythology, and magic potions. Scents and herbs are added to an oil or water base, Letourneau explains, then "chants are said, powers are directed in the potion, and the potion is put into little bottles." They won't be for sale, but a Druid named Valan will teach you how to make your own. You know what they say -- give a man a potion, he has doses for a day, but teach him to make potions... well, you get the idea. Call 954-484-6374. -- Karen Dale Wolman
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Fight for the Right
Reading banned books is FUN-damental
"What worries me is the books that will never be read, all due to fear of censorship," writer Judy Blume says. "As always, young readers will be the real losers." As one of the more censored authors of the past 20 years, Blume has the right to be worried. Over the past two centuries, books have been banned, challenged, burned, and forbidden. In celebration of "Banned Books Week," which runs from September 20 to 27, the Broward County Libraries Commission presents lectures and discussions at various libraries across the county. Patrons are also invited to visit the exhibit titled "The Forbidden" at the BCC North Regional Library (1100 Coconut Creek Blvd.) Call 954-357-7386. -- Audra Schroeder