I was very fortunate and blessed this year and was able to attend PantheaCon in San Jose, California. It's the west coast's conference for pagans. Despite my financial woes, I was able to set aside the money to go. Several of my friends from the Central Valley and Los Angeles area were able to attend also. It was a weekend of learning, networking, camaraderie and FUN. The conference consists of workshops done by experts/authors/bloggers, rituals and other magickal endeavours. Its just what this little left brainer has orgasms over. What I went for is to be around the magicians.
The highlights of my weekend were actually meeting Lon Milo DuQuette and John Michael Greer. Several of my friends had already met them but I was eager meet them myself since both men have helped me with my magickal issues. For people like Robert, its everyday business, but for me, its special. I love meeting people who are knowledgeable, especially in the magickal arena. Their experience and knowledge comforts me like a warm blanket and gives me hope. Robert has given a great write-up on JMG's class, which I intended to do also but he beat me to it (Frater Robert: :P Pffbbbtt)
Here are just some highlights of classes I attended
Astrological Decans and Lunar Magick by Frater Barrabas
Fellow blogger. I am sure some of you already follow him.
Ancient Hebrews by Elisheva Nesher. I want to be like this woman when I am older: wise, knowledgeable, full of energy and confident. There are two things that I took from that lecture:
#1: Her story about baking cookies and making babies in ancient times brought me to tears. She basically said that in ancient times baking cookies and making babies were not for the weak or faint of heart. Women in modern days takes these things for granted. It takes a strong woman to find the grain, grind it, cook it and feed it to their babies. It also takes a strong woman to endure bleeding all over yourself and labor pains without drugs while having to worry about baking the cookies. This gave me great confidence in myself, as I have done both as well as tend to the household as a single parent, working a stressful job, enduring my problems and studying/working my magick.
#2: "When you hand down stories, you define yourself....it shapes who you are." -Elisheva Nesher
The Picatrix by John Michael Greer: Robert did the write up on that. I humbly defer to his post.
Maat by Richard Reidy: I really liked this lecture. He gave us all really good information about the goddess Maat and the concept of Maat. He also had another lecture that I was unable to attend. Next year, I will try to catch more
Mid Life Crisis by Lon Milo DuQuette: Please purchase his products... as he has made no further provisions for his family's future.
Hymns to Helios by the OSOGD: Everyone here knows my interest in ceremonial magick so this was a MUST on my list. I am usually the first one to raise my hand for a part in a ritual so I kick myself for not volunteering. Although the weather was quite drizzly outside during the rite, I left feeling very "sunny". Also, they gave me an idea for one of my rituals that I am so totally going to adapt for a Tribe ritual.
The Rite of Lilith by the Amazon Priestesses: This group is actually a coven of the Dianic tradition. I felt the "Amazon" in their name was actually a misnomer. This ritual was done skyclad... and yes, I did. I really do not have issues with nudity (except when it's fucking COLD). I experienced some pretty strong magick during this ritual that carried well over until almost 430AM the next morning.
The Gnostic Mass by the OTO: I had a very interesting experience for this one that I would prefer not to share. I would totally go to another but I will attend one in Los Angeles next time.
The Kabbalah by Miriam BatAsherah: This woman was able to tie my qabalah (she says Kabbalah, I say qabalah) studies together, cohesively. Once I get her website, I will link her to this post.
Ancient Stellar Magick by Clifford Low: I liked this guys stuff. ALOT. His lecture covered the methods to create 15 rings of power.
The other significant thing that happened to me is that goddess made sure her presence was known to me during several times during the conference. Funny how those things work.
If there are any other interesting conferences that you might think I would enjoy, by all means, please provide me with your suggestions. I felt like a little kid in a candy store