I’m excited about Pantheacon 2012. This will be my first Pantheacon and only my second big Pagan event. Presenters include Oberon Zell-Ravenheart, Patrick McCollum, T. Thorn Coyle, Gus DiZerega, Margot Adler, Christopher Penczak, Diana Paxson, Don Frew, and Z. Budapest, Sarah Iles Johnston, Sabina Magliocco, M. Macha NightMare, Starhawk, and more. It will be cool just to breathe the same air as these folks.
I am especially looking forward to the workshops about specific pagan and Neopagan traditions. There will be a couple of rituals by “Pagan-friendly Jews” to mark the Shabbat. The first one is called “Welcoming the Sabbath Bride”. I have alsways been interested in Judeo-pagan syncretism. There will also be a workshop on Canaanite religion. There will be a Mesopotamian “semi-reconstructionist” ritual and a reconstruction of the Greek festival of Demeter Chthonia by Sarah Iles Johnston and Sabina Magliocco. For contemporary traditions, there will be an introduction to Feri and a Feraferia workshop, both of which I have been curious about. There will also be an American Umbanda devotional and a Haitian Vodoun rite. There will be a Pagan-Hindu panel and and a Shaktist Hindu ritual. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to make all of them, but I’m going to try to do most of them.
I am also excited about some of the workshops about various consciousness altering techniques. There will be a couple of workshops on BDSM as a ritual technique and another workshop on body stress ecstatic practices (like the Plains Indian Sun Dance). There will be a workshop on EMDR (eye movement desensitization and reprocessing) as a “magical” technique, presented by a marriage and family therapist. (My wife is an MFT.) I am probably going to miss the ritual conducted by T. Thorn Coyle and another workshop on ritual theater, much to my regret, so I can attend the EMDR workshop. This is the toughest block for me to schedule, since there are three workshops I really want to attend. There will also be a a presentation about the mechanics of “drawing down” deity, another workshop on aspecting/possession by Ivo Dominguez, Jr., several workshops on seidh, a workshop on trance techniques of psychologist Milton Erickson, and a ritual “exorcism” by T. Thorn Coyle and others. Again, I can’t do all of these, but I’m going to try to make as many as possible. “Aspecting” and ecstatic practices are something I am very skeptical of, but I would like to learn about. I am hoping these is something there that will help me take my practice to a new level.
There will also be a workshop discussing the semantics of the term “Pagan” and a presentation by Gus DiZerega about the place of Paganism in the larger religious culture. I’m probably going to miss Gus DiZerega’s presentation, but since it is about his recently completed manuscript, I am hoping I will be able to read it when it is published. There will also be a workshop on the challenges of family Pagan practice which is of particular interest to me, but I may have to miss it also to attend another workshop.
I have a little extra time in San Jose, so I’m going to check out the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum, which looks really cool.
And I’m also going to find this statue of Quequetzalcoatl.
If I have time, I am also going to try to see the Cathedral Basilica of St. Joseph.