Five days later I’m back at home. The dirty laundry sits in the suitcases. The cat has made a mess of the house. Spring sunlight streams in through the windows, tempting me to duck all the chores and go outside. But Pantheacon, guys. I’m still high as a kite, giddy, and ready to fall asleep on my feet after five days of friends and travel and provocation and heart-expanding discussion. Here is my quick sum up, with deeper posts to come as I sort through my notes and begin processing all the things.
Adam and I and the baby left on Thursday. We were delayed three hours on our way to the Bay Area due to a mechanical issue on the plane, followed with another 40 minute delay that was President Obama’s fault. Yep, something concrete I can blame on the President! He, too, was flying into the Bay Area, and air traffic was grounded for his safety.
But like all good pilgrimages, ours began before we left. Sitting in the airport we found other pilgrims. Other pilgrims headed to PCon; some we knew from before, and some we now know. The delay pushed back our evening plans with non-pilgrim friends in Oakland, but the time was not wasted. New friendships are never a waste of time!
I presented on my first panel, about blogging at Patheos Pagan. I thought it was successful; I certainly had a good time! It was not recorded, but honestly, it was not the most important part of the weekend. As you keep reading, I think you’ll see why.
The focus of the weekend for me was relationships. I forged new ones, touched base with people I respect, and got to chat at length with friends I only ever see online. The best part of PCon are the discussions and encouragement that happen between individuals and groups. We reach out: to each other, to allies, and to the gods and spirits – and they reach back.
Here is a list of topics that I will be covering in the coming weeks, all inspired by various panels, people, and experiences at PCon:
*Cultural appropriation and me – I have a lot of work to do around this. It’s something I think a lot about and this weekend I got SCHOOLED, by the gods and by people I respect and admire
*Why polytheist space and discussion is important
*The intersection between Paganism and anti-capitalism is important (read more here)
*Black lives matter – and so do brown lives, red lives, trans* and queer lives. Much of PCon this year dealt with racism within our communities. I’d like to think that we, as groups who are religious minorities would know better than to treat others as “second class citizens” or to give only lip-service to diversity, but I would be wrong. There is A LOT of hurt happening – and happening NOW in our communities. Pagans of Color boldly spoke out about this over the weekend; many white allies helped to protect their space. We cannot stop supporting Pagans of Color now that the weekend is over. Click here for more resources
*Many Gods West is going to be AMAZING. Come one, come (almost) all!
*Relationship, relationship, relationship – and hospitality
On top of all that, my PCon was bookended by meeting up with fabulous non-Pagan friends in Oakland, Berkeley, and San Francisco, and great reading material.
Oh, and whiskey. Wow, was there a lot of whiskey.