I arrived at the Red Lion Hotel in Olympia on Friday. The lobby already had some familiar faces and the vending room was tempting me. Our room wasn’t quite ready, and we had brought our mischievous pup with us, so we drove around in the air conditioning till the room was ready. We ended up with a pretty nice suite. I’m not sure if we were upgraded because of all the trouble checking in, or if that was the room we originally booked. Either way it was a nice room with cool hard floors and a sliding door right to the grass. It was probably the best setup we could have asked for, with the weather being so hot and having a pet in our room.
I wanted to attend the ritual on Friday night, but my body was screaming at me. My classes were in the perfect time slot for me, Saturday and Sunday at 9am. This is when my brain is fresh and I am at my best. I was very glad for these time slots to teach, but it did mean that I had to choose the needs of my body over the needs of my soul. I did hear from many people that the ritual was fantastic. I’ve been to a few rituals lead by Tempest before and so if they are anything like the past I am sure the chatter was true.
Saturday was probably the best con day I have ever had. I woke up at about 6am, got dressed and drank the covfefe (Pretty much this is what Dust and I call coffee now and probably will for the rest of time) I enjoyed the very healthy breakfast that was provided for us, eggs, fruit, coffee and other dairy and wheat things for those that aren’t allergic to just about all foods like I am. I headed to set up my class. At first I was a bit worried, there were 2 people in the room. I thought to myself “Oh everyone is probably still sleeping” then someone came in and let me know they were confused on which room to go to. So I ran out and looked around to help guide people to the room. To my pleasant surprise the room had many more people in it when I arrived back and even more trickled in as the class started. It was about an average class size and I decided that the right people were there. So I launched into my lecture, talking about Melusine’s origin story, her role as a water Faery, Mermaid, Banshee, Dragon, and Shapeshifter. We discussed her sons, her vested interest in landownership and royal bloodlines. We had a great chat about what her present and future plans for Starbucks may be and why she ended up on the logo of Starbucks. There will be future blog posts about her, and a podcast coming up in late August on this topic, you can access the podcast here. It will air Monday August 28th at 6pm PST
That afternoon I attended the class by Benjamin Pixie on Feeding the Gods of the Wild. Benjamin makes delicious herbals and Dust and I both ended up with a few handfuls of his goodies from the vending room. I loved this class, we ‘pop-corned’ around the room about what the wild meant and how we fed the wild gods. I walked away feeling good and yearning for the wildness of nature. After this class I headed over to take a class with Sean Donahue, this was on Hawthorn. I have taken classes from Sean before, several years ago I took his class on Hawthorn in Arizona at the Herbal Resurgence, this class covered some of the same topics such as Thomas the Rhymer, but also talked about the smell of sex and death that the hawthorn exudes.We broke for dinner and I ended up in one more class “Under Her Grim Banner’ with GG. GG’s class was fantastic it was about embracing the Unseeli identity and the need for “Negative Ritual Space” This was a really interesting concept and class. It made me think about providing space or even entire rituals focusing on the negative and providing space for those that might not be as peppy and cheery as others.
The overall theme for Saturday was “Fairy Queens” It kicked off with the talk on Melusine, Sean spoke about Thomas the Rhymer and his encounter with the Queen of Elfame and GG finished it off by speaking of Nicniven in the final class I attended that night. There was another time slot but I chose the magic of self-care and sleep to prepare for the next day.
was a short day for me, we ended up leaving at 1 to get home to prepare for the work week ahead. I started Sunday with a 2nd day of delicious breakfast and then spoke about “Pulling from the Past to Inform our Practice”. I covered topics such as how to find information about our deities and how to apply that to our paths. Right after my class was a class on Votive Offerings, I was so happy to attend this class as one of my own Goddesses were mentioned “Sulis” It was really refreshing to not be the “only” person presenting information on her. While it was just a little tidbit of information about the votive offerings found in her temple the more we talk about our gods the stronger our worship becomes. The overall theme for Sunday was “Votive Offerings’ as I spoke a bit about them in my lecture and the following class as well. Of course other things such as offerings, service, art, and ritual were also discussed.
The vending was really good as well! Rosarium Blends a favorite vendor of incense and perfume was there along with my favorite pottery artist, Tempest with her amazing ritual art and a few others. I ended up with a pair of Tarot screen printed pants from Talismana Designs and Dust ended up with bags of herbal goodies, a mug and a few other things. He really enjoyed shopping! Overall it was a really great conference, I was able to participate in it more this year and thought that the entire things was put together well. The shrine space was wonderful and I feel should be an addition to every pagan/polytheist/witch festival. Overall I had a wonderful time and feel so blessed to be part of such a wonderful little community!
More about Annwyn HERE