If you are fortunate enough to attend a conference or gathering focused on magic and spiritualism, probably the least favorite part of the trip is the unpacking when you get home. Laundry aside, if you have a magical, wonderful time, you unpack your very own metaphysical bag of delights.
I just got back from Mystic South 2019, and had a wonderful time. Most of the time I was vending with the lovely witch shop I manage, so I didn’t get to attend many workshops, but the whole weekend was filled with many heartfelt and surprising moments. I returned from this conference inspired, deep in thought, moved, excited, thrilled, sad, happy, and all the emotions I can cram into my caffeine-fueled, sleep-deprived body. So what did I unpack? Let’s see…
Books, books, books: So many authors were present, not only giving workshops, but autographing books and graciously meeting their fans. One of my favorite encounters was the delightful Annywn Avalon, who is the author of one of the books that literally fly off the shelves (or maybe, because of the subject matter float off the shelves), Water Witchcraft. She stood there with her book in hand, and I just kept staring at the book, to her lovely presence, back to the book, and trying really hard not to squeal in delight. I was fortunate enough to attend her workshop, and learned quite a few things which touched my Pisces heart and soul. Not to mention, the book is about magic and lore from the Celtic Tradition (my bio reveals I am a Celtic Pagan Witch, so I was at home in that workshop). I was also truly inspired from her Water Witch page, online classes, events and more that she offers from the perspective of a Water Witch.
Magical Wares: Entering the Vendor Room is like unleashing a cornucopia of delights. So many items and variety that I had to pace myself into short visits, otherwise I might not have ever left. Saw old friends and new, perused updated or new items, found a few new favorites. Jewelry, stickers, wands, coffee, teas, mugs, music, art, drums, and so much more. I got a new Spell Book, some beautiful moon inspired jewelry, a wand for my youngest (I’d prefer picking out my own, Mom, but I wouldn’t turn it down!) and have my eye on a few more things I will need to save up for next year. One vendor literally summoned me by posting a photo of a beautiful, magickal coffee pendant, and when I got there she said, “I knew I would see you!” Many who saw me wearing it soon after laughed and proclaimed me a “Coffee Witch”. Of course I am delighted with my new nickname. One of my favorite subjects is Coffee and Coffee Magick.
Conversations: There never seemed enough time to see everyone, so those who sought me out for conversations were deeply appreciated. Many discussions were had, topics were dissected, and revelations were shared that have kept me deep in thought on the ride home and beyond. We shared stories, experiences, our own philosophies and passion about subjects, which has not only made me pause and ponder, but lingers in my mind still, and no doubt will for a long time. I laughed, wept, and was astounded, and through it all, it felt as if I were with deeply loved family members. I note this part of my unpacking with thanks, as these interactions will resonate with me and continue to do so.
Phrases: Not only were we given lovely badge ribbons to adorn our attendee badge (“I’m a Goddamn Delight” was a clear favorite), but also phrases such as “Viva los costillos!” in honor of a delicious dinner at Eclipse di Luna I was fortunate enough to attend, “Coffee Witch” became my new nickname, thanks to my proliferation of coffee memes on my Facebook timeline and thanks to the coffee pendant I purchased), and authors as well as other participants had their own niche ribbons to add to a lengthy collection. It could end up being quite the impressive badge for future years! All attached to some great memories. Magickal,indeed. Someone wrote “Thank you for your energy” to me, and to say it made my day is an understatement. Words and phrases are especially important to me, and are all part of the tapestry of this wonderful weekend. All were much appreciated.
Family Reunion Feelings: Even though we are not related (as far as I know), nothing equates to being around like-minded people. It feels like home. Being greeted happily when you walk into a room, hugged for days, and having people exclaim how they were looking forward to spending time with you does a body good. Especially with the world gone so bonkers, it is grounding and centering to be completely yourself among people who appreciate you. That kind of feeling sustains you in the days ahead, there is nothing like it, and it is cherished. The word “tribe” can sometimes barely cover all the feelings you experience.
Music: From drumming to watching Tuatha Dea perform, to hearing people break out in song, it was a musical weekend. Along with books, music is important to the experience of being at Mystic South. In addition to the lobby music and the open mic night, along with karaoke, music lingered in hallways, and was a lovely background to the happy hum of chatter and conversations. So much talent in one space! I am still singing “The Hum and The Shiver” by Tuatha Dea (my personal favorite).
Learning: Besides the obvious (learning in workshops), I learned so much from other people freely discussing their practice, and delving into issues or blockages they had. To brainstorm and have people respectfully discuss how and why they do things without diminishing your own is a gift. The workshops themselves? Inspiring. I live to research, and it’s my favorite rabbit hole. My notes will keep me busy in these coming weeks, and I look forward to learning even more.
This probably only scratched the surface of my experience, as I will continue to unpack from Mystic South 2019. It is my hope that each of you experience something similar at least once this year, because just like storing up your harvest, it will keep you full and sated as the year winds down. Many thanks to all the organizers, the volunteers, fellow attendees, fellow vendors and all the employees at the space we occupied for the weekend. There wasn’t a person I encountered who wasn’t a delightful human. Here’s to next year, Mystic South!