Pantheacon was a lot of fun. It was an amazing opportunity to connect with the large West Coast concentration of Pagans and people from all over the country. I met people in person who I’d “known” online for a while, and while I knew this intellectually, it was interesting to see how different it was to encounter them on two feet, instead of on a computer screen. Jason Pitzl-Waters said in his talk that large community events like this “humanize” these kinds of connections, and I think that’s a very good word for it. That alone makes the conference worthwhile.

I also heard some great talks. Starhawk on the magic of story was interesting; I think that’s something I’m going to have to work with a bit more. Sam Webster’s presentation on theurgic sacrifice was fascinating; I love to see the kind of academic-applied fusion he brings to his work. Other top moments included:

Jason on Pagans and social media: “Facebook may be a wretched hive of scum and villany, [audience laughs] but it’s the only place we’re going to find a smuggler to take us to the Alderaan system.” I’m not sure whether I agree with all of that statement yet – the first part is beyond doubt – but it was an interesting talk overall. The importance of preserving our past and creating infrastructure to preserve our present is especially dear to my heart as a researcher who wants to study things. Where can I find all the copies of the Green Egg ever produced, for instance? Some of them may not even exist any more. I’m glad Jason’s doing this kind of broad-ranging thinking and sharing it with the community.

Renna Shesso on the magical night sky: “I’ve said vulva enough now, we can go on to Mars.” Nuff said.

And last but not least, during a fascinating talk on polarity, Ivo used the metaphor of the “astral squeegee.” This is the magical improvement on brain bleach, and I’m going to shamelessly use it whenever appropriate. His comments on polarity are going to keep me thinking and experimenting for a while, too.

And to all the other wonderful people I met, it was so good to see you in person!

I’m looking forward to next year already.

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