It’s an annual trek for some, a pilgrimage, or an adventure that leads them heading to San Jose, California for four days of spiritual enhancement and rekindling friendships. For each person its different – but they encounter workshops and extraordinary vendors supplying everything from stones, crystals, books and fashion. No matter who you talk with, PantheaCon is an adventure with something for anyone in the Pagan, Wiccan, or Heathen community. This year PantheaCon celebrated their 20th year of festive, spiritual exuberance.
I’ve been reading other blogs about visits to PantheaCon. One of PantheaCon’s visitors, John Halstead who writes The Allergic Pagan, mentions that the conference, “is kind of like a cross between an interfaith conference, a Beltane ritual, Gay Pride Day, and the Island of Misfit Toys — all in a good way.” This is quite an apt description.
I love to people watch and the Conference is a great place to do so. You see so many interesting people. The P-Con pro with ribbons reaching down to the floor by end of the first day of conference. There are the P-Con newbies with their wide-eyed stare and curiosity about everything. Each one has a wonderful, diverse background, and they come from all over the country. I enjoy the conference most when I can meet some of the attendees, and listen to their stories. I get a better sense of their unique qualities, strengths, and drive.
This year was the first year I worked at the Conference. It was an interesting opportunity and one I won’t soon forget. The people who work and support Pantheacon are amazing individuals. They give 110% and expect nothing in return. They are creative, dynamic, driven, and embody the spirit of the Conference. By working at the Registration Desk, I was able to see most everyone! Of course, after a while you get a bit loopy, but its all good fun.
I attended a couple of workshops. The first was on Friday afternoon, I attended Village Witchery 101 presented by Hexeba Theaux. She writes, “If we come out of the broom closet, we quickly learn that it is the practical magic of folk tradition that comes foremost in the minds of our non-Pagan neighbors!” The workshop covered what to do when they show up on your door step asking for help. She also shared oils, herbs and talismen to have on hand…items for a craft travel kit. It was an interesting workshop and Hexeba was an engaging presenter. I only wish I could have attended the other workshops in the series. Guess that’s something to do next year.
The other workshop I was able to attend was Raven Grimassi and Stephanie Taylor’s, A Pagan Mythos. An interesting presentation that, “offered an ever ancient and ever new cohesive model of the core deity forms of modern Paganism in connection with the theme of the Wheel of the Year.” Mr. Grimassi draws on his 40 years of study and practice to develop this model and supplied an interesting matrix on the blending of themes.
While I was unable to get to more workshops or rituals as I would have liked, I still had fun at P-Con! I look forward to returning next year with a more focused agenda and more clothes for ‘costume changes’. Whether I work the conference again, is still to be determined; either way, I enjoyed my visit to the non-stop fun, workshop-filled, sea of vendor booths for the people and lots of shiny things!