Posts tagged ‘paganicon 2015’

ADF UMWRR – Part 1 General Thoughts

I had a fabulous time at the ADF Upper Midwest Regional Retreat, and Dan really seemed to enjoy it as well. He’s often felt reticent about my involvement in Paganism, not due to the religion itself, but the many difficult & problematic individuals, groups and social situations I’ve encountered. He cares about my well-being and wants me to have friends & community members that are supportive and encourage good habits rather than “poor oppressed me!” attitudes. Participating in the retreat helped us both feel a lot better about finding a Few (or more!) Good Druid/Pagan/Heathen folk, and brought us together as a couple. We learned a new amusing term- “Spagan” (capitalized or not?) short for  (non-Pagan) Spouse of Pagan. I really feel it’s important to be inclusive of our Spagans at events and show our appreciation to them- as much of our participation wouldn’t be possible without them- certainly that is the case with myself! Dan has chauffeured me to many a ritual & meet-up, including having to deal with bad directions/organization & communication! So even he has a vested interest in Pagan communities getting it together!

Going further back to How We Ended Up at This Retreat…I ran into Dale Frampton, the organizer of Whispering Spirits Protogrove, in Appleton, Wisconsin at Paganicon back in March. He was the one person who recognized & commented on my Gaeltacht Minnesota shirt  and asked about it in Irish.  I responded a bit clumsily, we laughed and began chatting about our Irish studies, and also founded we were both ADF peeps. By that point I’d really drifted away from ADF & let my membership lapse, after various frustrations involving attempts at grove organizing, and other people starting groves in areas I couldn’t get to, but talking with him, I got more interested. Earlier, Amy Castner, the Regional Druid, had sent a survey about organizing a retreat, and I hadn’t even bothered responding, rationalizing “well even if they have a retreat, it will be some place far away that I can’t get to, so why bother”. “Midwest” in ADF tends to skew to an eastern definition, in Michigan & Ohio, though we have a lot of members & groves there though, so there are Reasons. (Besides- we can change that!)  Anyhoo, other folks rose to the occasion in spite of all my cynicism. I was very excited to see a retreat much closer (around Wasau, Wisconsin)  and while I was working on getting my driver’s license, it was still up in the air and I definitely needed a camping buddy, so I asked Dan and he checked with his work schedule, took that Friday off and agreed!

We also managed to connect just on Thursday with a woman in Minneapolis who needed a ride- Dale had sent me a message on Facebook, but due to my self-imposed Facebook fast for June, I didn’t get it til I saw it on my phone. (Facebook is blocked on my account on Dan’s computer, but not on my phone, but there’s using FB on a tiny screen is…annoying!) Anyhow, we exchanged emails & phone numbers, and I was really glad we managed to connect, because it turns out Joy had just joined ADF so it was a nice way to welcome her into the Fellowship, and it turned out I had met & hung out with her at Paganicon as well! She said she’d been going around asking people their paths, and trying to find other Druids, and I was the only one she found! There are more of us, but I’ve been in the TC Pagan community for 15 some years, and she’d only moved here in 2012. We plan on getting together to do Dedicant stuff after my family goes back to Wyoming.


June 8, 2015 at 11:06 pm Leave a comment

Is UUism just my Spiritual Safety Husband?

Th term safety husband (or wife or spouse) refers to a friend that you would consider as a suitable if less than ideal partner to marry, should you not meet the spouse of your dreams, especially by age 40 or 50.  (I could comment about the rather messed-up tyranny of couple-dom that this concept promotes but that’s another post!)

Anyway, I have been wondering if UUism is really just my spiritual community equivalent of a safety spouse. After going thru lots of bad break-ups, I thought well, this “person” is nice, we have enough in common, share the same general values, zie owns a house and lives nearby, it’s a stable place to raise a family. I enjoy our visits together, but still wonder if I need a little more passion and good ritual in my life. Am I really being a good enough partner if my heart isn’t it this enough?

In the Pagan realm, I wonder if to find a stable community I’ll need to compromise and join a coven- there are many well-established ones here. Reclaiming shares a lot of my values, and they have a thriving community. But I don’t think my heart would be in that either. Non-Wiccans/Witches seem so scattered throughout the urban sprawl. Meanwhile I have a lot of trouble motivating myself to practice as a solitary.

Frankly in both settings, I have the similar situation of having people whom I’d consider close acquaintances but not really friends. I have known some of the regulars of the Wiccan Church of Minnesota (WiCoM) since I took a Wicca/Paganism 101 class when I was 16. (My dad signed off on it) They all know me by name, will say “Mariah, how are you doing? Haven’t seen in you in ages!” and even give me a (consensual) hug. There were a couple of people I ran into at Paganicon that wanted to get together for coffee chats. One of them was a person from the Cauldron Forum- several of the same folks that were there last year were present- Veggiewolf, HeartShadow (I know at least some of their actual names, just using the screen names for privacy and in case other folks reading this know them) It turned out one of the Kemetic peeps (sorry, she has a long Egyptian name I can’t remember!) lives not far from me so yay. So maybe I will make some new/old Actual Friends. I also think I should get together with folks on the BOP board and get to know them better.

Just generally continuing to Get a Life is good!

March 19, 2015 at 4:50 am Leave a comment

Planning my Paganicon Schedule

I thought I was going to plan out my personal Paganicon schedule earlier this week, but I had the “good problem” of getting busy doing paid work* (more on that in another post) So here goes. I don’t know how on earth people decide between 6 or 8 different things happening at Pantheacon, there are enough cool offerings this year that it’s hard to choose. (I’m listing events that either I’m attending or debating attending)

Friday the 13th!

5pm- Pagan Speed Friending (this will be offered again at 9:30pm) I went to this last year, in spite of trepidation about social speed anything (because autistic thought/speech/social skills processing = definitely not speedy!) But it turned out I really enjoyed it and it was a good way to meet a bunch of people in a short period of time. What would help, though I realize it’s late to make this suggestion, is for people to bring calling cards (like business cards but just for social purposes) that they can give to people with whom they “click”. Will explain the calling card thing more in another post.

7pm- Opening Ceremony– if I meet anyone super-interesting at Speed Friending, may skip this.

7:30 Opening Ritual- Return to the Root (Shauna Aura Knight) This ritual is about facing your Shadow, doubts, fears and journeying to the Underworld. Facing my Shadow? Gee that sounds pretty darn personally relevant!

9:15 Art Show

9:30 How Black Lives Matter Can Inform Our Spiritual Practices (Panel) Looking forward to this! We’ve been discussing Black Lives Matter (and racism in general) a lot at Unity and BOP, but the only discussion in a Pagan context I’ve participated has been online, so this should be interesting!

Saturday the 14th

9 AM Bioregional Totemism with Lupa– I’ve enjoyed reading Lupa’s writing online for years, and her innovative development of Neopagan totemism (though I wish we could come up with a better word!)

10:30 AM- 12 PM Paganism & Mental Health: Healthy Magic (Panel) I went to Sheryl Merriam’s panel last year about Mental Health & Paganism (she is a licensed therapist who serves Pagan and kinky/poly/geeky communities) and it was really good, so I recommend this one to folks. I however do not practice magic, and am unsure of belief in it, so really what I need is a “Magic for Skeptics” panel or workshop!

Plant & Fungus Totems with Lupa– working with totems from outside the animal kingdom means you’re really getting serious about your animism! Considering…

Nordic Horn Ceremony with Kari Tauring– I took a rune class with her, and have gone to several of her Nordic folk music performances so I am already biased. Considering…

12 PM Lunch Break!

1 PM Sex, Ethics and Power: Problems & Solutions (Panel) Another very important topic I’m glad to see is being addressed!

2:45 PM Sustainable Critique by Donald Engstrom-Reese– about constructive criticism, this sounds useful. Donald is a great guy, I’ve run into him multiple times at various pagan events.

The Blossom and the Bone- Kristia Wildflower– Exploring myths, legends and fairy tales and what they have to teach us. Could be good, but kind of a generic description…

3 and 4 PM Various book signings..good time for a social/sensory break, maybe go for a walk or browse the vendors

4:15 Cultural Honoring or Appropriation– Panel Another important topic!

Dinner Break!

8 pm Equinox Ball / Serenity’s Campfire (hangout alternative to ball- I will probably go to this because loud music is not Mariah friendly, and I’d rather talk with people and process the day.

Sunday the 15th

10 AM Pagan Parenting: Twin Cities Resources– Don’t have kids yet, but am hoping to at some point, and also would be interesting in helping out with kid-related events.

11:15 AM  Keepers of the Flame- Pagan Leadership & Community Building- Shauna Aura Knight Given that my efforts in this department haven’t exactly yielded the best results, I should probably go to this. Now, finding good like-minded people is another problem!

12:30 PM Enchantment, Charisma & Facilitation: Leading Rituals, Workshops and More- Shauna Aura Knight

Brighid Healing Ritual- Selena Fox

Nine Worlds Alignment- Kari Tauring Aligning the Norse 9 Worlds in the Body

2:15 PM Crafting & Guiding a Positive Volunteer Dynamic– this topic would also be useful to my work on the BOP board, even though I am not the volunteer coordinator.

Is Neopaganism Cultural Diffusion or Misappropriation? (it doesn’t say who the presenter is, but the topic is pretty similar to the panel on Saturday)

Personal Healing with the Ancient Ones– this is about asking for deities for help with various personal issues- also could be useful

3:30 PM Sunday Afternoon Tea

March 13, 2015 at 10:28 pm Leave a comment


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