I lingered at home instead of returning to the Con in the morning. It was nice to relax, drink hot coffee (with coconut milk French vanilla creamer – yum!) and watch some Buffy the Vampire Slayer before heading back to the Doubletree Hotel.
The first session I attended on Sunday was Rethinking the Language of Health for Clergy with Reverend Gina A. Pond. This was a discussion I was eager to get involved with since physical health is such a passion and focus of my personal path. Gina did a marvelous job of covering this broad topic with a multimedia presentation. Later, we moved into small discussion groups to address some of the points that were covered, including:
- Can participants in your group speak to you about health concerns? Do you appear trustworthy? Do you provide a safe way for people to discuss any concerns with you?
- How do you talk about health or the body with your group? Do you use negative or self-abusive language?
- Are there alternatives, especially during rituals, for people with different health concerns? Non-alcoholic beverages? Food allergy friendly alternatives?
- How accessible are your group events, meetings, or rituals? What kind of sensual language do you use to engage your audience and how might that affect those with impairments?
- What images do you use for Deity?
This was an intense workshop with lots of opportunities to offend or hurt participants. I really appreciated Gina’s skill in maintaining a respectful and supportive environment to discuss these deeply personal and triggering topics. I admired the way she was able to create and maintain a safe space in which to cover these topics, and to assure participants that they could privately continue the discussion if they felt uncomfortable or upset by anything. I learned a great deal and I’m grateful for Gina’s presentation. I hope to write further on how I will be reframing how I talk about myself and health in general.
The last afternoon session I attended was the Oracular Seidh with Seidhjaller. I try and attend this every year; even if I don’t get my questions answered, being in the presence of the Divine is soothing. It seems though, someone forgot to put the “slow down time” spell in place – the time flew by and the last Seeress barely had an opportunity to answer questions before our use of the room was ended.
After walking over to Chipotle for a light dinner by myself – it felt so good to take a walk and get some fresh air – I came back in time for The Magic of Writing: How to Use Writing to Manifest Reality with Taylor Ellwood. The room was packed with people! I hope that if this workshop is offered again next year, they can get a bigger room. Half the attendees were sitting on the floor.
The presentation was fascinating; we covered everything from definitions of words, subjective v. objective reality, intention and meaning, and the magic of writing v. reading. Some parts were philosophical, and other parts were practical. We discussed the varieties of writing styles: writing rituals, fiction, non-fiction, and poetry. The practical magic of to-do lists and the merits of writing what you want to happen v. writing as though what you want has already come to pass. I understand that Taylor offers classes and workshops in the Portland, Oregon area.
Lastly, I attended the Tantric Shamanism Breathwork Ceremony with the inimitable Sylvia Brallier. I make it a point to attend this workshop every year. Anyone familiar with Tai Chi, Yoga, or other body-mind-spirit modality will easily recognize the Kundalini awakening nature of this event. It is part movement, part pranayama, and all healing. You move a lot of energy in this ceremony, and I have found it to be intensely healing and transformative. I have experienced visions, revelations, and spontaneous healing in past ceremonies. I often leave feeling loose, almost drunk, and buzzing with energy. Reiki simply flows after this cleansing ritual. This time, for a too short moment, I actually touched that pure white light of Ain Soph Aur. After the ceremony, I noticed that much of the tenderness, stiffness and pain in my neck and shoulders had left.
I went home that night, feeling calm and happy. I was also very sleepy and ready for bed. I slept dreamlessly that night and woke up late on Monday morning. For me, the Con ended after Sylvia’s ceremony. I rarely come back on Monday, preferring to spend my last day off resting and processing all I’ve learned during the previous three days. See you next year.