Friday at PantheaCon

I am officially on my way to Australia, but first, PantheaCon!

PantheaCon is a Pagan festival in San Jose, California. The problem with PantheaCon is that there are so many interesting and wonderful workshops and events going on at the same time, it’s hard to decide what to do.

After a relaxing morning and an overpriced lunch, I went to my first workshop, Triple Goddess Magic: Inner Guidance Quest with Selena Fox. It was a meditative ritual about connecting with the Maiden, Mother, and Crone as well as the wholeness of the Triple Goddess. I love watching Selena at work. She’s gracious and such a pro. She gets a roomful of people singing a song we’ve never heard before in perfect unison in under five minutes.

Following that, I went to The Sacred Arts of West Africa with Helena Domenic, an art historian. The first half was an introduction to the orishas and the latter half contained a lot of new information for me. I enjoyed it and I liked that Domenic acknowledged that Africa is not homogeneous. Her workshop was only meant to wet the appetite.

I had dinner with M. Macha NightMare, which was a treat. We talked for about two hours about all kinds of things – how we got into the Craft, people we’ve met, know, and have lost, Paganism in the 70s and today, problems our community faces, and trends we observe. Macha is an elder in the Pagan community that I’ve admired for a long time.

In the evening, I went to the lecture Gerald Gardner – Into the Witch Cult by Philip Heselton. He’s been doing terrific research on the background of Gerald Gardner and the history of Wicca. I have a copy of his book Wicca Roots and enjoyed it. Heselton fills a space that Ronald Hutton left blank in his incredible book The Triumph of the Moon. He was a delightful presenter.

I started the day with a ritual and ended with ritual. Conjurers, Root Women, Vodou Queens and Hoodoo Mamas with the Iseum of Black Isis was amazing. It was 90 minutes of song and dance to our ancestors, the female orishas, and a few other goddesses.

Closing out my night was the Pomba Gira Devotional by the American Magic Umbanda House. Pomba Gira is a deity in the Afro-Brazilian religions Umbanda and Quimbanda. She personifies female beauty, sexuality, and desire. For this drumming event, people dress up in their best and scanty reds and blacks for an hour or so of dancing and singing in her honour.

It’s almost 2am here now, but sleep is not really on the program.