My pace at PantheaCon today was far more sedate. I slept in late-ish after staying up late last night, and just barely managed to get to the 11:00am “Towards A Pagan Psychology: Earth Based Spirituality & Therapy” panel. I don’t have the names of the participants, but the conversation was deeply fascinating. A recurring theme was how polytheism allows all of them to be better therapists and councilors, freeing them from a dualism and rigidity in their thinking and approaches to treatment.
After lunch, I attended the Immanion author panel, featuring Lupa, Erynn Laurie, Tony Mierzwicki, Frater Barrabbas, Sarai St Julien, Crystal Blanton, and others. While all the authors were coming from very different places in regards to practice and theology, there was a unifying element in their struggle to create their own paths. It was also mentioned how they were at peace with their “niche” status, and that selling hundreds instead of thousands of books is part of releasing more advanced texts. It was a good panel, and gave a clear idea of that publisher’s identity and mission.
Next, it was another author panel, this time from Weiser Books. Centered around the question “Earth Based Religion: Are We Really”, it featured popular Pagan authors and leaders like Orion Foxwood, Thorn Coyle, Diana Paxson, Z. Budapest, and Lon Milo DuQuette. This time I brought my trusty netbook, and tweeted the entire thing as it happened. While the question of if we are truly “earth-based” faiths wasn’t entirely settled, all the participants had some powerful things to say, the favorite among those catching my tweets was a (paraphrased) quote by Orion Foxwood.
“The Earth isn’t running a democracy. She is calling us all into action whether we like it or not.”
Thorn says the whole thing was being recorded for her podcast, and should be released in a month or so. I’ll give you all a heads-up when it’s available.
To close out my third day, I went to experience the dark and dramatic musical emanations of Pandemonaeon. They had the crowd in the palm of their hand for the entire set, and the dance-floor was jam-packed. Of all the Pagan bands that play the festival/convention circuit, I think they may be the most vital and impressive. I’m very happy to hear that they are putting a new album out soon. You can be sure you’ll hear more about that on “A Darker Shade of Pagan”.
I have to leave pretty early on Monday, so there won’t really be a “Day 4″ post, but I may write a longer essay about my experiences here once I’ve had a chance to absorb all I’ve seen and done. It’s truly been a unique event, one that I think all modern Pagans should try to experience at some point. I’d like to thank all of the people who’ve been so kind, generous, and open with me. There are so many contacts made and new ideas to consider that I almost don’t know where to start.