PantheaCon 2015 Brief Debrief

Overall, this was a very good year at PantheaCon. My own con went very well indeed.

I will acknowledge up front that there were a few events that were extremely upsetting and disruptive to many people I care about, but those problems were addressed as quickly and respectfully as they possibly could have been by Con staff, and those who were hurt seem more satisfied than not.

I’m afraid I didn’t get to attend any events other than the three I was running, and, by sheer coincidence of timing, a public-style Sumbel (i.e. no oaths section) in the Pagans of Color hospitality suite, hosted by Heathens United Against Racism. I enjoyed that very much.

I also enjoyed the time I got to spend with many beloved friends I otherwise rarely see, and some long-lost friends I was not even expecting to see. My heart is very full.

And I got to buy some much-needed things in the Vendor room, including a shrine figure for Dionysos, jewelry for Odin, and Diana’s latest book, which previewed earlier than I was expecting – and I’m quoted several times! 😀

For my part, I helped run three rituals:

  1. Dionysos Hestios, Host of the Revel — Devotional with Pandemos lead by Lon Sarver
  2. Oracular Seidh with Seidhjallr
  3. Facets of Freyja Devotional with Freyja’s Aett lead by Cara Freyasdaughter

All went very well. In all cases I can identify ways we could improve the ritual in the future, and ways in which the ritual went even better than we’d planned. All involved trance, music, and divination for the people, which seem to be the major factors of my practice, especially in a group setting. I held a major role in each of them – I actually was the guide this year for the first time at PantheaCon for Seidh, which was both daunting and amazing.

The Vanir (mostly Freyja) have been very clear with me that this was the year of stepping up, not just to the work I’ve been doing for years, of course, but to acknowledging my lead role in that work.

Next year I do believe I’ll be obliged to put my NAME up more prominently, offering at least one trance, music, and/or divination programming option.

To whatever degree I have been denying that I am a leader in my community, that is no longer an option for me.

Going in, that was terrifying. Come out, it’s exhilarating. I feel better and more energized than I have since my Ordination.

–Ember–

[Edited to add a link explaining the less private alluded-to upsetting event.]

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About EmberVoices

Ember Cooke has been a member of Hrafnar and Seidhjallr for more than a decade, where she trained to be a Seidhkona, Galdrakona, and Gythia. She founded the Vanic Conspiracy and made ordination vows to the Vanir and her congregation in the summer of 2013. She has contributed to several publications on Heathen and Northern Pagan subjects and regularly presents rituals and workshops at festivals. Her personal practice is more diverse, as the Vanir have lead her into cross-training and service for the wider Pagan community. This has including medium and servitor training in American Umbanda, clergy training with the Fellowship of the Spiral Path, and jail ministry for local counties. She holds a BA with honors in Religious Studies from Santa Clara University. Ember has lived all her life in the south San Francisco Bay Area, and is intimately bound to the valley of her birth.
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10 Responses to PantheaCon 2015 Brief Debrief

  1. Nikka says:

    Ember,
    I’m not sure which thread to post this in but since I met you at PCon I feel like this is my best bet. First of all I wanted to say that the Freyja Devotional was really amazing. It was by far the best presentation/devotional/workshop I attended this past weekend. We spoke briefly after the devotional (if you don’t remember I completely understand) and you gave me and my friend resources to continue our journey with Freyja. You instructed us to contact you through your blog, so here I am! I was wondering if I could get more information on the Vanic Conspiracy and resources in the Bay Area.
    I hope this message finds you well!
    Nikka

    Like

    • EmberVoices says:

      Well, I gave about 5 people this info right after the ritual, so I won’t remember *which* of those five you are until I see your face again, but I do clearly remember all that, so no worries at all. 🙂

      So the About section has a little more about the Vanic Conspiracy. You can email me at EmberOutreach AT gmail dot com and we can talk more about the specifics. 🙂

      Like

  2. I love that you had a no-oaths section. An example of the spark of mystery and myth that has been missing from my life lately.

    Like

    • EmberVoices says:

      Oh that’s kind of a fascinating idea, actually. What’s a no-oath? Hmmm…

      Alas, what I meant was that the usual allowance for Oaths during the Toasts, Boasts, and Oaths section was removed, so the three sections were hailing the powers, boasts, and toasts. There was no section for oaths.

      -E-

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  3. worthyadvisor says:

    I hear a lot of good things in our suite about all three of these rituals from several folks, FYI. 🙂 I wish I had been able to say hello, but I was suite maven-ing most of the weekend! (And marrying folks and such!) We should make some time to get together soon! 🙂

    Like

    • EmberVoices says:

      Oh dear gods I’d forgotten you even HAD a suite, and never stopped by! I’m so sorry!

      Actually, I only managed to even enter all of… 4? 6 suites at all during the weekend? Mostly Pagans of Color, and some Pandemos, and Heathen Hospitality, but I did get to poke my head into Coru Cathubodua, Pandamoneaon, and the main PCon Hospitality suite sort of hosted our debrief after the Freyja ritual.

      I’m so glad to hear good things were said, thank you for the feedback!

      -E-

      Like

      • worthyadvisor says:

        No worries…To be honest, I didn’t even know you were there, although, when I heard about the Frejya ritual, I was like, “Oh, I wonder if Ember’s doing that?”

        I didn’t even get to any other suites this weekend, myself, even though I did want to get to the PoC and Pandemos suites…*sigh* Too much stuff, too little time!

        Like

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