Craic, Colloquy, and Poison (PantheaCon)

It looks like I can only muster a brief note on this year’s PantheaCon, perhaps there will be more later, perhaps not.

Really, I’ve had more trouble than usual in trying to wrap my thoughts into words about the 2015 PantheaCon. It was a brief ‘Con this year for me, as I was only able to attend from Saturday evening to late Sunday night. The time I spent there was definitely about the craic and the colloquy, the important conversations and nourishing dialogues with friends from far away, and of people I only see at PantheaCon. Murtagh an Doile, of Nemed na Morrigna, one of those doing proto-CR back in the 80s, and head of the Pagan History Project; big hearted Oggie of El Paso; PSV Lupus; the Anomalous Thracian; and Duffi McDermott, were among these. It was good to meet the very knowledgeable Thenea of Pandemos, a South SF Bay Hellenic group, the marvelous Jaina Bee, and Alley Valkyrie who gave me some wonderful honeybee patches and an anti-capitalist zine (thanks!).   And a few good rituals were had, including the Ekklesia Lupercalia in which I participated, and a rite to Dionysos Hestios.

Although San Jose is relatively close for me, I live too far for it to be a daily commute. Also the Con is held in one of the most expensive locales in the US (Silicon Valley) and even a sad-sack room for one night in a so-called nearby “budget” motel cost me over a 100 dollars. A usual accommodation had fallen out, and I use medical equipment for sleeping (yes, a C-pap machine).

I had had some apprehensions before I arrived, which quickly dissipated after running into some of the aforementioned friends, but at one point I almost went to the Pagan Scholar’s suite but noticed on the board that Atheopagan was soon be making a presentation, so I headed toward the elevator. I do work to avoid unnecessary stress and negativity in my life. Unfortunately this was unavoidable for other attendees, especially those of color. Much has written about a stupid unofficial bulletin put out by an anonymous group that apparently finds racism comical (read Aedicula Antinoi for a thorough treatment of this). But there was much more. I was only briefly able to stop by the Pagans of Color hospitality suite hosted by Elena Rose, Xochiquetzal Duti Odinsdottir and other fine folks,but was horrified later to hear that people had been walking down the hall there making verbal harassments. Some felt physically unsafe walking around.

I’m just…almost at a loss of words that this level of racism/white supremacism is going on at PantheaCon. I’d really like to know what the planners have in mind to better the situation in the future. It really is scary, and I am left wondering about the future of PantheaCon.

Also see:

http://paganactivist.com/2015/02/17/racism-and-activism-at-pantheacon/#more-1512

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2 thoughts on “Craic, Colloquy, and Poison (PantheaCon)

  1. Perhaps not surprisingly, I’m also uneasy about PantheaCon, and specifically the future of the Ekklesía Antínoou in relation to it. As much as I get out of it, and enjoy seeing our people (especially you!), at the same time, I’m appalled at the racism, and what is being allowed and what isn’t being allowed, what gets called out and what doesn’t, and what role the organizers really want to play in terms of trying to make things better.

    I did some divination on the matter before my posts yesterday, and got ENDASION–yes, it is certainly a “hairy” situation to even consider going in the future, but I haven’t been told a definite “no” yet, so whether or not anything happens next year remains to be seen. I want to contingency plan, but likewise, I don’t want to get my hopes up either.

  2. It certainly has been an important site for the Ekklesia and with my own involvement–didn’t get to remark on that 7 year anniversary of my mystification! The opacity of the programming process is a real problem,I think. As far as the racism I guess it basically reflects the overall society, but I find that very disappointing considering that all of the people their are religious/spiritual minorities and I think should be more open to confronting their own blindnesses. I read on Crystal’s website that this stuff happens every Con since there first was POC Suite. I would very much like to hear that the Con organizers were taking all of this very seriously.

    Update: I’m happy to see Glenn Turner has made a statement: http://pantheacon.com/wordpress/

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