This weekend – every President’s day weekend – is Pantheacon, the largest indoor Pagan conference/gathering in the world, in San Jose, CA. I’ve been twice, and I’ve been itching to go back ever since.
To me, PCon (as it’s known) is like a family reunion. I get to spend time with my fellow Feri students, meet other practitioners I’ve only known online, and share some magic together. There are rituals and workshops, lectures and panels, hospitality suites and parties, and lots of conversation in between times. It’s a way to meet up with other ‘spiritual kin,’ but also a time to branch out. It’s a ‘Big Tent’ Pagan gathering. You’ll find it heavy on Feri/Faery and Wicca, but you’ll also find Voudoun, various types of Reconstructionists, Thelema, Jewish magic, tarot, Druidry, and even some interfaith Hinduism, among others. For a social, religions nerd like me, PCon is the greatest event ever.
It’s also very overwhelming. Activities run from 9am until well past midnight. It is not possible to do everything. Some speakers and rituals attract more bodies than there is space. Picking and choosing one’s activities and exquisite self-care (rest, good food, down time, movement, etc) are particularly important. The first year I went I was five months pregnant; the next year I went with a 7 month old infant! Both of those situations required me to carefully monitor my energy levels and take time away from activities. I don’t remember being disappointed at missing parties or rituals – all I remember at this point is the joy of being with my friends and getting to hear my favorite Pagan thinkers and writers.
It’s hard to read all the posts on Facebook, seeing what and who I’m missing out on. But their excitement carries over and I look forward to reading about my friends’ (and friendly bloggers’) experiences in the week to come.
Adam and I haven’t been able to go for the last few years – we were in Wales, then freshly moved to the US, and this year the new housing policy and money issues got in the way. But next year! Like Jewish people longing for Jerusalem, I too long for my people and cry out: Next year! At Pantheacon!