F is for Friends and Feasting Leads to Finding “Things”
This post is a little late in coming, but here we go. For anyone who didn’t know: Paganicon took place in Minnesota March 15th through the 17th, and it was a mixed yet needed weekend for myself. I am warning beforehand, this post is going to be a ton of emotional spewing, because yeah, I need to.
I had the fantastic opportunity to meet some individuals who I had been talking in the eCauldron forum and chat room. The first night included going to dinner and having fun conversation, and afterward meandering to a panel that was hijacked and because it was hijacked, it resulted in reading some fantastic poetry and side commenting on the talk with one of the people.
The next morning was meandering for breakfast and returning for a talk (which was one of the ones I was the most geared up/excited for) by Kiya Nicoll. The talk gave me some ideas to work with (including “teeeeeeeeeeth”). I know have some
new material to work with. Kiya’s talk also gave the overly self-conscious part of me some solace.
I have lived in a vacuum (or so I have experienced) where I’ve been the only source for finding and practicing anything with the Neteru or (for lack of better vocabulary) anyone with a specific “path” with things like rules, guidelines, rituals, taboos, etc. The amount of outside influence I have found useful in helping me develop has been non-existent (or were violent lessons to be learned) until I finally found eCauldron and a little after that period (events unrelated) started to go to a tea time in Minneapolis.
In my social life I tended to be surrounded by individuals who take what I take so seriously and whimsy it out (it’s not the worst thing in the world, but dialogue that benefits my own practice and life experiences hasn’t been there for me). It makes for situation that includes more of me explaining to others rather than finding knowledge I can utilize and explanations for me. There has been one individual recently where the whimsy is not in their vocabulary beyond bullshit, and I have begun to collaborate with her.
When I first logged on to eCauldron and was posting, I felt way below some of the others on the board. I was finding ideas and “the things” I should know, I really didn’t. I felt I had wasted myself and my own resources for the years I have been studying (both as a science and as a religion). After being able to talk to others who are following a similar path, I now feel that I’m not in a boat all alone in my own ocean. I know it probably seems weird to think of me in that situation, and need a hard thunk, because there really isn’t such a thing as wasted resources, but it is what I felt and will probably feel in some regards for a while. The “Digging up the Mysteries” talk was the thunk I needed. It gave me then experiences of someone who had similar hurdles that I needed to hear about, because once again, I’ve only had myself.
I used to believe I needed to be everything, because there was none of it present. I live in the middle of Paganistan and yet the European practices dominate and I have found no one until recently, present here in MN, who can actually tell the difference between Set and the Unmaking One, or how Aset is not actually a moon goddess from a Recon point of view, or maybe how one of the personifications of the earth is male, so it’s my Father Earth, not Mother Earth (although it’s much more complicated than that, but anywhos, I hope you get the picture).
I don’t make it a point to go around refuting others (I used to, but now I don’t). I now just pine for having others who can understand the dialogue and the work I do. I yearn for community because I have never had that. Some always say we want what we don’t have and I want community. I want to be able to have random conversations on different levels. I want people whom I can call friends, and that is what I was faced with in this group of people.
So, we get to the time for the Ball. We start at the Ball and figure out the party is really at the Flamekeeping Suite with cheaper booze, and then later at the Crossroads suite with free booze and red lights. We have fun, we converse, we joke, we laugh, and for me, most of all, it’s getting to know all of the others. It is learning who they are and what they are like beyond the internet. The internet is all fine and dandy for connecting across distances, but I miss being able to be face to face with others (I am working on not hiding at home, I swear).
The second major experience came with Kiya’s second talk (surprise, surprise) on Sunday. It was a topic involving Paganism in households. I have been wrestling for a while about when I have children, how is my religion going to be role or if it should be a role. There were also tips on how to introduce it to the tiny ones and some ideas how to work a mixed religious family. I haven’t had the ability before this to talk to others who are mixed religions in regards to raising children and how to create a functioning household. There are a couple of other aspects about myself which bopped me in the head at this talk, and talking to a couple of the others while we were intoxicated, but it’s still too fresh of a revelation to discuss at all, so I’m not telling (neener-neener-neener).
I don’t believe I would have gotten out of the talks what I got out of them if it wasn’t for having the background reason for investing in to the talks and the background to understand them. I do want to give a shout out to the people who put up with me for the weekend, because whether you know it or not, you gave me back to me, and made that weekend the best experience I have ever had at a social function. F is for friends and feasting because they can and do lead to finding the “things” I need and the “things” that are me.