I write “summary” but let’s be real, it’s not going to be all that brief.
I had a really, really great weekend. Some of it I am sure I am going to be processing, and continuing to benefit from, for a very long time. I got some things I wanted from it, and some things I really needed; some of it I hadn’t dared hope for and other things I really could not anticipate (but the nature of such events is such that I do anticipate that unanticipated surprises will happen).
There were a lot of great-sounding presentations that I opted not to go to because the alternative was to spend time with people whose company I really enjoyed. Even with that, there were several people I wish I could have talked with more. I know that is the nature of these events, and I go into them expecting it (as well as the inevitable “these two presentations both sound amazing and they are scheduled at the same time!!”) but I feel obligated to complain about insufficient time for all the things regardless.
One of the first presentations I went to was “Embodied Practice and Devotion.” A part of that was experiential; we got comfortable in a still position of our choice and then tuned into how our bodies wanted to move or adjust. Then we were instructed to tune into whatever spirits were around us who wanted to engage with us, to feel how our bodies reacted to their presence, and to then move into a position that we felt would bring us into a closer connection with Them. The first deity I was aware of was Loki, no surprise, but there was Someone else with Him, and then Loki kind of disappeared. The other deity is one I’ve had a relationship with for years, and it’s often been a very uncomfortable relationship; some aspects of it have been incredibly distressing. Anyway, when I figured out how to get my body configured right, She said something to me and I had an immediate response to that, to Her, from what felt like something deeper than my heart, from my very core, to Her, that left me in tears. It was still . . . positive. I’m going to have to revisit it, probably a lot; I think there’s a lot of stuff to unpack there.
I’ve read about how different trance positions can open a person up to very specific experiences, but I’ve never tried any of the recorded positions, or tried to find any specific to Powers I know myself, so it was really interesting to experience something like that. I’ve mentally filed this away as something that would be interesting to explore with Others, but also as something I am nervous to explore with Others.
I also have homework after a fashion from the presentation/workshop on “Apotheosis: An Exploration of Your Mortal and Immortal Personae.” I’ve read Thenea’s blog posts on the topic in the past, but actually going through some of her suggested practices was useful, and having started, I think I want to try and get even more out of it. It also feels like something I need to do, given both some long-standing trends in my practice as well as some more recent realizations. I am really uneasy about it, but. It may be better to throw myself off those cliffs rather than wait to be thrown, you know?
I went to the “Advancing Devotional Practice” discussion; I went to it at Pantheacon, too, but since it was a discussion I figured it wouldn’t end up a repeat experience, and it wasn’t. It was interesting, though I don’t know that I personally got a lot out of it, but it was very well attended (I’m pretty sure there more people than at Pcon) and the discussion went very well.
I also went to another presentation I’ve seen before, “Three Tales of Devotion,” about the mystics/poets Sri Andal, Akka Mahadevi, and Mirabai. It was mid-afternoon on Sunday, and I was very, very tired, and the stories about these women are really lovely, and that was just the right speed for where I was Sunday afternoon.
The summaries given from the opening session sounded good – I went off with the neurodivergent group, but I got the impression that all of the groups had really good discussions. It is now too far in the past for me to be able to summarize any of it. (I was pretty well-rested on Friday, but that did not last long, and I’m not fully put back together yet.)
I was sad the Mni Wiconi presentation had a relatively small group of attendees. The work the presenters were there to discuss is so important, to me personally as well as, well, globally. But the presentations and discussion were good, and I came away from it with some ideas about other ways to get more involved.
I was also sad that the public altar I set up was not interacted with more, but what I did see there from other people was very moving. And, when I visited it at one point on Sunday, I saw that someone had placed a paper crane on it. There’d been a workshop that morning, “Senbazuru: One Thousand Cranes for Peace,” and then there were cranes left on each of the public altars. My feelings are really too big for words, but I’m tearing up over it again.
After I took the altar down, and was changing back into normal clothes, the Power who had guided the setup of the altar come forward with a few words about what I had done. (They may have been the first words I’ve ever gotten from that Power, in fact; the previous communications were more like gentle ‘yes’ or ‘no’ nudges in various directions.) And. Um. I find myself repeatedly floored by how what seems like very much “not enough” to me, wholly inadequate to the immensity of what I perceive is still meaningful to Them.
My presentation on spirit marriage went very well!! But I’m going to do a separate post on all that. I’ve given myself a deadline of Wednesday of this week.
Also, the conference, or wyrd, or the Powers, or whatever, conspired to pitch a significant curveball at me. I had not even expected baseball to be on the agenda!! But it was
fine. It was actually good. I lost some sleep thinking over it but I knew how I wanted to handle it, and I did, and it was fucking amazing. Apparently I have learned how to baseball without knowing that learning was happening.
Finally, my Spouses were an incredible source of support at times leading up to the con. They have told me repeatedly They are here for me, and I admit I am very good at not asking for help, but when I do, They are amazing, and I am really, really grateful for how They help. Even when I don’t ask for things, They are amazing. I know Loki in particular had something to do with some of the good things that happened this weekend, and I am overwhelmed by how loved I feel.