(Because I am a “My Little Pony” fan, and I’m high as a kite on cold medicine, my brain keeps singing this post title to me to the tune of the “Winter Wrap-Up” song. Thanks, brain.)
It’s that time again in the Pagan blog-o-sphere where we all write about our experiences at PantheaCon! Since I’m now a part of that blog-o-sphere, and I know a bandwagon when I see one, here’s mine.
To start, a bit of a disclaimer: because I am a volunteer staff member of the convention, there is a large part of my con experience that I cannot discuss due to confidentiality concerns. I am not an official representative of the convention, and the thoughts and opinions I express here are not the thoughts and opinions of the con or of anyone else who works the event.
Now that that’s out of the way, I had a terrific time! This year was very much a year of transitions, with my past and my present colliding (in a good way, thankfully). I’ve been attending this event since I was 15 years old, and there is always a strange mix of childlike and adult energies that compete for my attention; there’s a lot of history here for me. I started to reconcile with my high school sweetheart, with whom I parted on bad terms; I reconnected with an old flame and started to rekindle some of that spark; I caught up with friends and family I haven’t seen in a while. This is also the year that I start to leave some of my old commitments behind as I make more space in my life for my Initiate work, which is always bittersweet, but transitions are never easy.
As part of my duties as ConOps staff, I spend a large chunk of the weekend roving around and talking to people (yay walkies!). This is a big change for me, since I usually help with the A/V tech and have done so since I was old enough to start volunteering, and it’s still something I’m learning to do well. I’ve spent a lot of my life trying to be invisible, for reasons I’ll not get into right now, so having it be a part of my job to be seen is an adjustment, to say the least. While I am an introvert and find social interactions draining, it’s an absolute joy to meet people and talk to them about their convention experiences, to reunite them with lost items, and to generally be a friendly face. One of my friends mentioned to me that working ConOps is like warding on a macro level, and that’s exactly what we do. No wonder I enjoy it so much!
And on that note, a list of thanks and gratitudes. This is by no means a comprehensive list, and I’m sure I’ve forgotten someone or something. Know that if I left something out it’s not because it didn’t matter to me; I am grateful to everyone who helped make this year’s convention great!
- To my roommates for the weekend, a motley group of so-and-so’s collectively called the Monsters, my eternal gratitude for making our room one of the best places to be. For the cuddles, and the laughs, and all the incredible food (you’d be surprised what you can make in a waffle iron), you have my undying love.
- To my fellow ConOps staff, for giving me a chance last year when I needed a break from Tech and for helping me learn how to be seen. Your calm wisdom and clear-headedness in stressful situations is truly something to aspire to.
- To my CAYA family, for providing me with a chill place to relax at the end of my shift (and for all the joyful singing!). Especially big thanks to those of you who saw me at the end of Sunday night, when I was tired and in a lot of pain, and forced me to sit down and put my feet up while you fetched me a snack.
- To all of you who came to PantheaCon, as attendees or as vendors or as staff members. Thank you for showing up, doing the work, having a great time, and (mostly) following the rules. Without you, there would be no convention. You give me hope for the future of the wider Pagan community.
I will close out this post with the tarot reading I did for myself as I was getting ready to depart the hotel (“the ugly carpet never lies,” to quote Mama Kitsune). From the Welcome to Night Vale tarot, the following wisdom:
- What did I learn from con this year? The Hanged Man. If I don’t slow down and take care of myself, the universe will do it for me. Don’t set yourself on fire to keep others warm.
- What am I leaving behind? The Queen of Swords. I’m laying down one mantle– a full-time commitment to being con staff, not just at PCon but at the other events I work– to make the space to strike out on a new journey.
- What will I bring with me to next year’s event? The Seven of Swords. All the wisdom and power and self-growth I hope to achieve through my Initiate work this year.
I hope those of you who attended had a great time! The convention is exhausting and overwhelming, but I always return refreshed and ready to take on new ideas and new projects. I’ve already got a few more posts lined up, featuring some crafty topics like sigil magick and natural dyeing, as well as some more thoughts on selfies (continuing the musings from this post). Watch this space!
In Joyful Service,