"This is the best pagan festival in North America." Jason Mankey
Damn Straight! The folks that put these thing on should be nominated for sainthood, Panhood? Something. If you are a pagan on the left coast and you don't go to this, turn in your pagan card. You must go. I learn so much there every year.
The Open Source Order of the Golden Dawn put on a variation of the GD Neophyte Hall. I had some ontological fits during the opening but I know they do things differently than I've been trained. That is okay by me. The ritual itself was creative, funny, had a point and lacked any power whatsoever. Or so I thought. A day or two afterwards, I stuck my finger in Sam Webster's chest. Sam founded and runs the OSOGD. I told him, "I owe you one for that." He laughed and smiled. Given what I know of Sam's life over the last couple of years, that was heart warming in itself. Later, I made sure My Gal passed on the same message. I do to say this with all love and respect, &$^#*@.
After that ritual, I confronted my shadow at every turn. I met Lee Harrington. He did a talk on rope magick that I really enjoyed. I learned two techniques from Lee that, I am sure, will be painfully obvious to my readers. They were not obvious to me. The man has been there and done that. I ran into him at the hotel resturant and complimented him. He came over and sat at our table. He is the only combination transexual, bdsm guru, alternative sexuality priest, body piercer (to the point of suspension from the ceiling), adept (at something but I am not sure what), spirit worker, fully actualized human, performance artist, museum exhibitor, author and all around good egg I've ever met. I have some repressed sexuality issues. He has none. Hence, the positive side of my shadow.
Sam, I SO OWE YOU.
Moving right along, I went to "Tantric Shamanism Breath Work Ceremony" put on by Sylvia Brallier. Wow. Awesome. Talk about raising kundalini! Oh, Thou Serpents, where have you been all my life? Sleeping, no doubt. One word: Wow
I laughed the laugh of the liberated. The twin cobras still dance. I am going to travel to San Francisco to learn more from these people if at all possible. Sexual repression? What is that again?
Then, I encountered a black magician who shall be nameless. Oh, dark dark place. Here is my shadow too. I'd never do this stuff. Um...sure, you go right ahead and believe that if you want. Heck, I convinced myself for a long time that I'd never do such things. A magician must have his head in heaven and his feet in hell. Sooner or later, something may enter into my life that will require this. I don't have to look forward to it but I must acknowledge the possibility.
At one point, a friend was sucked dry in an elevator by a vamp. In only one floor she went from estatic to tired and miserable. Fortunately, she found me just after leaving the tantra ritual. I taught her to draw the energy from me. She went from great to horrible to drunk on power in the space of ten minutes. That was quite a ride for her. It was a pleasure to be of service to one in need.
I also did some quite effective healing work on a burn and some emotional conforting over the weekend. Such simple magicks can be so effective when love is the motivation. Thank you, Mr. DuQuette.
I bring up the first part last. I attended some things on Dionysis and Pan put on by Jason Mankey. If you have any interest in the Greek gods, see Jason where you can. He is well worth the trip and, if you're lucky, or unlucky, he'll take you on quite another trip of your own. Jason is awesome. I mention this last because, oddly enough, this entire trip was overshadowed by the great god Pan. The goat-footed one and I have become acquainted. Frankly, I love him. Frankly, he scares me.
I also presented for the first time this year. The topic was The Magick of the Self, Your Holy Guardian Angel. I had one of the worst slots imaginable, 1:30 on Monday. The last class time on the last day. I thought I'd be speaking to My Gal and a couple of friends. The San Jose room was not standing room only but it certainly looked well attended to me. My guess is that about 50 to 60 people showed up. Only one left in the middle. The audience was kind enough to laugh at my antics and was very attentive. They were great.
Many other things happened over the weekend that will never be posted here. But, the weekend qualifies as life changing.