Kenny Klein: Tales Of The Rambling Wren.
Follow Kenny from the levees of New Orleans to the whirling chaos that is the Pagan festival circuit and beyond. Musings, rants, and just plain Pagan talk.
I just came home from a pretty amazing weekend at PantheaCon, in San Jose, California. PantheaCon is a long running Pagan convention held around the same time each year, in mid-February, and is put on by Ancient Ways bookshop (who have also sponsored a summer gathering for decades, which is also called Ancient Ways).
PantheaCon is a who's who of Pagan authors and presenters. Just a very few of the presenters this year were Starhawk, Margot Adler, Oberon Zell, Jason Pitzl-Waters, Jason Mankey, Donald Michael Kraig, Chris Penczak, Amber K, Selena Fox, Peter Paddon, Devin Hunter and Orion Foxwood. Musicians who played concerts included Wendy Rule, Ruth Barrett, Holly Tannen and of course li'l ol' me. There is really nowhere else I know of where you can find all of these Pagan authors, thinkers, artists and presenters under one roof.
Being a presenter, musician, author and tarot reader, I don't get to attend a lot of other peoples' workshops. Mine all went great, well attended and well received. Beside my workshops on Magic and Mojo in Blues Music, and Magical Bird Lore, and my concert, I did a workshop with Jason Mankey in which we fielded questions from attendees and Jason and I argued about the answers; and I was on a panel of Llewellyn staff and authors addressing Pagan publishing. I was there with my one-true-love Lauren, and she did get to listen to a few workshops and presentations, and hob knob with major Pagan players while I was busy elsewhere. Hopefully she will share those experiences in her own blog.
Llewellyn had a table set up in the dealer's area, and I got to connect with the staff that helps me get my books in print and on the shelves. That was really great for me: their staff is awesome, and I am especially grateful to acquisitions editor Elysia Gallo, who encouraged me several years ago to submit to Llewellyn, and has worked closely with me ever since.
Speaking of the dealer's room, it is THE place for magical supplies. Name something you need for magic, ritual or garb: someone there has it! Of course Lauren bought lots of stuff.
PantheaCon is one of the few indoor Pagan events I do. While I love the campground events, it is nice to be in a hotel with showers and a pool, and hall sized rooms for lectures and concerts. Let's just say it's the other side to the festival coin. One element of P-Con are the room parties: in the evenings, various groups put on parties in rooms on the upper floors. If you like to socialize, imbibe and frolic, this con is pretty awesome (for those who don't, the downstairs floors remain quiet and family-friendly).
If you have not been to a major Pagan event (i.e. one that lasts several days or a week, as opposed to a local one-day event, and is attended by Pagans from in and outside your area), I recommend this one. Be warned that hotel rooms can be hard to get for this event; if you cannot get a room in the Doubletree (the hotel where PantheaCon is held), there are several hotels nearby that are walking distance and that are also very nice. But book early; availability of rooms constitute the one complaint I often hear about this particular event.
With summer coming, I'll be looking at more Pagan festivals and events on this blog, so check back! And for more coverage of Mardi Gras, just a short fortnight ago, see part 2 of my regular blog on Mardi Gras here.
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