The last 50 years has been exciting, with the 60’s called “the Occult Explosion”, and the New Age. But there have been “New Ages” in almost every generation since the “Enlightenment”, and before that Magick was simply one of the things people studied. Knowing how things began can be useful for directing your attention to what you want to learn next. I’ll run through magic from the beginning of written history to the present, mostly from the European and Mediterranean/ Middle Eastern areas, and leave time for questions.
Oh the stories we tell ourselves! Witches are evil women who eat babies and have sold their souls to the Devil! Witchcraft is a fertility religion that has survived unchained in secret since the Neolithic matriarchy! This is the New Age, the Dawning of the Age of Aquarius! No one has been as aware as we are now! The Ancients had mystical power beyond our ken and it’s been kept by secret societies in Tibet! The Tarot is based on symbols found in Egyptian Pyramids! (and so on ad nauseum)
OK let’s be honest, there’s no way to debunk all the stories we make up since we continue doing it, but Tchipakkan is going to try to hit some of the highlights of what we really know about magickal practices in history, so that maybe we don’t have to be embarrassed about the dumb stuff we pass along ten years from now.
Rebecca Hamilton-Oubouzar is an artist, writer, and Kabyle-by-marriage. She has been a practicing pagan for more than 15 years, and has studied and worked with Kabyle culture and symbology for more than a decade. As the co-founder of Raven’s Own, a unique collectibles shop, Rebecca helps to create unique jewelry, tools, and figurines that reflect her eclectic quirkiness. Irreverent and sarcastic, especially with her deities, she spends most of her time herding cats.
This year she’ll be doing two classes:
Walking the Liminal Spaces
As our path unwinds, sometimes we find ourselves in the shoes of Robert Frost, taking “the one less traveled by.” These less-worn avenues often take us between the well-drawn lines of society. We will briefly explore the in-between places in which we walk. (This class will include guided meditation; passing familiarity with pagan and queer terminologies will help, but is not required.).
Get Action Rebecca Oubouzar
Life is beyond demanding, and “wine-and-bubble-bath” method of self-care is a booming business. But all the STUFF is still lurking outside your candle-lit soaking sanctuary. How do we handle it? How do we do so mindfully, without burning ourselves out? How do we do it when we’re overwhelmed, exhausted, depressed? Let’s find out together. (This class will include guided meditation.)
If the workshops are the muscles of the conference, the panels are the bones (and the attendees the lifes-blood). One of the goals of CTCW is to get people to discuss the many different approaches to the supernatural and paranormal that we’ve learned, to compare, and learn from each other. We pick panels that are meant to put forward topics that can be looked at in different ways: shamanism, symbolism, healing, ghosts, divination, magick, psychic abilities. We pick panelists who will probably approach the topic from different points of view, and different experiences.
Please feel free to suggest any topic you’d like to hear explored, whether you want to participate in the panel or just listen. But you don’t need to be an expert on a topic to be on a panel, your experience makes you an expert on what you’ve seen. Perhaps you don’t know enough to do a workshop, but each panelist will probably only get about 10 minutes of speaking time, so this might be a great way for you to “get your toes wet” as it were, and share what you know “a little” about. It still may be something other people didn’t know about and will help them understand the overall subject.
Or you may simply want to hear about a subject from several points of view. Let us know- if four people are interested, you’ll get to hear at least four points of view (maybe more).
There are a lot of people who seem to think that when you’ve acquired a need by doing something, it shouldn’t be given the same respect as needs that happen to everyone. A lot of people need coffee in the morning. Maybe they weren’t born needing coffee, but when your body is used to it, and suddenly you don’t get it, the effects are there, and it’s best to deal with that need. Did you know that something similar happens when you take a lot of vitamin C? Your body gets used to, and requires a higher level than folks who don’t supplement. They can get scurvy if they stop suddenly.
You may have heard people talking about various self soothing behaviors as being “a crutch”, like it’s a bad thing. Crutches are wonderful for those who need them, and we shouldn’t accept using the term as if most the time people use them it was unnecessary. Our culture has too many habits of disparaging the needs of others.
We can create needs in a positive way- falling in love creates a need to be with the other person, we can feel a need to be with our child, especially when post-partum hormones are swirling through our systems. I have a theory that some sort of hormonal change during menopause makes aging women want to care for babies. (Perhaps that insures the survival of the species when the demands on a young mother is too great?) These are normal, if not universal, and do come with choices we’ve made. So lighten up on both yourself and those around you. If someone is better off with the something (or someone) in their life, it’s a good thing to meet that need, just as if it were air or water. When you figure out what your “invisible” needs are, your life will be so much better, and that will make the lives of those around you better too.
Raven Kaldera will be returning to Changing Times-Changing Worlds this year! We’ll be posting a list of the classes he’ll be presenting this year soon.
Raven Kaldera is a Northern Tradition shaman, intersex/transgender FTM activist, erotica educator, Ordeal Master, Speaker for the Transgendered Dead, homesteader, diviner, psychic vampire, herbalist, polyamorous parent, and author of many, many books, articles, and short stories. Raven is a builder of bridges between worlds, a crosser of boundaries between communities, a Reweaver of the Web. He is the Dreamer Whose Dreams Come True. ‘Tis an ill wind that blows no minds. www.ravenkaldera.org/.