If workshops are the flesh of the Changing Times, Changing Worlds Conference, then our Panels are the bones. Panels are where we get to talk to others who may approach spiritual and metaphysical topics from another perspective. We hope to bring together those with valuable information and ideas to compare notes, experiences, and make each other aware of what people approaching the same problem from another direction have learned. We don’t expect to get agreement or even consensus , but to challenge each other with new thoughts and approaches. Audience participation is vital.
This year we are back in the Clarion which inspired our casual form of panels- we are aiming for the feel of a wonderful conversation in someone’s living room with some great people contributing. Our panelists (3-5) sit on a couch by the fireplace and the audience at nearby tables and chairs (and the dealers can listen from the doorways of their rooms). We always leave an hour between panels in case some want to stay behind and continue the discussion.
Would you like to be on a panel? You don’t need to be a speaker, or even an expert, only to have something to contribute to a discussion about the topic. If you have something you’d like to share, but it would only take 10 minutes, not an hour or more, this may be a good way to share it. If you’d enjoy a discussion about some metaphysical or spiritual topic with others who have another perspective, this may be a great chance. If there’s no panel this year with a topic you’d like to see discussed, please use the contact form and suggest that we talk about it next year.
Our Panels this year will include:
Some religions feel that their rites are not just helping them, but preserving their ancestors. In china, Heathen Europeans, modern The Mormons, all feel a strong interaction between the living and the dead of a bloodline. Let’s explore how these practices may be applicable in our lives.
Charging for Spiritual/Psychic Services
When one is called to serve the community or has a possibly Divinely given gift, such as psychic or healing abilities, is it appropriate to charge the recipient? Certainly in tribal communities there is the expectation that the Shaman will serve, but he will also be supported by his people. In our modern, money based culture, with such a emphasis on individualism, how do we handle these exchanges? Especially when laws and tax structures also impact the situation. We may not come up with solutions, but the discussion should be illuminating.
Continuity of Practice Panel
Many of us come from paths where we’re inventing/reinventing our practice as we go. Is there a point at which it becomes valuable to codify and freeze our practices, as major, organized religions have, or is our ability to improvise/continually re-invent our path inherent in it?
Fate Destiny and Wyrd Panel
The Greeks would ask the Pythia, and the Romans the Sybil to tell them what their fate was, and while she would speak accurately, their words were often misunderstood and those attempting to escape their fate created it. The Norse felt that a man’s wyrd was set, and how he met it was the test of his character, yet a person’s luck could be taken from him and given to someone else. Palmists call the line running from your wrist to your fingers your Fate or Destiny line- but what is Fate/Destiny/Weird? If things aren’t predestined, how does prophesy work? Different Christian denominations consider the variations of the predestination question incredibly important articles of faith. How does your spiritual path (collectively or personally) view destiny?
Gaming and Magick
Role playing (mostly tabletop, because when you’re playing a game you don’t want real magic happening, so tossing seed packets is better), often includes players using magick and psychic abilities. Different systems use different ways to describe how this works, and some systems reflect what we’ve learned better than others. Issac Bonewits who wrote the seminal book Real Magic, years later came out with an adaptation for gaming Authentic Thaumaturgy. Those of us who are both magick users or psychic, and also game players are often struck by the contrasts and carry-overs between gaming and real world magick. Let’s talk about what game designs get right, what they get wrong, and how this may affect those learning to use real magick. (How well does rolling a 20 sided die reflect the success rate of casting a spell?)
When we use energy healing we are able to restore physical wellness by addressing nonphysical factors. Healers have often noticed that they cannot help a patient who isn’t ready to accept that help. Our experienced healers will discuss how getting permission from the patients subconscious (or superconscious) is needed, whether present or in distance healing, and share their experiences with this facet of healing.
Magickal Marketing Panel- on running a healing or occult oriented business
“Do what you love, the money will follow” Sorry Ms. Sinetar, doesn’t always work that well! Some of us are led to “follow our bliss”, provide CAM healing when traditional medicine fails, to make the crystals, and books, and other tools of manifestation and magick available- because there are some things you can’t buy at Walmart! Whether it’s a Botanica, or a “New Age Shop” or Tea Room, you need a bit more than a great idea. Our Panelists have experience and can talk about what’s worked and under what circumstances (because each situation is different). Bring your own wisdom and stories to share as well!
Magick and Technology Panel
Too often we think of magick as a throw-back to primitive times and pre-technological cultures. But magick and technology do mix, often very well. Many entities find it easier to communicate between worlds through energy manipulation (perhaps it’s a frequency thing). Other times they mix poorly- we all know someone who cannot wear a watch without it breaking within a few days, or whose presence seems to create static on electronic devices. Yet, what are many sorts of divination but random number generators, and what better than a computer to do that? If you would test it yourself, try going to websites like facade and judge for yourself. Our panel will discuss the intersection of technology and magick. There are now apps and programs aimed at metaphysical practice, electronic grimoires, on line covens and other working groups. We live in the world with computers, we use them to make a living, pay our bills, play,… why not incorporate them in our magickal lives as well?
Our Favorite Metaphysical Books
Like learning metaphysical things? Of course you do- that’s why we’re all here. And when we’re not at CTCW, one of the best ways to learn is books. The big question is “which ones”?
Join our panelists as they share the metaphysical books that they most like to recommend to others. Whether you’re just starting out or are experienced in magick, divination, or alternative health, you’ll find something to teach you, amaze you or just tickle your fancy.
Pressured to Keep Quiet Panel
How comfortable are you talking about your spiritual or magickal work? What pressures keep you silent? Is being silent a bad thing, or can there be positive reasons for it? Our panelists will discuss these issues and how to approach the problem, if there is a problem.
Sex and Gender in Ritual Panel
Do sex and or gender have a place it determining who may participate in a ritual? Historically, it often has done, but in the modern world, we are more careful to be sure that any restrictions are based on something more than what we are used to doing. We’ll discuss real and imposed differences sex and gender may have on ritual as well as spiritual or magickal practices.
Male and Female can represent two sides of dualistic forces in the world, creating natural balances and complementing each other. In polytheistic cultures it is often considered natural to have priest for gods and priestesses for women, but when dealing with modern GLBT issues, is imposition of birth gender any more valid than suggesting that the gods may not call to someone born far distant from where they were traditionally worshiped? And there is the observation that powerful shaman often embrace “Two Natures” (and if it can be an advantage, is it necessarily a requirement?).
Shamanism Going Forward Panel
What parts of the old skills and styles will be especially useful for the next 50 or 100 years? We might instantly think of the psychic and herbal healing lore which could certainly be a fascinating side of the discussion. But there’s also a face of the old shamanic ways that most Pagan folk seldom think about but most artists remember well: the shamanic performance style.
Tarot Panel- How to Read Court Cards
This is one of the hardest questions for a beginning reader, because there are SO many ways to read the court cards! Pages are youth, Knights and Kings Men, Queens Women, but while some use hair and eye color, some make an elemental pairing of the court cards, others see the faces on the physical cards. As usual, different readers have different techniques- come hear a few.
Tricksters, and working with them
Sometimes one gets the impression that those who call them selves Erisians are simply looking for an excuse to cause trouble. But often as one panelist said “You don’t choose them, they choose you.” and often the trouble they cause results in valuable learning experience.
This one should be lively- especially if the entities feel invited! Our panelists Starwolf, Lady AMber Dawn, Taliesin and others will be folks who’ve worked (intentionally or not) with Tricksters like: Eris, Loki, Coyote, Hermes, Lugh, Esu, Gwydion, Raven, or others… They are humorists and teachers, although the stories are probably funnier in retrospect than being lived through. Come laugh and learn.
Have you tried a spell and it didn’t do what you wanted or expected? Our panelists are experienced practitioners and are there to help you analyze what went wrong. Be prepared to remember everything about what you did: Not just general, but what you used, (where you got it), when (and in what order), where (what else was there?), and more. Sometimes manifesting is as easy as wishing for something, and sometimes, you forget one thing that keeps the processes from being successful. Also feel free to ask about times when you tried something, there was a clear result, but not what you wanted. Sometimes these stories are great warnings, and figuring out what happened can help make sure it works right next time.
When Politics and Faith mix panel
In 313 the Roman Emperor Constantine made it legal for Christians to practice their faith openly (gave them property, some tax breaks, other support). Within two generations, they were making laws against practicing non-Christian religion. Traditionally Muslims allowed people of many faiths to practice, but taxed them differently according to which faith they followed, but the DAESH are destroying ancient temples because they represent the power of non Islamic faith. Some people still argue that the USA was created as a Christian nation, and our laws should be based upon Biblical laws. Historically, when one leaders with strong religious convictions have power- from Ahkenaten to Bloody Mary, it does not go well for those who follow other faiths. How much do people need to worry about this in the modern world? Pagan parents who come to a custody battle before a judge who thinks pagans are evil might argue it’s a problem. How big are the risks and what can we do to minimize them
Pressured to Keep Quiet Panel
How comfortable are you talking about your spiritual or magickal work? What pressures keep you silent? Is being silent a bad thing, or can there be positive reasons for it? Our panelists will discuss these issues and how to aproach the problem, if there is a problem.