2018 Panels

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2018 Panels

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[If you got here by starting to sign up to be a panelist, use the link above to skip to the bottom of the page where you can complete the sign-up process.

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Or come on over to our facebook page, join, comment, and  share your ideas on what you’d like to see panels cover. Even if we don’t run a certain panel, we can still discuss the topic in the fb group.  Note: some of these panel suggestions approach very similar topics in different ways- one approach may be more appropriate or appealing to you.

We have intentionally offered more subjects here than we can fit into one year. We will schedule the panels that are filled first by people signing up to be on a panel (use the sign up sheet link). Remember, you don’t need to be a speaker to be on a panel, and will probably only get ten minutes to speak on the subject, so don’t feel you need to be an expert. Simply having personal experience to share, or a perspective you think may be of interest is all you need. If you like a panel a lot, feel free to talk about it on the fb page and encourage others to join the panel. If a panel you really wanted doesn’t run this year, don’t hesitate to suggest it again next year. We are trying to make this the conference you want to attend!

What a moderator does is to introduce the guests (or ask them to introduce themselves), and try to keep the conversation on topic. There are many styles of moderating, from those who give prepared questions and keep track of how long each panelist speaks, to those who simply ask leading questions of the panelists. Each panel decides among themselves who will be moderator and what style they prefer. We do always try to have time for the audience to ask questions.

During the next month we will confirm here which of the panels are running, (you can tell if we have added the panelists names) and will post the schedule as soon as it’s done. We should have the schedule set by October 15th, so please sign up immediately, so we can put the schedule together. Since speakers are often also panelists, while we try to avoid scheduling conflicts, we may need to let them happen, so you might not be able to get on every panel for which you volunteer. Let us know if you want to do only a certain number, but would be happy on several beyond that, and which you are especially excited to be on.

Please contact us if you would like to suggest an addition to this list, or be on a panel, or moderate one.

The link to sign up to be a panelist is at the very bottom of this page, where it’s convenient after you’ve had a chance to read the panel descriptions.

Jump to panel sign-up sheet

The ABC’s of CBD Panel: moderator Steve Blais, Jr

For many of us there is so much information out there about Cannabidiol that it makes our head spin, and then we are told that CBD is even good for THAT! Let’s discuss the history of CBD, how and why it works, indications for humans (and pets, too), side effects, legalities, and important considerations. Panelists:


Ancestor Work and Aging Panel

Our role as we get older is to become transitioners and mediators betwixt the worlds, and to help facilitate with crossing-over ceremonies, and to serve as historians: curators of our lineage, family stories and knowledge. Let’s talk about what strategies we’ve learned, and how personally our paths have changed (in direction and scope) over time. We may address the situation that our elders, our living representatives of the Ancestors, are “swept under the rug” and face actions of perceived obsolescence and devaluation. There seems to be a nearly total lack of awareness of Ancestry work in the general in the general population; how can we bridge the gap and educate the larger societal communities and ourselves?


Catching Fire: Times of Changing Panel:

Fire is the element that transforms everything. We change many times in our lives, but two times are famous for it: Puberty and Menopause. During these parts of our lives not only our bodies, but our roles, and our very selves change to something very different than it was before. Sometimes the worst pain comes from resisting the changes. Let’s talk about the way we get through these periods, and how they can teach everyone how to manage other periods of change in their lives.

Changing Symbols Panel:

Can the Swastika be Rehabilitated?  Some groups that had nothing to do with Nazis, (First Nations to Hindus) have stopped using the solar symbol of the broken armed cross because it has become so linked to the Nazi Genocidal mindset. While hate groups still use it to symbolize their desire to oppress those who aren’t the “right” color and religion, do you think there’s any chance of it? Does a symbol have an intrinsic meaning, or is it totally a cultural construct?


Death  Plans Panel:

Do you avoid thinking about your death? Have you made a will, left instructions for your funeral, or burial? Do you have an Organ Donar card? a DNR?  Do you trust your family to know what to do with your books (who gets your Book of Shadows?) and magickal items? In this hour our panelists will share the plans that they  have made for their deaths, and help you decide what is important for you to do so that you have things turn out as well as you would like.


Divination Panel: Pointed Hats vs Lighted Screens:

How has the prevalence of Apps and wide accessibility of information on the internet affected the divination field? How do we feel about of the self-taught readers who gleaned their training only from the internet? Divinatory technology evolves, like the machinery that evolved from industrial revolution to now. Both shape and influence our world. Our magical tools have gone mainstream (even Hollywood). There are apps that claim to replace or equal the seasoned experienced divination practitioners. How do we react to the devaluation of our skills & expertise against such affronts and technological shortcuts?  We may also discuss how fortunetelling laws have changed, and how new mythologies (from comics and film) have entered mythology symbolism, such as Tarot decks using images from Game of Thrones, or the Matrix.


Elders Panel:

“I want to pass on whatever I can before it’s my turn for the Rainbow Bridge.“  A Sami man described their elders as their google. There are many things that our elders can teach community members, but how do you find those eager to learn? When we lived in villages of 200, you knew who the “weird ones” were, you knew who the elders were. How do you find your students or mentor?


Ethics Panel:
#MeToo/#BLM/#ALM/ and us

How have these movements affected spiritual and magickal communities internally? How do our ethics already reflect and incorporate the awareness these movements bring about, and how can we expand on them? (Allow differing viewpoints/opinions)

Let’s talk about issues of consent in relationships vs ethics, and in magical practices, especially balance of Mysteries vs Consent? How do we adapt our traditions (ie. ritual flogging, rites to facilitate major epiphanies) to accommodate abuse victims, PTSD, Autism, others?


The Fair Folk Panel
Tiny or Terrible?  For many of us, the first fairy we were shown was Tinkerbelle, or someone similar in the works of Disney Studios. Yet, if we look at folklore we find they are frequently tall, lordly folk who are met with fear and/or veneration. Are they both? Are the tiny, cute beings of our childhood stories pure fiction? Or perhaps the older stories have grown in the telling? Our panelists will present their opinions on this curious transition in the lore.


Ghost panel:

A medium tells you that your mother is always watching from heaven, people listen to hours of recordings at “haunted houses” to hear whispered voices through static, we leave flowers or a favorite food at a grave, you feel your pet dog curl on your feet in bed, although he died a month ago. There are many views of the experiences that convince us that the dead can contact the living. Heaven? Summerland? Reincarnation? Our panelists will share their views and the experiences that formed them.


Healers and Personal Responsibility Panel:  moderator – Maryalyce Merritt

– As healing practitioners we often see clients redundantly for the same issues. How can we support clients who return to us with the same complaints when they are reluctant to take responsibility for their own healing? The basis of Holistic Healing is often that the practitioner is facilitating a modality that boosts the recipient’s ability to heal themselves. What happens when the healing requires lifestyle changes that the client refuses to implement or is in denial about? How can we best help them while witnessing, holding space, and using what’s in our healer’s’ “tool box”?


Herbalism Panel:
Herbalists talk about sustainability vs Big Agro and GMOs, what Wendell Berry and Juliette de Bairacli taught, and what we can do to bring it forward. Holistic practice encompasses many issues including multi-cropping, crop rotation, indoor gardening practices, community-based farming vs industrial farming practices. Let’s talk about theory and practices, layers of colonization of being, space, and power, the model of capitalism over everyday farmers. How do these practices reflect our beliefs? HMO often are blocking personal farms and gardens; what can we do to facilitate and work around said restrictions?


“I wish they’d told me that when I started out” Panel:
Has anyone come through this without pulling at least one stupid act?
“Don’t invoke anything you can’t dispel” leaps to mind.
“Triage: you cannot help others unless you are taking care of yourself too.”
“Don’t raise energy and leave it lying around unused.”
“You can’t heal anyone else.”
“Remember to ward.” Our panelists will probably have some great examples, but others are welcome to share their hard earned lessons. (Maybe we should put it together and make a book afterwards!)


Myths/Mythology Panel:

American Gods presented a very interesting premises basically that anything that we give energy to can “take a life of its own”, and can become a form of “gods”.. what do we think of that? Are we likewise facing a battle of relevance? Are we establishing a sustainable legacy and investing in the future, our next generations? How do we understand actions we take and were taken in most cultures in the past to benefit or please the gods and gain blessings from them? (this isn’t just referencing Christians here)?  Do we need to make reparations for the past, and can we heal the wounds of the ancestors in light of atrocities (seen by us, but not by them)? Is that an issue?


Occult and Spiritual Content in Fiction – Bane or Blessing?
We love to read good fiction or watch good movies, which handle magical and/or spiritual topics well – meaning accurately, respectfully, ethically, and more. But there’s a ton of fiction and even more movies which are an embarrassment when they help form someone’s opinion of our activities. Even when it’s done well, the argument can be raised that by portraying it as FICTION it relegates real religion, etc. to the realm of fantasy in the mind of the uneducated. Yet it can also be the thing that catches the eye of a newcomer, and makes them look for more information from serious practitioners or books. What’s your position? Come hear our panelists make the case for theirs, whatever they may be.


Self-care in a Magical World Panel

We struggle between the worlds, often our spiritual life seems in conflict with our “mundane” life. How we reconcile our actions and daily demands on us with the spiritual connection we hope to achieve? How can we prevent burning out and losing heart/spirit, but instead find balance in our lives? The balance is in balancing the totally of care of our being in all ways, and practices, mundane & spiritual.


Shamanism panel : The World Around Us:

Shamans experience the world as a living entity not an inanimate reactive climate. How do we move forward in an social climate where there are arguments over whether climate change is real? How do we deal with corporate encroachment and abuses, loss of song birds, insects, oceanic lives, temperate zone changes, ocean current changes? What can we do as a community to help build awareness and help to resolve balance? The earth itself, and nature know how to maintain and enact balance, it is we, humans, whom need to learn said balance within the living world.
(note- we’d love to attribute this artwork, if anyone can find the artists name, let us know)


“Sometimes a Stick is Just a Stick” Panel
Sometimes the gods send omens to let us know we are on the right path, other times we can “see things” that are easily explained by mundane situations, but insist that it’s a “sign” or guidance from Spirit. How do you know if that there’s a ghost, pixie or another spirit to  messing with your electronics, or mood, or whether it’s just a low pressure system or some other “normal” reason. Let’s talk about how to figure out whether it’s our own sub-conscious reinforcing what we really want to do anyway, or a real message from the other side.


Stories from the Broom Closet Panel

Our Elders have experiences that younger people have not. We remember the days when if you admitted being a witch you might lose your job, your home, your children.  We hope the improved religious freedom will continue to get better, but it’s worth while to listen to those who lived through it explain what it was like. The stories of the path inform our future. How did we make the improvements we have?


Subtle Spell Casting Panel:
If you need to do something magical in a public place where you can’t conduct obvious ritual, or even speak words aloud, what techniques can you use? Our panelists will discuss how to conduct magic, which is ethically appropriate to be doing in a public place, without disturbing the general public, or making them wonder if they should call the authorities.


Symbolism Panel: The Hate among us:

In our current climate of hate being given voice and continued battle between misappropriation of symbols by hategroups vs general practitioners, how do we strive for balance? Both sides argue heritage, and justify their beliefs on lore and texts (however skewed). Can we talk about how to talk with each other about symbols we give different meaning? Some meanings change with time- how does that work when you use symbols to express magickal and spiritual concepts?


They’re stealing my religion! Heathen Panel:

Modern Heathens follow Thor, Frey, Freya, and Odin, proudly living in ways they hope will make their ancestors proud- but then along come some bigoted thugs terrorizing blacks and vandalizing synagogues, and waving swastikas, valknuts and wearing Thor’s hammers. How can we convince the public that they do not speak for us, and how can we get them to STFU? IN this panel we will try to come up with ideas that may help.


“To know, to Dare, to Will, To be silent” Panel

 Whether Wiccan or Jewish, GBLT, or any other “Other”, we are currently living in “interesting times”, and not everything is sweetness and light. Some changes can be dangerous for a lot of us, so perhaps we can consider some of the techniques that have helped “Others” survive in the past. Just in case the world manifests “learning experiences” rather than our “best possible outcome”, let’s discuss and learn from our ancestors how they survived when it was dangerous to be public about our beliefs.


Tricksters/chaos magic Panel:

Some treat working with Tricksters like the wizarding community treated Vortemort, as a name banished to silence so as not to give it power, and admittedly, having a Trickster in your life does complicate it. Others champion the tricksters, understanding the roles they have in theirs and our world and practice. Laughter and hardship, character and pathwork, how have the tricksters helped in our lives, and what have you learned about them?


World Walking Panel
There are other beings who live in worlds that are not this one, but connect with ours. Sometimes people from those worlds visit us, often unseen, although sensitives can see them (although sometimes they choose not to believe what they sense). A few humans, shamans for example, either through training or innate ability, can travel into some of those parallel worlds. “Normal” people may travel there in out of body or near-death experiences, dream states or intentional altered states. Since there are many other worlds, descriptions of them differ, fueling arguments that they are fantasies, yet those who’ve been there assert their reality. If you accept the realities of other worlds, how do you understand them? From the Norse Seidhr, to various shamanic practices, spirit workers all over the world get glimpses into alternate realities. Let’s compare notes and expand our understanding.


“You Shall Not Pass!” Defense against the Dark Arts Panel

Some say that you cannot heal if you cannot curse. Is the best defense a good offense? What’s the difference between warding and shielding? Some of us use a bubble of white light while some of us call Cerberus to our side. How can we best determine what methods, charms, and tools to use for different circumstances? What are the repercussions? What about the “Threefold Law”?

Sign up for Panels HERE!

Instructions for how to sign up to be on a panel.  The process can be confusing.

1. Click the Sign Up link in the form below for the panel you want to be on.

2. The page will reload, taking you back to the top.  Click on the “Jump to Panel sign-up sheet” link provided at the top of the page. It will take you to a form to fill out your contact information. 

3. Click the Sign me up! button.

4. You should now be back at the Panels sign-up section of the page, which will be displaying a green box saying “You have been signed up”. 

5. If you would like to do more than one panel, you have to do this separately for each panel.  We apologize for that inconvenience. It’s the way the tool we currently have works.  We’re evaluating other options for next year.

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