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.
Want to be on a panel? The form’s at the bottom of this page!
As one of the major goals of this con is to foster communication between the different groups who use human (para)normal abilities, do magick, and accept (super)natural experiences, we would like to get people with different perspectives to share what they know about healing, time, invisible beings, life after death, and other subjects so we can learn from each others’ experiences, and get past the words we use to describe them.
Our panels have a more casual format than those in many conferences. We are aiming for the feel of a wonderful conversation in someone’s living room with some great people participating. While our panelists sit at the front, we often move the chairs into a large circle, to encourage others to participate. We also leave an hour between panels in case some want to stay behind and continue the discussion.
Would you like to be a panelist? 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 don’t want to be a speaker, but have something you’d like to share, and it would only take 10 minutes, not an hour, 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 point of view, 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.
Every year there are certain panels that are variations on themes, approaching subjects from a different angle. Included in these are the book recommendations panel, some sort of divination panel, a healing or healers panel, a shaman/spirit workers panel, and an ancestors panel. We also often pick a myth that can be compared across cultures, or a symbol (from water to earth), and often pick some chronic disease and how to live with and help it. We are not averse to bringing back panels that have been fruitful in past years.
These are the panels we’re running this year. Let us know if you’d like to be a panelist (or moderator). Every year we suggest about 25 panels and we run the ones that fill with panelists first. We’ve now selected the 16 we’ll run, but there’s still a few spaces if you want to be on one. If a panel you were looking forward to doesn’t run, let us know, maybe next year it will fill. Each panel needs a moderator and 3-4 panelists.
Magickal practitioners are often depicted as white bearded wizards or crones. Does this tradition come from magick taking a long time to learn, or does using magick age us? As we get older we often get weaker, slower, and sometimes forgetful. If magick works, why are we not all better looking, healthier, and richer? Are we better at it, or do we lose capacity for magick along with physical and mental strength? Do we use magick less or more as we age? Has it become so natural that we do it all the time and don’t notice it, or like many other efforts, do we not bother when their are better ways to achieve our ends? How does aging influence how people use magick? How do we pass along what we’ve learned to the next generations?
Art as a Spiritual Practice Panel
When our ancestors started painting cave walls, the subject matter and placement made it clear that this was seen as something spirit filled, not just decorative. Even now, an artist often will be in an “altered state” while working. Specific images that apparently came from somewhere else (and are recognized by an unintended viewer) are downloaded into our heads. The art itself, whether painted, sculpted, musical or other forms helps facilitate others entering sacred states. Our panelists will discuss how they work and how they interact with their daimons and muses and others who direct their art.
Ancestor Panel What if your Ancestors are A**holes?
What do you do if your dead relatives are assholes? Well, hopefully it’s not all of them. If you need a familial intermediary, you go back another generation or you go to the next closer relative. But… sometimes that jackenape of a relative is meant to work with you… that, is where it gets tricky… because they are a byproduct of their lifetime, they have baggage and biases etc. it may be that you and (s)he have synergistic issues, and you need to deal with your problem to heal him, or vice versa. Our families, living and dead, are not unmixed blessings, but they are a great resource. Let’s talk techniques for coming to terms with when family pushes buttons.
City Spirits Panel
Most of us tend to think of paganism as a nature-based religion, but traditionally Cities all had their patron dieties (Athena and Athens, Atun and Amarna, Bath and Sulis), but modern cities have their patrons as well (like Lady Liberty for the USA). There are other spirits as well, less often considered but whose presence is clear if you seek them: the spirits of bridges, subways, skyscrapers, Squat- the giver of parking spots…(I don’t park 6 levels underground without leaving some change as an offering to whatever it is down there… just in case). Let’s talk about these spirits and the best ways to interact with them.
Communion with the Gods Panel
How do we know what the gods prefer in respecting them? Can we apply “peer review” do this quesiton? We look to the lore and folk stories, or literary works, but use personal gnosis as well. How do you feel about this approach? How do we “vett” knowledge gained that way? Pathworking is individual, as varied as the sands on the beach, how can peer review be applied? Some believe “anything goes”, “whatever works”, snf fluidity is more important than formality, and this approach makes it into a plethora of books. How do we separate the grain from the chaff? Academic vs personal experience? When there is so much information, how do we stay informed, educated, and able to screen sources, especially since we don’t have a accepted core set of formal literature?
Complex Trauma (see below under Trauma)
Conveying Bad News Panel:
This one is for healers and diviners, and spiritual helpers. How do you tell someone that their condition is not going to get better? That the one the client loves is not going to leave spouse and family for them? How do you help people understand that they need to take responsibility for their own problems, without sounding like you’re blaming the victim, but really, they are the only one who can help themselves? How can you tell someone something they need to hear, when they don’t want to hear it…? We’re in this because we want to help, but even when it breaks our hearts, sometimes we can’t bridge the gap. Many of us find it unacceptable to lie, but the truth isn’t something they want to see, or maybe something we want to tell. Panelists will share their experiences and best advice for this hard challenge.
Ethics of Magick Panel
To Hex or not to Hex, The Wiccan Rede, the 9 Nobel Virtues and other wisdom lore address ethics of using magick. Some people believe in the Rede, others do not, and follow a more eye-for-an-eye approach to magic retaliation. Some believe in the threefold law. Some belief in nature having its own balance, and so law of conservation dictates matter cannot be created nor destroyed, is that true with Magic? When we put our energy out there, does intent and purpose change us? Them? Have you personally suffered or seen a curse in action? What do you believe and why?
Many of us use herbs in our practice, for healing, and for magickal purposes. We talk to plants, as we grow, harvest and prepare them. But there are as many ways to use herbs are there are practitioners. Come listen to our panelists describe their relationships to herbs and ask questions you may have been wondering who to ask. If we have four panelists, we may well have five or more answers to each question.
House Spirits Panel
Our panelists will talk about their experiences with house spirits/ Brownies, what they’ve seen personally or heard second hand, how do you contact them? Support / feed them/ attract them if your house or apartment doesn’t seem to have one? How do you get them to come along when you move? Where do they stay(under the sink like a house elf in Harry Potter)? Come if you have questions or stories to share.
Magical Tattoos Panel
Tattoos go beyond simple body decoration; they are often symbolic, showing cultural and personal identity. We may not know what Otzi the Iceman’s tattoos meant- but they show that people have been using tattooing for thousands of years. The tattoos of the Pacific Islanders tell stories, and reinforce identity, and there are many magickal signs and symbols permanently binding gods and their followers. Our panelists will share their experiences with the effects of these contracts “drawn in blood”.
Let’s get a bunch of experienced readers to explore techniques that work best for them! How do you characterize hand shapes: round or square, or psychic, philosophers, spatulate? or earth/air/fire/and water? Have you seen lines change during readings? How do you compare the right and left hands? Do you read the fingerprints? Do you read from prints or scanned hand images? Is your tradition European, Indian, Chinese, or very eclectic? How do you (if you do) read the number of children or marriages? There are many differences, and many similarities in palm reading systems, it will be fun to compare them.
Raising Psychic or Magic Children Panel
Is there anything we worry about more than what we’re teaching our children? They are born with so much potential, we want them to be as powerful as they can be, and still not be hurt. How do we help them develop their talents and abilities, to do what we do, or more than what we do, safely and respectfully. How do we protect them from the world that doesn’t want them to be extraordinary- and the dangers of the worlds that are? How do we teach them to keep things we know to be OK secret so they won’t be teased, yet let them know not to be ashamed? Let’s share what we’ve learned, and hope it will make all our children’s lives easier.
Runes and the Havalmal Panel:
How the sayings of the wise one, and the Runes are direct representations of the culture of which they originated, from norms, symbology, to expectations in interaction between people. They also shed light onto the values and commodities, ethics and resources of tools and geography, which constructed the world in which the Norse lived and interacted on a daily basis.
Rune Panel: the Aetts (or aitts)
The Futharc is organized into three rows Feoh’s aett, Hagal’s aett, and Tyr’s aett. (although there are variations in the names of runes and their positions, and the number in each family is different in the elder and younger futharc and there are more in the Anglo-Frisian variation). This organization provides a tool for rune users, sometimes used in doing readings or workings. Our panelists will discuss the ways they use the aetts.
Sacred Hospitality Panel
What do you do if you feel that Sacred Hospitality requires you to feed any guest in your home, but you also feel that it is the sharing of food that binds the guest and host together, and you really don’t like the buddy that one of your friends brought along? Does your belief system allow you some escape clause like “I gave him milk, not water, so it’s not a breach of etiquette to run a tent-stake through his head.” Many ancient cultures had limitations- a guest bond only lasted three days, for example.
In a multi-cultural world we don’t have common rules; most of the modern world isn’t even aware of the sacred nature of the guest- host bond. But what one culture considers required, another may consider forbidden. Let’s bring some of these unexpressed beliefs into the light and examine them in the light of the modern world and our personal experiences with the gods and beings of other realms?
Shaman Panel- Hauntings and Apparitions
Our panel of shamans will talk about dealing with the spiritual world. They will discuss how to prepare a haunted place, and prepare yourself for interacting with or cleansing the dwelling of unfriendly spiritual beings and influences, or helping friendly ones. They’ll discuss their experiences in dealing with the spiritual world, and how expectation, effects experiences, and practices, and how to tell between non-sentient negative energy pools, and entities that have an agenda (at odds with those living there).
Theatrically Magickal “Stuff” Panel
Many use theatrical techniques to create the altered states for Magic. Some adorn costumes, some surround themselves with props and theatrics, sexuality, and where some partake of helping substances to achieve altered states, for magic and self-exploration, and enlightenment. Some swear by it, others are turned off by “props and costumes”, and question its validity. Magic is not always explained by science, and often shrouded in myth and lore. Where is the balance? How do we make the experiences safe, if we do partake? If they are safe, will they work? What are the ethical factors? What are some considerations people have run into?
Trauma: Informed Holistic Modalities Panel:
Complex Trauma-informed holistic modalities, ritual and practice.
Don’t put a band aid on a gaping wound! Trauma fragments the self and conditions self-blame. Complex and sustained trauma conditions the brain in ways in which an individual may not be aware. People can “wake up” to their trauma history in their 50s and 60s after decades of consistent failure to thrive in their lives. This panel will discuss the most recent findings on how trauma affects the brain and the body. We will explore how holistic practitioners, ritualists and other practitioners can identify, support and modify modalities, ritual and practice to bring healing to complex trauma survivors.
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 discuss the topic in the fb group.
Please contact us if you would like to suggest an addition to this list, or be on a panel, or moderate one.
Date: November 3, 2017
Vending assistants will work with our Vendor Manager as directed to assist our vendors, readers, and practitioners. You may be called upon in a variety of capacities: assistance with load-in and break-down; provide vendors, authors, readers, practitioners, and those who have displays with breaks by staying with their tables and securing their belongings; provide general support as needed.
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