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.
Would you like to be on a panel at the next conference? 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. Sign up with the form at the bottom of the page!
These are the panels we’ll be doing this year, if you’d like to be on one of these panels, let us know right away. We need to know who’s going to be on the panels to complete the schedule.
Agreements with other-world beings
There are a lot of magickal practices based on exchanges of favor with beings from other worlds. Working with the fae, with a familiar, Goetics work with demons and angels. But just as in the normal world, coming from a different world view and using different languages can result in problems. Let’s talk about how to avoiding as many of these problems as possible.
Art as a Spiritual Practice
They say that creativity and intuition are two sides of a single coin. How do you express your spiritual path through the creative arts? How does your spirituality help you to create?
The Bodymind Connection
Once an alternative health concept, the mind body connection is moving into mainstream medicine.What is the mind body connection and how can you apply it to support energy, health and well being in body, mind and spirit? Lets talk about the things we can do to manage chronic illness, and how we can help the folks around us to support us.
Chronic Disease Panel (Autoimmune diseases like Lupus)
Chronic illness is hard. You have to manage it with no end in sight, you and the folks around you can get exhausted from the ongoing challenges, and you need to keep it from taking over your entire life. If your chronic illness is one of the invisible ones, such as asthma, lupus or depression, the challenges can be even more severe. Lets talk about the things we can do to manage chronic illness, and how we can help the folks around us to support us.
City Spirits- genus loci
Animism recognizes the spirit of sacred wells, or groves, but also the spirit of cities. Each city has it’s own soul, and so do the parts within a city. More people live in cities than in the country these days, but neo-pagans often don’t recognize this type of spirit as easily as the rural ones we’ve read about in Mythologies, but they are there. Have you felt the spirits in skyscrapers, in deep parking garages, even on airplanes? How do you work with these spirits?
Divination and Free Will
A reading can give us a glimpse of the future ahead- but how does that tie in with the concept of free will and the ability to chose your path? Do you believe in fate, or in the idea that we can change our futures?
What is Evil /Sin?
In a world of many different values systems, where does eil and sin fit in? what’s evil, what’s sinful, and what’s just nasty and mean spirited? If your world view doesn’t include sin or evil, how do you relate to those who intentionally cause harm? Granny Weatherwax said “And sin, young man, is when you treat people like things.” (Terry Pratchett, Carpe Jugulum ) How do YOU decide what one does or does not?
Dogs like Reiki. Cats are convinced that they invented it. Alternative health techniques are standardized for humans, but they’re also great for those of us with fur, fin or feather. Join us for a discussion of how to use alternative healing with animals.
Past lives Panel
When you die, do you go to the after life or to another life beyond this one? We’re looking at the concept of past life regression- what carries over from one life to the next and what we can get out of being aware of other lifetimes.
How much effect have our past lives on our current ones? While it’s fun to think about ourselves in another time and place, maybe a different gender, (or even species), how much should we think about our previous lives? Is learning about them useful, or simply a distraction? Does “past life regression” tell us something about or reactions or can it really tell us about the past?
Psychic or Psycho?
Depression is epidemic in the modern world, and being psychic doesn’t protect us. Some therapists don’t differentiate between psychic abilities and symptoms. Some people have problems when medications that help with depression also block their psychic abilities. The recent suicide of Robin Williams reminds us that it’s time to talk about depression more openly. This panel looks at the problems posed when a psychic needs psychiatric help, and explores how to find the mental health care we need.
Shaman as Psychopomp
A psychopomp is someone who leads souls. When we die, most folks move on- but some don’t. This panel looks at what happens when spirits remain, and the role of the psychopomp, in helping spirits pass to the afterlife. Another Shamanic technique is soul retrieval, when the body ails because part or all of the soul has gone into another place and healing requires it be brought back. Passing between worlds at will may be the penultimate Shamanic skill. How is it approached in different traditions?
Mythology fertility myths
To begin at the beginning, in the beginning there is always a creator or creatrix. In a polytheistic world, while craftsmen, warriors, and farmers all had their own gods, just about everyone related to the Mother, or other deity who controlled fertility. Which do you work with? In an overpopulated world, is it still appropriate to seek fertility? How can the old myths inform us in our modern world?
The Fools Path – Tarot Panel
The Fool (representing every man) begins his journey (life), and passes through many stages to reach his final goal (the World). Many people have used the major arcana of the Tarot as a symbolic expression of the path a seeker takes to enlightenment. As our theme this year is a journey, let’s explore some of what can be learned from this tradition.
“What if it doesn’t work?”
What are the variables (blocks, environmental, procedural, etc) that keep metaphysical workings from working? What do you do if a spell/ energy work/ prayer/healing doesn’t work? How do you identify the variables and how do you work around them?
When is it OK to say someone is wrong?
“We’re not like that!” Extremists always seem to get the spotlight. In inclusive especially faith-based communities, where many beliefs don’t fall into normal systems of proof, members may join because their worldview isn’t being challenged. All Muslims are not terrorists, Christians are not defined by the Westboro Baptist Church. Believing in magick doesn’t make you a flake, but there are some “flakes” who do, and they’re the ones who will probably have the camera on them. When is it OK to tell someone they are wrong? Is it ever OK to say you think someone is not what they claim to be, perhaps mentally ill, or lying? When is it OK to NOT defend someone when they are damaging the reputation of a group they claim to represent? How do you handle it is a legitimate practitioner is being called out?
Don’t want to be up at the front of the room, but have a great topic you think would make a fascinating discussion? Submit it! Whether you’d like to help us develop the panels, perhaps be on one or more, or just inspire us, please submit an application or suggestion below. Not sure if you want to? You may bow out right up until next fall, if none of the panels we choose over the next few months appeal to you.
Would you like to help design what our panels will be about next year?
If you have any suggestions for topics for us to do in 2015, please send them in here.