Our Panels 2016

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Got Books? Panel

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.

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Dark gods and goddesses

Almost all pantheons have divinities or supernatural beings who may be regarded as on the dark side and who primarily deal with sickness and death. In the North, we have Odin and the valkyries, as well as some of the elves, vettir, and the Underjordiske (Under-Earth Ones). Heading south, there are Charun, Pluto, Apollo, various demons, Set, and more. Christianity has Satan/Lucifer and a legion of various devils; Islam has Shaitan and Iblis. Judaism seems to have demons (lower case d) floating around, but no major Dark gods or goddesses. Tibet, China, Japan, India, and Africa have Dark Ones, as do the cultures in the New World. In this panel, we shall explore the nature of these Dark Ones, contrasting and comparing their attributes.

What’s Your Favorite Tarot Deck?

There may be a thousand commercially available Tarot decks, each with a different “feel”. Let’s compare and discuss them. As Tarot can be used for divination, magick, and spiritual development, and as there are many cultural symbol sets that have been applied since Tarot became popular in the late Middle Ages, each deck has both advantages and disadvantages in different contexts. Panelists will share their observations, but come with your favorite deck and be prepared to explain WHY it’s your favorite.

 

House Sharers Panel: elves, ghosts and others who share our homes

There are many entities who attach themselves to our homes and families. Do you have someone who shares your house with you, or do you wish you did? Wouldn’t you love to have some hobs who helped you with your housework? Do you put out milk and honey at certain times to share with the little people? Do you have a ghost in your attic- or bathroom? What experiences have you had? Some of those who share our space are obnoxious, and not good room-mates and we have to encourage them (banish them) so they stop disrupting our lives. Some are protective and pleasant to have around. We hope for panelists who’ll share their experiences, or their knowledge of the history of these folk in cultures across the globe.

 

Money and Metaphysics Panel

Psychic readings. Energy work. Spiritual leadership. Is it ethically correct to charge for work provided in the areas of spirituality, psychic ability or metaphysics? Some say yes. Some say no. What do you think? Catch this lively panel on a currently very controversial subject.

Raising a child in a magical community Panel

Raising a child in this day and age has become easier in some ways, yet challenging in others. When we choose to raise children different then mainstream culture, there is a stigma that follows. Here is a panel of people who care about the next generation. How do we bring in the next generation in a good way while facing the judgements of others?

Rites of passage panel: Marriage

Marriage is a socially or ritually recognized union or contract between partners that establishes rights and obligations, between them, their children, family, and society. There are many possible forms of marriage, although serial monogamy is most common in the modern US. Panelists will discuss the spiritual and practical aspects of this rite of passage and how it affects all aspects of the participant’s life.

Ritual Train Wrecks panel 

We’ve all been to them, been part of them, or even created them. Sometimes a ritual just goes off the rails. The reasons are legion, and the results vary from hilarious to hazardous. How do you avoid it? How do you recover? Come hear our panelists share their own disasters, or ones they’ve witnessed, and discuss how to recover from them, or avoid them entirely.

Story telling panel 

Storytelling is part of many magical traditions, from the earliest times. If we’re part of a reconstructed tradition, we draw much of our knowledge from stories which were eventually written down, rather than recorded liturgy and scripture. Does the art still have a place in our modern era of books, TV, movies, and social media? Do our modern entertainment forms count as storytelling? Our panelists will discuss these questions and share what role the art plays in their magical practice.

 

Coping with Invisible Illness Panel

Do you “have the spoons available to attend this panel”?* There are many diseases and conditions that sap the energy of the patient who must deal with it: Chronic fatigue Syndrome, MS, ME, FM, Lyme… and frequently you “don’t look sick”. No, there is no rash, no cast, no but there is also no energy, no brain, no ability to cope with the issues of daily life. Sufferers have to choose how to allocate available resources between all the calls on them, including the things like spiritual practices that might help recharge their batteries. If you don’t know that doing something joyful will give you more energy, your choice is not informed. Whether you are coping with this sort of illness, or know someone who is, come and share ways to help our fellow humans find balance between the demands on their energy.

*link to explanation of spoon theory: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spoon_theory

Cultural Appropriation  Panel

Cultural misappropriation happens when parts of a minority culture are used by members of the dominant culture, outside of their original context which can distort the meaning of a symbol or activity. This can be shown in the way that the broken armed cross: swastika which was used as a symbol of the sun in cultures from India, Norse and First Nations, but has now become seen as a symbol of genocide. People may wear jewelry that has deep significance to a culture with no awareness of what the symbol means in another (as in the pentagram). Trivializing a symbol of another group is a risk, and use of any symbol should be approached with care and respect. Panelists will discuss the issues involved in this complex situation.

Elders Panel

For most of human history elders were the repositories of knowledge. Even after literacy was widespread, there are certain things that one can only learn from those who are experienced. But in the world of the internet, (and elders who sometimes are not as familiar with it as the young) the old are often seen as people with extra physical challenges, and little to offer the community. What new systems are beginning to be set in place? What makes one an Elder? Is it just chronological age? Experience? Can one be an Elder in some area and a youngster in others?

 

Panel on Licensing/Certification for Spiritual practitioners?

As CAM (Complementary and Alternative Medicine) becomes more popular, from Reiki to Massage, from herbalism to Crystal therapy, those seeking help want to make sure that they won’t be wasting their time and money, or even be harmed, if only by using less effective treatments. Some suggest that setting up systems to license or certify the training of healers and spiritual leaders is a way to soothe the worries of the “Establishment”. Panelists will examine what criteria can be used in this process, who picks it, or whether this is applying inapplicable criteria to this sort of activity.

 

Pagan Sociology Panel

Let’s take a look at the sociological and anthropological lens’ view and understanding of Paganism, and contrast it against the common structure of say Christianity. The rationale is to help build up an understanding of each sociological facet: history, social structure, hierarchical structure, gender roles and expectations, religious structure vs. non-formalized structure, etc., then the anthropological aspects: Culture, symbolism, etiquette, geography, cultural intra-transmission, mores and values. Will also discuss cultural-misappropriation, clashes between the gods’, and the role of ancestors and the gods’ in our lives and practice.

 Sacrifice Panel

What is Sacrifice? Is it appropriate in the modern world? There are sacrifices such as fasting (as during Lent or Ramadan), or avoiding of personally significant foods, or contributing funds to support the clergy or infrastructure. Do you do that? Historically, people would “give something to the gods” like coins thrown in a well or fountain, or armor or pots thrown in rivers- often ritually broken, gifts under building foundations. Animal sacrifices, were usually shared with the priests and congregation as well as the gods, or more simply a hunter thanks his kill for giving it’s life, or farmers ritually gather the last sheaf of corn. Panelists discuss sacrifice in the modern world.

The Business of Metaphysics Panel

The Business of Metaphysics – Divination. Energywork. Alternative Health. Each has its own skill set, but business needs different ones- so how do you bring the two together? Join us for a practical discussion of the ins and outs of running a metaphysical business

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