If the workshops are the muscles of the conference, the panels are the bones (and the attendees the life blood). One of the goals of CTCW is to get people to discuss the many different approaches to the supernatural and paranormal that we’ve learned, to compare and learn from each other. We pick panels that are meant to put forward topics that can be looked at in different ways: shamanism, symbolism, healing, ghosts, divination, magick, psychic abilities. We pick panelists who will probably approach the topic from different points of view, and different experiences.
We have a sign up sheet at the bottom of the page to volunteer to be on a panel. You can sign up right up to the conference.
Now that we’ve selected this year’s panels, remember that we are always eager to get in-put from the community. We leave up the (Propose a Panel here) all year. If we took down one you wanted, let us know so we can offer it next year.
If you are nervous about offering to be a panelist, don’t be. You don’t need to be a speaker. You don’t need to be an “expert” on the topic to be on a panel; your experience makes you an expert on what you’ve seen, your theories are valid (although you may be challenged to explain how you got there). If you are nervous about trying to explain a topic you love with others, and “don’t know enough” to do a workshop, a panel can let you try out being in the front of the room. In a panel each person will probably only get about 10 minutes total speaking, so this could be a great way for you to “get your toes wet” as it were, and share what you know “a little” about. What you know may be something other people didn’t know, and will help them understand the overall subject better.
Panels let us explore subjects from varied perspectives. If four people are interested, you’ll get to hear at least four points of view (maybe more).
Descriptions of Panels running in 2019
(The sign up form is at the bottom of this page. Some panels still have room for another person.)
Panelists: let us know (post or message on fb) when the schedule is published if you discover that there’s a workshop against your panel you’d rather attend, and we’ll un-schedule you (and hope another panelist jumps in).
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Sorry that you are going to have to keep scrolling up and down from the descriptions to the sign up form. We know it’s a pain, but that’s the way the program we’re using works. Thank you for dealing with all the the scrolling.
Panel Proposals for 2019
1.The American Gods Effect Panel:
Panelists will discuss how the power of belief influences reality, how made-up things become real, for example: the Tooth Faerie, or Santa Claus. They’ll also explore whether anything can become a “god” (how we’d define that in this context), given the time, space, and control over our lives.
Panelists: Thor Halvorsen, Deb Jarvis, Sacred Owl Quinones, Jane Sibley
2. Ceremonial Magick Panel
What is the place of Ceremonial magick in the modern world? A lot of modern magical technique, and even neopagan rituals are outgrowths of medieval Ceremonial Magick. Are the trappings of Ceremonial magick (that we imagine as robed figures in castle towers) still useful, or have they been updated? Panelists have various experience with different sorts of ceremonial magick and will share their perspective.
Panelists: Ariel Sirocco, Davis Sprague, Kirk White
3. Channeling, Mediumship, and Possession Panel:
Sometimes we perceive others who live in other realities, and some can relay messages to those here who cannot. In some instances mediums will let other entities use their bodies, speak with their mouths, or even hop in and dance, eat, and enjoy this world, using blood and bones of a living human. How are these techniques the same, and how are they different? What do we need to know?
Panelists: Deb Jarvis, Sean Kane, Raven Kaldera
4. Crystals Panel
Do you know where your crystals come from? What was the impact of obtaining them? If you didn’t find it yourself in its natural setting, it’s hard to, and there are questions. Was it gathered by hand, in an environmentally responsible manner? Was it strip-mined somewhere to feed the demand of new age/metaphysical/occult shops? Is it even natural, or was it grown in a laboratory from pulverized less attractive crystals, which may well have come from a mining operation?
These are not just ethical questions about the purchase. They may also effect the work you hope to do with the crystal. How can you tell if it’s a problem? You can shop with more care going forward, but if you already have a crystal from an uncertain source, can you clean it so the source doesn’t affect your work with it? Do the lab-grown crystals work differently than natural ones? What about completely synthetic crystals? Our panelists will address these and other questions.
Panelists: Sean Kane, Maryalyce Merrit, Kathryn Smith
5. Crafts and Art as Spiritual Practice Panel
Creating art can be a way to create communication between the Divine and humans. Sometimes artists fall into altered states while working, and some think talent is a divine gift. But more practical work like weaving, spinning, carving, and other kinds of handwork also have the same effects. There is a whole body of lore regarding spiritual intent in performing these skills, such as making images of divinities, or items for use in religious services. Repetative forms of handwork like spinning can induce trances, and the energy generated becomes part of the piece. Our panelists will discuss how they blend their handwork with spiritual work.
Panelists: Lois Fitzpatrick, Brandon Hardy, Mary (Mama)Kimball, Tchipakkan
Death & Dying panel
We will be discussing death: what is it? What part does it play in our lives? What is a “good death”? How we prepare for dying, and what we expect after we die? From Near Death experiences, to “bucket lists”, to arranging what kind of end-of-life care you want, to how you want your body disposed of, how does what you believe about post-death experience impact what you want done during and after your death to your body?
6. Ghosts Panel: Different strokes for different ghosts.
Panelists will compare theories (and experiences) about whether what are called ghosts are figments, interactions with beings from other dimensions, ancestors, deities, energy patterns left on some substance of reality, or something else?
IF interaction with beings outside of ourselves: What has experience & science taught us about this otherworldly phenomenon to date? IF personal experiences: Is time really linear? What of astral travel? Past life regressions? Near-death experiences? Meditations? Sacred space?
Panelists: Thor Halvorsen, Sacred Owl Quinones,
7. How does Magick Work Panel
So many theories, so little time! But why not talk about what we have observed. If we don’t tell each other, how can we build on our experiences? Is magick powered by energy or by emotion? What side effects of using magick have we seen? Do any groups (not bound by oaths of secrecy) have teachings about this?
Panelists: Thor Halvorsen, Tchipakkan, Sacred Owl Quinones
8. Masculinity Panel
Panelists will explore the double edged sword of toxicity & images/ archetypes and media’s depiction of masculinity, and how they form boy’s expectations, and reinforce negative images of men for everyone. Too often media portrays men as either abusive drunkards, sexual prowess prowlers, warriors, or passive, ineffective, and immature. Stereotyping does not serve us. How can we promote a positive view of masculinity in our speech and actions, in our rituals and daily lives? Definitions of masculinity are broadening and becoming more diverse than ever. We need to be aware of these changes, so we may choose what aspects we want to see fostered and carried forward.
Panelists: Thor Halvorsen, Seán Pádraig O’Donoghue, Dione Marshall
9. Modern Myths Panel:
What are our modern myths? Do comics qualify? Do TV Shows, or Movies? for example: Star Trek, Game of Thrones, Babylon 5, Star Wars, Firefly, Handmaid’s Tale, All in the Family, M.A.S.H, Charmed, LoTR, Harry Potter. To decide we must determine what a myth is, and what is its function. Which stories do you think serve our culture as modern myths? What heroes? Spiderman, Superman, Dorothy Gale, and Alice? What roles to these tales play in forming our world views?
Panelists: HPS Sarah Livermore, Kathryn Smith, Deb Jarvis,
10. Objectivity Panel
The Red Pill or the Blue Pill? Paganism in the here & now. Present looking backwards, how have we done over time in the paths blazed then & now? How being objective about the difference between myths Neo-Pagans have created about Paganism and historical practices help us choose what’s best for the future.
Panelists: Deb Jarvis, Thor Halvorsen, Kathryn Smith
11. Plant Spirits Panel:
Herbalist, and Animist panelists will discuss plants as having choice in whether they heal us or not. As an example when St. John’s Wort became mass produced and marketed, and suddenly the potency & usefulness seemed to wane. Will this happen with Cannabis if Big Pharma takes control? Is there room for the concept of plants not liking being exploited any more than we do? Will they still help individuals who appeal to them?
Panelists: Willow Diana, Ashley Merritt, Seán Pádraig O’Donoghue, Tchipakkan
12. Psychological Problems in Psychics Panel
How to get help when you have problems differentiating between what you see that isn’t there, and what you see that others don’t see, but is there.
“Those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music.” Nietzsche If you are a medium, seeing or hearing dead people is normal for you. All the books on enhancing our psychic abilities tell us to listen to our inner voices. But suppose you’re psychic, then you become depressed, or get PTSD, or schizophrenia? How do you explain to a medical doctor that some of the things you experience are symptoms, and some are normal (for you)? How do you get the help you need, while not having the “shrink” try to medicate away your natural abilities?) Mental illness is real, and you still want the help you need. Let’s share stories and hope we have good advice for each other.
Panelists: HPS Sarah Livermore, Sacred Owl Quinones, Dione Marshall
13. Weatherworking Panel
Can you change the weather? Should you? How do you do it? We’ll ask our panelists. Bring stories of times when you, or someone you’ve seen pushing fronts around, how it was done, and what effects it has. Weather is big- and if we push weather away from our picnic, we may be harming plants that need rain. There are not just how-to questions, but serious ethical issues as well. Another topic could be what we can do to help with issues that arise during Climate Change.
Panelists: Thor Halvorsen, Jane Sibley, Tchipakkan
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