Friday, February 27, 2015

Pantheacon, 2015: Sunday

Sunday. Sunday? Yeah, this is Sunday. The last full day of Pantheacon.
My big show was SATURDAY, and the panel I moderated was FRIDAY, so my work here is done. Time to get out and enjoy myself, responsibility-free.

Admiral Karen and I had breakfast at Cafe Ho-Hum, taking advantage of their legendary inattention to double up on the buffet and just pay for one.
I figure by this time I have sufficient Frequent Indigestion Miles for them to comp me a bowl of lumpy (and yet somehow also soupy) oatmeal for my bride.
They can't even be bothered to open
the new bottles. Love you, 'Ho-Hum!
The opening slot found us at a Trance Possession workshop in one of the Rockstar rooms. Diana Paxson does not act like a Rockstar, but she doesn't need to. She is a living legend.
Great information from one who KNOWS.
10:30 found me tired and contemplating an early nap. I even went up to the room and disrobed. But I grabbed the program anyway and glanced at it while enjoying Quality Time.
(No, I do not map out my weekend ahead of time. After 10 years of Pcon I trust the Goddess to point me where I need to go at any particular time. I am the pendulum bob and the Doubletree is the Ouija board. Or something.)
I pulled on new clothes - yes a new outfit - I didn't bring 7 steamer trunks of
The Tarot Tour of London. Great, silly fun.
clothes just to haul them back unopened - and raced down to Geraldine Beskin's "Tarot Tour of London".
This was everything the Trance Possession was not, and yet both were good. Geraldine had the best handout I've ever been handed, more energy than Bugs Bunny on meth, a delightful slideshow, and a 'loverly' Londonian Accent.
The idea of her seminar was to superimpose the Major Arcana onto a map of London. There is no reason to do such a thing, no historical basis whatsoever, and yet I was transfixed.
The glossy handout. Impressive!
And only partly by the Eliza Doolittle accent.
The biggest revelation of the hour was something that surprised our hostess. She had a grid system all laid out on her handout, so we could 'play along at home' and find the places on our maps as she prattled on about each slide.
But her daughter, who made the slideshow, had inserted the London map in between each slide, and had colored in the appropriate grid square for each card. Geraldine, who is admittedly not a Techie, didn't realize this helpful step until about halfway through the presentation, when we (the audience) pointed it out to her.
Yeah, that's what you think it is. And it stunk up
100 yards of our hallway for a few hours. Eeew!
And then she laughed and laughed at herself, like Uncle Arthur in Mary Poppins. I'm surprised we didn't all end up floating on the ceiling.
NOW it was Naptime, showertime and lunch time.
I have been a good little eco-bunny the last couple of years and have only been showering every other day.
Fan photos with new friends.
But NOT at a Convention. At an indoor festival you shower every single goddamn day. Thems the rules of Engagement. I think everyone should have to sign affidavits to this effect at Registration check-in.
During Pagan Humor 1, way back in 2008 I mentioned Pcons "2-6-1" rule, which means 2 meals, 6 hours of sleep and 1 shower. I said it should stand for 2 showers a day, with 6 different people and 1 safe word.
I guess Sunday is Divination day. And checking in with Mary Greer is a given for Karen and I at Pantheacon.
The Tarot Reading Circle was like speed dating crossed with 5 card draw poker. You form two circles; the inner facing out, the outer facing in. Every minute or two the inner circle indexes around to face another person. The petitioner is holding 5 cards (face down) and asks their question. The reader then
Not sure what this is, or where its
from, but I'll worship it.
picks one of the cards at random and gives the reading.
The real fun is the rules and limitations placed upon the reader: 
  • Just describe what you see on the card. 
  • Tell the card as a bedtime story. 
  • Give the reading in a single word. 
  • Give the reading without looking at the card at all. 
  • Give the reading without hearing the petitioners question at all.

On and on, 'round and 'round. Its intense. giddy and super spooky. But what's even wilder than the readings was a little ritual you did before each one. When you stepped in front of the next person, you placed your hand just above their heart, looked straight into this strangers eyes and took a couple of deep breaths.
Instant deep connection. Wild. You can do a lot of Reading of someone's problems before you even bring out the visual aids.
I asked the same question (a major worry I had) of all of my assorted readers , and I received the same answer from each of them, no matter what the
I won't drink too much, but I'll drink to that.
gimmick or limitation placed upon them by Mary.
They all said variations of: "Do nothing."
When I got home there was an email waiting for me that cleared up the entire problem neatly and cleanly. It had been sent a couple of hours before the Tarot Reading Circle workshop.
Magick, people: It's not a Belief. Its a Practice.
After meeting a dozen strangers souls, and giving some wild readings at the speed of light, I was desirous of some down time. So Karen and I just spent the dinner break in the room, eating leftovers and being quiet.
Being happily quiet together for long stretches of time is the mark of a good, long-distance partnership, in my not-so-humble-opinion.
The evening kicked off with a bang. "Songs of Devotion" was a deep, intense, well-rehearsed rite that used all of its time and was clearly a labor
This was on my camera.
I think I know who it is.
of love for each member of the large crew. Yes, it was everything that the "Rite of Grand Convergence" was not.
9 different Goddesses were introduced and aspected; some fanciful, some historical. Each was furnished with appropriate song and story. It was an honor to see each costumed woman become possessed by the spirit of each Priestess.
Let's put it this way: I spent the entire rite sitting on the floor in tight leather pants and I was so transfixed that I wasn't uncomfortable at all.
From there it was onto worshipping some women who were much more down to earth. As in, gettin' down, to earthiness.
Katie and your bleary author.
The creators of the Love Spell Bellydance show and I have some history: Last year we were scheduled directly opposite each other, me in the wreckage of Club Max, and the laaaaadies down the hall in the Carmel/Monterey room. 
Connecting these various rooms is the internal 'employees only' hallway, where the dancers were hanging out, awaiting their turn on the stage inside their room.
Apparently they could hear all of the laughter coming from my show down the hallway, and it was making them melancholy. And there is nothing more tragic than a stripper with the Sads.
So this year we made sure that our shows were not in conflict with each other.
The Love Spell show delivered a full, well-rounded pornucopia of graceful,
April, dance she will.
athletic bellydancers and burlesque performers, each celebrating some aspect of Love. 
  • One danced with their young daughter. 
  • One sang a bawdy song as she disrobed. 
  • One had a duet with a very naughty snake. 
  • One spun poi while she wriggled around. 
  • And the headliner, Lady Legionnaire, did a striptease to an Edith Piaf song, which I think Edith would have publicly disapproved of (and secretly loved).

Many shapes, sizes and styles of dancers and dance were presented. And all of them were powerful and beautiful. The overflow crowd was delirious, and I was uncomfortable in my tight leather pants.
11pm - 2:30amkindaish
From there it was high time to get started on me and Jason's Sunday night tradition: The Pretty Hair Twins Hospitality Suite Crawl. This was born a few years ago when we were bored and restless on the last night and we just kinda found ourselves out 'searching'.
Tailgating in the ADF room before the Crawl.
So we started a 'thing'. The rules are pretty amorphous, we pick up crawlers and leave folks behind as they wish, but the idea is to visit every single party, tradition and hospitality room on the 2nd, 9th and 10th floors of the Doubletree, and see what they have to offer.
If its a good time, we stay for awhile, if not, vamos! Consensus rules for vacating. We usually start in the ADF Druid room and end up at the remains of the Green Fairy party.
The scene in the NROOGD room.
Criteria are also vague, but Energy, good food, nice music, attractive people, decor, signage ("Which room are we the hell in?") decent booze and overall hospitableness are all factors.
You can be low-key and score high (the Scholars room), have zero decorations but make it up with friendliness (Temple of Witchcraft), max out the alcohol and beauty scale but have no tunes (ADFers) and so on.
We're flexible if you're amenable.
Katie and Lady Legionnaire.
The only exemption is the Official Pcon Hospitality Suite, because they have paid employees (or at least people who are getting a kick-back on their Registration fees). We at the PHTHSC only deal with amateurs - not professionals.
This year though, we got off to a late start at 10:30pm. Jason, Ari, Myself, Katie, were our core. We picked up Michelle, a beautiful blonde druid in the ADF room, so we had a good start. 
Soon we snagged Lady Legionnaire, the headliner from the bellydance/burlesque show, which made our group easy to find and follow as she was about 7 feet tall in that hat and those boots. The lovely Amanda popped in and cruised with us for awhile. Tom, an extremely handsome single guy evened out our genders a bit.
Yes, ladies the rarest of rares: The mythical Single Pagan Guy. They really do exist!
Ari, Selena Fox & my fellow Pretty Hair Twin.
Photo by Michelle Heron.
From there it all gets bluzzy and flurry and confusing......
  • We lost people - we gained people. 
  • We popped in and out of all kinds of rooms. 
  • Many suites were already closed. 
  • There was laughter, conversation and kisses. 
  • Some rooms were extremely INhospitable, 
  • some were just burnt out, 
  • some were hoppin' still.

Early on this year we had the idea to get organized next year, record the data, and make scorecards for the PHTHSC. I'm not sure whether this will enhance the Crawl, or totally ruin the fun, but I'm always willing to make a spreadsheet and attempt to quantify spontaneity. For Science!
You are officially On Notice, Hospitality Suites! The Pretty Hair Twins are comin' for YOU!
Jason and Jesamyn.
Last years winner was the ADF Druid room, who had the music, babes and excellent whiskies. This year though their buffet layout had earlier been decimated by a half-naked crazy food thief, so we have to give the coveted mantle to the NROOGD suite, who scored well across the entire spectrum: 
  • good sized crowd, 
  • nice sign, 
  • nutritious (!) food, 
  • nice music
  • creative bartender, 
  • excellent altars and decor 
  • and pretty people.

We stayed there longest, gabbing with Selena Fox and watching Katie and Lady Legionnaire exchange dance moves.
The Crawl ended up at the twisted, blasted wreckage of the Green Fairy Party where we met up with Jesamyn, Sabrina, Jessica and Princess Meeka. These ladies MUST be on the Crawl next year, as well as the Judging committee.
By this point of the Convention the level of discourse had shot off sideways
And on and on it flows.......
into bizarro-land. Jessica and Princess Meeka laid down the gauntlet for me: If you were stuck on a desert island what are the three things you would bring with you?
My replies: A towel (Yes, I adored the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy), a Swiss army knife (I was a boyscout!) and an aircraft carrier.
They let me go, so I must have answered correctly.
Amazingly the Green Fairy Party had leftover booze and that was quickly getting drunken up. So it was time (2:30am) for me to take my leave and stagger back down to 472 and the Admiral.
This photo pretty much sums up
Sunday night, 2am pretty well.
Monday arrived way too early, way too bright and way too loud. Thankfully another mini-limo arrived to spirit us back over the hill to the Redwoods and Ocean of our witchy little city.
I need to get rich and famous, just for the mini-limos.
Back at the Freaky Tiki, massive, apocalyptic naptime quickly ensued. And then I got started writing Thursdays recap.
And Posting all of the individual stories from my Saturday Night show. Counting those and these four recaps, that's over 18,700 words I've posted in two weeks.
All for you - all for free. Drop me a line or Share any of these posts if you
No, I don't attach my ribbons while I am there.
And yet somehow I manage to get to sleep at night.
enjoyed them. Much appreciated.
From here I'll be spending a lot of my creative energy over at my 'Other' blog on the Patheos Pagan Channel, since Jason is now my boss, and he's as good with a whip as I am.
Thank you for your kind attention, and Blessed Be.
Angus McMahan

1 comment:

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