The Last Pantheacon, Day 1: A Weird Reading
2020-02-14, 10:02 p.m.
recently on Chaos Attraction
Oh, Pantheacon. My home away from home, having its last year. Sigh. I got there nice and early and went to the hotel I’m staying in, where I did NOT get charged extra for coming in early, since the manager said “you’re literally just running out again.” See, girl in India on the phone line who claimed I’d get charged $10 per hour for that?
Another weird hobby of mine is reading the personalized license plates in the parking lot at certain events. I spotted IDOLATR, BROOOM, I (heart) ODIN, HEXKITN, NASA JEN (I may have spotted this girl if she was the one in a NASA sweatshirt), STARLVU, TREKIE 3, MRYMEET
I texted Monica when I got in. She was staying with Sylvia (my other fellow bridesmaid) and her husband and their toddler, and all of them were working at the con so they got a room on the third floor. Good for them. She was chipper as ever. I’m happy she’s come back into my life, as I figured she had disappeared into Newlywed Land, No Singles Wanted, which usually goes on when I have a friend get married. So, whew on that. I also finally got to see the wedding pictures, with the swords.
I told her about all the theater stuff and guy stuff of late and she said, “Maybe you didn’t get a ping because you’re going to marry this one.” Hmmmmmmmmmmm to this. (Later, my therapist agreed with this remark.) I think going to the marriage place is going too fast right now (she who once had a quickie engagement ain’t doing that again....), but hey, if shit works out long term, maybe. Anyway, that’s my favorite “no ping” theory now.
Sylvia was working at the information booth and she and her daughter had cute matching clothes (my favorite being the Dole Whip dresses she got ridiculously cheap at Disneyland). Monica got a job in hospitality and that turned out to be hanging out in the hospitality booth/refilling food during the lunch and dinner breaks.
We went to the last opening ritual together, which was good and meaningful but I did not really take notes on what happened during it. Mostly it was a lot of people calling various creative deities.
They generally forbid photos/recordings at con for reasons of “not everyone is out in the mundane world for their own safety,” which I totally get, but sometimes I really goddamned wish I could photograph some folks for my own private, never-going-on-Facebook amusement. Like the lady who made a witch hat out of all her con ribbons and installed lights into it. And had a witch butt hanging off the back of her powerchair. She was a fashionable delight. I think it’s a missed opportunity that this con never had anything like the Dickens Fair has the Adventurers Club Fashion Show.
The first class I went to was “Upcycling for Fun and Profit,” which I enjoyed even though mostly it was a show and tell of all of her clothes. She doesn’t have the issues I do with mixing different fabrics together, apparently. I used to do a lot of T-shirt reconstruction for a few years and was pretty good at that, but T-shirts are easy to work on, and mixing fabrics caused me problems. I think she mostly just does a lot of applique, so that hasn’t been too much of an issue for her, that and matching stretches. She called her work “Frankengarments.” She said you can paint on leather and showed some of that. She used fabric paint to color in on a black and white fabric, which I now really want to do at home on something. She added a middle back panel to make a vest fit, and it was lovely and you’d never guess it had been added in.
I had brought dragon valentines to leave out on the free tables, which went within the first day. Huzzah. (Amazingly, the box remained out all weekend anyway.) Someone else also put out Marvel valentines as well, so that’s adorable. And troll dolls. I eventually grabbed one, and a Marvel valentine featuring Rocket the trash panda. “I know, I know! Happy Valentine’s Day! You happy now?”
I was also heartened to find out that others ARE starting new cons. There’s a new con in Newark next month called Mystical Minds, and some group called “Between the Veils” (I’m told they are Feri tradition*) is trying to start a replacement con here on the same weekend next year, and they had out fliers, offers for tickets, etc. I’m not gonna buy anything a year in advance because who knows what lightning might strike me between now and then**, but I’m really pleased to hear that others are trying to take it up and this might not be over forever.
* Feri is a witchcraft tradition that I have never done much research about, just gone to the occasional class by a practitioner. I have the impression that it’s vaguely kind of weird, but since I went to several hoodoo classes this weekend, maybe I should shut it on the judging of this weird thing.
Also, the elevators at the Doubletree are notorious for breaking down under the stress of so many people going back and forth*, so someone got the bright idea to leave offerings to the elevator on the table nearest to it. It got very full over the four days. One elevator broke down that I know of, presumably on day two, because that day there was an additional sign saying, “please don’t steal from the elevator offerings.” That seems to have fixed the issue.
* Honestly, one of the reasons why I never tried to stay at this hotel--”popping in and out of your room” is a bitch and not really doable. Added bonus is that some locations literally can’t be reached without the elevator. You can’t take the stairs to the top two floors, or the bottom floor, for some crackassed reason on that last one, and frequently it is faster to take the “overland route” through the pool area to get from one end of the con to the other.
After that, I went to the “Self-Love Ritual with Aphrodite.” This was nice, albeit rather short. They have 90 minute blocks and it always surprises me when someone’s done after like, an hour. We charged items and she said her things and then oh, I guess we’re done? But then we had crafting time in making little love bags out of herbs and whatnot...which I then dropped while trying to tie it. Ooops. Oh well.
I hit the vendor room. I was surprised at some of the changes. My favorite con person, Thalassa the tarot lady, has apparently quit working at the con, because she no longer had a table in there (or a class, sigh) and they no longer had any professional readers you could sign up with to read. Supposedly Mary Greer was still doing it, but I never saw this. Bummer. Things were a little changed around because it seemed like they had less book booths there--well, two and a half-ish, but there was no fancy used book store booth, no Llewellyn booth--I wonder what happened there? I did hit the Ancient Ways booth to get a book, Sigil Witchery (more on that later). A favorite local vendor of mine, Geisha Moth, was there, and I think they had more clothes stuff this year? I mostly combed through things and just got a book at that time. Also, someone was selling “emotional support” stuffed animals such as honey badgers, skunks, owls, tigers, ravens, vultures, sloths, foxes, bats....
I had decided that over the next three days, I wanted to get three tarot readings by other people. To get a neutral opinion on the question that keeps going through my brain: how does one continue to develop a relationship with someone when (a) you can’t ask to see them one on one because they’ll reasonably think it’s a date, and (b) you no longer have any group reasons to see them? Which is to say, how to proceed without scaring them off. Should I just not do anything and let it go? Is there some way to hang out without it freaking him out? Fuck if I know.
Anyway, as I was walking around, I saw one lady who was offering to do readings and nobody was around much since it was Friday, so what the heck. She was very nice and warm, but the reading itself was....strange. I picked the deck with hearts on it (duhhhhhh) and it turned out to be a combination of two weird faerie decks that were an oracle deck rather than tarot.
Had I known what I was getting into, I think I would have picked something else for divination, because I was having a whole lotta “what is going on here?” going on during it. It felt like only the occasional card was relevant to my question, which I was not asked to say aloud at the time (she asked what it was later).
I recorded it aloud to see if I can recap the darned thing... but basically it was more about partying?
* “Lady of Leprechauns wants to help you find your pot of gold....That’s what she wants you to focus on, what you want to give to the world...Pay attention, it’s a lucky day.”
* “Your challenge is the Lady of the Forest. It’s hard to see one tree for all of the trees....Open your heart and ask for help from all of the creatures.”
* “What you need to do is dance and joy....The Lady of Joy is coming.” She told me to go dancing, literally. I noted that yes, there were two dance parties scheduled at the con for tomorrow that I planned on going to.
* I forget this one’s name, some water fairy? Oh, and I should drink water (sigh). Let go of what no longer serves us. “So that’s something I think you’ve been working on for awhile.” I actually can’t argue this one since I quit the CC.
* Lady of Bedlam. Need I say more if a chaos whatever showed up? She said I’m trying to contemplate something, which is true enough. Also, “what am I going to do with this gold?” “You’re being compelled to something. Let go of the seriousness about this thing from the past.”
* Queen of Laughter. I should also laugh, duh.
* I also got “the mushroom card,” which she likened to being around people who are like me, presumably this weekend.
* “Geo is coming in saying you have to go slooooooow.” Multiple levels of go dancing, but go at the pace that’s right for you. There’s this mind that wants to go fast, but take your time, process things. (This is one of the few cards that felt accurate to my actual question, sigh.) Also, trusting. “Everything in this reading is an element of faith.”
* “Your teacher in this is the Bright Spark....How can you be the bright spark that you are?”
* Other cards in this: Lady of Faith (figures) and Spirit Dancer (more dancing).
* The Messenger: “What is coming to you is more and more clarity about all of the messages you have been receiving about where you should go.”
* Singer of Initiation: “What you know with your head that you need to do is initiation. So there’s an initiation for you here. You have to move whatever challenges are thrown at you. It’s not a good one. So there’s gonna be a little bit of uncomfortableness.”
* “What you know intuitively you need to do is be okay with the Oh No’s!”(Literally, that was the name of said card.) “Things happen and then you go on. Being silly about it is the right way to go. This reading is so cute. It’s tickling me.” (Note: one of the few cards I did relate to in the reading, given the uh, oh nos I’ve had go on here occasionally.)
* “We all put on masks all the time....You get to be whatever you want to be in this situation. It doesn’t matter. Just be the glorious being you want to be.”
After that she asked if this answered the question and I was all “eh.....” to this. She asked for the question and I explained it, and she said “Play. You need to play and be more you. Be all “fine, whatever, as if you don’t even care.” Don’t try too hard, but there’s something about someone being okay, fine, whatever that spurs.... “That’s what I get from this.” So....yeah. Also continue to do the things you were doing before, though I pointed we don’t have overlap these days. Maybe just encourage more of them? “Let that garden grow...”
So yeah, that “fine, whatever, as if I don’t care” bit sounds....typical. Otherwise, trying to do the things I was doing before doesn’t seem to be working any more?