Chaos Attraction

The Last Pantheacon, Day 2: Trapped In The Zinfandel Room

2020-02-15, 10:12 p.m.

I managed to get over 8 hours of sleep and since the con doesn’t start until 9, I felt better not having to get up until 8. Even if someone’s alarm was going off in their room when they weren’t there, sigh.

Today’s license plates in the parking lot: NWBROOM, YAK YETI.

I started out the day with the Sigil Witchery class by Laura Tempest Zakroff. This was one of my favorite classes of the con and maybe one of the most useful.

I haven’t been super attracted to sigil work in practice even though I think it’s useful in theory, because the actual method of it you hear of usually is a chaos magick thing where people have you write out a word, cross out all the vowels and duplicate letters and then turn the remaining letters into some kind of mishmash drawing. I have somehow not found this actual process appealing, even though I flipped through the new Dean Radin book about it and he raves about that shit.

However, Tempest here is an artist and thinks sigils should be artistic and based on symbols (though she notes that symbols have different meanings all the time, such as a # sign). She talked both in her book and in the workshop a lot about the history of symbols (I was...less into the history of stuff), but I enjoyed the parts where she talked about typical symbols and what they mean and aligning symbols to what words/meanings that you’d want to put into a sigil. She made a famous (in pagan circles, anyway, I guess, I hadn’t heard of it) power sigil after the 2016 election that’s gone around the Internet, and she showed some ones for stuff like burnout that I was all, SAVING THIS FOR LATER about. Then we designed a sigil for this con as a group.

I definitely have some inspiration for future ideas. And some sigils to hide at the office. She already had an “anti-burnout” one.

The next workshop I went to was “Attraction and Abundance” by Hexeba Theaux,. (She mixes the two concepts together.) Like Katrina, she’s a Southern hoodoo/conjure lady who sells her own products, and indeed had them for sale in the vendor room. She was also very fun to listen to and liked my rainbow outfit even though she was all in black and white that day.”I could find you anywhere, couldn’t I?” She also looked at her own lint and said, “I’ve already got hoodoo all over me!”

Anyway, mostly this talked about money and how hoodoo spells work with the candles, fancy oils, petition paper and what you write down on it, etc. I doubt I’ll use the “give me back my money” spell she went over (I highly doubt anyone that ever owed me money actually has any, to this day, which is why I never wasted time asking), but it was an example.

During lunch, I went back to the hospitality suite and had Monica give me a tarot reading with her “Happy Tarot” deck, which is very cute. Like it’s got the cutest Three of Swords ever, in which the swords are sticking into a heart donut a la Krispy Kreme.

This turned out to not be very in depth, as she just read off what the book said more than adding anything else into it.

Past = 7 of Swords. A wise battle plan, keep your wits around you, careful planning. (Sounds legit.)

Present = 10 of Cups (Monica took that to mean this weekend at the con), “you are around your family!”, happiness through family love.

Future = Queen of Cups, trust your emotions.

Overall message was the Justice card (“it has a rainbow in it!), balance, truth is on your side, happiness through ethical behavior.

Answers for that one...I dunno. I don’t really get the Justice card--it never seems very relevant to me since that isn’t a factor in my life unless I got called for jury duty. The rest of it, I guess, was just kinda present tense-ish? So answering the question...I dunno.

After lunch, I went to the Exploring Past Lives class with Adam Sartwell, a professional hypnotist. This was unfortunately located in the Zinfandel Room, which was....a hell of a lot smaller than any of the other main rooms used at the con. I got there about maybe seven minutes before closing and the room was packed and they were trying to move in chairs and I ended up wedged on the floor thinking “I’m glad nobody’s going on about the fire code in here.” The location was just plain bad for something that had that much interest.

I developed an interest in past lives (a theory I personally do not like and hope it isn’t true, but...I think it’s true, sigh) at another Pantheacon after going to the Oracular Seidh* and being told to look into past lives to see if I knew someone. It took me several years to find anyone to do a past life regression on me--this is not the most common opportunity going around with hippies and my pagan friends at the time weren’t into that--and I never did figure out if I knew anyone IRL or not.

* Best way to explain this one: people channel Norse deities and you ask them questions. VERY interesting/semi-freaky experience in some respects, or at least you definitely got answers you probably were not expecting. I’m kinda sad I didn’t go to this year’s one, but I didn’t have anything I felt that needed asking of the Norse. Or at least the question I kept asking tarot really didn’t feel like it fit with that.

While the lecture on how this stuff might work--it’s a lot of theories as to whether or not you’re making it up or not, essentially--was interesting, it went on too long, because the actual regression was very goddamned short. I’ve had two decent regression sessions that went about an hour and a third one I did for free at another hippie festival that only had half hour presentation blocks, so by the time they did all the meditation crap to get you “under” you basically were in it for like two minutes and then they took you back out. This was only slightly less bad, I think he went for about twenty minutes and you only got to see a very few short scenes of your “life” before he ended it, maybe ten minutes of that, tops. Again, disappointing.

For the record: I was a blonde chick named Priscilla who sang and was waiting around on a cold beach for a guy, who turned out to be in her backup band when she sang at a tavern and they were secretly giving each other the guy. On the “does this seem made up?” side, yeah, I’d say it kinda seemed that way given its similarities to current events in my life (I’ll say the other regressions I got weren’t too similar to anything IRL for me, which made them seem more legit because otherwise I highly doubt I’d make up that I was a Muslim male or a guy in the military). I’m still annoyed I didn’t get to poke around more in that one. It’s not like you can pick and choose which one to snoop around in or get one back, as far as I know.

I did ask him how you know if you know someone IRL from a past life and it was pretty much “you just know” or they look like someone in your life, or it’s someone you feel connected to already. He mentioned having a contentious relationship with some other author and then realizing that in another life, “He stole my fucking cow! I will never trust you again!” Welp, I can’t say I ever had that go on with me.

On a totally random note: years ago, I forget how long ago, I actually spotted a guy I thought was cute at the con. As per my usual, there was no ping or interest on his part, but I thought he had a very serene, nice face. Then I didn’t see him again for ages. Well, he turned up in this ritual. With a septum piercing (ewwwwwww) and rather dressed like Madonna. Yep, he’s gay. So there you go.

I was really looking forward to getting the hell out of that room, and then I looked at the schedule and....the next workshop I wanted to do WAS IN THE SAME DAMN ROOM. I learned my lesson and sat in the way back and DID NOT LEAVE, which meant I did not get kicked out when someone came in there going on about the fire code.

This one was “Awakening Your Psychic Abilities” with Mat Auryn, who was a personable fellow who talked about how he does reading in Salem every day for 12 hours a day in October and has learned to wear hematite rings to shut off his connective powers so he can get a break. (Someone asked if he was doing readings here and another person in the audience yelled out, “Check the rings!”)

He talked about intuition (based on what your subconscious picks up) vs psychic abilities (you don’t know where it came from), going into alpha/meditative state, whether or not you’re making it up vs. just interpreting wrong, how to turn it off/on. Useful concepts. I was sorry he finished early though, that could have gone on longer.

I went back to the vendor room and tried on a fancy dress, which sadly didn’t look as good on me as I thought it was going to. Wah. I did end up buying a fancy heart necklace that matched my outfit, which people liked, but the clasp on it was very rudimentary and the necklace kept falling off. I’ll need to replace that at some point.

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