Post-Pantheacon: The Fourth

Posted: March 1, 2014 in Uncategorized

Very delayed in writing these, as I am mid-move and getting things prepared for loading-and-trucking into New York. But, anyway…

Day Three of PantheaCon was a day of reflection, of good company, of missed connection with some folks who hadn’t been there on Saturday, some deepening connections with present parties. A significant chunk of the later day was spent off-site in smaller, private Thracian ritual. This was set to be a day of mostly off-books Work, less focused on formal programming — though at the outside I hadn’t actually intended to skip programming altogether! — and that worked out very well until later in the evening. The night continued with some lovely couch-dwelling tenth-floor conversations with a good local friend I’d not seen in months, another not-as-local Lokean friend I’ve only actually been able to hang out with once or twice ever, and Corvus Cardia — plus guest appearances by Lee Harrington and his lovely friend whom I met last year — until I needed to scram for some long-awaited ritual cycles of the Thracian variety, with a small collective of folks assembled from all corners of the country.

Months and months and months of work, both ritual and logistical in nature, and not a small amount of money, had been put toward a set of private rituals happening in the late evening. Without going into specific details, it is sufficient to say that this ritual work did not in fact happen… and frustrations abounded. Communication issues, scheduling snares, and a number of items that left me angry, bitter, and immensely frustrated at logistical collapse and wasted effort. (Amusingly, all of that rage — which was collectively shared by the unplanned war-council of ritualists — was actually perfect for channeling into the ritual work planned, which was mine to facilitate, however there was simply no ritually safe way to do so on a short time-table without risking damage/strain upon the participants. Sometimes rage lends itself very well to Work; but that kind of work is best reserved for times where there is an appropriate amount of down-time on the far side of it, rather than airplane schedules and hotels and luggage and cargo…) And so we broke our council, parting on terse but good-enough-for-now terms, with messages from the gods arriving on my lips that brought a bit of order to the disordered eve’s conclusion…

The night becomes something of a blur, after that, but I was collected by the warmest of company and in that was given the process to collect myself, resolve some stray inner shit, and see said company to their own lodgings safely, before returning to the Temple space to sleep.

Monday morning came, and I checked in and promptly recognized that there was no way I was going to get up and functionally attend anything, which was a shame, as there were there bits of programming I waned to attend, including one I had been asked by P. Sufenas Virius Lupus to participate in. However, I am glad for my decision to sit things out. It turns out that six months of living in a van with very controlled doses of human contact do not actually prepare a person for the social-and-energetic immersion that a hotel packed with 2500+ Pagans winds up being. I was over-saturated, over-tired, and basically done by the time the sun rose on Monday.

And so I did my small social bits, and I enjoyed hugs and greetings and “wish-we’d-connected-more!” exchanges with folks, while sorting the logistics of my own luggage (half of which was loaded up to head to San Francisco with some friends), and arranged places to sleep the next two nights. Some pictures were taken with dear friends I don’t get to see often enough, and I was gifted two bottles of whiskey and a bottle of wine… it was a good way to spend the morning and early afternoon. Later, I lunched with the Coru and had time to talk and socialize more in-depth with a few of them that I’d only been able to greet in passing through the weekend, and basically debriefing went down at a great little place in Santa Clara, where I ate what had to be the best cheeseburger in the world. I returned to the Double Tree and connected with my family from The Vodou Store, who I spent that night with. It was blessedly nice to just kick back and relax and shoot the shit and fucking hang out with no pressures or schedules. Two dear siblings from La Sosyete Fòs Fè Yo Wè delivered food (and it occurs to me now, way way late, that I probably owe some money for that!) and generally a good time was had by all. I recall falling the fuck asleep mid-conversation and waking up at some point, giving some random and unprovoked (but apparently contextually appropriate) lecture on some particular spirits, and then crashing out again. I was exhausted.

I awoke on Tuesday morning to an empty hotel room. I brewed the fuck out of some coffee (the crappy kind they give you for free in the room…) and drank that shit deep while I packed my bags (and some assorted odds and ends others had accidentally left behind in their exit). I had various phone-calls over coffee — the hotel was empty of weird Con folk, and back to regularly dressed business-casual travelers — and waited for a ride to arrive for lunch in San Francisco. I got to spend some time with my brand-new nephew (born in October), who has real werewolf teeth and monster-foot booties, and I tried on a magnificent fox-fur mountain-man-hat at a shop in the Mission, but didn’t go home with it. We parted ways, and I settled into what is apparently the second-oldest pub in the city, cleaning out a bunch of pints of their house stout and giving an accidental lecture on evolutionary psychology to a room full of (mostly sober, and very interested) patrons. The bartender canceled out my tab and let me drink for free, and I gifted him a bag of unopened soda cans left over from the hotel room clean-up. Then things got weird, I don’t actually remember how, and I used an incoming call as my excuse to slip out — the timing was perfect.

I spent a couple of hours smoking some cigars on the side of the road in the Mission until the last ritual of my week in the early evening, with a large duffle slung up alongside me. A passing photographer stopped to take my picture and chat a little bit; he assumed that I was homeless, and I tried to explain to him that while technically this was true, I had a really awesome van that I lived in three thousand miles away, and was just in town for a conference. He seemed to doubt this, and I assured him that I was not lying, that I did not in fact hang out on that street corner every day (he seemed discouraged by this), and that I actually did professional lecturing on things like religion and psychology and so forth. I found his website later and, on assessing the images, confirmed that I did in fact look a bit strung-out and haggard…

Six o’clock rolled around and Morpheus Ravenna landed outside of the tattoo shop, and we swept inside for some long-awaited ritual tattoo work. She had begun a devotional piece on my left arm in mid 2013, and it was well and due for a “round two”; we worked into the later evening and the spirits of a thousand corvids circled around us and between as conversations and ritual banter and history geeking ensued. This offering of inky blood and flesh was the perfect end to the week, and both of us were fed by the process and the communion, charging up our little polytheist batteries on the whole process. Electrified and nourished and properly bandaged, we parted ways and I caught a ride to the home of two dear friends and fellow priests, where I’m afraid I pretty much fell asleep sitting-up in mid-conversation…

The next morning I was on a plane. I slept on the plane. It was in the sky. Then it was on the ground. And Boston happened…

Stay tuned for a final Post-PantheaCon post, wherein I offer up some concluding thoughts and closing reflections…

spear_tattoo_006

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Comments
  1. Duffi says:

    Man, that is quite the tat! (I could make a lot of pointed puns right now….)
    It’s beautiful & completely appropriate to your work.
    Great narrative, too .

  2. Thanks for filling in the rest of these details! I had them in some form from you since that time, but there were bits you didn’t say (or that I didn’t ask about) in our conversations since then…

  3. […] accompany my Anomalous Thracian colleague’s latest post on PantheaCon, here is a photo taken of us on Monday morning by Duffi, after my two rituals were complete, but […]

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