It’s Saturday Morning at Pantheacon 2019. Tonight at 9pm we will be doing the ‘Ancestors of Blood and Spirit Ritual’ with RJ and Jessika so we have to remember to eat and schedule in the time to prepare.
We are well rested; somehow the bed feels extra comfortable for all the effort it took to get it here. You will know all about it if you read On Having No Bed. This bed is huge, we roll over a couple of times, enjoying the space before getting up for breakfast. I silently congratulate myself on my cleverness in risking life and limb to go to the foodstore as we enjoy a hearty cinnamon loaf, yoghurt and bananas.
Friends of Death
Off we go into the heady realms of Pantheacon. There is a hospitality suite two doors down from ours, Amici Mortem – Friends of Death. We pop in and to my surprise there is someone who’s friend was at the event I performed at in San Francisco ‘Your Going to Die’ at The Lost Church. This is Getting Weird.
After chatting for a while, we realise that the bed that was removed from our room should have been removed from this hospitality suite instead! Beds are removed from some of the rooms that are transformed into temples or used for meeting places. So Friends of Death requested no bed and it was taken from our room instead.
We head down to the lobby, past the empty bar, past Sprigs and all the folk paying for their breakfast and on to the cosmic shopping hall. I need a notebook and a drinking vessel that doesn’t cost the earth. I tried re-using a plastic cup yesterday but it cracked in my bag and ended up in the bin. Not good enough, so we go shopping.
Oh my, I could break the bank in here. Wands and staffs, magical tools and jewellery, fab costume and innovative designs, drums and rattles, and books. I love books. A few things catch my eye, but not my purse. Our tight budget and the agreement I made with Max about travelling; ‘If you buy it, you carry it!’ prevents a few impulse buys.
Sadly, I leave Esmelia Sniff’s ‘How to Cook Children: A Grisly Recipe Book for Gruesome Witches,’ on the shelf. It has some great recipes in it too!
The only notebooks on sale here are ornate hand-bound journals, but at $40 for a small journal I can’t do it. So a drinking vessel it is then. Chalices are way out of my budget, pottery impractical, glass too delicate. So I almost give up.
Then I find the Horns!
They are affordable! So now I have to find the perfect horn. Crap at fast decision making, I check every single horn. Measuring it for girth, strength and capacity. The little black one is my favourite, but it is small and a bit pointy, so I grab a larger one and pay the reasonable $20. I am pleased with my new drinking horn and we carry on browsing. RJ Stewart is looking for a gift, so we have a chat and arrange a time to meet later.
Now it’s time to leave the hall before the credit card burns a hole in our reality. Then, I realise that I don’t want this horn after all. Max rolls his eyes and we head back in to explain. Rather bemused, the horn lady exchanges it and I leave happy with the first one I looked at.
Sisterhood of Avalon Hospitality Suite
At midday we are hosted by The Sisterhood of Avalon in their hospitality suite on the second floor. It is like coming home. The Sisterhood have created a shrine to the waters of the world. Waters have been brought together from the Chalice Well and White Spring in Glastonbury; the Thermal Springs of Sulis Minerva in Bath; Merlin’s Cave in Cornwall; Dinas Emrys in Wales; the Ganges River; Brigid’s Well in Kildare; the Castalian spring of Delphi; the Nile River; the Temple of Ix Chel in Mexico, and other waters the PantheaCon community brings to share.
We sit by a scrying pool that emulates The White Spring with a sweet little bower arching over it. Delightful and uplifting sacred water shrines in a hotel room! I close my eyes, imagine I am in the White Spring and in my mind and emotions, I’m right there.
Moments like this help me remember that our work in Glastonbury has worldwide influence. That the ripples of what we do, for the love of it, reach out much farther than we know. That a group of women in the States can connect with sacred space in England with the depth and perception needed to create the same vibe in a Hilton hotel room is real magic. I am chuffed to be a part of that magic.
Meet and Greet
A small group comes to meet us. We talk informally about the White Spring in Glastonbury and what it is like to live and work there. Encouraging those who want a real look at what goes on in our quirky town to check out Vicki’s blog ‘Normal for Glastonbury.’
Jhenah and Tiffany have to go and prepare for ‘Meeting the Mari Lwyd’, so they make their apologies and leave early. Then Max leads a guided journey to Brigid’s garden to drink from her hands, the fires of inspiration. He is such a great path-worker who takes people deep into the living mythology of other realms with ease. After everyone leaves, Veronica offers some snacks and we stay for a while soaking up the nurturing vibe.
Next, Max wants to go to ‘Meeting the Mari Lwyd,’ presented by Christopher Hughes and Jhenah Telyndru and I want to go to ‘Demons are Our Friends (or can be),’ with Lon Milo DuQuette. So we go our separate ways promising to compare notes later. On the way I meet someone who was at the RJ Stewart Concert last night and wants to tell me how brilliant I am. Gracefully I accept the compliment and tell them I am on the way to a workshop. I resist the urge to say ‘I’m sorry, I have a meeting with some demon friends.’
Ancestors Call for Social Justice
Well, I guess my potential new friends will have to wait for another day. The workshop doors are closed when I get there and there is no entry after the start. Everything begins promptly here, so it is advisable to get to the teachings and rituals early.
Consequently, I head to the next thing on my programming clash list. ‘Social Justice work with an Ancestors Touch,’ with Luna Pantera and Jackie Chuculate. It seems like the Ancestors have called us both in, since Max is also here. Hundreds of people went along to to meet the Mari Lwyd, it was packed and there wasn’t enough room. So here we are.
Ancestors are Willing to Help
Luna Pantera, a woman of colour, a woman of power, takes the room. Her passion ignites us all. A message of hope for future generations. Luna and Jackie speak about the need for us to work with our ancestors. ‘No-one works harder for you than them.’ Luna tells us.
We live in challenging times and so many of us feel rage and despair, but we do not have the time to indulge in these fears. With such anger at the state of our world, people are rising up and speaking out for social justice. This work has never been more crucial or more difficult than it is today. Many of the freedoms our ancestors fought for are under attack, yet again. So how do we avoid getting beaten down by the despair and rage?
Ancestor work reminds us that there are those who fought the good fight and won! Our well and elevated ancestors are waiting and they are willing to help. They can take our rage and help us move forward with confidence and joy. Our Ancestors of land, blood and spirit can help us appreciate and tune in to the life around us right now. There is a future and we are part of that future. What we do here and now impacts on future generations.
Why I Believe It’s Time For ALL of Us To Start Working With Ancestors written by Luna Pantera, goes into this in more depth.
I agree, we all need to be working with the ancestors. You will see as our weekend pans out, how this important message plants powerful seeds for future generations.
Luna proceeds to lead a guided journey to meet with our well and elevated ancestors. I am given a strong message from an inner contact who comes to meet me. ‘You have all you need to serve future generations. You are a bridge between the past and the future, both need healing. Now that work must be done.’
Ancestors of Blood and Spirit
Next, it is our turn and we head to the conference room to prepare. The previous workshop ‘Toppling the Tower,’ has finished and we clear the room for our ritual. There are a number of people already seated and we arrange for the quarters to be held by friends. The Sisterhood of Avalon in the East, Orion Foxwood in the South, OBOD in the West and in the North, Cade Burkhammer and his wife with a great white bearded man who’s name escapes me as RJ introduces him as Father Christmas. A wonderful group of accomplished ritualists hold the vessel for our working.
Just before the doors are closed for us to start, Starhawk walks in the room! Some of my earliest teachings came from Starhawk. I studied The Spiral Dance and continue to follow her phenomenal work in Spiritual Activism and regenerative culture. She has been life changing source of magical inspiration for many years. ‘No pressure then.’
Our Ancestor work at The White Spring often followed the formula of ‘three plus one.’ A potent structure to connect with Ancestors of the Land, of Blood and of Spirit. I am happy as we follow the 3+1 formula in the ritual devised by RJ and his wife Anastacia. The ritual is based on RJ’s work with WG Gray and is inspired by magical workings with stone circles.
RJ takes the lead and three of us follow. We become surrounded by a circle of stone, each participant holding their own part. We call to the Ancestors of Blood, of Spirit and those of both Blood and Spirit. And so, we seed our intent, claiming and being claimed by the ancestors. The ritual is short and deep, sowing seeds of remembrance and allowing time for discussion.
Again I am reminded that we are the Ancestors of the Future, as the discussion considers those who know nothing of their blood ancestry and those with no intention to have children. We talk of ancestors of spirit, how our teachings and ways of being in the world reach out and impact the future, through our love and joyful ways in which we relate in our communities. Ancestry is not all about DNA, it is about humanity and it includes all of us. With this in mind, how will we make ourselves known to future generations?
After the ceremony a friendly face approaches me. Diana has visited Glastonbury on several occasions for the Beltane Celebrations in town. It’s wonderful to see her here, she tells us she saw we would be here and wanted to come and see us. It might not have been possible had a friend not contacted her and asked if she wanted to go along. So here she is, I am stoked that someone made a special journey to see us. What a joy it is to connect with warm companions in our Avalon tribe.
We head down to the bar with Jessika and RJ. Two of the celebrants join us, Cade and his wife. They have known RJ and Anastacia for many years. Cade Burkhammer shows us his tarot deck. Wow, these cards are so relevant to our times. A combination of traditional icons and modern themes, it brings the language of tarot right into focus into the world we live in now.
Before we go to bed, we go and check out the Order of the Golden Dawn Hospitality suite. It is welcoming, they have beer and a barman willing to talk politics, so Max is in his element. They also have Jack Daniels and sassy switched on young people to talk to, so I am happy. We make new friends and stay up late chatting about all the important things, religion, politics, anarchy, climate change and our part in all this.
After a long day, we retreat to our room and settle in for the night, dreaming of Ancestors and well met friends.