What I did on my summer vacation

This summer has been eventful.  Ali and I attended two festivals to our usual one, I finally began work on a paper for the Pomegranate, we both signed on to do various things for the upcoming Pagan Pride Day, and I decided to abandon academia at the end of the year.  I also drunkenly befriended Ian Corrigan, Kirk Thomas, and Taliesin Govonnan, among many others.

Summer is the best time of the year to spend lots of time playing in the Community at large, thanks to festivals.  Festivals are both ideal vacations and prime work opportunities, in my experience.  Not only do you get to relax and have a good time somewhere other than whatever crappy town you happen to live in that year, you also have the chance to attend workshops, talk to a few hundred other people on very different paths than your own (or meet others within your own tradition, or at least—as is more frequently the case with Gardnerian Craft—others pretending to be), and, if you feel inclined, drink too much mead and engage Ian Corrigan in an argument concerning the validity of Neo-Paganism as “nature” religion.  You might also ask Oberon Zell-Ravenheart to help you finish a construction paper birthday card for one of your friends, discuss Bataille and Girard with Kirk Thomas, and bond with Taliesin Govonnan over a shared disdain for Alex Sanders’s grandma-initiation story and Raven Grimassi’s hilarious “Italian” tradition.  And at the end of the week you might assault one of your best friends just so you have an opportunity to hit on the festival medic, whom you’ve been trying (to no avail) to make eyes with the whole time (who, by the way, now sort of lives in your house, because you’ve always been an overachiever).

Taliesin and I are now plotting workshops for next Starwood relating to both Wiccan history and Wiccan traditions.

Speaking of, I’m participating in an interfaith panel for our local Piedmont Pagan Pride Day, representing Gardnerian Wicca.  I’m pretty sure that all of the who-ha about science, spirituality, and “living in the technological age” is just for the sake of marketing.  What we’re really doing is answering community questions about our groups and letting people know that we’re out there.  Like a debutante ball with witches.  My experience has been that most people outside of the Internet are very unfamiliar with any form of traditional Wicca, so I don’t know what kinds of questions I’ll get.  Twenty years ago I might have anticipated questions about homophobia, secrecy, lineage, ritual sex, etc.  Now I think it’ll be more along the lines of, “What pantheon do you work with?” and “Can I be a Christian, too?”

In between all of that I’ve still got school.  Thankfully, school now mostly consists of me drinking lots of coffee and reading everything from Pendraig and Capall Bann, along with the latest slew of “traditional witchcraft” books from Llewellyn and Weiser.  I’m recently fascinated by the relationship between Wicca (by which I mean Gardnerian Wicca) and all of the Cochrane folks, past and present.

I also decided to try posting to YouTube again.  My first foray has been mixed.  It’s good to talk to some of my friends again and see what folks are up to.  But eventually one picks up trolls (who wander in now and again) and, as usual, there are still people who feel the need to tell you what you’re doing is wrong/stupid/not real Wicca/etc., usually without actually watching the entirety of your (admittedly rambling) video.  But!  The positives are still there and it’s till fun sometimes.

Over and out.

3 thoughts on “What I did on my summer vacation

  1. Hey there,

    I just stumbled across your blog this afternoon, and have been enjoying it tremendously. The mere thought that there’s a pagan academic here in NC who seems to share my opinions on a lot of stuff warms my cranky heart.

    (For context, I’m a verrrry lapsed pagan in Hillsborough, finishing an M.A. in American history in Greensboro, and trying to figure out what I’m going to do post-graduation. I’m also working to iron out all the baggage that comes between me and maybe enjoying Pagandom again. I was staunchly Not Wiccan for many years, but am facing up to the fact that, possibly, it is what I have been missing in Paganism. [We’ll see.] Anyway, your blog was a breath of fresh air this afternoon; thank you.)

    Possibly I’ll make the trip to Piedmont PPD this year.



    1. Thorn

      Hi, Stacey! Thanks for commenting and for the kind words. I’m glad that you’ve found my ramble-y corner of the Internet enjoyable. I only wish I had the emotional and intellectual wherewithal to post more and with greater coherency. Yes, please come to PPD! And come say hi. I’ll be, of course, at the Interfaith Panel and likely sitting around at the booth for Moon Circles NC, which is the local open group that my friend runs. Let me know if you figure out life after the M.A. so I can jump on your bandwagon, because I have no idea what I’m doing.

      1. Ahhh, life after the M.A. I’ll be sure to let you know if I figure something out, but right now I have no idea what I’m doing, either. (Blogging, painting, independent scholarship? I mean, yes, but it would be nice to also keep a roof over my head.)

        I’ve twisted my boyfriend’s arm and it looks like we’ll both be going to PPD. We haven’t had a mini-road trip in a while, so it’ll be fun. We’ll look for you there!

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