This weekend, Wild Indigo Coyote, Gretchen Little, and I all traveled to Minneapolis to attend Paganicon. Gretchen and I realized that this is already our 5th year that we have attended! It’s a time for some self-care for me, a time to go within in meditation, but also indulge my favorite pastime-learning. Paganicon is a time to learn about Egyptian trance dancing, Hoo-doo Conjure, astrology, raising power, and much more. Here are some of the highlights:
Egyptian Trance Dancing: Did you know that trance dancing happens in numerous cultures? When you see people bobbing their heads quickly back and forth, that is a form of trance dancing. The way it works is that you overstimulate your nervous system. This is done by frantic dancing with focus on moving the head back and forth, and twirling. Drums and rattles are also used. The instructor was very clear not to eat for 90 minutes before dancing. Man, she was absolutely right! I was so nauseous for an hour following the trance dancing. However, the meditation following the dancing was vivid and clear.
Hoo-doo Conjure: Conjure is a form of folk magick that comes primarily from Africa. It is a form of resistance. Conjure should be done once emotions are set aside, and only if justified. We learned about doll babies and mojo bags, common but powerful magick in Conjure. Doll babies can be used in love spells, healing, or any other intent. Each mojo bag is unique and used for a specific purpose. Herbs are used in both doll babies and mojo bags. I liked thinking about Conjure, and all magick, as a kind of resistance. Often we feel powerless by the events in life, and I love thinking about the ritual of magick as a way to resist.
Raising Power: It’s easy to raise power in a group of people. In fact, I believe we forget how easy it can be. We can chant, tone, clap our hands, and even shout. The trick is consciously gathering that power, and using it for the greater good.
Paganicon also features an art gallery and a vendor room. This year I was mesmerized by the artwork of Shauna Aura Knight. In fact, her artwork kept popping up in my meditations. I am delighted that I was able to bring several pieces back to Illuminations! The energy is quite magical!
If you’re interested in learning more, come on in to Illuminations, and I’d be happy to share more, or refer you to books on these subjects.