Pantheacon: Tips to make it great and not die.

First of all, thank you to all who reached out after my freaked-out blog last week! Update: the reviewer took down the scalding post. I have no idea why. Maybe they felt bad after my response. Maybe they were spooked and thought I was being a stalkery author. Doesn’t matter. I still feel good that I reached out in kindness and I’m definitely not disappointed in the review being removed. My Tarot card of the morning was the 6 of Cups: When in doubt, choose kindness. Ps., there’s always a choice. I think I made the right one, this time.

Anyway, Pantheacon is this weekend! 3,000 Pagan folk crowded into one suburban hotel!!! It’s wonderful madness and I’m so glad to be going back. I took the last two years off to focus on our move, but now is the time to bring it all back. Husband and I are flying down on Friday morning. If you see me, even if we’ve never met, say hi and let’s take a selfie!

It’ll be my third Pantheacon. If it’s your first, the Pantheacon website offers some tips for a more logistically feasible experience. Read through them. They are helpful. Then come back and read mine because I’ve got a few others to share:

1.) Go with a plan. On my first Pantheacon, I was there to get a book published. I picked my schedule based on which events would allow me to meet the most editors. It paid off as that’s where I connected with Weiser and got Brigid published. This time, I’m going to promote my book and support Pagan leaders, so I am picking my line-up based on what will mostly align with those goals. Basically, for fuck’s sake, don’t try to do it all. You won’t be able to do it all, anyway, so don’t even try.

2.) Don’t get too busy.  Leave yourself a few hours a day to run into someone fascinating and have a great conversation. Nap. Go off-site to eat. Hang out in a hospitality suite of some Tradition you’ve never heard of and just listen for a while. I’m going to try desperately to take my own advice, at least on Saturday. Sunday’s a busy-wash.

3.) The food at the hotel restaurants is greasy, heavy, and expensive. Unless they’ve changed all of their chefs since I was last there, mix it up and eat from the concession stand. It’s fresher and you’re less likely to need to run to the bathroom during an intimate conversation with one of your favorite Pagan writers.

4.) Eyedrops, lotion, moisturizer, and keep hydrated. The air in that hotel is dry, dry, dry. When I was last there, my eyes were so bloodshot from my dried-out contacts that people thought I was a demon in a nice pantsuit. Not my fav way of meeting people. Hydrate and bring all your things to keep your eyes and skin comfortable.

5.) Bring cash to the parties. The hospitality suites are ripe with festive romps. It’s awesome. Traipse down the hall and skip through a Mardi-Gras bash, a Dionysian throw-back, or a Craft-inspired 90s Dance of Angst. Often, the groups provide libations, but it’s nice to tip their bartenders or contribute to their cash stash. It’s just a nice thing to do.

6.) Layers, layers, layers. Hotels are notoriously hot or cold and the Doubletree is no different. Have clothes you can peel off or pile on to your own comfort level.

7.) Be open to learning from new people. The gift and challenge of Pantheacon is the massive cross-section of different ways to practice Paganism. Don’t just cling to what’s familiar. You can do that when you get home. Try wildly new things so you have stories to tell at festivals this summer.

8.) Sleep.

9.) Ground. (Ground yourself. Don’t make your friend ground you, for you.)

10.) Approach authors whose work you admire and tell them! Believe me, they love it. Just don’t be offended if they run off and don’t give you much time. It’s likely they’re on their way to a talk.  I’m always running late to something, so if you see me and I give you a quick hug and run away, know I’ll be feeling terrible about not getting more time with you.

11.) Shower. Please. Shower.

Friends who have PConned before…am I missing anything? What would you add?

And if you want to hang out, here’s where I’ll be!

Saturday:
2:00 p.m. Pagan Leadership Support Circle in the Pagans of Color Suite

Sunday:

9:00 a.m. Leading my Brigid: History, Mystery, and Magick of the Celtic Goddess Class in the Santa Clara room. The book will be for sale.

2:00 p.m. Pagan Leadership Support Circle in the Pagans of Color Suite

3:30 p.m. Brigid Community Healing Ritual with Selena Fox in the Cedar/Pine Room

7:30 p.m. Weiser Parapalooza: in the Weiser Hospitality Suite

Friday and Monday I have no concrete plans. See? Not keeping things too busy! I’m such a good little Witch.

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