MerryMeet 2015: Workshops

Thursday:

(9:00) Listen Like the Ancestors, Speak Like Tomorrow's Witch

Indigenous peoples had and have ways of listening, talking, understanding, and deciding that are sometimes very different from modern Western styles, keeping community clarity and trust as they made decisions that could mean life or death for the tribe. We have much to learn from them. Explore some of these traditions and discover what techniques could help your coven or Pagan community to bond and thrive.

Then move with us to another perspective, as we examine a modern set of communications techniques called "Crucial Conversations." When you find yourself in a situation where opinions differ radically, emotions run hot, and the stakes are high, how can you make sure that real communication happens? Along with consensus process and Non-Violent Communication, this approach will add resources to your toolkit whether you are a leader, facilitator, or just someone who wants to be heard. 

Amber is the author of True MagickCovencraft, and otherbooks on the Craft and magick including co-writing Candlemas with Azrael K, The Heart of Tarot, and the award-winning RitualCraft. She is also the Executive Director of Ardantane, Dean of the School of Pagan Leadership.

Azrael Arynn K is a talented costume designer and ritualist, and a third degree priestess in the Ladywood Tradition of Wicca. She is also Dean of the School of Sacred Living and is the primary designer of the Ardantane campus.

(10:30) That First Awkward Conversation

We have all been there... The first time it comes up in conversation that you are, in fact, a Witch.  It may be with your parents or your boss or your co-worker.  It may be at work or in an elevator or at an interfaith gathering.  It may be a casual aside or the subject of an in depth exploration of your spiritual path.  You may have 1 minute or 1 hour to explain who you are and what you do.  Based on his decades of experience of having been in these situations, Frew will lead a discussion on the may ways to approach this conversation.

Don Frew served six terms as CoG's National Public Information Officer, two as National First Officer, and two as Emerita.  He has been a National Interfaith Representative for CoG since 1998 and has been doing interfaith work on behalf of the Craft for 30 years.

(10:30) Sacred Sexuality

Our sexuality is a natural expression of our spirituality, the intimate expression of the Creative Source of the Universe.  Recognizing spirituality and sexuality as being the same energetic source is the foundation upon which the powerful Self is forged.  In a comfortable and supportive environment we come together to honor the Self as a powerful life force. In claiming our place of honor in the circle of life, we will review the past, understand the present, and determine our future.  If you are unable to feel free in your physical and emotional bodies, how can you feel free in the world?  This will be a fun and illuminating journey toward restoration, freedom, abundance and JOY.

Amankeda is an urban Medicine Woman and an Ordained Minister.  Her practice includes hands-on healing, pranic and crystal healing, spiritual counseling and other life-enhancing therapies and ritual.  The remarkable effect of her work has gained her international appreciation.  She is considered the Healer's Healer.

(1:00) Pagan Inmate Ministries, and Beyond 

  • Differences among federal and different state jurisdictions and prison systems.
  • Learning about prison culture and working effectively with prison bureaucracies.
  • Of what value is working with inmates? 
  • Who is suited to do it?
  • What training and skills, if any, are desirable for this kind of work?
  • What are the obstacles?
  • Communications among Pagans around the country who are volunteering in prisons.
  • What happens when inmates are returned to the general population?  
  • Are we ready?
  • Q&A

Macha NightMare, Priestess & Witch, is an author, teacher and ritualist with a penchant for collaboration. She is the author of The Pagan Book of Living and Dying: Practical Rituals, Prayers, Blessings, and Meditations on Crossing Over (with Starhawk in 1997), Witchcraft and the Web: Weaving Pagan Traditions Online (2001) and Pagan Pride: Honoring the Craft and Culture of Earth and Goddess (2004). 

(1:00) Clergy as Mandated Reporters 

If we are to claim the benefits of clergy as a world religion, Wiccans must also take on the responsibilities of clergy. As clergy in the US, we are mandated reporters for child, elder, and animal abuse. This workshop will define your duties as a mandated reporter and provide some examples of the indicators for abuse and neglect. Due to the graphic subject matter, minors are not permitted in this workshop. There will be time for questions.

Catherine Duncan was born on Samhain, which explains a great deal. Raised in a family tradition by her herbalist grandmother, she has served as High Priestess for Circle Angkur since 1995. She has served as National Recorder for the Covenant, and is an active member of Calafia Local Council. In mundane life, she works for Child Welfare Services.

(2:30) Pagan Clergy & Taxes:  What You Need to Know

Are there any benefits to being clergy when it comes to taxes?  This workshop will help you figure out what income needs to be reported on your personal income tax and what expenses you can deduct.  Learn how to avoid those red flags that trigger IRS “love letters!”

Stachia Ravensdottir has over 11 years experience in the tax field, working with a major tax company. She specializes in small business taxes and both IRS and State notices and audits. She has been teaching tax theory classes for ten years both locally and nationally. She is certified with the California Tax Education Council and is a registered tax return preparer with the Internal Revenue Service.

Zenah Smith was National Pursewarden for the Covenant for three years. She works with a number of non-profit organizations in her local area and does personal taxes at a major tax company. She is certified with the California Tax Education Council.

(3:30) CoG History Panel

Please join us for a panel discussion with photos.  Questions may be asked after the planned discussion.  Not to be missed!  The panel includes Anna Korn, Deborah Bender, Don Frew, Glenn Turner, Greg Harder and M. Macha NightMare.

Friday:


(9:00) Aromatherapy

Come create a blend with us, an oil and incense of love and light for MerryMeet 2015. Listen to the "voices" of lavender, rose, and jasmine oils infused with herbs. You'll take home your own hand crafted oil, herbal incense and a handout. This class is limited to 15 particpants.

Lady O is a wiccan practitioner, she makes and sells Aromatherapy products. She is known for her Goddess oil, Goddess soap and Luke soap; a sellout every time! She has studied aromatherapy creating her own blends  by infusing herbs and gemstones in them, along with love, laughter and moonlight. 

Sloan is a practicing witch whose culture is rich in Russian Jewish folklore. She handcrafts aromatherapy products following her family's tradition. Scents by Sloan incorporates all her handcrafted items to stir you sense and sensibilities.

(11:00) Handfasting: Modern Day Ritual & Practice 

Today's logistics of officiating handfastings is a complex landscape.  Rev. Peter Hertzberg, Senior Minister and Co-founder of the Gaianist Tradition, provides an examination of suggested steps to successfully provide a legal and successful ritual.  This step-by-step workshop will provide the basics of pre-ritual activities, compliance with legal requirements and post-handfasting activities.

Rev. Peter Hertzberg, HP is currently the Northern States Director for the Gaianist Free Church and Co-Founder of the American Spiritual Alliance which is an inter-faith bridge group working with all faiths to create a more harmonious atmosphere for education and tolerance.

Rev. Peter is a father of three and performs clergy duties including handfastings all over the United States. He is an advocate for marriage equality, social justice and educating those in the ecumenical studies about non-book traditions of faith. In addition, he provides clergy education for members of the Gaianist Tradition as well as teaching  ritualistic creation.

(1:00) Making a Traditional Witch's Ladder 

A witch's ladder is one of those nifty things we sometimes hear about but rarely see. Its purpose is similar to that of a rosary - it's basically a tool for spells in healing, in love, in rituals and as an aid to meditation. Different colors are used as symbols for one's intent. They're also used as a counting tool, because in some spell workings there is a need to repeat the working a particular number of times. You can use the ladder to keep track of your count, running the knots, feathers or beads along as you do so. Traditionally, the witch's ladder is made with red, white and black yarn, and nine different colored feathers woven in or beads or charms. You are the creator! In this workshop you will create your own witches ladder to take home and the traditional chant for its use. This workshop is limited to 15 participants.

Lady O has practiced divination since the age of 8 (starting with a pair of rocks for yes or no answers) and witchcraft since the age of 12. Her grandmother was a witch, and to this day she can hear her grandmother Maxine whispering secrets of the craft in her ear. She has studied herbalism, divination, aromatherapy, and candle magic. She is a Priestess and circles with The Ecclasian Fellowship. She sells and makes hand made goods honoring the Goddess, putting a little magic in every thing she does.

(2:15) Dreams May Come: Working with the Narrative of the Night 

Every night the contents of the unconscious mind attempt to communicate with us through image and storytelling as the soul goes about its work in the realm of dreams.  This workshop offers depth psychological techniques, based on the work of C. G. Jung, James Hillman, and Robert Johnson, for working with the experiences transmitted to us during our sleeping hours, including both individual and group activities including techniques for dream journaling, active imagination, and dream theatre.

Jeffrey Albaugh received a bachelor’s in theatre, M.A. in depth psychology, and is currently working toward a Ph.D. in depth psychology though Pacifica Graduate Institute. He has worked as an educator in primary grades and special education in the public school system, and currently serves as the lead case manager for a Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act Youth Employment program.  He is the program manager for the Conference on Current Pagan Studies, President of the board for Cherry Hill Seminary, active in the Ventura County Interfaith Community, and a consultant for the Pagan History Project. Jeffrey is initiated into both the Georgian and Gardnerian traditions, and has identified as a practicing Witch and Wiccan for nearly three decades.

(4:00) Reiki

Have questions about Reiki?  This is your chance to get answers!  Reiki can be used for healing the body, mind and spirit.  It can be used on young and old alike, and can even ease the dying process. This workshop will provide a short history of Reiki, and the opportunity to receive a 5 minute Reiki treatment with crystals.  A Q&A will follow.

Diana Lightson is a Reiki Master, healer and published author.  She was first attuned to the Usui Reiki in July 1991 learning the Reiki Aliance method of Reiki.  She has also learned the Radiance Tecknique Reiki.

Saturday:

(9:00) Cherry Hill Seminary 

This workshop is an introduction to Cherry Hill Seminary and to an international  collection of faculty unlike any other in the world. Come and discover the unique contributions, many of which are largely unknown, that it offers to the Pagan communities, Open discussion will be encouraged on topics such as the need for professionally trained clergy, legitimization and accreditation, if there are things we should be offering and don’t, and much more. Whether or not you’ve ever thought about taking or teaching a class at Cherry Hill, this informative session will show you why we attract people from all over the world.

Former college drop-out, folk singer, actress and novelist, Wendy Griffin is Academic Dean of Cherry Hill Seminary. Returning to school after a 14-year break, she earned her PhD in the interdisciplinary Social Sciences and, as Chair of the Department of Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies at CSU Long Beach, finally retired as Professor Emerita. She was one of the first scholars to publish academic research in Wicca. She is founding Co-chair of the Contemporary Pagan Studies Group for the American Academy of Religion, co-editor of the first academic series in Pagan Studies, and on the editorial board of The Pomeganate: the International Journal of Pagan Studies. She has published two anthologies, numerous articles and chapters here and internationally. She has been a member of CoG since the 90s.

(10:30) Deepening Story: Depth Psychological Techniques for Working with Story

Actively working with the images and story of myths, folktales, and fairy tales can yield new perspectives on our own lived experiences, open up new directions for the interpretations of our lives and the events of the world, and sometimes offer healing of old wounds.  This workshop will use the Jewish folktale The Magic Pomegranate as a vehicle to introduce techniques pulled from the works of C. G. Jung, James Hillman, and Robert Johnson, and include both individual and group activities.

Jeffrey Albaugh received a bachelor’s in theatre, M.A. in depth psychology, and is currently working toward a Ph.D. in depth psychology though Pacifica Graduate Institute. He has worked as an educator in primary grades and special education in the public school system, and currently serves as the lead case manager for a Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act Youth Employment program.  He is the program manager for the Conference on Current Pagan Studies, President of the board for Cherry Hill Seminary, active in the Ventura County Interfaith Community, and a consultant for the Pagan History Project. Jeffrey is initiated into both the Georgian and Gardnerian traditions, and has identified as a practicing Witch and Wiccan for nearly three decades.

(1:00) Quantum Physics and Magickal Philosophy

Quantum Physics and Magickal Philosophy is the correlation of the current understanding of of the science of Quantum Physics to the conventional understandings of metaphycis and magickal application. This workshop is rooted in the fundamental belief that magick is not supernatural but rather that magick is purely natural. Everything in nature can be explained in magic and everything in magic can be explained in nature. According to this premise, this workshop will show that Quantum Physics which is a part of nature can thus be explained in magical terms.

Arnold Kameda is an elder and a member of the National Assembly of Solitaries.

(2:15) Making your own Goddess Runes

During this workshop you will learn about Runes and how they are used for divination. You will also get to craft your very own set of Goddess Runes. This workshop is limited to a maximum of 15 people. Each participant will take home their handmade Goddess Runes, storage pouch, and a blessing for your Runes.

Lady O has practiced divination since the age of 8 (starting with a pair of rocks for yes or no answers) and witchcraft since the age of 12. Her grandmother was a witch, and to this day she can hear her grandmother Maxine whispering secrets of the craft in her ear. She has studied herbalism, divination, aromatherapy, and candle magic. She is a Priestess and circles with The Ecclasian Fellowship. She sells and makes hand made goods honoring the Goddess, putting a little magic in every thing she does.


(2:15) Sacred Sexuality 

Our sexuality is a natural expression of our spirituality, the intimate expression of the Creative Source of the Universe.  Recognizing spirituality and sexuality as being the same energetic source is the foundation upon which the powerful Self is forged.  In a comfortable and supportive environment we come together to honor the Self as a powerful life force.  In claiming our place of honor in the circle of life, we will review the past, understand the present, and determine our future.  If you are unable to feel free in your physical and emotional bodies, how can you feel free in the world?  This will be a fun and illuminating journey toward restoration, freedom, abundance and JOY.

Amankeda is an urban Medicine Woman and an Ordained Minister.  Her practice includes hands-on healing, pranic and crystal healing, spiritual counseling and other life-enhancing therapies and ritual.  The remarkable effect of her work has gained her international appreciation.  She is considered the Healer's Healer.


Interested in hosting a workshop? Please let us know!

No comments:

Post a Comment