One of my favorite times of the year has now come and gone. Convocation has passed. Another wonderful year with many fantastic classes as they have produced in the past. My personal highlights were meeting Jacki Smith of Coventry Creations and Motor City Hoo Doo along with attending classes presented by Raven Calendra.
On Thursday, I started out the event by doing a little bit of self decoration with the help off my Coven sister Ravenswood. We along with my sister a Mhendi Workshop by Helen P. She was a wealth of information and gave me a tip or two about Mhendi that I did not know. To this day, my artwork is still visible and I can't wait to adorne my belly during my 8th or 9th month of pregnancy. After the class, we grabbed a bite to eat and then headed down for some drumming with Dr. Bombae. The drumming circles that happen at Convo are simply magical and the largest I have ever seen at any event I have attended.
We woke up and prepared ourselves for a long day of workshops and shopping. We started with Hoo Doo 101 with Jacki Smith. Jacki has such a wonderful and vibrant personality that makes waking up early worth doing! The room was packed full of people both new and experienced in Hoo Doo. She kept my attention as I continiously wrote notes throughout her workshop.
Next we attended a workshop by M. Macha Nightmare. It was very informational and a continuous addition to Autumn and my Interfaith Training which we started with Selena Fox last summer at PSG. We were able to meet many people during that workshop and I was able to learn about a new and exciting method that will be taught by my friend Soulara of the Ravenmyst Tradition. So I have signed up with Soulara to learn more about her new opportunity that she is providing to the community for HP and HPS. I forgo the 2pm classes needing to take a rest due to my lack of energy these days being pregnant. So I with a few others enjoyed a lunch and went back to our room to relax and prepare for the next round of classes.
4pm classes come around. We were prepared to attend a class by BriarFox on Alchemy. While waiting for the class to start, I struck up a short conversation with a lady from Llewellyn. It was the first time I have seen a representative from Llewellyn at Convocation. She gave me her business card along with another sheet of paper with their submission requirements and asked me to send her a sample of my work. My original plan was to submit my work completed in its entire form. Maybe I am brave enough to submit it after I think about it some more. Due to a family emergency, BriarFox had to leave Convocation, so the workshop never took place. We hope everything is ok with their family and have them in our thoughts.
Friday night dinner break with dinner with members of Keepers of the Hearth. We had four hearths together under one roof at Red Robins and it felt good with us all together. Autumn and I presented our ladies to an amulet of the ankh that symbolized the four elements which is also a symbol of KOTH. After eating way too much food, it was back to the hotel.
At 8pm we were able to witness Ravenswood "ride" in the Besom Brigade with M. Macha Nightmare. She was cute with her emerald green besom! I have pictures too! After that we were wowed by a performance of Dana Piper plus a few others demonstrating Dancing with Weapons. I have always been interested in Poi and may pursue it after the birth of my second child.
At 10pm it was a combination of Karaoke with DJ TommyToony and then getting our beat back on with drumming to spiritual ecstasy with Dana P. He is by far one of my favorite drum leaders and always look forward to drumming at Convocation. The beat was so intense, I think the baby was even moving to the beat!
Midnight! For once, I finally stayed wake to attend Mateyo Empie's Cone of Power. It was a great experience, especially witnessing Ravenswood in action as she is one of Mateyo's students as well as Mateyo's assistant. There was a light that came on in her and shown the whole entire event. It was also nice to be once again joined with Soulara as we stood next to one another during the ritual.
Once again, I was glad to wake up early and be greeted by a workshop by Jacki Smith. All I can say about her, is that she is definitely worth waking up early for! If you ever have a chance to attend one of her workshops, do yourself a favor and GO TO IT! This one was on Candle Magic. Once again I learned a few tips that I had not seen or heard before, especially when it came to honoring Ancestral Altars!!! I look forward to visiting her physical store in the future as she is pretty close to me geographically.
I forgo the 11:30 classes since I needed to prepare for the afternoon of teaching myself. I went and had lunch in the hotel's restaurant. Their French dip was actually pretty good. After lunch, I went upstairs and began going over my notes for my two workshops which were once again back to back (I like it that way, especially since I am in the same room).
Once again I had a better turnout than expected for the Mad Hatter's Tea Party. I even had some "repeat" attendees. That made me feel pretty good. I think the overall class went well and was actually requested to do next year's tea party (if I am approved for a third year in a row) to provide Tea Cup Readings as part of the lecture. So if anyone has any "formal" tea sets they are not using and want to get rid of (for free if possible), please contact me! If I get the attendance like this year 20-30 cups will be my goal to obtain by next February. Some people remembered to bring their own cups this year which was a great help in the effort of keeping Convocation green this year as we strive to do every year! Thank you!
My second class was Mooncycle Magic: Embracing the Darkside of Moontime. Its my women's only class and an extension of the topic I taught last year. The second chapter of the story if you will. Once again the attendance shocking pleased me. Autumn assured me that she liked this one better than last years. My nervousness seems to be going away as a presenter and will keep striving to become better. The class went well and once again a few different ladies stopped me to ask where they could purchase my book. (I am working on it ladies! Please be patient). So instead I am offerring my workshops notes again to those that attended. I am pleased about the response I am having with this topic and continue to research and develop more!
5:30 The Tempest Smith Foundation Raffle
Those that know me, this is my primary choice for the organization I donate every year too. All year long I save my change and put it into a large wicker basket. A week before Con I go to the bank and cash it in. Due to being laid off last August, my contribution was not as much as I have done in the past, but still fairly large for someone with no income. Lady Dame of the Eagle Coven was the MC of the auction and did a fabulous job of keeping things moving with the largest amount of items donated to date! Thank you Lady Dame for keeping things running smoothly and using your beautiful voice to announce the winning numbers. I was lucky enough to be blessed by the Goddess once again (THANK YOU!!!). I won the entry donated by Heidi Sutton of one of her beautiful boxes, many poppets and dream catcher with an extremly large doll that Autumn fell in love with so I did my best to win it for her (Love you sis!) and also a charming puppet of a wizard that my brother in law would fancy (love you too D!) Joy Joy was also blessed being a "Convo Virgin" winning the one item she talked about the most, a cast iron cauldron set of salt and pepper shakers, they were so cute!!! Cat won a beautiful altar table, and I think Helen won as well, but can not remember what at the present time. So all members of KOTH were once again blessed by the Goddess. It was an emotional year with the loss of Denessa last summer. She was honored by a moment of silence and then all of us screaming her name as Lady Dame pointed out, Denessa Quiet? yeah right! LOL so that is when we all yelled afterwords.
Saturday night.....Once again my pregnancy taking over my body, I was extremely tired. So Autumn and I opted for dinner at Charlie's Crab Shack due to the snow storm and not wanted to leave the hotel for dinner. We had a fabulous meal and retired to our room. Luckily we were greeted by our sisters of Rhea Lur and went visit them for awhile in their room as they gussied up for the Masquerade ball. I was even treated to a massage by Joy which was fabulous! Thank you so much! Back to our room and due to the location of our room, we were able to witness and hear the Peruvian Fire Ceremony Ritual outside. Ravenswood arranged for one last year for my birthday and it is definitely a magical experience. I was just not prepared to go outside in all the snow, and opted to remain indoors. It was an early night to bed to prepare for tomorrow's departure.
We attended the Pagan Homesteading Workshop by Raven Kalendra. He is a great speaker and keeps your interest in the conversation like no other. I hope the MEC brings him back for future events. I plan on purchasing his cd for Pagan Homesteading as well. I loved his topics of explaining the wheel of the year with the historical ways of harvesting food. It has peaked my interest and both Autumn and I want to learn much more!
After his workshop, we hurriedly packed the car and ran out of time to make it to the last class we wanted to attend, so we opted to go out for lunch since we (Autumn and I) were both famished and did not want to eat once more at the hotel. So we headed back to my home and had lunch with my husband and son.
I really enjoyed Convocation, as I always have in the past. I look forward to next year's event and attending it with my children for the first time. Yep I am going to be brave and go with the boys! The next year I will be focusing on children's classes and running ideas by friend and fellow Convo Mommy Julie. So later in the year I will talk more about my children's classes. Right now Autumn and I are developing and idea for the children in KOTH and if it works out, maybe it will turn into next year's proposal for consideration to the MEC for Convo 2010.