Monday at PCon was the Antinoan panel about how Antinous isn't just for pretty gay boys. The audience was small but engaged. After the panel, several of us went over to a discussion in progress about gender discrimination in Pagan ritual; sadly, I was only able to stay for about 15 minutes, due to being needed for packout with my Hrafnar peeps.
The situation was a group that had turned away not just men, but transwomen at the door without having specified that the ritual was restricted to women born in women's bodies only. I think there would have been considerably less uproar if they'd simply stated this fact up front. While I was in there, some of the discussion was being framed as "gender discrimination vs. religious freedom" when what really seemed to be the issue was unclear communication and exclusion from a ritual that initially had appeared more open than it actually was. Such discrimination against the transgendered is not uncommon. This is a really awful thing. Of course the whole gender binary discourse in much of Paganism is problematic, but that's been patently obvious for a long time.
I can't really comment further on the discussion, as I wasn't present for most of it.
We got some very positive feedback on the Bakkhoi Antinoou
ritual on Monday. Several people told me they thought it was really good, despite that we were reading from scripts for the sacred drama. We'd had no time at all to go through it together first, and several of the participants hadn't even bothered to read it until that day, so I'm a little surprised it went over as well as it did. Star Foster wrote about it in nearly glowing terms over at the Patheos blog in the article "Concerning Three Rituals
I was in the blog again again at Patheos when Star did a brief rundown of some of the things she'd attended earlier in the con, including a photo from the Pagan Newswire Collective meet and greet
. I'm in the middle with mythworker
, sitting on the couch.
One of the things that I didn't mention while I was actually at the con was the cattle raid. Traditionally, the Asatru hospitality suite and the ADF suite engage in the traditional pastime of cattle raiding. By this I mean that they have a small collection of little stuffed cows that people try to steal and hold in their suites, in plain sight, so that they might possibly be stolen back. Unbeknownst to anyone, the Sisterhood of Avalon decided, as Celty types, that they were going to play the game too. So by the time I was getting ready to head out for ritual prep on Sunday evening, the Sisterhood had all but one of the stuffed cows in their possession. It had got to the point where one of the women tied a tiny stuffed cow to a cord and dragged it along the corridor as though she were walking it, right past the Asatru and ADF suites in plain sight.
Needless to say, the Sisterhood of Avalon won the competition hands down.
This afternoon, I spent time with finnchuill
down in San Francisco. We talked for a bit then went out for lunch and then a walk at the Land's End park. We discussed several issues surrounding incubation work, and some other, more personal issues he'd been wanting to talk with me about. I think we had a really good discussion while we walked. He took me out to some sea caves, which really impressed me with their vibe. The surf coming into the caves boomed like cannons as the waves hit and compressed, and it was both magnificent and unnerving. After that we headed over to the Diana statue and left small offerings there. Unfortunately, due to unforeseen and unavoidable circumstances, alfrecht
arrive considerably later than he was expected, and instead of leaving the city at 4pm, we ended up leaving at 5, which meant I was dealing with very heavy traffic in an unfamiliar area, with the sun setting in my rearview mirror, making keeping an eye on the traffic around me quite difficult. By the time I arrived at Greyhaven to pick up lwood
, I was fried pretty toasty, and asked her to drive Garuda the rest of the way to her place. She happily complied.
After dropping alfrecht
at House Chaos, we came back here for a bit of decompression, then headed out for a very lovely dinner at a place called Sea Salt -- it's a seafood restaurant in Berkeley. We indulged in the finest of foodporns. There was green garlic soup and some very fresh sauteed squid (perfectly done) for appetizers. I had the steelhead with asparagus and chanterelles with just a touch of lemon and an extremely light and lightly flavored puree of parsnip on top that was TO DIE FOR. I forget what fish lwood
had but it was equally yummers. We also had a bit of dessert. We got out for just under $100 for both of us (an unusual feat in a place like this). It's not something I do very often, but we did split the check and so neither of us entirely broke the bank on the dinner.
Upon arriving back here, we flopped down on the bed for a couple of episodes of the Grenada TV Sherlock Holmes -- The Final Problem and The Empty House. There was great rejoicing.
Weather home: It looks awful. I will most likely be proceeding up the I-5 corridor as usual, given that the road maintenance is likely to be better. I have no idea if I am actually going to make it into Oregon tomorrow by the time I'm too fried to drive further. I am still going to try to make Portland by midnight, but I don't know for sure if that will happen. It's just as likely that I'll need to stop on the Oregon side of the Siskiyous for the night. In any case, I'll be phoning martianmooncrab
to let her know where we are stopping if it's not her place. I'll keep everyone posted. I anticipate leaving here by 9:30am and am hoping that alfrecht
will be arriving here by 9am so that we can do the final getting ready things.
Wish me luck and clear roads. I'll make a final short post before I head out in the morning to let everyone know I'm on my way. I'll probably do the occasional tweet from rest stops or meal stops just to let folks keeping track of me there know my progress and that all is well and I'm safe.
Immense thanks and tons of love to everyone who has been so kind and wonderful to me throughout this trip! I'll see you next year!