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PaganCon 2013 Review: The North West Pagan Community Come Together

By Friends & Family, PaganismNo Comments

PaganCon 2013

PaganCon 2013 On Saturday (13th July) the pagan community of the North West of England came together for PaganCon 2013. It was a glorious sunny day; the pagan community descended upon Preston Grasshoppers Rugby Club for a day of workshops/talks, stalls, music and dancing.

The venue was easy to find and had great parking. I went along with Simon & Chrys, excited to attend my first ever PaganCon.

The day started with a what I’m told was a beautiful and touching commemoration ritual for recently deceased Wigan High Priestess Joan Withington.

Doors opened at 10am, but a lack of a programme in advance made the day very difficult to plan. It felt very hit or miss and in my case there was so much I missed.

PaganCon 2013
PaganCon 2013 When I arrived just after midday there was a programme that revealed that I’d missed Joan’s ritual and a talk I would have liked to have heard.

The programme showed that Damh The Bard & Cernunnos Rising – one of the reasons we’d booked tickets were on at 7:45PM which would have made it a very long day.

There were a good variety of stalls selling a variety of items including: books, wands, staffs, ornaments, altar cloths, incenses and the sort of things you’d expect at a pagan event.

The talks were given by experienced and well-known pagan community members. However in the exceedingly warm hall they felt more like lectures – having no element of discussion or debate like I had imagined. It would have benefited speakers to have split-off rooms with smaller groups to enable debate and encourage real peer learning to occur. More practical workshops would have been beneficial to those new to the craft.

The programme gave little information about the speakers or their topics. I listened to a talk entitled ‘Storytelling’ on the programme, only to find it wasn’t what I thought it would be.

PaganCon 2013

Outside the sun shone and the heat beat down with thanks to Apollo & Ra. People relaxed and tended to know one other. While it was great to see, it did get me wondering how a solitary practitioners would use PaganCon as an opportunity to meet and get to know others. I choose to work alone more often than not, but still like having pagan friends for support and to celebrate Pagan Festivals with. Organisers could have arranged opportunities for solitary practitioners to get to know others.

Simon & Chrys stayed to see Damh The Bard & Cernunnos Rising and said they were fantastic. I felt like I’d really missed out, but it couldn’t be avoided as my painful back couldn’t of tolerated the six or seven hour wait. Plus I had some other plans for the late evening.

Overall PaganCon 2013 was a chance for the pagan community to come together. I imagined that the talks & workshops would leave me feeling inspired, with plenty of questions and new ideas to contemplate. This didn’t happen, but I’ll be definitely going back next year.

Next year I’ll be attending in the late afternoon/early evening to catch the stalls and Damh The Bard, unless the programme is released in advance and has a talk/workshop that catches my fancy.

I’ll leave you with some pictures of these brilliant morris dancers, who kept the outside folk entertained with their wonderful music and dancing. Definitely a highlight of my day:

PaganCon 2013 PaganCon 2013
PaganCon 2013 PaganCon 2013
PaganCon 2013 PaganCon 2013

Blog soon,

Antony

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