what happens in fishkill does NOT stay in fishkill   Leave a comment

at least i hope not. i’ve been to a lot of gatherings over the years, and often there’s a feeling of ‘this will really change things!’ sometimes it doesn’t.
but every now and then it does. i hope this is one of those times, because the polytheist leadership conference was pretty special.
started with a hermes-blessed drive up. i thought it would be nightmarish. 81 on a friday? eep! but i ran into very little traffic, only a few spots of rain, and a whole lot of country so pretty i had to be stern with myself to stay focused on the road. hermes had his fun once i reached fishkill- like the blonde i am, my brain thought i had reservations at a holiday inn (holiday, quality, they sound kinda similar, right) and siri is vile, vacuous twat who never does me any good whatsoever. all she gave me the whole time i was in fishkill was ‘i’m really sorry, i can’t answer any questions right now’ or ‘getting directions to walmart!’ until i was ready to throw her out the window.
but i got there, saw folks out front of the hotel that made me think right off the bat ‘these are of my tribe’ (especially since i recognized sannion), and staggered off to a nice comfy, delightfully clean room.
and the first person i encountered when i came down was edward, which made me squee (sotto voce) in fangirl bliss. if i didn’t have blonde brain going on i’d have got a picture with him right then and there. i bumbled around briefly, smiling hopefully at people, but ended up going to a kickass diner next door and having a dinner that couldn’t be beat with my stephen king novel for company, and returned fortified to hang with a bunch of folks i didn’t know for the symposium. julia recognized me as soon as i came in, so the hellenion chicks hung together while the toasts went round the room in honor of dionysos (and some gorgeous toasts there were), but i’m far too much of a lightweight to even attempt to keep up with that crowd. even taking tiny sips, after the second round of toasts and a few Dio Stories i staggered up to a big hot bubbly bath, and an early night.
woke up early, had a decent workout in the very nice exercise room, even if i couldn’t figure out most of the machines. if you don’t ever go to a gym, you’re screwed. but even i could figure out the elliptical and the free weights. showered and came down primed for breakfast (which i missed, grrrrr), and then into edward’s talk on ‘the gods and the good’.
as so often happens with edward’s material, i had AHA moments even though a lot of it went over my head. the nice thing is that i had a lot more AHA moments with him reading his stuff to me. i feel as if i have much firmer grasp on how plato’s Ta Hen is so far removed from monotheism, as it’s so often presented. i loved the part that discussed the names we call the gods and how that varies from reducing them to concepts (and the proper-names and net analogy.) i’m still grappling with parmenides and how understanding anything requires its relationship to other things, which doesn’t seem so complex until parmenides says it.i suspect i’m still in the camp of ‘those who feast upon trivial one-and-many problems.’ but hey, it gives me much meat upon which to feast. after lunch there was a flurry of terrific workshops, first rhyd wildermuth’s ‘radical relationality and polytheism’ (i’m a new and ardent rhyd fan), ‘what is a god?’ by ned bates (i confess to a snotty ‘dude, i think i got that one’ before going, but was delighted, challenged and riveted by the thoughtful, socratic way he presented- just like your favorite, best-remembered teachers from school), and the packed house for ‘regional cultus in contemporary polytheism’ by the charismatic anomalous thracian, and his eloquent sidekick gimbal. i think i’ve got many of the concepts from these talks cross-wired, but in interesting and good ways that i’ll be sorting for a long time to come. my biggest takeaways from the conference for my OWN devotional practice is a fire to increase my cultus to the dead, and to deepen my devotion to the spirits of place. i hadn’t really considered the ways in which we’re cut off from our own ancestors, and how that has impacted the overall trajectory of humanity’s development as a whole. it’s chilling, but on a personal level so exciting to have all this new pondery stuff. my head was reeling, so i took a nap which perked me right up again. i never even got around to dinner- siri ran me around to the point of shrieking to find something to bring to the potluck on saturday evening (which was actually far more of a BYOB than a potluck- i’m such a little suburban lady) but once i got back, that’s when the REALLY good stuff kicked in. i didn’t even make it inside with my crab salad when i tripped over (almost literally) rhyd, edward, ned, mallory and julian betkowski in a rapid-fire explosion of brilliance, so i just plopped down on the curb and snuggled in. wowza! it’ll take another month to sort through all the thinkedy-thinky thoughts THAT jump-started. i got to sit in on a round-table discussion with the other hellenics in the house, and then do lovely full moon devotions with a group of delightful young men who reminded me of my boys.
i didn’t really see many folks on sunday except to pounce on poor long-suffering sannion on my way to the workout room. the main conference room was closed, so i figured everyone was in ritual and i had to get on the road, so off i went.
hm. i’d planned to share more of the insights and epiphanies i had when i was there, but the act of writing it up thus far seems to have muddled my never-clear brain. anyway, i suspect this will be long slow-percolating stuff, so it’ll be surfacing in ‘sparkles and glimmers’ as daniel matt says about enlightenment.
needless to say, i’m already looking forward to the next one.

sannion and me

sannion and me

hellenion girls

hellenion girls



Posted July 16, 2014 by suzmuse in Uncategorized

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