3-31-2008 Back from Ecumenicon

I am really fuzzy because we got back in around 2, then Kat and I went out again at 8 to apply for disability for her. It was gorgeous down there- very springy. The girls went to the nearby gorgeous graveyard and took pictures- which I still haven’t seen yet. When we got back it had snowed more and is snowing again. My computer long range forecast had predicted 4 days of very warm weather (80s- it could happen!) and I was expecting all the snow to be gone. Nope. I’ll be going to be early tonight for sure.

I did have a good time at Ecumenicon though. As the Chair of the Divination Track, I did workshops on introduction to Palmistry, and Divination, then at the “Sacred Village” I did my best to pimp palmistry by making palm prints for people- they’d get a set and I’d get a set. I theory this should encourage them to take it up. I also went to the round table on Ethics of Divination. Sadly almost the only people who showed were the diviners, and the one who I really wanted to talk to Jacqueline Lichtenberg, who wrote Never Cross a Palm with Silver, who I wanted to talk to about that (since I disagree). But at the same time Elena did bring along another book How Not to Do a Psychic Reading: And What Divination Teachers Don’t Teach You (mainly ethics) which provided us a springboard for discussions. I got to go to two workshops by Alexei Kondratiev- one on what we can tell about early Celtic Christianity from the writings by and about two early Celtic Christians, Pelagius and Eriugena- both of whom eventually were declared heretics. As I recall, basically, the big difference between the Roman Church and Celtic POV was that the Celts saw the world as good, and the Romans had embraced the Zoroastrian concept that the physical world was evil and the physical parts of people were evil. The more I learn about the early influences on the Christian Church and all those things that made it what it developed into, the more fascinating I find it.
Besides that I went to a whole series of workshops on what they called Defense against the Dark Arts. These were classes on shielding, and helping other people dealing with harmful energies (hexes, jinxes, curses, bindings. etc.) Some of the people were painfully odd. It maybe worried that I look that flakey when I start talking about such things. But at the same time, I’ve seen some stuff that convinces me that it’s real. Some of the people were calm and practical- the way I hope I looked. Look. It’s just that so many of these things are on the edge of perception. How do you know for sure whether you are imagining it or not? I always fall back on “if it works, that’s good enough”. If when you do Reiki the subject gets pain relief- who cares what the mechanism is, or whether I’m “imagining” that I’m doing something. Years of many individual potential coincidences have led me to accept the reality of the phenomenon. But I’m also willing to believe I’m a flake. You know- just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t out to get you. Just because I’m a flake doesn’t mean that the things I do don’t work. I KNOW that I’ve used my mind/energy to make myself warmer when it’s cold, cooler when it’s hot, healthier when I was sick, repelled bugs, prevented sunburn, make contact at distance… anything but attract money! Most of the time I try them in a “it may work, but if if it doesn’t, no skin off my nose” or- “there’s nothing else I can do, so I might as well try it, and if it works, great!”. So I saw people at the con I cringe to think that I may be acting like. Luckily there were also lots of wonderful people I’d love to be like. Intelligent, reasonable, responsible… the way I like to see myself. 😉
If you want to see what other classes there were, here’s the link:
Sadly, financially, it was not a big winner for us. It’s a fairly small event (around an hundred I think) and of course, the economy sucks. There was the hotel room (thank goodness for sharing it with Jane, the travel costs (although they did give us gas money (yay!- although I’m not sure whether it was for my teaching or Willow’s art. Willow did get $100 for her production of the design they used on the program and T shirts this year. I can’t find it on the website- too bad. I wanted to pick up one of the T shirts, but Willow felt that it would be ridiculous since she doesn’t wear T shirts, and having one to show people would be a waste of valuable storage space. Too late I realized we could have put it on Star.
Then on the way home we got rear ended when we stopped at a toll booth. Sadly, since we were having such a bitch of a time trying to figure out how to fit everything into Willow’s car, Honour had offered us the loan of hers, and called in to get Willow onto her insurance, it was her car that got bumped. Happily, there was no damage to her car, and the only damage to the other car was to the liscence plate where it rammed the trailer hitch. Unfortunately, the poor guy had opted against insurance when he rented the car, so the rental company may stick it to him- and they may try to stick it to Honour even though he hit us. The girl who was staffing the phone (Sunday afternoon) couldn’t tell us anything but “file a claim when you get home”- which was pretty darned useless since there was nothing to file for, and what we really wanted was advice on how to find the policy number on the papers in the insurance folder. She actually hung up on Willow. How rude! On the one hand, she had to get off to help other people (tell them to file a claim), but on the other, you’d think they’d teach the people manning the phones how to give some pertinent advice. While we were doing the information exchange, we were joined by two other cars who did the same bump because people approach the toll booths too fast. Megan says that we could get a fine for not calling a cop to inspect the accident scene, but considering that there was really no damage, and that that kind of “accident” appears to happen every 15-20 minutes right there, if it was really necessary, there would have been a cop there just going from one bumper-thumper to another.
We didn’t get home until two in the morning, and just before we got here, on the Milford bypass- we were flagged by a policeman who gave us a ticket for speeding. Apparently we didn’t slow down after we came out of the 50mph area into the 35mph area as you approach the bi-pass. We’re willing to admit that, but I’m convinced that he decided to issue the summons because we had Michigan plates, and out-of staters are less likely to contest. (Megan also pointed out that it’s also the end of the month, and as much as they deny it, they DO have quotas.) WIllow is SO stressed- they let you choose guilty, not guilty or no contest- but they don’t let you say “yes, I believe I was probably speeding, but I don’t think I was going any 22 mph over the limit”. Not only that, but the summons says it was 15 miles over, but is charging us at the 20+ rate- confusing and frustrating!

I’d rather not get into more because I’ll probably cover it more in the weekly letter.

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