The Workshops I’ll Be Presenting at This Year’s Pagan Spirit Gathering (PSG)

And the people cried out: “Huzzah!” That’s right, the two workshops I submitted for this year’s Pagan Spirit Gathering, which takes place the week of June 14-21 this year at an Illinois location for the 5th consecutive time, have just been accepted! As with the Sekhmet and Nebet-Het workshops and rituals I led at last year’s PSG, my two workshops are the only ones representative of Kemetic polytheism. Given my “everday Egypt” hair and makeup that characterize my appearance–even in the midst of quasi-primitive camping conditions and the unpredictability of the elements (mission creep makes my campsite more of a glamper’s paradise with each passing PSG, and this will be my 5th time attending)–I’ll be easily recognizable in my gold-accented Middle Eastern attire and beaded headdresses in the sea of aging naked hippies that will be surrounding me. 😉

Ra in the morning at my campsite shrineSo! Here’s what I’ll be contributing by way of lecture/group discussion and ritual to the fun and diverse array of PSG 2015 programming:

Kemetic Reconstructionism 101—Serving the Gods of Ancient Egypt Today

Why modify for (post)modern life several aspects of ancient Egyptian cultic practice for personal and group religious worship? What were the everyday religious lives of ordinary people in Egypt’s remarkably uniform 3,000-year history like? How did people regard their Gods? What do these insights mean for modern polytheists wishing to reconstruct the beliefs of the ancient Egyptians today? Part lecture, part discussion, this workshop will be a platform for exploring a vibrant living spirituality.

Intended audience: Adults

Tempest in the Desert, Joy in My Heart: Working with the God Set

From His weirdly unidentifiable animal head to His warrior role as the upholder and destroyer of ma’at (divine order), Set is a very old, complex God Who endures the same bad PR image as Loki. Was He feared or revered in ancient Egypt? How do modern Kemetic Reconstructionists view Him? This lively, edifying workshop will share academic insights as well as discuss working with similar “bad boys” of other pantheons and will conclude with a ritual to Set for personal power, pleasure & protection.

Intended audience: Adults

My fiance Daniel is a PSG virgin, which means he’ll have the pleasure of being greeted by the gate crew upon ringing the “Virgin Bell” once our car snakes its way single-file across the threshold. Folks, initiations happen all the time! And this is a lovely, memorable one that I know he’ll enjoy. Despite being new to PSG, Daniel is getting his presenter’s chops this year since he had his workshop approved:

Living With Phurbas: Tibetan Ritual Daggers and Western Magick

For thousands of years, in the mountain monasteries of Tibet and Nepal, a magickal tradition built around a type of ceremonial dagger called the “phurba” has been passed down in unbroken lineages. Considered heretical by many schools of Buddhist thought, the dagger practice is largely conducted and passed on in secret, surrounded by layers of fear and superstition. What is the phurba? How is it used? Why is it feared? Learn the answers to these questions and more in this 60-minute workshop.

Intended audience: Adults

Before we know it, it’ll be time to start our supply run! Daniel and I have camped together for long weekends at smaller Pagan festivals, but a week together in a tent at PSG, surrounded by a minimum of 1,000 fellow attendees, is going to be a fun novelty for us both. (Well, fun so long as no wolf spiders sneak into my sleeping bag like they did last year; I’ve given my arachnophobic love fair warning, though.)

So if your summer travel plans include PSG, let me know! One of the goals Dan and I have set for ourselves as bloggers this year is to meet as many of our fellow Pagan / polytheist peeps we’ve formed ties with online in person.

4 thoughts on “The Workshops I’ll Be Presenting at This Year’s Pagan Spirit Gathering (PSG)

  1. Reblogged this on The Darkness in the Light and commented:
    Rockstar Shizz, Hon! I’m keeping my fingers crossed that I’m not only done w/the surgery to remove the meningioma, but PAST the ‘post-OP’ period!
    I’d be wayyy bummed to miss out on IL & all the rad workshops. (Not gonna lie -TOTES partial to all things Kemet! 😃)
    Soo, *fingers crossed* that I get to see all the lovely faces that I ‘read’ & enjoy in our Pagan cyberverse! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • I really hope you will be able to make it! I’d love to meet you and have you be a part of the devotional spaces and wonderful faces that characterize my PSG experience! Definitely keeping you in my prayers for an uneventful, successful surgery and swift recovery period! Sa Sekhem Sahu! Blessings!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. You know, out of all the people who could have been chosen to give workshops on these topics, I’m very glad they chose you. Not that you’d need my approval or anything like that, but when it comes to Big Red in particular, I trust you to accurately represent Him at PSG more than most.

    I can’t promise anything at this point, but if our funds and my vacation time are just right, mayhap my wife and I can hop on over there to see you speak this summer. It’s very unlikely that we’d be able to stay for the entire week, but perhaps we can be there for one or more of your workshops at least. We’ll see if we can’t figure it out.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That would be so freakin’ amazing!!!! Honestly, I’m surprised at the under-representation of recon trads at PSG. In the past couple of years, though, I’ve seen gradual changes that hold great promise–more Heathens holding well-attended blòts, Hellenic polytheists hosting symposia, a prominent couple of Circle Sanctuary ministers “coming out” about their Welsh recon trad and hosting workshops on the Deities they honor, a smattering of Deity-specific rites here and there–but nothing remotely Kemetic other than what I’ve been offering to do the past couple of years. The good news is, there are a lot of regulars who stake their yearly campsite claims in the same territory so people pretty much know where to find each other to engage in “off-the-grid” rites and temple/hearth-based activities. For example, my neighbors know well by now my traveling Kemetic temple is open for anyone to stop by at any time and pray before the images of the Neteru, even if I’m not at my campsite to welcome them and pray with them. My immediate neighbors also know they’re welcome to join me at my morning and evening devotionals. I’ve received many heartwarming notes from strangers also: people expressing their thanks that I do this kind of thing, that, even if they don’t personally have devotional relationships with the Neteru, it boosts their spirits to see accessible shrine space in a Pagan village created with conscious intent. “This is how it should be,” types of messages. It will be fun to have Suti have His own shrine in my House of Wonders: He definitely loves the attention! 🙂

      My one major complaint about PSG’s scheduling is a workshop presenter/ritual facilitator never knows what day or time her events are being scheduled for until she arrives at the registration table on-site. The registrar will hand over the printed program of the week’s events and then one has to nervously thumb through it and hope that he or she is not up against a BNP (Big Name Pagan) for her or his scheduled events. For example, my Sekhmet ritual last year took place at the same time that T. Thorn Coyle gave one of her talks, so, yeah, competition happens. But then I wax metaphysical and I tell myself that the people who are *meant* to be there *will* be there. So I wish I could tell you in advance what dates and times my events are being scheduled for since that would help you with your travel planning. But I won’t know those things until I arrive on the campgrounds on June 14.

      Thank you again for your kind words and I really do hope I will be able to meet you and your wife in the wilds of DeKalb County, Illinois, this June!


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