My household in my 1200-square-foot Chicago condo is comprised of myself, four cats (Beowulf, Grendel, Hela, and Máni), and a corn snake named Brimo. I often think about the fact that, were I transported to Early Modern Germany or Scotland, I’d have certainly been executed for the “crime” of Witchcraft because a woman alone as the sovereign of her household was shockingly unacceptable, and my animal companions—deemed devils in animal form according to the superstitions of the time—would have certainly cemented my reputation as a consort of Satan and gotten me strung up on the gallows or worse. I simply could not have been viewed as a childless-by-choice woman who loves her pets as family and treasures each of their unique personalities as gifts.
On Saturday, September 22, the 25th Annual Fellowship of Isis Chicago Autumn Equinox Goddess Convention will convene, for the second straight year, at the Holiday Inn Chicago North Shore (Skokie) in the Skokie Banquet Room. On-site registration begins at 9:00 a.m., the doors officially open at 9:30, and several hours of workshops (details below) precede the performance of the Main Liturgy, set to begin at 5:45 p.m. CDT. This year’s Main Liturgy is “The Mystical Awakening of Scorpio and Kundalini,” honoring the Divine Shakti and Shiva, the Egyptian Goddess Selket, and the fixed stars in the constellation of Scorpio.
The Day’s Workshops and Performances
The $50 registration fee (if paid by September 8; it’s $60 at the door) treats one to a slew of workshops that precede the late afternoon’s Main Liturgy. Currently, this is the roster of speakers and topics:
Rev. Demetria Nanos: “Ma’at and Kundalini: Star Lore, Serpents, and Magic of Scorpio, Libra, Ophiuchus,” “Kundalini and Gods of Yoga in American History and Culture,” and “Mantra, Vidya, and Sound in Spiritual/Magical Practices”
Rev. Vincent Hawkins: “The Mystery of Evil,” “Prosperity Magic”
Aura Chapa: “Polytheistic Influences in ‘Steven Universe'” and “Hellenic Intersex Mysteries: The Mysteries of Agdistis and Hermaphroditus”
Martin Barba: “Western Tantra”
Edward Farnham: “Himalayan Singing Bowls: A Cascade of Healing Sound”
Christine Zenino: “Healing the Past, Present, and Future with the Akashic Records”
I’m giving a talk and leading a mini ritual dedicated to the goddess Selket. Additionally, there will be a group Ancestor Shrine activity and a group talisman-making workshop, where participants can choose from making Vedic tattwa-based, ancient Egyptian hieroglyph-based, or Norse bind rune-based talismans.
The workshops run from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., with a lunch break that lasts from 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m. Workshops resume at 2 and last until 5:30, giving FOI Main Liturgy officiants (c’est moi) a chance to garb themselves accordingly before the rite begins.
Vendors and Silent Auction Items Too!
Fellowship of Isis Chicago is pleased to welcome the following metaphysical vendors and groups and artistic organizations supporting our 25th Annual Autumn Equinox Goddess Convention:
- Alchemy Arts Bookstore, Chicago
- Aum-Ha O.T.O Chicago
- Astrology by Victoria Martin
- Crystal Remedies by Steven Blaine Adams
- Life Force Arts Center, Chicago
- Harem of Oddities
- And my very own Etsy shop, JackalMoonDesigns
There will be dozens of unique, esoterically themed items (Hindu and Tibetan Buddhist ritual paraphernalia in particular) up for grabs in our Silent Auction, all of which are new and have been kindly donated by vendors and conference participants. From phurbas to bronze Deity statues to jewelry, there’s going to be something for everyone!
Save $10 off Registration Now Thru Sept. 8 via PayPal
Early registration can be accommodated via PayPal: email $50 to Demetria Nanos at firstname.lastname@example.org using “FOI Convention” in the Notes field. Alternatively, you can mail her a check in the amount of $50 with “Goddess Convention Registration” in the Memo field to:
Demetria Nanos, FOI Chicago, 1465 N. Leavitt Street, Chicago, IL 60622.
Questions? Call or leave a message at 773.684.9219.
Champagne and Chocolates Reception at the Hotel, Friday, September 21
All Goddess Convention participants who are available are welcome to meet at the hotel at 8 p.m. the night before the Convention for sparkling wine and conversation. We’re calling it our “Sweet Reunion with Health and Wealth.” We’ll also be having a guided meditation and oracle session.
Meet Us at Chicago Pagan Pride in Oak Park on September 9!
If the end of September is too long to wait to come say hello, stop by our Fellowship of Isis Chicago booth at Chicago Pagan Pride, which is held Sunday, September 9, at the lovely and historic (and, I might add, haunted) Pleasant Home in Oak Park. Pagan Pride runs from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Let’s Make It a September to Remember!
From my birthday on the 8th to Chicago Pagan Pride the following day to the 25th Anniversary Fellowship of Isis Chicago Goddess Convention on the 22nd, September is going to be an action-packed and wonderfully memorable month! Come join me in Sacred Space to help celebrate!
Blessings! / Seneb-ti!
Cue the Norwegian death metal music score and strap on your dildos! It’s time for me to once again lead my popular workshop on the Great God Set and other “Dark” Deities! I’ll be speaking from 7 to 9 tomorrow night at Chicago’s awesome Alchemy Arts Bookstore, located at 1203 W. Bryn Mawr Avenue, where the owner has known me since I was a high school sophomore!
All of the amazing concurrently running astrology workshops and classes comprising the 9th United Astrology Conference, recently held here in Chicago from May 23 to May 30 at the Marriott Magnificent Mile hotel on Michigan Avenue, definitely made it hard for me to choose which world-class teacher’s talk I would attend at any of the time slots for each day. At times I wanted a truly trans-historical, “big picture” perspective on the Cosmic Intelligences at work in all of our lives, while at other times my Virgo Sun Sign made me want to take a more granular view of planetary energies, focusing on present or imminent planetary transits. And while so many of my fellow Americans were planning on celebrating the Memorial Day holiday on Monday, May 28, through the time-honored tradition of outdoor grilling and family barbeques, the fires I wanted to zero in on instead were those of “Mars Transits and the Mars Cycle,” my first class of the day, which was taught by astrologer Donna Van Toen.
The main conference days of UAC 2018 were Friday, May 25 through Tuesday, May 29, though I also elected to participate in Karen Hamaker-Zondag’s 6-hour-long post-conference workshop on May 30 on the subject of the 8th House. These glorious days of intense learning, fellowship, socializing (I organized a small-group dinner outing to Greek Town for out-of-state conference attendees the night of Sunday, May 27) and partying (the Chicago “Roaring Twenties”-themed jazz party and silent auction on Saturday the 26thwas lots of fun) were definitely presided over by Airy and Watery Elemental forces.
I’ve had a week to process the conclusion of one of the most formative experiences of my life: the 9th United Astrology Conference (UAC), which was held here in Chicago from May 23 to May 30. Sponsored by the International Association for Astrological Research, the American Federation of Astrologers, the National Council for Geocosmic Research, the American College of Vedic Astrology, and the Association for Astrological Networking, UAC is the world’s largest international astrology conference, and it gathers every three, six, or nine years somewhere in North America. I felt so lucky to have had this 2018 9th gathering take place so close to my house, which definitely helped as a cost-saving measure; I certainly wouldn’t have been able to attend if it were held elsewhere.
This week-long “staycation” for me was prompted by a profound inner urging to not just accelerate the developments of my skill sets in astrology as a profession, but to heed the soul’s prompting to undergo a profound journey of self-discovery and self-actualization, a journey which entailed a major healing process for me as well—one that I didn’t (consciously) know that I needed. So many of us ask “the biggies” about what we are doing here on this earth, the lessons our incarnation brings us (as well as how to resolve past lessons so we don’t tote around so much karmic baggage!), and how to find our true purpose by maximizing the gifts we were born with and living a fulfilling life of self-development and service to others. And through it all, we acknowledge the acutely limited time allotted to us as mortal beings, which definitely adds to a sense of urgency to “figure it all out” before we grow too old and convince ourselves that our dreams have eluded us.
As Above, So Below
That’s the beauty of studying astrology. By highlighting the interrelatedness of the cycles found in the “Greater”/Cosmos with the cycles in the life of the “Lesser”/Individual—yoking together an understanding of “the Without” with “the Within”—astrology affirms a worldview based on the assumption that Divine Intelligences exist and are constantly orchestrating a meaningfully notated symphony of All That Is. Using the tools of astrology, people can pinpoint the section of the symphony that they are tasked to play and see how their individual parts relate to the whole. I’m not using this musical metaphor blindly because the perfection of numbers (yes, I’m a Pythagorean!) is at the heart of it all.
The greatest joy for me as an astrologer is to hold up that veritable cosmic mirror to a client and see how he or she lights up when coming to a profoundly joyful acceptance of their Being and Becoming as revealed through the language of planetary positions and placements in their natal and progressed charts. The “Aha!” moments of self-recognition are facially expressed with widened eyes and huge grins: yes, that’s why I knew I never wanted children—Saturn in Cancer in the 5th House!
I had a plethora of such “Aha!” moments myself throughout the entire magical week of UAC 2018. If you’d care to take my hand, I’ll walk you through my experiences by day, each of which seemed to have its own distinct Elemental character.
“Magick Radio Chicago” is a show that streams live online Saturday evenings from 7-9 from Chicago’s Que4 Studios. Hosts Drew Prince and Alicia (a.k.a. Galaxy Goddess) invited me back as the featured guest: we’ll be discussing Contemporary Polytheism. I’m looking forward to it! Tune in online or, if you’re local, listen on the AM radio dial, 1680.
Call in with questions when the show is live! 312-985-7834. Also, check out the Facebook Page.