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22 February 2007 @ 10:45 pm
Convocation 2007 I: The Gods Are Giving You Gifts, And You Don't Even Know It  
Okay, time to start posting things with some real meat to them. Today was Day One of Convocation (well, night one if you want to be technical, since it did not start until around 7pm). I skipped the opening ritual, and got there around 8. My first stop was a the registration desk of course, to pick up my badge, program booklet, and etc... stuff. I had pre-registered back in January, so I was not signing up then and there, just telling them who I was so they could fish out the folder of my stuff from the big pile.

The girl I spoke to first seemed to clue in that I was trans when she first saw me (though I am not sure about that), but she was on the wrong side of the registration desk, and so she had the guy back there get my things. She basically just told him my last name and he fished it out. Then he looked at the other names on the folder, which were my full legal name, and then the name on my badge. The genders of which are naturally not consistent. He looked up and handed me the folder, and while he did not do the double take some people do, I could see that was when the light bulb went off. I found it rather amusing, since I remembered him from last year. He was the trickster who used his cell-phone in the closing ritual to release one of the elements ("Yeah, yeah, glad you could come, too bad you can't stay, have a good one, bye.")

So stuff in tow, I went to my first class. As soon as I walked in the room I saw a familiar face, lorrraine! So I sat down next to her and said hi, and we talked while the classroom filled up. A few minutes later who walks in and sits down in front of us? Chris Penczak and Gus Di Zerega (Gus wrote one of the first Pagan books I have ever read - Pagans and Christians, and he is one of the people I was looking forward to meeting at this year's Con.)

Then the class got going. It was by Deborah Lipp, and about the myth of the abduction of Persephone, and it was really interesting. I learned some things that I had never put together, namely the parallels betweens the characters. Demeter and Persephone, who were sometimes known as "The Two Who Are One", who each seem to have experiences in parallel with one another during the story (Persephone is raped, Demeter is raped). Then there is Hades and Dionysos, who seem to be a yin-yang of one another. There is Hades and Demeter, who are the older Olympian gods, and Persephone and Dionysos, who are the younger, next generation, the offspring of what the Olypians had sown. Finally there is Hekate and Helios, the Moon and Sun, Dark and Light, the combination of whom lead Demeter to Persephone.

One of the things that really struck me was one of the things Deborah really emphasized in the story. How when Demeter is making the human boy immortal, only to have his father stop her at the last moment. That is when she reveals herself for who she truly is, and says: "The Gods Are Giving You Gifts, And You Don't Even Know It!"

That really hit home, because one of the core themes of this myth, no matter how you choose to view it, is that it is a transformative journey through darkness and suffering. The things which frighten us, sometimes which even harm us, are often ultimately the things with set us empower us, enlighten us, and set us free.

That is something that has come back to me so many times since I began my transition. At times being trans makes me feel empowered, and I see why people of other cultures have thought Queer Folk were specially blessed by Divinity. The trouble is it can be hard to remember that feeling when most of the time people are smirking or laughing or shooting hateful glares at you. It is so easy to forget the gift, and only see the insecurities of others. It is good to remember. Something I need to be reminded of.

There are so many ways of looking at the myths of this story (and so many different versions of it), and we talked about a lot of them. Lorriane was one of the first people to pipe up about the mythical origin of pomegranates (that when Attis was castrated his blood spilled to the ground, and out from that sprang the pomegranate). Chris turned around when she was talking, recognized the both of us, smiled and made a little wave. That was nice, and amazing, to think he would remember us from a year ago. Then again, I wonder who many trans-folk he actually meets at these things...

Anyway, when the class ended and people were breaking up, Chris got up and went over to talk to this incredibly hot blond woman who had been sitting near the front. I heard him ask about her pregnancy (she was not showing at all), and ask rhetorically if it was 3 months now.

Click. It was sugarmaplelife, I did not recognize her because her hair was blond rather than red. Goddess, she is much taller than I had imagined. She is taller than I am (was she wearing heels? I do not remember). That is pretty rare for a genetic girl, and a nice feeling for me. Her, Lorraine, Chris and I talked some. Then Lorraine and Chris went off, and songtoisis chatted a while. I was trying to think of things her poor, non-pagan husband could do during the days while she was festivaling. Unfortunately, I had little luck. All the huge mounds of snow we have had from last week's blizzard melted today, so things like skiing or snowmobiling are out. There are no outdoor festivals like Tastefest or Arts, Beats, and Eats going on. There are the casinos, which is sounds he might like.

Anway, after a while she had to go see hubby and presumably bedtime, and I really had to pee (I had been holding it through the last half hour of class). I saw Lorraine and Chris talking after I came out, and for a moment I was going to go over. But it was 10:30 already, and as ecstatic as I was, I was also tired. I have been feeling wiped out all week. I need some sleepy time, so I headed home to pet the kitty and write this. My journaling done, this Witch is going night, night.
Current Mood: excitedexcited
Current Music: Lenny Kravitz - Once You Dig In
only love .:. only sky: Christianity has Pagan DNA.notalwaysweak on February 23rd, 2007 09:51 am (UTC)
I think that it's a powerful thing to learn and remember, that even the negative things in our lives happen for a reason, to help us grow stronger.