Fire and Ice
A time of Fire and Ice, as marked by this year’s theme for Paganicon 2018. This has been the third year in a row that Deeply Rooted Church has had the privilege of of attending this convention based in the Twin Cities of Minnesota. The focus was on the Northern Traditions and captivated attendees with panels that spoke about all subjects Heathen, everything from Odin to Staving Off Ragnarök. Deeply Rooted was present at the event with a party suite that featured friendship, gaming, mead-tasting and of course, connecting with new folks about our intentional off-grid Pagan community.
Undeniably, the most fascinating part of Paganicon for those who man the suites is the amount of folks that we connect with to share our experiences of our sacred land and the Tribe that has formed upon this foundation. One-hundred and sixty acres of sacred, protected land is the loom on which the tapestry of many spiritual paths combine and collaborate. It’s a truly rewarding experience to reach out to new Pagans and discuss this connection between the practitioner and the land, the very heart and soul of which our community was founded. It never ceases to amaze me when people look through our brochures, picture albums and hear our experiences that there is a look of disbelief or amazement on painted on their faces. Yes, there really is this unique little Pagan community nested in the branches of rural Northern Wisconsin and you can be a part of it too!
Paganicon provides an uncommon experience for myself. I’ve been involved with Deeply Rooted for the last six years or so of my spiritual ‘career’ and until recently, I’ve discovered that I’ve changed as a Pagan. Being around so many like-minded folks, learning and sharing different aspects of my beliefs with our members and also being committed to the ‘behind the scenes’ aspects of our community, has afforded me a rich and colorful view of the world of Paganism. It was intriguing to say the very least, to come upon so many solitary Pagans who had never been in a community and share the story of my journey. I was once solitary and somewhat contented in that notion until I realized that I had come to a place in my spiritual odyssey that was no longer supposed to be traveled alone. As people perused our literature and took in a taste of Deeply Rooted culture, it got their minds to look at the potential! Even if Deeply Rooted was too much distance for them to travel, there are now options that are quickly blooming allover the Midwest.
That’s the kind of powerful message that Deeply Rooted and Paganicon sends to the world. We are more than just the community based in Athens, Wisconsin. We are no longer hiding in the shadows and making code names for our practices as if we’re James Bond. Paganism is expanding and now we’re settling into the world and making a new name for ourselves. It’s not the psychedelic experimentation culture of the 1960’s, we’re literally forging a new world as we continue to write, draw, sing and educate others about our culture and our traditions. The panels at Paganicon all reflected the same message and common theme among them: This is Paganism, choose your future!
And as if seeming to be the knot to tie off a wonderful weekend of networking and learning, our own Wade Mueller’s panel, “The Future of Paganism” was presented in a room filled not only with familiar faces, also some new ones as well. After having been witness to so many key historical points in Paganism and having exceptional hands-on experience with the ‘ingredients’ that make up the diverse pie that makes up our traditions, Wade captivated the audience with his observations. It’s sobering to realize that even though we have accomplished so much in the six or so generations of the Modern Paganism movement, we still have so far to go. The future is coming because we’ve built enough momentum that we are riding horse that is bucking and kicking it’s way to the future… yet, what future is that? Mueller reminds us that we can either take that future into our own hands and build upon it or we can allow it to come naturally. Others will pick up the slack if we choose not to participate, yet we may not like the path we are heading in for one or another reason.
Deeply Rooted, for me and so many more has been a way to take back the reigns of that runaway horse and jump over the hurdles of our daily struggles. Paganicon is much like an opera singer and we are the attendees of that opera. The song of Paganism penetrates our hearts and heads back to our communities where we can take a single note of that anthem and carry it with us as our hard work and self-expression give rise to an emergent new ballad. This is the song of our people, the song of our future and it’s up to us to raise our heads and voices so that we can finally be heard, an overall message is expressed to us if we listen carefully to the lyrics. What is your vision of the future and what are you willing sacrifice to make that dream into a reality?
My sincere thanks to all of the members who helped make the party suite for Deeply Rooted @ Paganicon 2018 a reality!
Here’s some pictures from the event!