Sunday, July 27, 2008

Witches mean business

I just returned today from the Pagan Leadership Skills Conference, an annual summer event focused on helping pagan folks learn some top-drawer organizational skills which can eventually help their home groups/covens/collectives/businesses flourish.

I did my first conference last year. One of the organizers called me to ask if I could fill in for the public relations/marketing teacher who had to cancel at the last moment. I said I would and went on to teach the same course track this year.

Although the event might give some pagans the willies because of corporate-sounding classes on marketing, event coordination, legalities, accounting, etc., I think it's a really great way to combine the so-called mundane skills with our sacred work. (Note: It's all sacred, folks. Our brains are sacred organs!!!)

What I realized, yet again, was that having strong organizational skills makes our home groups more effective at what we do - transforming the world. Instead of bemoaning the fact that nobody knows what our organizations are about, we can actually apply some modern business practices with a bit of witchy flair to deepen the impact we have on the world.

The other fabulous part of the event for me is getting to meet and know people from far-flung locales (this year, Texas, Ohio, Virginia, the Carolinas, and Georgia) and from traditions way different than my own experiences with Reclaiming, Queer Spirit and Faery work. (Plus, there's always the fun of running into people from a Baptist convention while wearing a dress, heels and make-up. No lie. They seemed to be especially taken with my red-painted toe nails. Go figure!)

There's also a bardic circle (what would a pagan gathering be without some kind of talent show thing, right?), fundraising dance evening Pomona's Ball, and opening and closing mini-rituals.

I highly recommend people check it out. In talking with participants who return repeatedly, I hear that what they learn really helps them to tighten up their groups and the reach of their collective arms.

(Above is one of my favorite photos. From what I understand, this hat is actually the traditional old women's hat of Wales. Now, these gals know how to work an outfit.)


Sunny Simmons Steincamp said...

Everyone at PLSC - participants and especially all of us planners - could not be more impressed, pleased, honored, or just plain excited to have had you share your many talents and special energy with us for the past two years. You enrich us all in ways that will never be forgotten. Blessings upon you for lending us your time, hard work, and magic!

PS: I LOVED your painted toenails!

Donald Engstrom-Reese said...


What traditional hats do you suspect will be developed especially for old queer priestesses?

And just where shall we build our Witch Compound? Shall we organize a sacred cake and pie bake off fundraiser sometime in the future?

I love and miss you.