Some Thoughts on Many Gods West 2017

So, this has been the second day of Many Gods West 2017 – the third day I have been here. The Red Lion hotel here in Olympia is rather nice and comfortable. Anyone thinking of coming to a future one – its quite a beautiful location. And if you are worried about available food outside of the hotel – everything is close by with a short 5-8 minute drive away. But all of that is just the incidentals, eh??

I am not sure what I expected when I got here. I had heard things could be a little politically charged. From all of that, I had gleaned that perhaps there could be confrontational moments. But I also know that real experience is a far better judge of what happens than just hearsay. Were there politics?  Sure. Some. Nothing significant though. Sort of the same political discussions that happen at work. But no one seemed to get their feelings hurt when a different opinion was expressed. Many of the folks listened carefully to what was said, and then added on to the point being made with a logical perspective. There was no disrespecting of anyone’s perspective. I would say that everyone was respectful of differences, and for me – the conversations were absolutely delightful! I wish I could have informative, respectful conversations like this all day, every day.

Each of the panels I made were very well done. Lots of good points made, and a lot of give and take with the audience as well. These are the kinds of panels I adore. I have several pages of notes – and lots of blog topics to write on going into the future. And yes, most of those will be on personal, devotional, polytheistic practice. Some of the topics opened my eyes to some of the work I have been doing with Crow, and one panel opened my eyes to how the relationship I have developed with Crow will change over time. As our mutual trust of one another develops and matures, so will the nature of our relationship with one another and our understand of one another. That particular panel provided me with well over a dozen perspectives and concepts to blog on, including that one. So I am super excited to start exploring how to advance my relationship with Crow – both from an intellectual perspective, as well as a physical devotional one.

So, if you have been looking to this small Pagan conference in the Pacific North West and have not decided on it yet – my personal opinion is that you should come here. You should go to the panels. You should sit in the hallways and talk to others about….well, anything. Now let’s remember – I’m an introvert trying to come out of my shell. I ran back to my room several times over the last two days…just to restock who I am. I did this numerous times at Pantheacon this year and last year.

Tomorrow morning, I will make one panel in the morning and begin my trek back to SeaTac International airport – a 90-minute drive (depending on the traffic). But as I drive north, I will be remembering this convention fondly. Crow pushed me towards this with the notion that I needed to go. And from what I have heard from the panel presenters and from the conversations I have had with others….I understand why I needed to be here. But regardless of that, I’m sincerely glad I was able to go, because I see a way forward that I never realized was there before.

I can’t say that you will find a revelation within any of the panels at Many Gods West, but if you are a polytheist – you will certainly find a lot of people to talk with who have shared similar experiences to your own. And for me, that was just half the fun!!

 

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One thought on “Some Thoughts on Many Gods West 2017

  1. William

    Tom… Tommy? You know I never asked how you wanted to be addressed.
    Well met at MGW this year. I enjoyed hearing of your Air Force experiences.
    This was my second year in attendance…. but I would say that it is the first year that I actually felt like I participated. I certainly found it much as you described…. much discussion, varying and differing views… and pretty much entirely done in a respectful, intelligent way when it came to trying to understand and be understood. That was due to everyone there working toward that sort of end an not letting it get to something… lesser. That said, I sensed an undercurrent of sorts…. I felt it last year as well. Society and cultural issues (vs polytheistic/theological ones) were there and I think it has the potential to derail an event like this. I suppose it is all but impossible to keep that out of a gathering such as this, but personally…. I can’t help but feel a bit apprehensive about it. I had my own take-aways from the events/presentations that I attended as well… and like you, I would highly recommend that people go for the experience… not for the certainty of some enlightenment…which is never a guarantee, but for the experience of intelligent, proactive people who value the respectful exchange of ideas and transmitting knowledge and experiences. I kind of find that a difficult thing to locate these days.

    William
    Bremerton, WA

    Reply

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