A while back I learned about Many Gods West, a polytheistic religious conference taking place in Olympia, WA in the summer of 2015. I found the goal of this conference quite exciting; a whole weekend of polytheistic matters? Oh, yes please.
I sat and thought for several weeks about whether or not I’d submit a proposal to present. Traveling is complicated; it’s expensive, I have two jobs to juggle time away from, I never know how my health is going to be, etc. etc. On the other hand, I have a couple presentation ideas that aren’t a great fit for PCon or any of the other venues I’ve taught in.I felt like these ideas would be a good fit for Many Gods West but I didn’t submit any proposals.
But here I am more than a month later still thinking about submitting a proposal. After all, sending my ideas is no guarantee of admittance so I’ve really got nothing to lose. All the same, I really want to work on this subject. I want to develop some of these ideas into greater clarity. I also would love to travel to Washington. I have friends in the area, I’ve never been, and it’s Washington.
So long story short, I submitted two proposals this morning. One is for the session I’ll be doing at PCon 2015; it’s about getting into some of the mechanics of devotional ritual and it’s some work I’m pretty pleased with. It’s got some broad appeal, so that’s good. The other is a little more narrow in focus. I want to talk about why devotional practice matters to polytheists and what we, as a community and broader polytheistic culture, can actually gain from this work. I also want to trouble the idea that devotional practice has to achieve something concrete and measurable in order to be valuable. I’d like this to be an exploration of the subject, a heuristic session if you will, but I have some clear points I’d like to highlight.
Anyway, here’s hoping. I’ll let you know how things develop on this front. And perhaps if it doesn’t work out to present this year, I’ll have the chance to try again next year. 🙂