Friday, January 16, 2009

What's in the Programme?

We're starting to have some discussion on our yahoogroups list about what should be on our 2009 programme.

Traditionally, the panels and discussions at Gaia Gathering have focussed on the issues we experience as Canadian Pagans living in the 21st century, with special emphasis on the experience of being Pagan in the host city. What are the common threads that we all share in practising our paths, regardless of geography? What regional differences exist in our individual and groups practices? How do we keep our Pagan identity socially in our daily lives, when we are challenged by being a minority faith, generally poorly understood (even by media), and still searching the murky waters of faith, belief, understanding, knowledge, and so forth?

Past discussions have included:
  • Teachers, mentors and priesthood
  • Walking the talk
  • Running a Pagan business
  • Being a Pagan Professional
  • Managing Media
  • Religious rights and freedoms in Canada
  • Challenges facing francophone Pagans
  • Pagan parenting
  • Canadian Pagan music
  • Organizing churches and non-profits in Canada
While some of the slots in the programme are filled by the local host city, the vast majority of the conference programme has historically been developed collaboratively by Pagans from across the country using the Gaia Gathering YahooGroup. We hope this year, that you'll also share your ideas on this blog.

So what discussions would you like to see at the Vancouver conference?


Sophia said...

I'm assuming this is where we'll have the discussion on programming, so I'm going to start out.
I'd like to see a comparative tradition workshop, where people identify common threads and differences between the trads represented by attendees and some common other trads. The Vancouver area community is highly segmented, with most of us having no idea what other paganisms are being practiced, or having met anyone from other trads. There are areas we can work together, as minority faiths. I'd envision the workshop as being participative and focussing on trying to understand the differences (bi-theist, polytheist, gender-polarity magic, non-polarity magic, political/apolitical etc...) and what they're sourced in historically and philosophically, and also what might be some bases of unity. I'd be willing to facilitate or cofacilitate such a workshop. Sam knows how to get hold of me - Sophia Kelly.

Amanda said...

Thanks for the suggestion and for offering to facilitate the discussion. I think it's a great idea! But I may be biased: We did a very similar panel discussion / round table at the Montreal Pagan Conference a few years ago with much success!