Thursday, April 30, 2009

Mental Health Panelists Sought

:: Reposted from our YahooGroup::

Hi there,

This message is a call for panel participants for the mental health panel. By now most of you will have registered, and I’m hoping a few people will step forward to help make this panel possible. As of today I haven’t received many inquiries about serving on the mental health panel at the Gathering and am looking for presenter.

I’m a consultant who provides technical and project management services to non-profit organizations, including the local schizophrenia society. I’ve written public health fact-sheets on psychosis/schizophrenia and manage an online support group for family members/supporters of persons with a mental illness. However, I’m not a one-woman panel.

Here’s some ideas to hopefully suggest topics or people within the community who might have something to say for this panel. I’m looking for priest/esses who’ve had experience providing pastoral care to or received enquiries from persons with a mental health concern or mental illness, or for persons who’ve found their Pagan faith or practice helpful in managing or coping with mental health issues (e.g.: depression, anxiety, post traumatic stress) or mental illness and would like to speak about this process on the panel.

What I see as an issue and have encountered once as a priestess is that people who are experiencing hallucinations or delusions might be particularly drawn to us given that our Pagan worldview is often more open to ideas of unusual psychic powers or experiences. As Pagans our belief system often includes believing that we do have some extra-sensory powers, ability to shape outcomes by magic, and a belief in psychic abilities. This can mean that a person who is experiencing a brain illness might seek us out to talk to about what they are experiencing, as they know we’re not going to dismiss their experiences out of hand. I thought we might have a discussion on how to tell a person is not having an actual psychic experience but something due to a brain illness, and if so how to handle it (that topic I can help with).

Probably more commonly, some of you might have experienced your faith being helpful in healing post traumatic stress, depression, anxiety in yourself or coveners?

Are there any priest/esses out there planning to attend Gaia Gathering who’ve had coveners with mental health issues that would be willing to talk about it on the panel (keeping details confidential of course) in a panel on mental health issues and Paganism?

Blessed be,


Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Do You Twitter?

Why not tweet about Gaia Gathering?

Help us continue to spread the word by tweeting about Gaia Gathering.

Find other tweets about the conference, and presumably other folks who might be attending, by using the hashtag #GG09 in your twittering. Other suggested hashtags are #Vancouver, #Canada, #Pagan

Not sure what about GG to twitter? Try simply:

"Are you going to Gaia Gathering? #GG09, #Vancouver, #Pagan"

Friday, April 24, 2009

GG Sneak Previews New Documentary

Documentaries on contemporary Paganism are few and far between. Canadian ones are even more rare. So we're delighted to have been given the opportunity to offer an advance screening of a documentary on Wicca from Victoria-based Gamut productions. The screening will be followed by a panel and Q&A period with the film-maker.

I’m a Witch, So What?
Saturday Evening

Today, the number of people practicing witchcraft is increasing more than any other non-immigrant based religion. Why Wicca? Why now? I’m a Witch, So What? is a critical look at a religion generally considered to be without doctrine and spiritual over-authority. One of its only rules is that everyone is free to carry out their (own) personal exploration as long as they 'harm none.'

During a time of rising global awareness, the witch returns in a new form after years of being misunderstood, coming forth to share common goals with many other open religions as they seek a broader understanding of the direction of our planet. The witch remains a vital part of human progress, emerging in this documentary with a voice that challenges preconceived notions of the past.

This documentary looks at contemporary Wicca with a variety of perspectives, interviews and a quick review of some myths. Made in Victoria (Gamut Productions) earlier this year, Arwen Hunter, the film-maker, will be available to answer questions and discuss the film.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Programme Advertising Deadline Extended

We've extended our deadline for programme advertising and sponsorhip to May 1st, 2009.

The conference programme highlights the activities of the weekend, presenters, bids for the 2011 conference, local information, and more. Every participant will receive a conference programme as part of the registration package when they check-in at the registration desk.

To offset the cost of producing the programme, as well as the cost of the conference itself, we accept paid advertising in this programme. If you run a business, advertising in the programme is a great way to get visibility for as little as $35. It's also a tax deductible as a business expense. If you don't run your own business but work for a Pagan-friendly company, consider asking them if they'd like to advertise in the programme; or consider running a fun 'ad' of support.

Advertising rates, based on 8.5 by 11 sheet size, are as follows:
Full Page $185
1/2 Page $95
1/4 Page $50
1/8 page (business card) $35

Ads should be in a standard graphics format and insertion ready.

We also accept programme inserts. So if you have a flyer or catalogue that you'd like to insert in the programme, that is possible. Contact us fo rates.

Sponsorship is also available for folks who do not want to advertise in the programme but want to support the conference in some way. Contact us for details.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Topics Descriptions From Our Keynote Speakers

Kerr Cuhulain (Saturday)
The topic of my presentation is hope. The modern world seems to be more and more chaotic, increasingly violent, and ever more isolated. One of the greatest gifts that our Pagan community can give the world is hope. Hope for a better and more peaceful future. It is time for the Pagan community to set an example for the rest of the world to follow. It is time to show people how to be stewards of the earth. It is time to replace the guilt of the Judeo Christian religions of the Western world with the responsibility of the Wiccan Rede.

Andrew Burton (Sunday)
This presentation will explain and demonstrate the process of social action theatre and its application in addressing problems of prejudice and discrimination. Dealing with issues often means listening to a talk about something. Doing so does raise awareness but often does so in an academic and abstract way. Theatre allows participants to experience the emotions and details of an issue in an immediate and powerful process. Social Action Theatre goes beyond this by requiring the audience to take a stand and get involved, to generate real-world solutions to problems rather than just hear about them. Audience members will have the opportunity to experience and take part in a play creation process. Street Spirits actors will demonstrate and involve the audience in creating interactive scenes.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Have You Registered Yet?

Wow, we have only five weeks left to the conference, and just over three weeks to the pre-paid registration deadline. Are you registered?

If you are planning on attending, I can't emphasis enough the need to send in your registrations, or at the very least request a paypal invoice, sooner rather than later.

There are a couple of really good logistical reasons for this. The main one being that we need to confirm space as well as final headcounts for food and morning coffee with the University next week. If folks wait to the very last minute to register, then we may be short resources or end up booking spaces that are too small for our needs.

Also, all the conference facilities and food needs to be prepaid next week, and other expenses are coming up later this month and in May as well. Our cash flow is completely dependent on registration income. So we need the registration income to actually do the things needed to host the conference.

So, if, like me, you've been procrastinating....

Registration form is here:

Details about paying by PayPal can be found in the previous post.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Registration By PayPal?

Yes, we have PayPal! And yes, we take credit cards!

If you have a PayPal account, you can simply 'send money' to us at info(at) Them when you send in your registration form (pdfs via email are also welcome), simply indicate on it that you paid via PayPal. Please include your PayPal confirmation number so we can easily match the payment to the person.

No PayPal, or want to pay by credit card? No problem. Simply email us at info(at) .We'll send you a PayPal invoice that you can pay from.