Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Gaia Gathering 2011: Panel Discussion Topics

Gaia Gathering 2011 is fast approaching! In less than six short weeks, Montreal will be hosting Pagans from all over North America who will be sharing their knowledge, their opinions, and their talents in what is shaping up to be the finest edition of the Canadian National Pagan Conference to date!

Have you registered yet? If not, please visit right now where you can register online quickly and easily!

Over the past few months people from across the country have been letting is know what they'd like to see and discuss and Gaia Gathering. With less than two months to go before the conference, now is the time to make the final decisions.

The following list are the topics we are currently considering. Please email us at to let us know which panel topic you would like to see in the conference, and if you think you'd like to be a panelist on one of them, please let us know! Also, please feel free to suggest descriptions for the list of topics at the end. Many of them came out of brainstorming in various communities, but we received only the topic titles.

We look forward to hearing from you and getting your feedback. Please return your feedback to us BEFORE May 1st 2011!
Gaia Gathering 2011 Organizing Committee

Panel Discussion Topics

The Value of Personal Gnosis   
How much value do we place on personal gnosis (knowledge acquired directly from deities and spirits), obtaining and sharing it, compared to the other pillars of Pagan spirituality? These being: lore, tradition, and modern inspiration (ecology, feminism, activism and creativity).   

Ancient vs. Modern Mythology
Would you call upon Robin Hood as the God deity? Do you find more power in calling down the spirit of the Dagda, or could you call upon the power of Superman as an archetype? Can pagans still find power and relevance in published works from the last few centuries? How old does mythology need to be to be considered a valid mythology?

Canadian Pagan Authors   
Why are most of the 'big name' pagan authors American (and to a lesser extent British)? Who are our Canadian authors and how can we help support them?   

Priestessing/Priesting our Craft
What does it mean to be a Priest/ess in our covens, groups and communities? What are the risks and challenges, and what skills do we need to cultivate?

Transgender Pagans   
Recently, there was a public women's pagan ritual where transgendered women were excluded because they were not female-born.

How do cissexism/transphobia, body essentialism, exclusion, and anti-oppression work both in our community and in our liturgy.   

Pagans in Interfaith Work
What opportunities are there for pagans who want to reach out to other spiritual communities or support existing interfaith initiatives? What skills are required? Who is doing this in communities across Canada and what has been their experience?

Pagans in the Media   
A panel discussion on modern Paganism and Pagans in the media that ranges from mainstream identity and public relations to reaching out via alternative media and communities.   

Circle Repair
How do circles, covens, groves and other group prevent potentially damaging situations or repair the broken trust and fractured dynamics after a fall-out?

Impact of the Internet on Pagan Development   
The Internet provides us with more access to people and information, but it also allows reduces in-person contact with real people. How can we use the Internet to our advantage and what is there about the Internet that should we avoid?    

Pagans and Crime (or Pagans in Jail)
If a Pagan is charged with a crime and says that his religion is part of his motivation, the community has choices to make.  Do we acknowledge the issue but not the person?  Do we distance ourselves from the issue entirely?

Pagan Identity   
Do we have a shared Pagan identity? How do we feel when someone publicly takes action or a stance, or performs a crime, "as a Pagan" or in the name of being Pagan?   

Activism, Action, Protest and Paganism
What protest/activism supports Wiccan (or other trads) ethics (or codes)? What are the Pagan-encouraged forms of protest/action. Defining peaceful constructive protest and magickal activism.

Conflict and Resolution   
In managing conflicts between ideologically-separated groups, organizations, and people, how can we bring positive interventions and find enough common ground between them? What models exist?   

Cultural Sensitivity
When does influence turn into appropriation? Are there ways we are insensitive to other cultures or traditions other than our own within the Pagan umbrella?

Pagan Evolution after Quebec's Quiet Revolution
Anglophone and Francophone Pagans often differ in the ways they lived and practised their religion. These differences are deeply rooted in Quebec's unique cultural and religious past.

This panel explores the impact of salient events in Quebec's recent cultural history, and how the Quiet Revolution and the subsequent de-Christianisation of Quebec's Francophone population have impacted the way Francophone and Anglophone Pagans understand and live their faith.

Other Topics
Language and history
Gender and sexuality
Music stream
Breakfast discussion on traditions
Power of words
Discrimination and legal rights
Rites, rights and laws
Pagan parenting
Event organizing
Environmental ethic
Pagan mediation
Aging, hospice and death
Celebrating in French
Translating English Sources into French
Men's spirituality and male menopause.
Clergy burn-out
Pagan documentation
Archiving our legacy of elders
Sacred texts - pagan canon
Storytelling as a guide
Sexual abuse
Fundraising techniques
Managing volunteers
Impact of secularism
Sacred space and sacred places
Technology and paganism
Pagan community etiquette
Pagan taboos
Pagans, conflict, and the warrior path
Mental Health & the Pagan Community
Compiling Histories of our Communities

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