The Buttery before venturing off for further adventures at PantheaCon. The food at The Double Tree Hotel is not only hideously expensive, but veritably unpalatable as well, especially for kids. We loaded up our bags with avocado sandwiches, boiled eggs and organic pop tarts, little cheeses and bottles of water, excitedly venturing forth over the hill once again.
Once at the conference, the kids took off to play on the elevators and collect ribbons for a treasure hunt. I went to my various workshops and we would meet at a strategic meeting point at various times during the day. On my way to our mid afternoon check in, I got a frantic text:"Snakes at the Con! Meet at elevators!" And indeed, four boa constrictors (including an albino beauty) were wrapped around their various owners, tasting the air with quick lisps.
The highlight of the day for me was The Sacred Body of Woman, a self blessing ritual by Z Budapest. From the program: "This skyclad ritual honors the body of every woman present, the beauty and grace of the feminine form in all her infinite variety. Allow yourself to be embraced by the glorious love of your sisters, with voices raised in sacred song in this central ritual of the Dianic Tradition."
I came to the conference with the intention to rededicate myself to the goddess, and in the moment I felt like I had come home. Here was my tribe, my community, my elders and my daughters. I positioned myself midway in the circle, knowing from times past that I would lose my voice at first, but would regain it as we began to build power. We sang the same chant over and over, as each woman stepped up to bless herself before a mirror, herself the goddess reflected.
As I looked around the room at over sixty women present, I was filled with a deep respect for my own body. When it was my turn before the mirror, I held my own gaze, touching the consecrated wine to my lips, my breasts, my knees. I became the observer, looking down upon myself, and marveled at the strength and flexibility in my 42 year old body. My skin is smooth and supple, and while I dye the grey out of my hair, it is thick and lustrous. I felt so grateful for all the good organic foods I have eaten, all the Zumba I have danced, all the good choices I have made, for keeping me strong, sexy, fit and healthy. I left feeling beautiful and awake, rejuvenated and invigorated, energized and fully alive. All I can say is: Blessed Be.