Today I decided to talk about something that I very much look forward to every year. ConVocation is a four-day conference sponsored by the Magical Education Council (MEC) and takes place in a Detroit area hotel. This event was started in 1995 and its purpose is to host classes and rituals on all kinds of New Age/Metaphysical/Pagan topics. I’ve been going for the last six years or so and it’s a great time to learn, meet new people and have community with like-minded people. For me the four days always becomes a recharging time for my practice and I think one of the best reasons to continue going back year after year is because it is the perfect excuse to spend a weekend with my coven! We always have a good time together.
Each year there is a theme that the classes are centered around and currently we are working through the cards of the Major Arcana of the Tarot. This year the theme centers on the Judgement card and I think it will be a really great year. The MEC does a pretty good job of making sure there are classes for all age ranges as well as all skill levels. Believe me, things would get pretty boring if there were only beginner classes for someone like me who’s been a practicing witch for over 15 years.
When it comes to teachers it’s an interesting mix of folks. Of course there are local teachers, both published and unpublished authors from the Michigan area, like my friend Crystal who has taught some really cool herbal and women’s mysteries classes.
The MEC has established a fantastic list of Featured Presenters. These are noted authors in the Pagan community that keep coming back year after year and I think they give the event a definite grounding presence because of their combined experience.
Kenn Day is a wonderful shaman and I’ve always found his classes to be nurturing and his approach is so gentle and soft-spoken.
Jacki Smith is a Ferndale area resident who started a wonderful company called Coventry Creations. Jacki is awesome and her candles are almost as cool as she is! If you can’t get to ConVocation I highly recommend hitting up her store either in person or online.
My friends know that Michelle Belanger is my favorite and they all know why… that’s all I’m saying! 😉
There are other Featured Presenters, but the three I’ve listed are the ones I’ve experienced the most with.
Each year there are also special Guests of Honor at ConVocation. In past years I’ve met Dorothy Morrison, probably one of the best presenters EVER, Raven Kaldera a fantastic Northern Tradition Shaman and of course Christopher Penczak. Unfortunately Christopher won’t be at this years event (sob) but hopefully he’ll be back next year.
I’m kind of excited that Kerr Cuhulain is coming back. He was at ConVocation the first couple of years that I went but we haven’t seen him in a while. Kerr is one of those that I could consider an Elder of our religion. He’s been practicing for over 44 years and his list of accomplishments is daunting. He started the Order of Scáthach, which is considered to be a modern Knighthood and the art of chivalry.
Ellen Dugan is also coming back this year. Ellen is a master gardener from Missouri who knows an insane amount about herbs. I don’t have much experience with her material but one of my coven sisters likes her work a great deal. (Yea Cornflower Wolf!)
I think I may be most intrigued by Kirk Thomas. I’ve never heard of him before but he the ADF’s Archdruid and owns an organic farm in Washington state. His bio says he plans to start an ADF seminary and has built a stone circle. Yea Druids!!!! I will probably hit up his classes!
One of the highlights of the weekend is the Masquerade Ball that takes place Saturday night. It is always fun to see what folks will come up with. Last year my coven all dressed up as Steampunk Wizard of Oz characters! It was a hoot and a chance to bring my Wicked Witch costume out of mothballs!
I know I’m missing other highlights like the vendor room and the art show, but there’s just so much to experience!! You just have to attend to understand how incredible the weekend can be.
ConVocation usually takes place the third weekend in February and this year the dates are February 20th-23rd. I wanted to make sure to post something now in case anyone was interested in attending they would have some time to research the event. There is a fee to attend the weekend and pre-registering is an option, but I’m not sure for how much longer. It may even be closed now. I can’t find a date for sure. You also have the option to come for only one day, two days, three days or all four. That info is all listed on the ConVocation website. I will try to remember to link everything I’ve mentioned, but let me know if I missed something.
Again, I welcome comments or questions. Do you have an event like this in your area? I’d love to hear about it. I’ve never been to Panthea Con but it’s on my list to go some day! I’m going to try to put together some special blog posts while at ConVocation this year. Maybe some interviews with my coven sisters who are willing!