Festival of Minds – East Coast Pagans and Heathens

Weekend before last was the Festival of Minds, to my knowledge one of the few Pagan and Heathen events around these parts. Sydney really isn’t a big neighbourhood for these sorts of things. It was a two-day event put on by a woman called Pip and was a roaring success that really had a lot going for it. PAN, the Pagan Awareness Network of Australia was one of the major sponsors of the event and the charitable donations from the weekend accrued enough money to get one of the local hospital some new machines. On a more personal note it was my first proper Pagan and Heathen gathering, which made it huge for me. There were so many people there and none of them was quite the same as any other. There were magicians, ceremonial magicians, wiccans, witches and more in attendance.

Over the course of both days there were almost a dozen presentations that ranged from quantum physics and its relationship to divinity on the morning of the first day to a practical workshop done by the Applegrove wicca group. Some of my personal favourites were the grimoire presentation put on by Nick the Ceremonial Magician, the panel discussion on Paganism and Roleplaying’s affect on the imaginative human consciousness, the Applegrove workshop and a presentation on Classical Mathematics and Mysticism.

While the presentations were undeniably intellectually stimulating the thing that I really took away from the Festival was the people I met and the new friends I made. I was able to reconnect with three people I hadn’t seen for a long time and re-establish my relationships with them, while also making new friends who are already proving to be very good people. There were so many people that I met so I naturally figured that not all of them would mesh with me and me with them, but by the end of the weekend there was basically no one that I hadn’t bonded with that didn’t turn out to be brilliant. Time will tell how many I end up staying in contact with, certainly for some it will be purely impractical but there are at least a half dozen that I really want to keep connected with.