Pantheacon 2011 – A Personal Review
Pantheacon 2011 was Friday February 17th through Monday February 21st in San Jose, CA. Just like previous years the convention was at the Double Tree hotel located by the San Jose airport. This was my second year attending the convention, and overall it was a great experience once again. Just like life isn’t perfect though, Pantheacon is also not without its imperfections. This article is meant as my personal review only, and is in no way an endorsed opinion. I am here to tell you about the good, the bad, and the ugly of Pantheacon from the personal perspective of one desert witch.
In my opinion, the best parts of Pantheacon are the people you meet and the group rituals. Every year the Goddess knows exactly who I need to meet and what I need to hear. It is such an amazing feeling to know that the Divine is so strongly at work during a short Pagan convention! For example, one of the highlights of the convention for me personally was getting to meet Le’ema Kathleen Graham. She is a snake priestess who uses dance and yoga to worship the snake goddess in all her many forms. I had no idea Le’ema was coming to the convention, nor that I would stumble into her workshop only to discover how much I needed to connect with her. Other highlights included: meeting Ruth Barrett and attending her “Walking Our Talk as Dianic Witches” workshop, meeting Z Budapest and attending her “The Sacred Body of Woman” ritual, attending CAYA Coven rituals and events-including the Amazon Priestess Tribe’s “The Rite of Lilith” ritual and the Grove of Hekate’s “Journey to the Nocturnal Realms” ritual, attending the “Call of the Battle Raven: A Morrigan Devotional” ritual, meeting Sparrow and Mojo from The Wigglian Way, dancing at the Pomba Gira devotional, getting to reconnect with my online friends and Family of the Rising Phoenix Tradition coven mates, and lastly the goodies I bought from the vendors. There really is nothing like the rituals at Pantheacon!
Unfortunately this would not be a thorough review if I did not mention my more negative experiences of this year’s Pantheacon. The first thing I noticed right away this year was that attendance seemed much lower. It was nice as far as the hotel felt less crowded, but it was kind of sad because the events and rituals felt smaller. The largest complaint I have is the same as last year’s, and that is that the food situation is horrible at Pantheacon. There just aren’t enough restaurants near or in the hotel. The food at the hotel is ridiculously expensive! It was also very frustrating that they did not have more vegetarian or vegan food options! The hotel was under new management this year and so we were told that the elevators had been fixed since last year’s convention. Unfortunately, even though the elevators were “fixed” they were still a major issue. Each elevator could only handle 8-10 people at a time maximum and even then they still malfunctioned from time to time. It is really difficult to get to a ritual on time when the elevators do not function properly! My overall recommendation to fix the negative aspects of Pantheacon would be to hold the event somewhere else. I would love it if we could have the convention some place with both indoor and outdoor event space, and of course better food!
Despite the few setbacks of Pantheacon I would definitely recommend attending the event. It is well worth the few frustrations! Just getting to spend time with fellow Pagans and attending group rituals is enough of an incentive for me. For me personally, nothing compares to having ritual with my Amazon Priestess sisters or my Dianic heroines. When you attend Pantheacon the Gods and Goddesses really are alive and afoot!