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ruthless compassion
14 August 2006 @ 02:28 pm
Several people are surprised, nay, shocked to learn that I'm going to Twilight Covening and have been curious as to why. I had a good conversation on IM recently that I was going to turn into this post, but then my computer consumed the conversation without consulting me, so I'll just have to recreate it here.

As pretty much all of you know, I can be pretty snarky and skeptical about what I call "wifty" stuff, which includes things like talking to spirits, prophetic dreams, energy work, the whole category of "magic", anything that's like divination, and etc. I like lots of people who are into this sort of thing, but I also mock them (friendly-ly, and with affection, but still) and don't take any of that stuff particularly seriously. At the same time, as a skeptic, I also have to look with a critical eye at science and say that it's obvious that what we know now isn't all there is to know, and I suspect there's a lot about how things in the world fit together that we don't yet know about. That said, I'm not convinced that people doing wifty stuff really Know, either, but that's neither here nor there.

One of the things that I like about wifty stuff, though, is the opportunity to get personal (and/or group) insight and introspection. I look at it as a somewhat expanded version of the old coin toss as a method to find out how I really feel trick (where I flip a coin and see if I hope for one or the other outcome, or see how I feel about the one I get): I've heard people describe reading tarot cards in the same way, and this makes sense to me. I know others use tarot in more prophetic ways, and let's just say my jury eyes that sort of thing rather skeptically.

Anyway, Twilight Covening has struck me as a place that I could approach the wifty stuff that I find interesting and compelling in a fun way: the whole clan aspect is interesting to me, and, of course, I'm currently playing a lot with thinking about natural systems and connections, and how people fit into those. Mythical archetypes are useful as placeholders for thinking about a number of things, both personal and systemic, and that's how I'm thinking about them, here. And, of course, I'm curious to explore a broad category of what I'm calling altered states, from trance and meditation to... who knows what? And this seems like a good opportunity to get into some of that.

I like the earth-systems focus of the weekend, at least as I understand it, and I asked a friend if I had to be wifty and magical to enjoy myself there, and she told me I have to be okay dealing with earthy-crunchy hippy-types (of which it could be argued I am one, so that's no problem) and not twitch when people say things like "feel the energy of the earth." She assured me that I would not have to say that, so I expect that I'll be fine.

It strikes me as the kind of thing that what I get out of it has a lot to do with what I bring and put into it. Since I'm an indomitable pollyanna, I can find something good and useful out of pretty much anything, and I expect that not to be a big challenge in this case, since what I'm anticipating is a weekend of new experience and connecting to interesting people. I also expect to find a lot of the people annoying and overly wifty for my tastes, but that happens at parties here in Camberville, too, so big deal.

So, to sum up, I'm going because a) interesting opportunities for being introspective, b) interesting opportunities for connecting with other people, c) playing with altered states, and d) trying new things!