Class Descriptions

Banshee and The Way of The Dead, The - Alexei Kondratiev:
Ancestor worship was a very important part of Celtic religion and contributed a great deal to clan and tribal identity. Ancestral figures continued to watch over the living, and helped maintain the link of the people with the Land. We will discuss the beliefs and practices that relate to Celtic ancestor worship and sense of kinship.

Challenge of the Old Soul, The - Marcia Pickands:
Numerology’s explanation of why some of us must be responsible for the growth of both ourselves and others physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. This seminar will also help participants find out if they have this particular challenge (based on birthdate data). Some basic knowledge of numerology is helpful, but all are welcome.

Cherokee Foundation (Tsalagi Elo) - Standing Bear:
The foundation of Cherokee world-view is a series of interlocking creation stories. Based on the directional theory, each set of stories unlocks levels of meaning about cosmology, the natural world, the spirit world, and the inner world. For enlightenment, the relation of our bodies to the earth and the food plants, our blood relation to sun and earth, the spirit helpers of enlightenment, and the dual nature of humanity. Why do you sometimes act so inconsiderately, and what can you do about it? Each set of stories also poses many levels of morals.

Cherokee Society - Mother Qualla:
How does it relate to todays Non-Indian world.

Children’s Forum - Rev. Rose M. St.Hilaire:
Some of us bring our children to Etheracon. I'd like to spend some time with the children and encourage discussion and sharing of what it is like to be a Pagan child or young person. As parents we have had to deal with difficulties, legitimate concerns, and of course joys raising our children along this path. Let's hear from the children. The results of this time with the children will be open ended. I am open to their suggestions and can spend more time with them if they want.

Children's Ritual - Randi and Dion Marshall:
This is a generic Wiccan ritual to be celebrated by children. Too often we exclude our children from our rituals. In this ritual children will perform all of the parts. Adults are welcome and encouraged to attend but will perform no duties. All children are welcome with parental permission either in the form of a note or by their parents actual presence. The parts of High-Priest and High-Priestess will be performed by Clayton Marshall and Jessica Sheeley.

Connecting With Lupercus (The Wolf God) - Arawn Machia:
Lupercus is known as the Great Golden Wolf who drives away the wolves of night, and in this image one can clearly see the solar aspect connected with Him. He represents both protection and freedom. This workshop will allow participants the opportunity to release the wolf within; that which is untamed and unowned (even by ourselves). Come meet the Wolven Sun God as we journey to His realm and join in the myth of transformation, renewal, challenge, and accomplishment.

Dream Delving - Tom Cowan:
An experiential class using shamanic drumming techniques to explore the meaning of dreams for yourself and others.

Dreamway - Standing Bear:
"Disdisgi ni degalisdigo nigohilv nihi tsawogoyu-e-i" --- Dreams come true, if you maintain faith. Dreams and visions are the natural language of the Cherokee, and are the introduction to many of our helping spirits. We learn first to observe and understand the communications we receive from the Spirit World, and gradually to make it a two-way communication. From there, we learn to use the state to hear ourselves and others.

Druid’s Pilgrimage, A - Alexei Kondratiev:
Although the ancient Celts followed a fairly uniform set of basic cultural and religious customs throughout Europe, there was a lot of regional variation: different gods and goddesses were worshipped in specific places, and healing shrines of local divinities could become famous throughout the Celtic world. We will follow the travels of an imaginary Irish druid as he visits important holy sites across Celtic Europe on the eve of the Roman conquest.

Ecumenical Morning Prayers - Standing Bear:

Ganesha vs. Skanda - Battling Brothers of Hinduism - Black Lotus:
Am I my brother's keeper? In Hindu myth, the answer is sometimes yes, and often, no. We will discuss the rivalries between siblings like Ganesha ("sensitive" lord over obstacles) and Skanda ("butch" general of the gods' armies); like Lakshmi (power of wealth) and Sarasvati (power of creativity); and like Krishna (the womanizer) and Balaram (the drunkard); and how these sibling rivalries were/were not resolved.

Healing Our Wounded Image - Rev. Rose M. St.Hilaire:
Many of today's societal and stereotypical views about women are a direct carryover of historical attitudes and persecution of women in the past. Contemporary women still suffer from poor body image, expectations of a passive role, domestic violence, and guilt, blame, and shame concerning our sexuality. Some of the historical roots of these issues will be explored. Discussion and sharing of personal histories is strongly encouraged. Through awareness, discussion, and sharing we can all begin to examine and heal our wounded image.

Healing Tarot: A New Year's Journey to the Garden of the Great Ones, The - Jennifer E. Moore:
In the sacred space we create with breath sound and guided meditation, we will visit the Great Ones of the Tarot as we view slides from The Healing Tarot® (Jennifer's photographic Tarot deck which incorporates magic, masks, body painting, and other art forms.) A class of experiential learning, we will work to develop our capacity for integration between inner and outer worlds as we move between closed and open eye trance states. In this workshop we will journey through the Major Arcana to focus on our goals and actions for 1997. To help create this sacred inner and outer space this workshop will be presented within a ritual, and the doors will be closed after the circle is cast. So please plan to arrive on time!

Heartfire Ritual, A - Cayte Jablow:
I would love to do a ritual for Imbolc, the burning of the sacred eternal/internal flame. The ritual will focus on the rekindling of our inner flame.

Ice-Cream Ritual - Randi and Dion Marshall:
This is a light ritual with at least some roots in the traditions of America. The Ice-Cream Social is a long-standing tradition for building community, known from movies and stories, it harkens back to a simpler, easier time which probably never actually existed. Pagans seem to have one foot in the past and one in the future, but the past of our own nation is often overlooked. This ritual will merge traditional wiccan ritual forms with American tradition and folklore. Note that this ritual does involve the actual eating of what will probably be massive amounts of ice-cream, toppings and whipped cream. If you object to this or are lactose-intolerant, be forewarned.

Insular Religious Communities, The Dangers of Isolation: A Discussion - Dion Marshall:
History shows many examples of small religious communities isolating themselves from the larger society around them. Jews, Mormons, and Shakers are all examples of this. Frequently this behavior has resulted in problems in dealing with society at large. Isolation from society also removes the ability to compare our religious beliefs to others in order to validate them. What benefits might out-weigh these disadvantages? Is this the way modern esoteric religions such as Wicca, Druidism and Asatru are heading? Come prepared to discuss your own point of view.

King and the Swineherd - Sharing Wealth Through Ritual, The - Alexei Kondratiev:
There could be major differences between rich and poor in Celtic society, but the rich were expected to be their "brother's keeper", and no one was left to starve. We will discuss the ritual means by which the rich were reminded of their responsibility to society.

Laws of Magic and How Things Work (Spellcrafting 301), The - Jane Sibley:
Theory and composition of effective charms, talismans, amulets, cantrips, spells, etc. This is "universal" magical theory, used not only by the Norse and Saami, but also by all the other magical traditions I can think of. Bring notebook; tape-recording for personal use only is OK.

Magical Breathing: A Workshop of Intention, Action and Experience - Jennifer E. Moore:
It is a new year! Time to release the old and affirm the new. Conscious breathing is a very effective way to move energy and to achieve the states of consciousness vital for good magical workings. In your willingness to breathe, you create the possibility for change. As you open to your breath, you access your power. Come discover the transformative spirit of breathing and learn ways to enhance joy and strengthen your connection with the Divine. To help create a sacred space, this session will be presented within a ritual, and will be closed after the circle is cast. Please plan to arrive on time, bring an open mind, and wear loose comfortable clothing!

Minor Arcana, The - Cayte Jablow:
A unifying view. This is a class on the more "mundane" aspects of the cards and how they comprise a unified view of everyday life.

Nature of Spiritual Practice, The - Tom Cowan:
A discussion about what makes up a spiritual practice, with special emphasis on paganism. Participants will have opportunity to share the elements of their own spiritual practices with the group.

Norseworking - Jane Sibley:
A high-level high-energy circle in the Norse tradition. Come fed and rested and ON TIME!! The circle will start promptly, and once we begin, the doors will be sealed and guarded. This means "no potty breaks"; only in the case of a true emergency will anyone be able to leave the circle once it’s laid. We will be doing healing, charging major items, experimental magic, and whatever else needs doing. You MUST have either taken Tinker’s grounding class this year or in previous years to attend. This goes for everybody, no matter how advanced you are.

Open Drumming

Pastoral Counseling for Wiccan Clergy - Arawn Machia:
Leadership involves more than teaching classes and arranging rituals. Very often High Priests and Priestesses are called upon to apply psychological principles in a plethora of situations. While there is a need for specialists trained to cope with the complexities of human problems, most human needs can be (and have been) met by non-specialist "people helpers." This workshop will provide a framework in which to view the helping functions associated with spiritual leadership.

Prophecy of the White Deer - Standing Bear:
Humanity still exists because of a Covenant with the Animals. It was broken once, and humanity faced extinction, only to be spared at the last moment. However, as the Covenant as forgotten again, we face the vengeance of White Deer, and the "rebellion of the animals" – and machines – that will herald the end of the current Fifth World. Lyme disease? Mad Cow? Ebola? The White Deer has already warned of earthquakes near New York.

Sacred Drum - Standing Bear:
The Cherokee medicine drum is considered to be a living creature, and is a model of the universe. Learn some of the general principals of drums, drum-making, and drumming from a Cherokee ceremonial drum-maker, including restrictions on materials, symbols, and usage.

Shiva’s Tears, and Other Tools for Mantra - Black Lotus:
The Eleocarpus ganitrus bears a fruit whose magical seed (called Rudraksha, or Shiva's Tears) is used for counting repetitions of mantras. Other beads made of tulsi (basil), sphotika (quartz crystal), lotus seeds, etc. have specific magical effects as well. We will discuss how wearing these beads or chanting on them produces various effects (Participants will receive a free Rudraksha bead).

Sky-Guardians of Hinduism - Black Lotus:
Hindu rituals invoke ten "Dik-Palas" or Sky Guardians who protect the various directions around the altar. These deities derive from older Vedic mythology. We will examine the stories of the Sky Guardians and related deities, their powers, tools, vehicles, methods to call upon them, and how they differ from modern Hindu deities.

Tarot Readings from Science Fiction and Fantasy - Lisa Padol:
This is not a class on interpreting the cards, but on introducing layouts from science fiction and fantasy novels. Time and suitcase space permitting, I'd like to cover the Satellite Spread from Piers Anthony's Cluster books, the Lamp from Joyce Gregorian's Broken Citadel, the spread from The Labyrinth Gate by Alissa Rasmussen, the Chronicles of Tornor, by Elizabeth Lynn. and the spread from the Role-Playing Game Everway.

Temptations of Power and Authority, The - Marcia Pickands:
How to recognize and avert the abuse of mental, emotional, and spiritual power by yourself and/or others. This seminar will discuss and demonstrate relevant GUARDIAN Psychic Self-Defense techniques, Hypnosis, and Spiritual Self-Preservation exercises. Advanced level practitioners only, please.

Thunder & The Perfect Mind: A Ritual for Wisdom - Jennifer E. Moore:
"I was sent forth from the power, and I have come to those who reflect upon me, and I have been found among those who seek after me. Look upon me, you who reflect upon me, and you hearers, hear me." These are the opening words of a Gnostic text written for the Goddess Sophia. Join us tonight as we come to honor HER and to seek HER through these ancient words, trance work and experiential ritual.

Traditional Norse, Saami, and Anglo-Saxon Leechcraft - Jane Sibley:
Healing techniques, charms, & magic for humans, according to ancient traditions. Both Pagan and "Pagan with a Christian veneer" (i.e. "Politically Correct") techniques will be presented. Bring notebook; audiocassette taping is OK for personal use only.

Traditional Norse, Saami, and Anglo-Saxon Veterinary Leechcraft - Jane Sibley:
Our four-footed brothers and sisters in fur/feathers are important to us, and they sometimes need healing, too. Protective warding, healing techniques, charms and magic for small and large animals. Bring a notebook; audiocassette taping is OK for personal use only.

Traditional Norse Spinning, Dyeing, and Weaving Techniques and Magic - Jane Sibley:
Recipes, both for dye-baths and for magic, for the spinner and weaver. Fiber-arts folklore, healing and skill-magic, loom and spindle-magic, etc. Bring a notebook; tape-recording for personal use only is OK.

Tree Familiars - Arawn Machia:
While many pagans are acquainted with animal familiars, few members of the Craft have explored alternatives to these animal friends. Communicating with the spirits of plants and trees, sending them on magickal errands, and traveling the astral plane with them are all possible if one knows the keys. This workshop will allow participants to make connection with a different type of familiar.

Tsalagi Dance of Life - Margaret Button & Arthur Button:
"Tsalagi" is the true name of the Cherokee people. The Dance is said to be between 2,000 - 3,000 years old. The Dance has been taught by Don Two Eagles Waterhawk, a Native American of the Cherokee/Tsalagi Nation for several years. He has graciously given us permission to present it here at EtheraCon. The Dance is a meditative experience that honors Mother Earth, Father Sky and the Four Directions. It will give the "dancer" some insights into areas of one’s life that are not quite centered, and it is also a very mild form of exercise. Minimum age to participate - 13. Wear loose comfortable clothing.

We Are Each Other - Marcia Pickands:
The Western Inner Mystery Tradition’s answer to how our actions affect each other physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. This seminar will also explore our responsibilities to self and others from this perspective. All levels of practitioners are welcome.

We Are Each Other: The Ritual - Marcia Pickands:
This is an ecumenical ritual designed to bind the worst in us to serve the best in us and each other. Clergy and/or healers who would like a hand in consecrating the sacred space please arrange to meet with me an hour before the ritual starts. All are welcome.

Wheel of the Tarot, The - Cayte Jablow :
This course goes over the Major Arcana as it behaves as a spiritual mirror of our progress, this is not a course on reading the cards, but rather on understanding them.

Why Native Americans Distrust Pagans: A Discussion - Standing Bear:

Wise-Woman/Man Tradition: Monitoring and Diagnostics, The - Jane Sibley:
"Aura checkups", and sensing how another person is doing, energy-wise. This is useful for "grounders", as well as for healers and counselors. "Hands-On" workshop and workshop and lecture on "watching out" for the other person.

Working With Soul Cards - Cayte Jablow:
Using the methods of Mary Greer, we will figure our soul cards (the card that corresponds numerologically to our birthdays) and chart our lives as they are mirrored in our cards. This method is useful to analyze behavior trends, understand relationships and helps in choice making.