Not only gaining valuable insights into questions related to my research in process, but I also had the pleasure of meeting some people whose work I have read, known, and discussed outside the conference but never met in person. Likewise, I believe I now have a new group of colleagues, without whose support and engagement I would not be able to sustain the academic work I have started doing in the area of Pagan Studies.
I wanted to share a couple themes that I found throughout the conference, in part as my own meaning-making process. While this list may not be exhaustive and may not be the same take-aways as others, I do offer it in part as I needed to process them for my own meaning-making:
- Pagan Studies scholarship, practices, and perspectives are powerful community-builders when they are done with respectful and accepting discussion via more listening and less speaking. There is no better way to embrace and celebrate diversity.
- In politically-challenging times, we are not alone. We may feel it at times, but our community and support structures are far and wide, only a few online clicks or calls away.
- Sustainability and Pagan Sacred Spaces are much easier to speak about than define, clarify, generalize, and mobilize.
- Pagan Leadership through Environmental Action is in need of academic study. I hope to pursue this.
- Pagan Communities need to develop and support Pagan Institutions. Without them, we miss the opportunity to have a physical (real) presence in the community. We may like the freedom of fewer commitments, but we will otherwise fall through the societal cracks.
If you attended the conference, what were your take-aways?