Tuesday, March 8, 2011

What I Learned at the Sacred Space Conference

I was asked to be a vendor at the Sacred Space Conference in Maryland. I have never been a vendor & I was so excited to actually be asked that I could hardly stand it. I worked with a darling young woman, Gwendolyn (her magical name is Gwendriel) and she could not have been more helpful. Anyway , since had never been a vendor I couldn't decide what to make & take or how much, how to display it, & so on. The first thing I did because I love all things girly & cute was order bags with pretty tissue! So even if I only sold one thing, it would look good. I put together an interesting, take-apart-able peg board screen thingey and made LOTS of oils, candles & cauldron splashes. I was still "making" the day before I left. I hand screenprinted some aprons with my "Spelled" logo-so that as I was selling my one thing & putting that one thing in the darling bag, I would coordinate.

I drove to the conference, about a 4-ish hour drive, listening to books on my ipod.
I got there to check in & right in front of me was this tall, young man with dreads, long woolen cape, hat, scarf & bejeweled. I am always so easily cowed, assuming that I do not measure up & certainly not in "coolness" with the young & so I got anxious, a thing that I do really well-get very anxious, very quickly.
I began to unload the car & a Gwendolyn told me that Scott, a volunteer would be glad to help me & pointed his way. Scott was my man in cape & dreads. But, reminding myself that I am 57 & a crone for goddess' sake & I was grown up & didn't need to be such an ass, I asked Scott if he would mind helping me. Okay, to shorten the already lengthy tale, Scott could not have been sweeter. He helped, we talked & it turned out he was a new knitter. I had my knitting with me & we shared. I love Scott. He stopped by my vending table after every class of the 3 day conference. He told me about the classes & what he learned & at the end of the last day we hugged & said goodbyes & agreed next year would be great at Sacred Spaces. See you there.

What I learned #1- I am a lot girlier than I realized. I always thought I was sort of a rogue, radical, can-do gal. I am all that but more, too. I LOVE tying bows. On packages, bottles & boxes. All my things that I sell have bows-rafia, hemp, suede but bows. Some with charms & cute tags.
What I learned #2-A lesson I have to learn over & over: Do NOT judge a book by its dreadlocks & cape. Those are trappings. My ribbons and bows are, too. I am nice. Scott is nice. Most of us are nice.

What I learned #3-being with a group of pagans is SO MUCH FUN! I didn't have to whisper that I was a democrat. Or a witch.
What I learned #4- There are a lot more ways to be pagan than I ever dreamed of. I met a wonderfully nice & interesting young woman whose name tag read, "Devon, Maid of Epona." She had the most marvelous divination "Pony Pennies" that she had made. She read, quit accurately, my pennies. It never occurred to me that their was anyone who was a devotee of Epona. And I met a lot of other super interesting people but Devon stuck with me. I expanded in a big way by meeting her.
What I learned #5If you want to know what a pagan does for a living do not ask them what they do. That illicits, "I follow/worship/believe....." You must ask what one does in the mundane or real world. What is your job?
The other part of this is that pagans are: bankers, teachers, librarians, monks, artists, mothers, homemakers, massage therapist, IT geeks, in the military, and everything else under the sun. I just read that the majority of pagans are well-educated, generally at the post-grad level. 
What I learned #6- Being a pagan vendor is so much fun & also makes pretty good money. There seems to be a general angst among vendors about the guilt of making a profit. Isn't that silly? But I feel like that all the time. That I should charge what something costs me-exactly. No profit, no charge for my time. But I learned also that I really like coming home with wads of cash & that the ability to swipe credit cards on my iphone was the best thing I ever did. It makes it so much easier for the buyers & for me.
What I learned #7-I still miss my new vendor friends, Ruth, Kathy(& her mystery man, Shahid,) Kat & Richard, Becky & Niell(sp??), the book vendors & the monks. It was a mini-world in the vendor's room & it was wonderful.
The very last thing I learned- MARNA is not the same thing as IWANA. MARNA is an acronym for the Maryland Naturist & IWANA is a church youth group thing. One is a group of naturalists and that is not bird-watching. I am so naive, sometimes. 


SilverFox said...

heehee so glad you had fun and met so many memorable people! I would love to go to an event such as this, even just to wander through. Hope you have fun again next year!

Debra She Who Seeks said...

Hooray for wads of cash! Glad vending was successful for you!

Penny said...

Actually, it is AWANA with an A not an I lol.

Glad you had such a fun, rewarding and blessed time!


Sparrow said...

Glad to hear you had fun and that it was profitable!


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