In Ireland, I encountered the phrase “dirty weekend,” which had a very specific meaning, and one that generally involved huge amounts of sex (which, in the Irish context, would generally mean “once”!). While much could be said about the socio-cultural-religious implications of such a phrasing, I’ll hold off on that for the moment.
I’ve often thought that PantheaCon, and any number of other conventions I’ve attended, might end up being a “dirty weekend,” and it has yet to turn out to be the case (with, perhaps, one exception more than a decade ago). But, before I explain what I mean, I’d like to tell you a different story.
Last night, I watched the most recent episode of Religion & Ethics Newsweekly that I DVR’d this weekend from PBS, and I saw something that surprised and astonished me. At the very end, they often talk about holidays in the “major” religions–and though I’ve not ever watched the show around any of the major modern pagan holidays, I somewhat suspect they’re not mentioned. In any case, last week they mentioned that Epiphany was coming, and that it’s a little different for many Orthodox churches, which celebrate Christmas on that day. So, this week, they celebrate Orthodox Epiphany, which is when they reckon the baptism of Jesus. In order to celebrate this, Greek Orthodox parishioners in Turkey did so by diving into the Bosporus to retrieve a cross that gets thrown in the water.
And, they do it in speedos.
I can get behind that!
And, also, while they’re in the water, they go and pick up the cross and kiss it, and then they kiss and hug each other…and, keep in mind, this is all men who are doing this.
That, too, I can get behind!
This is giving me ideas…!
However, it’s also making the following much more upsetting to relate. As far as PantheaCon being a “dirty weekend” is concerned, I have the following to report. This year, there will be no Inundation ritual each morning. My accommodation is not settled for PantheaCon at this point, but the likelihood that I’ll be in the Double Tree is almost nil, which makes getting up that early, getting to the pool, and then getting back to shower and change before breakfast and then the first workshops will be pretty much impossible.
I hate to do this, as it is one of the only times during the year when I can perform the Inundation ritual with other people, and outdoors/at a pool, these days, and it is a great way to ground the experience every morning and be a kind of cornerstone around which to build the rest of a successful PantheaCon–or, at least it has been for the last few years. So, I’ll miss it horribly this year. But, what must be done must be done…or, in this case, what cannot be done cannot be done.