07 April 2015

Pop Culture Magick: Con Edition - Part II

In my last post, Pop Culture Magick: Con Edition - Part I, I talked a bit about that magick you can perform at a comic or pop-culture convention to take advantage of the unique energies and opportunities that cons present.  In this post I'll talk a bit about the magick you can perform in order to help yourself stay safe, sane, and healthy while at a con.

Conventions are amazing things and I adore them, however they can be rather overwhelming.  When you squeeze a convention center or hotel full of people the possibilities for discordant energy, exhaustion, and illness go up dramatically.

First, the mundane

Why am I talking about the mundane in a magickal blog? Because you can't do effective magick if you're physically exhausted or ill.  If your mundane foundations aren't strong your magick will suffer, so you need to take care of yourself.

As with any con, I always recommend that you keep the 6-2-1 rule in mind: get a minimum of six hours of sleep a night, eat at least two balanced meals a day, and take one shower a day (this is for you and everyone around you). Most cons have official activities going all day and both official and unofficial activities going most of the night.  It's shockingly easy to loose track of time when you're having fun, but all-nighters aren't good for you.  I don't know about you folks, but I am not a teenager anymore and turn into an unbearable harpy when I don't get my rest.  My getting sufficient sleep is in everyone's best interest.  It's also incredibly easy to miss meals at a con.  Often events are scheduled so that there's always something happening and it you're interested in it all there might not be much time for meals.  Do yourself a favor and find the nearest grocery store or deluxe mini-mart and stash some healthy food in your room and some nutritious and non-squishable food and a water bottle in your con bag.  Here in Seattle we have one of the best public market's in the world, Pike Place Market, so I took advantage and filled the room with tasty and mostly healthy snacks.  I trust I don't need to explain the need to bathe.  Seriously folks.

If you can, get a hotel room near the con.  If you're going to be at a con that is either multi-day or that goes far into the night do yourself a favor and get a room.  Having a room means that you've got safe, private space at an extremely public event.   As a magickal person the ability to, whenever you need to, retreat from the public energies into a quiet energetically controllable space is absolutely critical.  You never know when you're going to need to just crash and chill out for a while.  Cons can be overwhelming in both good and bad ways: you can be shaking from an inspiring panel from your favorite writer or shaking with rage from the dudebro bad mouthing your favorite character.  Either way, having safe space to relax is a godsend.  Some conventions (thank you ECCC) have quiet rooms in the con itself for just such occasions and they are truly helpful - mark them on your map!  But if you need to do a full LBRP to come down, having private space to do so would make your life a lot easier.

Take care of your feet.  I walked over 20,000 steps the first day of ECCC.  On an average work day I get in about 4,000.  By Sunday night my legs and feet were both very unhappy with me.  Bring multiple pairs of shoes to change your gait, change your socks 2-3 times a day (trust me), and bring epsom salts and soothing lotion for your legs and feet (tiger balm is your friend).  You will have a better time at the con if you're not in pain.

A word on con-crud.  80,000 of your closest friends does not a hygienic environment make.  Getting sick at a con blows donkey nuts.  Take vitamin c, take immune boosting herbs, do acupuncture before hand, use hand sanitizer, eat well, keep yourself hydrated, and get enough rest.  Take care of yourself or pay the consequences.

On to the magick!


Possibly the most important magickal skill you can use to have a better con experience is grounding.  The near-tidal levels of chaotic energy that are experienced at a convention can wreak havoc on even the most shielded of practitioners.  Ground well and ground often to keep your equilibrium.

This is where you should plan on bringing out you big guns for grounding: use stones like jet or obsidian to help earth your energies, drink soothing herbal tea like chamomile or lemon balm (put some iced tea in a water bottle for on the go grounding needs), wear grounding jewelry, have particularly earthy friends on hand if possible, and be prepared to take a grounding shower at the end of the day (seriously, a nice herbal soap and a soothing shower do wonders for grounding at the end of the day).  At ECCC this year my con buddy, Rae du Soleil, brought a spritz of rosemary/cedar water that was wonderful for helping us ground.  I highly recommend something similar. If you forget to ground you will wake up with a spectacular magickal hangover - I speak from experience.

It's also nice to give yourself a magickal foot massage at the end of the day.  Even if you forgot to pack your homemade lotion packed with grounding herbs and per-charged with your intent, almost all hotels have little bottles of hand lotion.  Use the lotion to rub your feet with the intent of working out both the physical kinks and the energetic residue of the day.  As you work the knots in your muscles allows your energetic knots to come loose as well to allow the energy of the day to ground away.  Your feet and your aura will thank you.


Shielding at a con is tricky.  On the one hand you don't want to miss out on the fun and excitement of the ambient energy, and on the other hand you don't want to get blown out by that same energy.  I recommend coming into the event with minimal shielding and then reading the ambient energy to see how much you need to add.  I'd rather get a little bit frazzled than miss out, but it's totally up to you.

I highly recommend using anchored shields (shields housed in a physical object) while at a con.
If the con is any good you will be fully engaged in the con itself, with very little brain power left over to deal with shielding.  Making sure that your shields take care of themselves will save you a lot of energy.


Travel altars are your friend.  Having a small altar of your own power objects can completely transform an energetically nondescript hotel room into your hotel room. If you're energetically sensitive you're probably noticed that generic hotel rooms can be a little bit soul crushing.  They're specifically designed to not have much character or energy beyond restful sleep.  Setting up a small altar infuses your energy into the room and makes it far more supportive to you.  Don't underestimate the importance of feeling like you belong in the space you wake up in. 

Rae du Soleil's ECCC 2015 altar
Daily Divination

It may seem like a small thing, but doing a bit of divination before you head out for the day and really affect how you experience things.  Anything from a simple one card pull to a full spread on what you need to focus on for the day can provide guidance and direct your focus.  It's also a great way to help yourself figure out if you really need to skip lunch to make that 12:20pm panel.


First off, I am not a cosplayer.  I have tremendous respect for the art of cosplay and I love the incredible people watching it provides, but it's just not really my thing.  That being said, there is tremendous magickal potential in cosplay.  It's quite different to walk the floor as a nondescript attendee and another thing entirely to walk the floor as Lady Sif (and there were a few amazing Lady Sifs at ECCC).  If you're a cosplayer you can take advantage of the energies involved in playing a character in a place where that character is recognized and respected.  Just a thought ;)

For more info:
Conventions - Part I
Pop Culture Magick Index

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