Headliner Workshops

We are excited that the following presenters will be joining us at Mystic South Conference 2022. Be sure to register today so you can attend their presentations, workshops, and performances!

We’ve listed the workshops that will be offered by each of our headliners below. Final dates and times will be provided in our registration packet at check-in. Don’t miss a moment! Register today!

David Salisbury

The Iron Pentacle

The Iron Pentacle is a tool for revolution, for yourself and the world around you. Through the five points of Sex, Pride, Self, Power, and Passion, we can unshackle our currents of personal power from the overculture’s grip. Running this power through the body can help you cultivate a greater sense of your true nature and bring about increased integrity and authenticity. In these trying times, this simple but powerful concept from the Anderson Feri Tradition is just the thing to steel your inner fire.

Shades of the Dead

From haints to wraiths, southern folklore has many names for the creatures of the night. In this survey of spirits from the south and beyond, we’ll explore how the presence of the dead presents magic workers with unique challenges and opportunities. Combining both modern mediumship and traditional witchcraft alike, learn how to identify spirits, channel messages from the beyond, work with ancestors, and (when necessary) exorcise unfriendly ghouls. 

Lobbying with the Lemegeton: Mastering Magical Activism

The U.S. south is a legendary home for cunning activism and the witches of the south are no exception. There is a new movement on the rise, one that brings the worlds of social justice and political activism together with the practice of witchcraft. Learn spells for self-protection and body shielding as well as methods of developing enhanced psychic intuition for situational awareness. Conjure spirits of defense, land spirits, ancestral spirits of activism, as well as your own personal guardian spirits. Whether you’re new to movement building or a seasoned advocate, anyone can join the “Magic Resistance.”

Thorn Mooney

Magical Recordkeeping: Effective Journaling and Note Taking

Do you have a beautiful blank book on your shelf that you’re afraid to write in because you think you might ruin it? Have you never started a personal book of shadows because you want to make sure you get things just right? Do you start a new book every few months because you just can’t commit?  Do you wish you actually took notes while reading the way you think you should? In this class, we reconsider the purpose of magical recordkeeping. We discuss strategies for inspiring more writing, building consistency, and fostering both creativity and utility in your personal magical books. Bring your favorite notebooks, pens, and any stationary you’ve been neglecting!

Advancing the Witch’s Path: Getting Unstuck, Overcoming Burnout, and Moving Forward in Magic

Are you stuck on a plateau? Are you wondering where the advanced books are? Feeling exhausted or bored? Or maybe you’re the opposite — new, and totally overwhelmed by where to start! You’re not alone. Practically every witch or Pagan, no matter their personal path, will hit a wall at some point, and probably more than one! Beginners tend to get stuck when they’re bombarded by all the new info suddenly available to them, while more experienced practitioners are quick to tire of reading the same books over and over, wondering what comes next. If you’re a community leader or teacher, you may be struggling with burnout. In this workshop, we’ll look at spiritual plateaus and discuss strategies for jumping off of them and taking things to the next level. You’ll leave with practical, real-life tips designed to help you recharge your practice, strengthen your magical connections, and get you feeling excited about being a witch all over again.

Reading the Tarot Without Memorization

Many of us have a tarot deck (or three) stashed on a shelf or under an altar, abandoned because we just couldn’t get the hang of it. With seventy-eight cards (and reversals!), there’s just too much to memorize, especially if you’re just getting started. In this no-frills, hands-on workshop, Thorn gives you a series of strategies for reading the cards — for yourself and for others — without reaching for that little white book. You’ll be performing readings both for yourself and others, and will learn techniques that will keep you from getting stuck ever again. Do you prefer oracle decks? That’s fine! These strategies work just as well. Bring your favorite deck, or find a friend to share with!

Carla Elaine Johnson

Navigating Academia and Religion from a Pagan Perspective

The road to academic success can be difficult in ordinary times. Years of intense study combined with excellent networking skills, advocacy by a top notch dissertation advisor, and a willingness to continue a grueling pace for at least five to seven years after securing the rare tenure-track position eliminate all but the most brave or insane. All too often job-hunting academics lull in the trenches of post-docs, continent faculty work, or specialty adjacent slots while maintaining a feverish pace of conference presentations, scholarly publications, and committee work. While a love of knowledge and research beckons many to enter the academic arena, for Pagan scholars the path is more treacherous. Some polytheist traditions, such as Hinduism are accepted easily in scholarly forums;however, primarily Pagan traditions lack the necessary gravitas. A quick database search reveals Pomegranate, the UK published academic journal as the primary forum for papers addressing ancient and contemporary Pagan religious practices. This needs to change. As a case-study, this paper addresses current issues facing Pagan academics and how Pagan academics can successfully navigate the contemporary academic landscape in the 21st century while maintaining a strong Pagan heritage and outlook.

The Irony of Pagan Religions and the Criminal Justice System

Despite a growing Pagan population within the criminal justice system, the academic studies neither reflect its presence in the U.S. criminal justice system, nor the effect of Pagan-specific religious adherence as an anti-recidivism tool. Quick searches for the past twenty years show a slight increase in articles that use the the terms Pagan and prison;however, most do not address the issue of anti-recidivism. A broader search covering the use of religion in prison in general or as an anti-recidivism tool over the same twenty-year period produced nearly 1000 results, with a primary focus on monotheism, and specifically Christianity. While positive effects of religion on lower recidivism rates appears in no fewer than three dozen academic articles in The Journal of Offender Rehabilitation alone, nearly all focused on Christianity. The Center for Religion and Media at New York University’s publication, The Revealer, maintains this disconnect with five out of 3902 articles since 2003 that mention Paganism, and just one addresses Pagan religous practice in prison. Religion in general is considered to have a positive effect on lower recidivism rates, yet not enough research has been conducted specifically on the positive impact of Pagan, Heathen, and polytheist practice. This study looks at the inverse proportional effect that Pagan and Heathen religious observance has on the overall incarcerated population, most notably sex offenders, including the challenges, the benefits, and future steps.

Labyrinths from a Pagan Perspective (as Clio Ajana)

Labyrinths often are seen as tools of Christian worship and solely for Christian monotheists, yet the path of the labyrinth does not belong to any single religion. Many Pagan Pride festivals have labyrinths for good reason: When they are done with heart, the experience is a manifestation and a magical experience. In this workshop, we discuss unique ways to approach the labyrinth experience to enhance and enrich our individual practices and lives as Pagans, Heathen, or Polytheist.

Hecate Boundaries and Tarot (as Clio Ajana)

Many who come to Hecate are from differing paths. As a Goddess of the Crossroads and Queen of Magic, Hecate is a powerful conduit for looking at boundaries in all areas of our lives. Using the elements, tarot, and meditation, this ritual brings forth Hecate to help those who seek her help with finding where boundaries are weak, overly strong, and where life can be improved. In this ritual workshop, participants experience Hecate’s guidance through tarot and guided meditation. For those new to understanding or devotion to Hecate, this is an excellent opportunity to explore in a safe space. There is time to share successes and connections at the end. Handouts will be provided. If you have a tarot deck, please bring it with you

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