Monday, October 19, 2015

Parliament of World Religions - Salt Lake City October 15 to 19, 2015

What an adventure!!! It all began when Kasey Conder told me I should participate in the Parliament of World Religions a year ago. At that time, the event sounded good but I was not 100% sure it was the type of event I wanted to participate. Then, I decided I would attend but Kasey kept pushing I submit a proposal to do a presentation there. Thank you Kasey for pushing me as I really submitted a very fast proposal, did not put much time into it as I thought they would never take it. A person talking about social media and technology to expand spirituality??? Technology and Spirituality usually don´t go together. I still submitted it so when I got a call in May saying that they couldn´t take my presentation but that they would love to have me in a panel talking about the Goddess Isis with two Priestess Sisters, I was like, yes! I´ll be part of that panel. Little did I know that three week later I would get a letter saying they have accepted my proposal and I would be presenting in a multi-speaker session on Friday, October 16. This was not the end of the unexpected for me, 10 days before my presentation, I received an email saying that my presentations was now a single session and I should be prepared to speak for 90 minutes instead of 45 minutes. Yes, 10 days before and I had to double my time so I started re-doing my speech. Thank Goddess my work for the panel was completed.

I landed in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, October 14th, early morning and that allowed me to go to my hotel and check in. Luck was on my side and they let me check in at 10 am even thought the check in time was 3 pm. In my room, I had an opportunity to practice my speech and relax for a little bit. Then I went explore as I wanted to see the Conference center, where to park, and be ready to begin the following day. When I arrived at the Salt Lake Palace Convention Center I was amazed. This place was like a city! It was the biggest convention center I´ve ever seen. Then I went to see some of the rooms and they were huge! Every room had a projector and I was like... oh no!!!! I did not prepare a power point presentation for this event.... what should I do? It was already stressful enough to have to switch from 45 minutes to 90 to think now I needed a powerpoint presentation. It goes without saying that I decided not to do a powerpoint presentation after all! I was intimidated by the size of the venue and the event!

After seeing the convention center, I decided to explore the area and I found myself in the Temple Square. I knew very little about the Mormon faith and I was surprised by noticing that one of the buildings had a Start of David and the whole place was surrounded by walls so I thought... At least it is not only in Argentina that Jewish buildings have walls around them to protect them from terrorist attacks. I decided to go into this square to find out that it was Temple Square! I never discovered why the Star of David was part of the Assembly Hall but the people were quite nice there. I still smile when I remember a lady that offered me a map and then she caught eye of my Isis Wings and made a small comment such as "Those are nice" and I have learned to not engage in conversation at times so I just said "Thank you". I wondered what her reaction would have been if I was wearing a pentagram at the time. I visited most of the buildings in the square and still did not understand the core of that faith. I saw they had an old and new testament and then the book of mormon. I have to admit I am curious about what the book of mormon says as I know what the other two books say after being raised Roman Catholic.

Wednesday night was our Pre-Parliament Fellowship of Isis meeting in Crone´s Hollow so I headed out that way after my little excursion. Crone´s Hollow is an amazing witchy store in Salt Lake City so if you are visiting the area, don´t miss an opportunity to go and check it out. If I hadn´t been traveling by plane and had more room, I would have been in trouble as I would have bought a lot of things! The ceremony was amazing and Kasey Conder, Linda Iles, DeTraci Regula and Annitra Ravenmoon were spectacular. The event was small and very nice. I think it was perfect to have a small event before the monster event that the Parliament was.

Thursday morning, I headed up to the convention center and registered. There was a book so big it looked like a bible, filled with events and presentations and my name was there! I have to admit that it was overwhelming at times. There were about 40 presentations/workshops taking place at the same time and picking the ones to attend was a skill. I enjoyed many of the sessions I attended and this event gave me exposure to religions I had not been introduced before such as the Islam or Spiritism. During the opening ceremony, I had the honor to see Jean Shinoda Bolen who said that we all come with an assignment and this assignment has to have three elements. First, it has to be meaningful for you. Second, it has to be fun. And third, it has to be motivated by love. Do you know what your assignment is? Do you live from your purpose? How can you get closer to your purpose and work on your assignment so it can have those elements? Another speaker said that women did not have the luxury of getting overwhelmed or wait for somebody to do something. The time is now and you are that somebody... stop waiting and take charge because you are the change you want to see in the world. It all begins with you as we are all one.

During the Opening Ceremony on Thursday night, we got to receive a blessing from the tribes of Utah and that was very powerful. I think it was the first time I had contact with Native Americans in an event and I can experience part of their culture. Then, there were a few speakers and the one that stood up for me was Rabbi David Saperstein who said "There is more danger in educating women than in dropping misiles and creating war. Educated women are the most powerful weapons the world can see and that´s why they have been denied education in the past but that needs to stop now." He was the only one who received an standing ovation from all the panelists in the opening ceremony. The lack of female representation in the opening ceremony was a bit disappointing as it showed that there is still a lot of work to do because even though 50% of the presenters were women, there was very little female representation in the opening plenary.

Friday was a very exciting day for me as I had my presentation early in the morning where I talked about using technology and the internet to connect people with different spiritual paths and help expand spiritual teachings so not only businesses but also spiritual paths can go beyond the borders. In the afternoon, I had the honor of sharing a panel with my friend and mentor Ava Park and my sisters in Isis, DeTraci Regula and Karen Tate where we talked about the Goddess Isis of 10,000 names. After that, we got to relax in the Red Tent and enjoy sisterly love and women space.

During Saturday, I attended Karen Tate´s presentation on re-writing the Goddess Myths to change the world and it was fascinated. Karen empowered us to re-read the myths and re-invent them to create the world that we want to see and be agents of change. I can´t wait to get her book when it comes out! After that, I enjoyed visiting the different booths and learning about different spiritual paths such as Spiritism, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, The Sikhs, The Ba´hai, among other paths. I have to say that I´ve never seen so many religions and spiritual paths coming together in one event. It was life transforming as it showed that we can all come together, respect each other and work towards one goal - a sustainable future for the next generations. During one of the talks, a person said "The way we treat women is the same way we treat the Earth and that needs to change now" I couldn´t agree more. We still live in a very out of balance world and until we realize that no gender is better than the other and that we are all one, we will not be able to move forward and it will create more detriment to the world. The time for change is now before it is too late. Be the change you want to see in the world because no person is too small. Everyone counts and it´s time to wake up and be fully present knowing that we have the power in our hands and there is not better time than now to start. Don´t wait till tomorrow because tomorrow may be too late and we create in the now moment. Choose different today. Choose unity not separation. Choose compassion not ego driven behaviors. Choose love not hate. Choose peace no conflict. Choose joy not drama. Choose to be the change.

Many blessings,

Carolina A. Amor

Presiding Priestess of Circulo de Isis
Member of the Archdruid Union
Founder of Tienda Roja