Tom Swiss describes his spiritual path as “Zen Pagan Taoist Atheist Discordian”, which usually baffles questioners enough to leave him alone. He is the author of _Why Buddha Touched the Earth_ (Megalithica Books, 2013) and blogs as “The Zen Pagan” for the Patheos Pagan Channel. He has previously served as President of the Free Spirit Alliance.
Since the turn of the century Tom has built a reputation as a lecturer on subjects spanning the gamut from acupressure to Zen and from self-defense to sexuality, drawing on his training and experience as an NCCAOM Diplomate in Asian Bodywork Therapy, a godan (fifth-degree black belt) in karate, a poet, a singer/songwriter, an amateur philosopher and spiritual explorer, and a professional computer geek.
Find out more about his wacky adventures at www.infamous.net.
Fire. Drumming. Dancing. All are older than history, older than modern
Homo sapiens. Putting them together is probably one of our oldest
magical activities. The Fire Circle is (IMHO) the heart of any Pagan
gathering. How does it work? How can we make a space where drummers,
chanters, didge players, dancers, spinners, revelers, lovers, and
lunatics all work their magic? Let’s talk about it! Tell me your
wisdom! This is discussion, not a lecture. In the words of Doktor Billy
Bardo, “We’re also here to celebrate the best of us in you!”
You are a manifestation of the divine, a child of the God and Goddess.
That makes you a being worth defending; yet our culture’s confused
attitudes about violence, plus the self-esteem issues faced by many
people in the Pagan community, often obscure the fact that self-defense
is also defense of the divine principle within all of us. In this
workshop we will try to cut through the fog and discuss attitudes and
skills to preserve not just your body but your divine nature. Targeted
for those without previous martial arts or self-defense training; but
experienced students are also welcome. We will practice verbal and
non-verbal communication skills for dealing with conflict, and a few
simple self-defense techniques.