I haven’t written here since just after the election — which fittingly followed closely on the heels of the Festival of the Trickster. What better demonstration of the idea that “God is Trickster” than the election of President Trump, which not only defied the predictions of the polls, but also for many of us, defied our sense of reality. How many of us woke on Wednesday Nov. 9 and wondered if it had all been a bad dream. As the Jewish proverb says, “Man plans … and God laughs.”
Since then, I’ve been so preoccupied with various forms of activism that I let the Festival of Sharing slip by me unobserved. Fortunately, Tony Schlisser saved the day with a two-part series on the season (Part 1 and Part 2). And then the Festival of Talents snuck up on me. So this post is about a week late, but I felt the urge to write about the season before we get any further into it.
The name “Festival of Talents” is a nod the second book in Octavia Butler’s Parable series, The Parable of the Talents (1998), which itself is a reference to the parable by the same name in the Christian Bible. The Christian Parable of the Talents is a story about possibility. A master gives his servants different amounts of “talents”. (A talent meant a unit of wealth in ancient times, but came to mean a skill or aptitude in modern times. The parable works either way.) The rest of the parable tells how some of the servants multiplied their talents while the master was away, while the slothful servant hid his talent in the ground. The moral is to use the gifts we have been given.
The Festival of the Talents sits opposite the Festival of New Suns on the Earthseed calendar. I see the former as being about possibility, while the latter is about fulfillment (i.e., the Destiny). Thus, the theme of the Festival of the Talents is “The Earth, Our Womb”, while the theme of the Festival of the New Suns is “The Stars, Our Destiny”.
And we just passed the 1 year anniversary of this revamp of this site. So it’s a good time to evaluate where we want to go. This is the season of possibility. I see a lot of possibility for Earthseed. Here’s some of the things I see on our horizon.
2. Earthseed at PantheaCon
Next week, I’ll be at PantheaCon in San Jose, CA. PantheaCon is the largest Pagan festival in the U.S. On the morning of Monday, Feb 2oth, Patrick Reeves, PhD, will be presenting on Earthseed: Uses of Fiction in Spiritual Belief and Practice. The blurb for his presentation reads:
“Using numerous examples drawn from books, film, and tv as well as recent scholarship on “invented religions,” we will engage in a lively discussion on the role of fiction in spiritual belief and practice. Special attention will be given to African-American Science Fiction author Octavia Butler’s “Earthseed” religion. Issues for discussion will include the nature of religion (and cultural assumptions about “real religions”), authenticity, identity, and the role of the imaginal world. Attendees will be encouraged to give examples from their own experiences.”
4. Add your own possibilities in the comments.
∞ = Δ