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BroomCon takes place at Orwell Meadows Campsite & Leisure Park in Ipswich. Varied selection of talks, workshops and sillyness on topics ranging from tarot reading to bellydancing, from incense making to storytelling and anything else we can fit in between

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      07.03.2001 20:44
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      Broomcon is an independant pagan convention which has been running annually since 1995, it's one of the few events that are run by pagans for pagans and without any commercial or 'official' agenda. It's very much a community event - with the main emphasis on socializing so that the programme of talks and workshops are ice-breakers rather than the whole point of being there. It doesn't matter whether you want to go and listen to every single talk (not that you could since there are usually two on at any time) or just sit and chat in the bar - either way you'll make new friends and have a good time. This years event includes Steve Pollington talking on charms and herbs in northern Europe, Francis Cameron on 50 years of legal witchcraft, Jenny Blain on sacred sites, Nick Ford and Matt Keissling telling us about the religious history of brewing, Pam Harrison, Gail Courtney, Jaine Weddell and Sandra Bond demonstrating how to use dance skills in a combat situation, and Arlea Hunt-Anschutz questioning a panel of experts to find just what common ground we pagans really have, plus many other speakers on many other subjects. There's also a homebrew competition, a telepathy experiment, storytelling and performances by Paul Mitchell and The Way Forward as well as the traditional charity auction on the Sunday afternoon. Having been to all but one of the previous Broomcons I will definitely be there this year. I love the relaxed atmosphere and the chance to socialise with like minded people while learning a bit from the talks and workshops. The site is superb too - a 'posh' campsite with all the facilities (showers, swimming pool, kids play area, bar, games room, shop etc etc) which just happens to be right next to a lovely piece of woodland and the River Orwell - just right for an early morning or late night walk to reflect on the day. I also like the fact that you don't have to be pagan
      to be there and enjoy yourself, I know from past experiences that the event attracts christians, bahai's, agnostics, humanists and people from various other paths - all of whom are as welcome to participate as the pagan folk. It's also common for the people who just happen to be staying in their on-site caravan for the weekend to come and join in the fun, particularly with the music and dancing on the Saturday night. It's a real shame that it's so rare to see such openess and friendship instead of misunderstanding and prejudice. Tickets are £20 for the weekend with all profits going to charity - which is another good point. It's good to know that my weekend of fun is actually helping a few good causes. I might even be brave enough to volunteer my services for the 'slave' part of the charity auction this year just because it sounds like fun :o) All I have to do is find a skill I can offer... More information can be found at www.broomcon.org.uk

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