Oct. 31 morning I put on my good witch costume and took the elevator down for the "Celebration & Cerebration of Mary Daly." I showed up in a black dress, conical hat, and red cord. Going to a memorial for one of my witch-heroes was definitely a good way to observe the special day of Samhain. Those who appreciated Mary Daly also appreciated my special way to honor her. There were feminist women and men of all faiths and spiritualities, and atheists, ready to toast to the memory of Mary Daly.
I wore my costume the rest of the day, as an invitation for conversation. So many people thanked me for bringing the playfulness of Halloween to our conference. It's interesting the many ways we can priestess.
The Dogwood Local Council of COG and Cherry Hill Seminary co-hosted a Samhain ritual at night. I like that the officiants collected names of the Beloved Dead in advance so that one leader, Holli Emore, could read them. It brought focus to a large ritual. Well done, and thank you!
J.Z. Smith gave a plenary address, which I missed because I was meeting with Elisabeth Schussler-Fiorenza at the time. (This is no small matter. Schussler-Fiorenza is a pioneer feminist theologian in Biblical Studies. I am a lucky duck to have had any time with her.) J.Z. Smith has written academically about magic and Greco-Roman religion. I believe Smith has a lot to offer Pagan Studies. I recommend his work. His speech may be available on the AAR website later.
Elaine Pagels received the Marty Award from the American Academy of Religion and was interviewed by Karen King, again in a plenary session. Many Pagans are familiar with Elaine Pagels' work on The Gnostic Gospels and other projects including The Origin of Satan.