I've made the announcement on my social media, but I want to spread the word here as well: I'm honored to be speaking at the International Fortean Organization's annual FortFest Conference. 2016's event will be held at the Ramada Inn in Hanover, Maryland, a part of the country that should be pleasant this time of year (Georgia is already flirting with Cambodia-like humidity levels). The events will take place June 11 and 12, 2016.
It's stunning to me that I'll be presenting alongside the likes of this year's guests. Saturday's lineup is a great way to kick things off:
Dr. Henry Bauer: Seeking Nessie in the Scottish Loch and Other Scientific Unorthodoxies
Rosemary Ellen Guiley: Rey Hernandez: An Attorney's ET Encounters and his Organization FREE
Samuel Barr: The Physics of the Extraterrestrials
Gary Sudbrink: Who's Calling? Recorded Phone Calls From a Mystery Entity
... and Sunday, when I'm speaking, is equally exciting:
Joshua Cutchin: A Trojan Feast: The Food & Drink Offerings of Aliens, Faeries and Sasquatch
Michael M. Hughes: The Art & Magic of the Tarot
Seriah Azkath: Where Did The Road Go?
In the immortal words of Marvel superhero Luke Cage: Sweet Christmas.
This will be the first time I've ever met these individuals, which is exciting in-and-of-itself, but I'm also beside myself with excitement to finally meet my good friends Mike Hughes and Seriah Azkath in person (not to mention my publisher, longtime Fortean researcher, and prince of a human being Patrick Huyghe).
For more information on this fantastic event, and to order tickets, click here.
On an unrelated note, I had a humorous and sizable synchronicity strike me right between the eyes this past weekend. I was listening to Jason Miller and Gordon White on YouTube (anyone who listens to Where Did the Road Go? knows that I've been pimping Gordon's wisdom quite hard these days) when the conversation turned toward the dangers in using too vague a target in magical practice. Asking to lose weight, for example, may result in you losing a leg. Seems that the spirits have a cheeky way of giving you what you asked for, but not what you wanted, unless you're very careful with wording and select targets to influence the likelihood, rather than outright acquire, one's goals.
I've given a great deal of thought to this myself, since it's one of the primary reasons holding me back from engaging in such practices myself (Gordon, if you're reading this, I know, I know... "what's the worst that could happen? Death?"). Because of this, I listened with keen interest to what Jason Miller described as the "ham sandwich" scenario: asking a genie to "make you a ham sandwich" could result in you being literally turned into a ham sandwich.
For whatever reason, I gave this specific idea a good deal of thought for the rest of the day, and turned over the Ham Sandwich Scenario over in my mind countless times. I thought about the odd specificity of Miller's words. Human beings transmogrifying into deli meat and bread seemed a bit broad of an example.
Imagine my surprise that evening when my 2-year-old nephews tackle me to the ground for their favorite game: making a human sandwich (no idea where this game from, neither my sister nor I played it growing up). The game is to decide what type of "meat" the human is, then "slather on" the toppings (basically an excuse to tickle the target silly).
When asked what sort of meat I was, my nephews responded in an emphatic unison: HAM! So, after turning the Ham Sandwich Scenario over in my head all day, my nephews chose me to become a ham sandwich.
Seems like the spirits and my nephews have a lot in common.