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23 September, 2012

Pagan Festival

Yesterday my husband and I attended a Pagan Pride Festival in Fair Oaks with a couple friends. There were talks on magic and the history of paganism, belly dancing and other activities.

Those who know me well know I used to be a solitary Wiccan practitioner. It was hard to join covens or be very open about it in the very conservative rural area where I used to live. I liked the ritual and openness of the craft. Rituals are created by the people doing them, not controlled by a manipulative hierarchy.

Many of the booths selling patches, bags and other merch had FSM logos and bumper stickers that included statements on the separation of church and state. Non-belief is often compatible with certain aspects of paganism because of this openness and many "orders" carry on rituals just to preserve ancient tradition. Belief is almost secondary.

That's not to say there's no woo going on at these things. A woman selling beaded jewelry explained to me that each item was charged during their creation and so a bracelet might have 12 hours of charge that came with it.

I was surprised, however, at how reasonable the prices of these different tools of the trade were. Online and at metaphysical stores, you often find some very inflated prices. I could have bought cemetery dirt for banishing spells for a dollar at one booth, whereas some online retailers sell it for fifteen to twenty dollars for the same sized bag.

I bought myself a white sage smudge stick and two feathers to make a fan. I also got some horns made of polymer clay and an awesome little masque with feathers and glitter that I ended up wearing to dinner, just for fun.

My husband was intrigued and enjoyed the day very much. My husband brought a pagan friend and I brought an atheist friend. We joined in with the closing ritual which was very fun and light-hearted, but you could feel the ancient roots of the chanting and burning of offerings. My husband's friend and I talked and we decided next time we all get together we're going to cast a circle because it's been years since I've done it and my friend wanted to know what it was like.

So I, an atheist, will be performing a pagan ritual sometime in the next month or two. It tickles me pink, really, but I think it shows how some religions are naturally more open than others. After all, how many atheists out there can perform baptisms or communion just for fun?

I'll be sure to include pictures of my tools when I dig them out of the closet (I still have all my homemade altar things for some reason). Until then, blessed be! ;)


  1. It's good that you are able to separate the woo from the real deal. And speaking of deals, Cemetery dirt for only a dollar! Awesome!

    Enjoy your journey.

  2. None of the "magick" is the "real deal" to me, of course, but for those who believe it and practice it, it helps when merchants don't price gouge or push products on their customers like metaphysical stores have been known to do.. The jewelry, patches and decorations were very cool and reasonably priced. All in all, the people were very honest.