AskAngus8: Red State, Blue State, where can I congregate?

Dear Ask Angus,

Baraka: As a solo practitioner who lives in a relatively isolated rural area that’s very X-ian and politically red, I’m rather a fish out of water (though I’m an air sign.)  While I’m not affiliated with any particular tradition, and refer to myself as a pan-theistic pagan solipsist, I would like to find a few folk to share seasonal ritual with, but I’m at a loss when it comes to finding them.  I don’t currently have an option to travel far – maybe 20 miles or so – but hope there’s some sort of web of other like-minded folk within my reach.

Other than prancing down the main street of our little town in full witchy garb, besom and sequins, what do you suggest I do to for find connections in such a situation? My neighbors already wonder about the quarterly bonfires in the firepit, and the lady who stopped by to invite me to celebrate the death of their totem personality last week almost left skid marks when I politely said, “No, thank you, I’m pagan.”  I don’t want to scare the dogs and children, y’know – just to celebrate occasionally and support one another in our workings.

Dear Baraka,

Oooh! What a pretty STAR!

Sadly, your case is not even remotely unique. There are countless isolated witches out there, and even though “We Are Everywhere”, not all of us are able to display that bumpersticker.

Your best strategy for finding other pagans in your area is to be translucent and cast your net wide. Translucent here means you are always wearing something that a muggle would just glance over but a pagan will notice: Triple moon pendant,  triskelion earrings, that sort of thing. My vesica piscis tattoo is just celtic art to the mundanes, but to other energy workers it is Sacred Geometry

The second part of this offensive is to meet every single person that you can. This will require some work on your part. You’ll have to go to unfamiliar grocery stores, take beginning gardening classes (when you’ve been growing things for years), and wash your clothes at every laundromat in town. See and be seen, but be translucent….

Back in the day if you were gay and new in town you just went to the Gay Bar and made friends. But Pagans don’t have a common ground meeting spot like that – our rites are private and most often off-grid. So you’re going to have to step up your game and go hunting.

When you see a stranger at a party with a bracelet of tiny pentacles, approach cautiously and compliment them on that piece of jewelry. Eye contact is engaged and held. Then the third part of the strategy begins: The game of Escalating Codewords.

“Oooh I love that.”

“Thank you.”

“What is it?”

“It’s……Celtic.”

“It looks like a very OLD symbol.”

“Ancient.”

“Seasonal?”

“…..Pre-Christian…..”

“Almost……pagan…..”

(Pause, while hesitant smiles give way to goofy grins.)

“I’ll bet the moon has risen by now.”

“She will be full in two days.”

“Waxing is a great time to begin……things.”

“Let’s go outside, away from these people and look at her.”

“Yes. I think we have some things to discuss.”

I’ve also seen this conversation take place over a fragrance that one woman was wearing, and also once via a “Sabrina, the Teenage Witch” T-shirt. But jewelry is the usual coin of the realm here.

Now all of this sounds very intriguey and gauzy and romantic. The reality is that the odds that you and your new friend will have the same outlook are slim. You might not get along at all. But you can be sure that she knows other pagans – and other pagans who know still more pagans.

And through that (dare we say) - web – you should be able to find your group, or at least a buddy or two to circle with.

Finally, Baraka, there are two other ways to find other pagans:

  1. One is Witchvox which is an incredible database of thousands and thousands and thousands of pagans of all stripes that is searchable by location.
  2. And the second way is just to be noticed as a witch by your aura, or wavelength or exhaust signature or something.

This happened to me in Carson City, Nevada, of all places. I was sitting on a plush stool, playing blackjack and a new dealer came on. She dealt the first hand and when she got to my cards she looked at me sideways (like a dog who doesn’t understand the lyrics), and then she spoke directly into my mind, asking me if I was a Witch.

So that’s why I stress the “translucent” part. Subtle! Approach with caution! Because  I’m pretty sure I left a stain on that stool as it toppled backwards.

~Ask Angus

Send your questions to: angusmcmahan@gmail.com

(Pics from Zazzle.com, the Seattle LBGT Pagan Meet Up group, pegbar.ie.wordpress.com, and 2witches1blog.blogspot.com)

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About Angus McMahan

Me? I'm just the drummer. Oh, I guess I write funny stuff now and then. When I am not scratching my head at the oddball questions that show up here I am penning witticisms over at http://www.angus-land.com

  • Robin

    I call it sending out good vibes but being mentally open to religious discussion always works for me. Though I’m not Pagan,in the right state of mind I seem to get people to talk about things they normally aren’t comfortable discussing with friends,let alone complete strangers. But if I have my guard up it tends to drive the same people away.
    And one word of warning, pentagrams are becoming very popular as fashion statements so I’d be cautious if that’s the only “clue”. Chances are the wearer knows its significance but not always…..

    • http://www.angus-land.com/ Angus McMahan

      Excellent points, Robin. I too have come across Pentacle wearers who just think they are pretty stars, which is fine. They are! But this is why I put in the bit about slowly escalating codewords; making sure that both sides are coming from the same place in a careful way.

  • Pingback: Bay Roll: Updates from Pagans in the Bay 3/27/13 | PNC: Bay Area Bureau

    • http://www.angus-land.com/ Angus McMahan

      Leader? When did I become a leader!? AAAAAaaaaaa…………!!!! *runs screaming from room, doesn’t see the sliding glass door.


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