It isn’t easy being Pagan. On a good day you are met with confusion, and on a bad one prejudice. Despite these difficulties, it is always a pleasure to present at NYC Pagan Pride. It is the one day of the year that we can let our true selves shine. I will be at this year’s 2015 NYC Pagan Pride this Saturday, September 26th in Washington Square Park. I will be offering a workshop, and answering questions about New Orleans Voodoo, Haitian Voodoo, and La Regla Lucumi (Santeria.) Please if you get the chance, stop by, avoid the Pope, and say hello, maybe check out my cookbook or get a tarot reading, or just smile at me… It’s been a long week.
While we are on the topic of smiling, I thought it might be fun to list the top ten times I was proud to be Pagan. Most of these happened at large events, concerts, and performances, if I have left some names out it was to protect the guilty….
- The time onstage that we put a hex on George W. Bush. I’m a democrat, not an easy thing these days, and one of my finer moments was laying out a curse, complete with psalms, candles and bones to help stop some of the negative impact this president had on so many lives.
- Then there was the time after a large fire ritual performed by the Dragon Ritual Drummers and myself. I had danced with my fire machete, along with many other fire performers, and it was intense. Despite the fact we urged repeatedly Don’t try this at home, after it was done I heard two kids talking. ” We could do this, Mommy has a machete… and Daddy has gasoline.” Don’t worry I discouraged them.
- The time I was fake kidnapped by an ATV turned into a Viking boat by Norse Pagans who conducted great pillaging. Yes, they did shout Capitol One.
- The mysterious Zombie Flamingo that appeared in our camp. That’s just funny, it needs no explanation. Or maybe it does?
- The time I tried to pick a photo for this post and realized I have this shot where I was groping Samantha Stevens. I’m a bad witch.
- Then there was the time my friends and I schooled an elder about Pagan names. We had just checked into our cabin at an indoor Pagan event in the midwest. As we all began introducing ourselves, I said my name was Lilith, my friend identified herself as Ainsley, and we were rudely interupted by our cabin mate. He shouted, ” not that crap. what are your real names.” My friend and I looked at each other and said “those are our real names.” My other friend blurted out “people call me Earil, but my real name is Jacques, so there.”
- No one who was there will forget the unofficial dirty south jousting tournament where we had 18 people on one golf cart and 14 on another. It was impromptu pagan genius.
- A similar moment was had when I participated in the luggage rack surfing race. I remember riding the rack, someone else was surfing in a wheelchair. We won. Pagans most certainly like to think outside the box, or the luggage rack.
- Lest I get to the end of the list without mentioning at least one of the more unusual moments, here’s another true story. I was working a hipster party for Samhain ( Halloween) doing Tarot reading. The event was mostly non-pagans except for some OTO people who disappeared early on. I must have done over 50 readings that night about boyfriends, fashion, and underpaying jobs. Then as the night wore on the crowd began to get thin. A small spiky haired Irishman asked me what I was doing. I told him I was the psychic for the party. He said he would really like a reading. He was a drug dealer and all he said he had to offer in exchange was his wares. My first thought, which still lives on today, was that the universe had sent me a leprechaun with a bag of lucky charms to ring in the high holiday.
- I’m still laughing at the person at an event who told the late Isaac Bonewits, my sister, and myself that we were talking too loudly and that the drummers (located over 200 feet away at drum circle) couldn’t hear themselves. I think Isaac said something like ” If they can’t hear themselves over myself and these lovely ladies talking, they need to go back to drum school.”
Thanks for letting me share these wild and wonderful proud Pagans memories ! Here’s to many more to come !