There's something to be said about being Pagan in a world where being Pagan makes you an automatic Satanist.
I'm originally from Southern California. Huntington Beach (Surf City, dude!), to be exact. I grew up around Goths (tagging around with my big brother), and later becoming a Goth myself. And that is how I discovered the wonderful world of Paganism. See, in Southern California nobody really cares what you believe in, how you look, what your sexual orientation is, you get the point. The first thing I noticed about living here (we moved from California about five years ago) is that everyone is so secretive.
In Southern California there were two types of Paganism:
1) The real Pagans who were serious about their religion/ beliefs.
2) The “Pagans” who were in it for the fashion and who got their info from various movies like “The Craft” (remember that movie?). I have a bit to point out about that movie, but I'll get to it later.
Here, I have discovered a coven that I might become a member of. From what I have gathered, they are serious Pagans — no wannabes, no fakes, no fashion freaks. In Southern California there were many covens, but I'd say 90 percent of them were not real (one required that members pay $100 monthly to “cover dues (?), supplies and travel costs”… ummmmm, yeah…). Many of these covens based what they did on what they had seen in the movies (guess which one?). Sad to say, many who were serious about getting into Paganism were very mislead. I, however, got lucky.
I was introduced to Paganism by a psychic that was working in the same occult shop that I was. She discovered I have a rather special ability that I had always kept to myself. Let's just say I can feel what animals are feeling and have a unique bond with them. She asked how long I had my ability. I told her for as long as I could remember, but I had always kept it to myself because I was tired of being told that it was my imagination or that it was “not right”. She did a reading on me and discovered that I had “huge potential” and that I should work to develop that potential. So, I started studying and practicing witchcraft.
I like to say that I'm Pagan, but I use that loosely. I don't follow any one path. Rather, I just do what feels right. One thing I don't do is Satanism. I have my reasons.
Funny thing about that — whenever I've mentioned I'm Pagan, the first thing I hear is (usually), “You mean you worship the devil?” I find it interesting that around here, admitting (or should I say confessing?) that I'm Pagan is like saying that I have no soul. I actually had one guy tell me that I “might as well build a cross, nail myself to it and wait for the fire to be lit.”. After hearing that, I kept quiet about it.
Maybe it's because I grew up in a world where you're accepted regardless of who/what you are and believe in, but I have a hard time understanding why people are so prejudiced (religion, racially, etc.) here. I have never been prejudiced towards anyone. If I don't like someone, it's because of something that individual person did or said that offended me, not because of what race, religion, etc. they are. I'm a big believer in the saying, “To each his own.”
I hope that by writing on here, I can (possibly) open up a few more minds to the truth about what Paganism really is. Of course, I'm still learning, myself. I've been told that you never really stop learning.
Oh, about the movie, “The Craft”…
Out of curiosity (I have a very curious mind), I decided to do a search on the God “Manon” (the God worshipped in the movie). I got two results: one was that there is no such God by that name. He was created as another character for the movie. The other result is that there is such a God, but he is such an old (ancient) God that many Pagans, if not most, have forgotten about him or have never heard of him. Hhhmmmm… interesting. If anyone out there can give me more info on the subject, please do, I'd like to get to the bottom of this.
If y'all have any other questions you'd like to ask, go for it. Not much offends me.
Until we meet again. Blessed be!
Brannock is SpokaneFAVS’ Pagan writer. She studies and practices witchcraft, which she plans to explain through her writing.
Jamie – how would you define “Paganism”?
What do pagans believe happen after death?
Jamie, it’s great to hear about Paganism, because I had never known much about it. And it’s very cool to hear about your gift with animals. If you have any pets, feel free to share them on our SpokaneFAVS Facebook page and we will add them to our Pets Pinterest board.
Nice to hear there is a pagan community in Spokane. I’ve been a solitary witch since about 1995. Likewise moved up here from Cali…I don’t really talk openly about my religion, but am happy to share with anyone open minded enough. I was born and raised Mormon but left at a young age . After many long years of seeking, the God and Goddess touched my life. And the blessings I’ve found since have been amazing. Merry meet and blessed be!
Pagan groups and activities in the area that are public are listed at spokanepagans.com. As to Manon, I think it is fabricated. There is a Manannon mac Lir.
Thanks for the link Rick! We want to cover more Pagan events, and this is helpful.