Yesterday was very nice indeed. We started the morning off by heading up to La Madeleine’s in north Arlington for a “Post Mortem” meeting with the Pagan Pride Day committee. We discussed how fabulously successful DFW Pagan Pride Day 2013 was and examined what we did that worked as well as things we can improve on in next year’s PPD. Our event ended solidly in the black as far as funds raised through sale of Pagan Pride bracelets, raffle items, snack sales, etc. Even after paying for the venue, honorariums for entertainers and speakers and printing expenses we have a decent amount of seed money available to put towards making PPD 2014 even better. We hope to bring in a headlining performer and big name author/speaker for next year’s event. We are looking at doing Pagan Night Out get togethers for anyone in the community who would like to participate starting in January, a Pagan Garage Sale sometime around March and a flash mob, awareness event near Beltane next year. These should all be exciting times. We will begin very soon to find a venue in Tarrant County which meets our needs and is available sometime between mid-September and mid-October next year. A lot of good points were brought up about how we can do better next year so look forward to seeing some neat stuff in the months ahead.
We had planned to attend the Steampunk November event down in Venus, Texas yesterday too but too many other things came up and we ended up having pizza and movies with the kids instead before heading off to celebrate Nattig with our wonderful Sumerian friends. The place was packed! Not one but two staves of misrule were passed as two temple’s of Sumerians came together to celebrate this Nattig. Inanna went to the underworld to meet with Ereshkigal and eventually found her way out of the darkness and into the light. It was said of our hosts on the back patio as we were preparing for ritual that their hearts are always so full of mirth and not one bit of malice is ever felt from them. This is so true! The energy we have felt at every Sumerian gathering we have ever gone to has been the most light-hearted, warming and fulfilling of any I can recall. After ritual there was much feasting, drumming and dancing as always and I got to hear my friends Gwilym the Bard and Monster jam on a rendition of Led Zeppelin’s Kashmir with Gwilym on his Les Paul Guitar and Monster playing a big Djembe. Then Jennifer belted out Joplin’s Bobby McGee with all the soul and feeling of Janice herself. Much hugging and love as we departed into the night, already looking forward to next time.
Saol fada agus breac-shláinte chugat, (Long-life and fair health to you.)
Conor O’Bryan Warren made an excellent point in his blog article at Under The Owl’s Wing recounting the experiences he had at DFW Pagan Pride Day 2013. In it he says that there are many within the hard polytheistic (meaning folks who see the gods and goddesses as individual deities rather than aspects of one god and one goddess) who see Pagan Pride Day as a mostly Wiccan or Eclectic Pagan event. Well, if these are the only folks who show up then what do you expect? When one is putting together an all volunteer event you work with who shows up and what they bring to the table. I, personally, can’t pull a workshop on Hellenic Household Worship out of my ass because I have only a smattering of knowledge on the subject. So if someone like Mr. Warren who has taken the time to educate himself on the subject doesn’t come to share his knowledge where else would it come from? He is dead on right about the folks who complain that this event is all this or all that but don’t show up, roll up their sleeves or do anything to change it. But there is always time to change that. If you would like to have greater representation in the overall community, no matter what your tradition or spiritual path, get out there and participate in it. There are events like this going on all the time and if there isn’t one, put one together. Oh! It is a lot of work, sure. But very rewarding work when you see it all come together and get to see smiles on lots of faces because they have all been touched by something magickal that you were a part of.
DFW Pagan Pride Day will happen again in 2014. If you would like to be a participant, get in touch.
It was just one of those things where an estimated 450 to 500 Pagans braved crowded parking lots, blocked roads and bunches of marathon runners to come out to White Rock Lake and create some really fantastic magick! To EVERYONE who participated I would like to extend a hearty THANK YOU! We had a bit of a rocky start to the day when we arrived to find the parking lot in front of The Bath House already full because, unbeknownst to us, the Dallas Running Club was also having a 15K (9.3 mile) race that started at 8AM. The awards ceremony for that event took place at 9:45, so spaces cleared out by 10am though. Then we had a couple of light showers which sent people scrambling to protect vendor items and other things which aren’t made for being rained on. Those quickly passed and didn’t put too much of a damper on our proceeding. I was busy, busy, busy throughout the day taking care of volunteer duties, mostly at the snack and raffle ticket vending area, plus a stint in the Carter Bloodcare bus and a trip to a nearby Thrift Store to get my son some dry clothes after he fell in the lake at one point. So, unfortunately, I didn’t get to participate in the rituals, workshops and other happenings as I would have liked but I did get to visit and mingle with several folks plus we bought some fantastic items from the vendors. I have some replacement sarongs for the two I lost somewhere over the summer and we now have a phenomenal drinking horn that must be filled with mead sometime soon! 🙂
Other local bloggers have promised posts on their take on the event and I will include a list of links to those as I see the posts go up on the bottom of this article so check back for updates. Everyone I talked to had a great time and say they are looking forward to next year’s event which will be held in Tarrant county. We will begin shopping venues in the near future but Trinity Park is currently at the top of our list. We want to make sure whatever place we book has a covered pavilion or other sheltered area just in case of weather issues like the ones we encountered this year though so we will be calling, scouting places out and make our final determination when we get it all figured out. Once we do get a place and date nailed down we are going to try to get some big name Pagan folks to come and take part so look for some exciting news on PPD 2014 when the time comes. Also we will at some point have that Pagan Garage Sale we tried to do this year as a fundraising event for PPD 2014 and we hope to start having monthly Pagan Night Out events in which we will meet up at a restaurant or other place and just enjoy one another’s company, network, plan stuff, you know, conspire to inspire before we expire! 😉 Also there are rumors of a flash mob type of event sometime near Beltane. Keep an eye out for that.
Once again THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart to this community for restoring my faith in what we all can do together and bringing PAGAN PRIDE back to DFW.
I have heard it said, even by a member of our own planning committee at one point, that Pagan Pride Day is a sham because everyone gets together that one day out of the year and celebrates their spirituality and gets along but the next day go back to bickering and arguing with one another. But I disagree with this opinion. Pagan Pride Day isn’t about whether or not you like each and every other Pagan on the planet or in your general area. It isn’t about whether you agree or disagree with a particular person or tradition. It is about whether or not you personally are proud to be Pagan and would like to show the rest of the community that Pagans aren’t always what you may have been led to believe. We are just as diverse a community as the rest of the world, maybe a little more so, but when it comes right down to it, we’re not that much different from everyone else. We might be your neighbor, your teacher, your medical care professional, your mechanic or the guy down the street who has funny yard art in his front lawn. But having met one of us doesn’t mean you have met us all.
Sure, we get together on Pagan Pride Day and for at least that one day, set aside any differences we may have with one another. Call a truce as it were. Sure we at least show some common courtesy to people we might not like for whatever personal reasons we might have or if we can not do that at least try to avoid contact with the ones we don’t get along with so well on that day. Hel, I have to do the same thing almost every day at work. It doesn’t make going to work a sham. (Okay, maybe going to work is a sham but for entirely other reasons. LOL!) It has a lot more to do with you as an individual and your feelings about your spirituality than it does with your feelings about the other people who come to the event. If, on that one day while calling a truce you manage to maybe work out some of the differences you have with others, great! Another win for the community as a whole because we are much stronger together than we are apart. If the next day you decide to go back to gossiping about one another or giving each other the finger when you pass by on the road of life, ah well. Maybe, next time.
But does this mean Pagan Pride Day is a sham or is it the individual who behaves this way who is actually being insincere?
Just my two cents. That, and about 5 bucks might get you a decent cup of coffee somewhere. 😉
Well Em’, the kids and I made it back from an awe inspiring vacation throughout much of the western United States. We have memories to last us a lifetime. But today I am back at work both on my job to feed my family and the volunteer work I do to feed my extended spiritual family. DFW Pagan Pride Day 2013 is coming soon so we will be ramping up the news on our big event as things get closer. We have a HUGE amount of local talent who are pitching in this year to make your Pagan Pride Day a day to be remembered. We haven’t had PPD at DFW for a few years now so this is sort of like an inaugural event to signal the return of Pagan Pride to our North Texas community. Won’t you come out and join us?
NOTE: The time on the printed flyers you may see in shops is incorrect. We will be celebrating from 9AM til 5PM with a drum jam at the lake to follow.
Be good to one another out there!
Learn more about Pagan Pride Day events in your area by visiting the Pagan Pride Project website.
Mine’s a tale that can’t be told, my freedom I hold dear.
How years ago in days of old, when magic filled the air.
T’was in the darkest depths of Mordor, I met a girl so fair.
But Gollum, and the evil one crept up and slipped away with her, her, her….yeah.
– Led Zeppelin
So, today I thought I might have my own publisher’s clearinghouse of sorts and sweep a few random things out that have been bouncing around in my brain for some time that I kept thinking would become the topic of entire blog posts one day. Who knows, maybe they still shall but as we get closer and closer to DFW Pagan Pride Day my mind is going to be increasingly focused on preparations for that, especially considering the extra responsibilities I took on at yesterday’s meeting which I will talk about shortly. As one of my favorite authors, M.R. Sellars, likes to refer to such stuff, prepare for the brain pan drippings! 😉
One thing I have thought about a lot over the years is that if one is going to be a Pagan one should curse like a Pagan. What do I mean by that? Well, growing up in a primarily monotheistic society we all have picked up the colloquialisms of the mainstream society and will use exclamations like Damn it! Or What the hell? Etc. which are references to places and concepts that don’t really apply in most Pagan religions. We generally don’t go around damning people nor do we have a concept of hell as most modern day Christians understand it. Like many Pagans I tend to replace hell with Hel, which is the name of a Norse Goddess. But I also use phrases like Balor’s Eye! Balor is known in Irish legend as the king of the Fomorians who fought the Tuatha De Dannan. You should really check out the Celtic Myth Podshow to learn of these tales. It’s a very interesting show! Anyway, Balor is said to have an Evil Eye which will strike dead anyone it gazes upon. Thus, I might say Balor’s Eye where others would say damn it or something like that. I have also been known to say things like By Dagda’s Club as a general exclamation of agreement or resolute action. I once in awhile say something like Blessed Mother Goddess but then people tend to think you’re Catholic. 😉 Anyway, just a few random thoughts on that. Anyone else have some Pagany exclamations they would like to share? Please comment!
Okay, I might as well talk about Pagan Pride Day because I love the thought of Pagan Pride Day and what it could mean for the DFW Pagan Community if our project actually works the way I hope to see it work. Notice I say OUR project here. That’s very significant. There is a tendency among folks to assign someone as the leader of something and then all responsibility and all blame falls upon said leader. I never signed up to be in charge of everything that pertains to Pagan Pride Day. That is not my role. But as the promotional coordinator I am the one everyone sees posting about PPD, sharing news about PPD so I have become the PPD guy in most people’s eyes. We have a very large and diverse committee of volunteers from several different traditions represented putting PPD together this year. We have individuals from CUUPS, we have a couple of O.B.O.D. Druids, an A.D.F. Druid, A couple of Wiccans, a few solitaire’s, a Sumerian and I’m sure a couple of other’s that have slipped my mind at the moment. We have a contacts page on the DFW Pagan Pride website with volunteers (another important word) who are filling various roles to help people with things like Vending, Kids area, Volunteers, Entertainment, Workshops, etc. Folks! This isn’t a one guy show by any means. It is a community effort run by volunteers and if something that is important to you or your tradition is not represented then why not volunteer, there’s that word again, I told you it was important, to do something about it. Nothing has ever been accomplished by sitting at home, complaining about how things are. “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” Mahatma Gandhi. Just my two cents.
Like me, most of our volunteers have real jobs which occupy a large portion of our time during the week, we have families who need our attention and care and we have other things going on in our lives as well. So please be patient if we can’t help you right away but if you get in touch with us someone will try to help you as best we can.
About those extra responsibilities I mentioned. So, yeah. The meeting yesterday was, in my opinion, the best one we have had to date. We got a lot of ground covered and a lot of things accomplished I think. Earlier this week our Entertainment Coordinator quit but we have two volunteers who have stepped up to fill in that role so hopefully I will have exciting news soon on our entertainment front. I have become not only the promotional coordinator but also the treasurer for our group. I should have a lot of new content to add to the DFW Pagan Pride website this week as reports come in on our vendors, sponsors, workshop and entertainment lineup. Unfortunately there will be no more Open Mic fund raisers at Charlie’s Bar but we are talking about doing an Open Mic fundraiser at a place in Arlington instead. Also, there will be a Pagan Garage Sale in September, look for news on that soon. The working group we have together now seems very focused and serious about the roles they are filling. I have a good feeling about how things are progressing now whereas, as I mentioned before, I had my doubts. Later today I will be getting together with my friend Gwilym The Bard to record a 25 second ad spot for Tommy Elf to get out onto the Podcasting circuit for us promoting PPD. Listen for that too! 🙂
Well, that’s about all I can think of for now. Have a great week and be good to each other out there!
So, it was sometime in November last year when we were at a friend’s birthday party in Mesquite that another long time friend approached me and said to me that he was hoping to get Pagan Pride Day going again in the Dallas / Fort Worth area. It had been 2 years since the previous Local Coordinator gave up the position and no one stepped forward to take up the effort. I like seeing Pagans getting together and networking, making good things happen and sharing in one another’s company so I said “Sounds good! Count me in!” So it began, this several months long Odyssey to help promote what I hoped would be an event to bring togetherness to the local Pagan community and spark some pride in our identity. Maybe give some new seekers a place to find like minded folks and foster better understanding among the mainstream community and ourselves. There have been many obstacles to overcome and I have seen things that have lifted my spirit as well as things which have humiliated me and devastated my faith in seeing it happen.
This leads me to ponder. How important is your faith to you? Is this something you would truly like to see grow and prosper or do you have other things in your life that you find more worthwhile? I remember reading stories while in school like The Diary of Anne Frank, hearing of what happened to many Native Americans on the Trail Of Tears, what happened to so many during what we now collectively call The Burning Times. I hear stories of great pilgrimages that people go through in which they spend days, weeks, even months walking to one particular sacred place to honor their God or gods, their ancestors, their concept of the divine. I wonder, how many people we have in our local community who have that kind of dedication in their faith in the sacredness of their gods, ancestors and nature spirits or who or whatever it is they believe in. A great many people won’t even drive or catch a ride across town for an event to foster Pagan Pride, won’t spend $10 to help with the effort but will spend many times more than that on non-essential items, entertainment of one sort or another. Now, I am not saying I am any Paganer Than Thou, or anything like that. I don’t know myself what I would do in the face of certain death through torture as some of our ancestors endured. It’s easy to talk when you aren’t actually in the situation yourself. But I would like to think I could put my money where my mouth is or at least have my actions back up my words.
I was inspired by some of the people who did show up for the fund raiser last night. Someone I hadn’t seen in quite some time showed up and made a very generous cash donation to the cause. A couple of long time friends from the Sumerian Tradition and ADF Druidry were there. The band played their hearts out and a few people danced for us. We have some talented folks and I wish more people could have come out to appreciate their efforts. I know life gives us plenty of obstacles to deal with and we can’t always do the things we want to do but I have to wonder when dealing with the massive scale of people who don’t show up after they say that they will if the biggest problem facing our community isn’t apathy? I like a night at home watching movies, maybe a ball game with the kids, etc. too. But this is my spirituality and my community that I am talking about. If something is important to you you will make a way, if it isn’t you will make an excuse.
I shudder to think it but what happens if October 5th the turnout is similar to the ones we’ve had at the last two fund raisers? What if we throw a Pagan Pride Day and no one shows up?
As I have said before. When I started the DFW Pagan Pride Day web page and Facebook Page I wanted them to become places for the community to show it’s pride. I wanted Pagan Artists, Musicians, Crafters, Clergy, Dancers, to share pictures of what they do and what it means to them to walk their path. I have had so little shared with me that I finally had to resort to sharing posts from other sources just to keep the Facebook Page relevant on the news feed. I would be happy to just have pictures of people’s altars, their favorite places to go feed their spirit, their businesses, even their cats! I have thought about going around town and taking pictures of Caelum Moor, Deep Woods Apothecary, Enchanted Forest, Silver Pyramid, etc. But I haven’t had the time and don’t know whether I can have the permission to post it on PPD’s site. Mayhaps I will someday and if October 5th gets here and just a few of us show up at White Rock Lake I will be happy to see those few who make it. I will honor their spirit and hope to share in their stories.
Now the marketing professionals will tell me that I shouldn’t be so negative and should always make anything I say about PPD be on a positive note. I’m fine with that to a point but I don’t like to bullshit anyone either. The straight up truth is, if it is going to happen we will have to have more community participation. No one person can make it all happen alone. No small group can either to any great extent. It takes an entire community to make a big event happen. If a small group is all we’ve got then it will be a small event. But you know what? Burning Man started as a small group of people out in the middle of the desert. Just sayin’! 😉