Pagan Community: What is yours like?

Canada
September 1, 2007 6:52pm CST
Do you have much of a pagan "community" in your area? Do you meet with other pagans on a regular basis, not necessarily for ritual, but to get together socially or for some other purpose? Is there in-fighting in your community, or is everyone able to behave themselves? Do you wish there was more of a community in your area? Do you involve yourself in online communities? I'm asking all these questions because I'm curious as to other pagans' experiences with pagan community. I'm wondering if it's the same or different in your neck of the woods than it is where I am. So please, share away!
2 people like this
5 responses
@lecanis (16664)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
2 Sep 07
The pagan community in my area is kind of depressing. There's a "pagan coffee group" that meets at a local cafe, who never seem to actually want to talk about anything pagan. I mean, I guess I could see it's just a social thing, but it's frustrating too, and I really didn't feel comfortable there. There are several small covens/circles/etc, but they all essentially seem to be groups of friends that get together, not something you could really join from the outside. I used to be in a small circle, but I joined because my best friend was there, and then some things happened between us that made me really not comfortable going there, so I wound up out of that one. That's really about it. There isn't much of a visible pagan presence. I wish there were more of a pagan community actually, but it's a small town. The college used to have a pagan group, but you had to be a student or faculty, so that wouldn't help me any. Actually where I've found the best luck is with the Unitarian Universalist fellowship in my area. It's kind of like a religious community for people of all religions. My husband is Christian and I am Pagan, so it's a great place for us, and UU's celebrate like ALL the holidays. So it's kind of awesome. There are a few other pagans there, and I really get along with them. I have in the past been heavily involved with online Pagan groups, but I've kind of gotten out of it lately. I really kind of like just doing my own thing for right now. I love to talk about Pagan issues and beliefs here on mylot, with other Pagans and people of other religions as well, but I haven't really felt the need to do online pagan communities lately. It's just weird for me because I learned a lot of what I know from a family member, and I've been Pagan since I've really been aware of religion (since I was four or so), so I have like almost 22 years of experience. But whenever I wind up in a group, people tend to kind of think of me like I'm new because I'm young, and it's frustrating. Once in a while I'll meet someone who is willing to both learn from me and teach me what they know as equals, and that's awesome, and I've even been a teacher to a few younger people, but it's rare and not something I always do.
1 person likes this
• Canada
2 Sep 07
It can really be tough being in a small town. The Internet can be a good option when you can't find anyone for some face-to-face time. I've found that coffee groups and meet ups tend to have that social component. It can be a great place to meet like minded people, but you don't often get a lot of pagan-related discussion. Groups that get together with the express intent of discussion something spiritual tend to be a whole lot more productive for that sort of thing. At several meet ups I've attended, the newer folks always commented on how "un-pagan" the discussion was. We tried to explain that this was more social than anything and that there are other groups that are specifically spiritual in nature. The meet up acted more as a clearing house of information about "what was going in the area" rather than being "a thing that was going on." Did that make sense? :D Right now I'm living in a small city with a small group of us that get together on a monthly basis (for a social meet up), then we plan other events as needed, such as rituals for the Sabbats, planning meetings, and other social activities. For example, we're planning a camping trip for the Fall and we'll probably be having some sort of ritual there. Everyone here is very friendly and open and there hasn't been any in-fighting. *knock on wood!* :D There are other pagan groups such as circles, covens, and groves in the area, but they are all very quiet and underground. This city is very conservative and being outed as a pagan (or even non-Christian) could lose you your job and your friends and family. As such I've not tried to seek out any of those hidden groups out of respect for their privacy. Your chronological age can through people off, indeed. Just because you're young in years doesn't mean you're new to Paganism! :) Hopefully you'll find a group of people who understand that and appreciate what knowledge you already have. :) Thanks so much for your fantastic answer!
1 person likes this
@lecanis (16664)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
2 Sep 07
You're probably right about the social group thing... I probably did go there with the wrong expectations. But I was just kind of sad that they didn't even say the word "pagan" in conversation even though their sign said "pagan coffee night" and that they weren't even willing to talk about what other groups were in the area or anything. I was hoping to at least be pointed in the direction of an event or group that I could enjoy, and they just didn't even seem to know or care about anything like that. *shrugs* "This city is very conservative and being outed as a pagan (or even non-Christian) could lose you your job and your friends and family." That sounds like the place where I grew up. I had a lot of problems in school because of being pagan, and my great-grandmother was the only real pagan I knew in that town. Even she didn't talk about her beliefs to others often. Finding other pagans required going to bigger towns, though she did have a few people that she worked with especially on holidays and stuff, it was just a bit of a drive to get there, or for them to come to us. Other than my great-grandparents, the rest of my family was Christian, but since they were abusive of me I didn't really care much that they didn't like my religion. I pretty much escaped my family as soon as I could, and the place where I moved to (in Upper Michigan) is much nicer. Most people still aren't very pagan-friendly, and I've had people be rude to me about it, but the people I work with are actually really cool with it, and none of my friends mind. So I'm pretty lucky. =) I do hope to eventually have a group that I can work with, but right now I have too much going on in my own life to really have time for it anyway. I have some health problems, and a 15-month-old son, so once my son is older and my health stuff is worked out I'll probably start my own circle or something. By then also my age probably wouldn't be as much of an issue. I do get to look forward to teaching my son, though we're also going to teach him many other religious beliefs so he can make his own choices later. =)
1 person likes this
• United States
5 Sep 07
Lol, unfortunately, the only type of community in my area, is nothing but fundies. My town is really small, but there are at least ten or more churches here. So, the only place I can find other pagans is online.
• United States
4 Sep 07
Glad to see you back :) I am such a loner that I have not involved myself at all in my local pagan community. That and the fact that I spend all my free time with my hubby and he has different beliefs than myself. Other than the few friends I have found online I am pretty much to myself here too.
1 person likes this
• Canada
4 Sep 07
Glad to be back! :D If the solitary thing works for you, then go for it! :D I have several pagan friends who prefer to be solitary, but will occasionally come out for social things even if they don't want to attend open rituals and the like. I find for me that working with others can inspire me to actually do magical work on my own, so that the public work and the solitary work both feed each other. If I don't have one, it's sometimes hard for me to kick-start the other. :) Thanks for sharing!
1 person likes this
• United States
8 Sep 07
I wouldn't mind occasionally going out for big events too but I'm also a bit shy at times. And I have no one I around to go with me. And I know very little people in the community at all so I know I wouldn't run into anyone I knew there.
@Ravenladyj (22937)
• United States
7 Sep 07
I really dont even know if there is such a community around here...I live in the country though and all the nearby towns are actually jsut little villages so if there IS one its not open from what I can tell..I know there are plenty of pagans in the Buffalo and also the Rochester area but since I'm not able to access either I'm not a part of either...I used to be in a few online yahoo groups but havent been into any of them in AGES...I would consider it again though provided there arent TOO many trolls ya know...thats wht really turns me off when it comes to online groups..there's just too many trolls about... However I'd never take part in any online (or offline) workings...I'd only be a part for social and sharing purposes but not rituals etc etc..
1 person likes this
• Canada
20 Feb 09
Yeah, that is the hard thing about online groups and forums - there are always trolls! :P Mind you, there are trolls in groups in real life as well, they just don't always speak up as they do online where they can hide behind their computers. ;) I think getting together with other pagans for social reasons can be so much fun! But I understand where you are coming from on the ritual front. I am very choosy about who I work with in a ritual setting.
@xParanoiax (6998)
• United States
20 Feb 09
Not much, regrettably. A stone's throw away there's several communities, but sadly they're farther away than I can yet travel. They all SOUND rather cheerful and cordial, actually...but since I don't elong to them, I really can't say with much authority. Do I wish there were more of a pagan community here? You betcha. Online communities? I float in and out of them...I usually quite enjoy them while I'm in online communities, but it's hard to keep up with them...with everything else I do online, my own life, and my constant struggle to balance the insanity that is my life and finding time JUST for spirituality.
• United States
24 Oct 07
There is a pagan community where I'm currently living for some of the year. However, I don't immerse myself in it because I can be rather shy and would rather have someone go with me, simply because I have anxiety issues and can freak out if I'm placed into a situation that I'm not too fond off at that time. However, I do participate in an online community. An online community is just easier for me to immerse myself in, because I don't have to schedule around anything else. I can drop in when I want, and participate as much as I want for that period of time.