Benefit for New Orleans Pagan Pride Day

Hey all! If you live in the New Orleans area, come down on June 7th for a benefit being held by my very own Blue Star Iron and Cypress Coven to help with the New Orleans Pagan Pride Day! Here’s a link to the invite on Facebook.

Join us at the beautiful Alombrados Oasis temple for a night of music, dancing and drinks!

Can’t come and still want to donate to help? Go to our Indiegogo fundraiser and give there! There are a lot of awesome benefits available: Greater New Orleans Pagan Pride Day presents “Spritiual Gumbo”

Also be sure to check out the website to read about everything that we’re doing with our Pagan Pride Day. It’s going to be a lot of awesome fun!

And for those of you searching for “Wiccan pussy”, here you go!

International Pagan Coming Out Day

Today is the official date for the International Pagan Coming Out Day. “IPCOD is a not-for-profit organization working to achieve greater acceptance and equity for Pagans at home, at work, and in every community.” I think it’s vitally important that we support groups like this that work for acceptance within our community. I’m lucky enough to live somewhere where being openly Pagan is not usually an issue, but even here in New Orleans, things happen.

Last summer I was in the midst of cleaning my house. Wearing a pair of short shorts, rubber gloves and with my hair a crazy, frizzy mess, I hauled the trash out. As I was opening my trash can up, I heard someone walking down the street. A huge man decked out in all sorts of gang paraphernalia had just turned around the corner. At that point we lived in a pretty bad neighborhood. Just down the block, a gang regularly hung out and probably did a good bit of business. They left me alone, they knew that I belonged in the neighborhood.  I left them alone in turn. We even, on occasion, gave each other a friendly, neighborly nod and acknowledgment. Apparently, some of this might have been because I am a witch.

This huge man, who I had never seen before and who I would not have wanted to have met in a dark ally late at night, took one look at me and crossed the street. Keeping me in his sight the whole time, he threw hex signs at me and hissed. All I could do at that point was smile and wave.

While this particular anecdote is simply amusing and nothing bad happened, I think it illustrates the type of fear that still persists in our overall society about Pagans and Witches. I made the decision a long time ago that I would be openly who I am. If a job doesn’t want me because I am openly Pagan, that is not a job for me. But other people aren’t so lucky.

So what are things that you can do to help those who aren’t out?

Just be yourself! Be open and approachable. Talk about your gatherings and holidays. Don’t hide being Pagan. Many of my coworkers have asked me a lot of questions about what I do and what Paganism is about. They know me, I’m not scary or intimidating. Be an advocate, as the IPCOD organization calls it.

You can also support your local Pagan community. Whether or not you have your own group or coven, there are usually groups that bring the entire local Pagan community together. In New Orleans, we have a meetup group. Don’t have a group like this? Start one!

Many cities also put together Pagan Pride Days through The Pagan Pride Project, which work to introduce the Pagan community to the larger community and promote acceptance and education. The New Orlean’s Pagan community is doing one this fall. Get involved and help out!

If you’re out, take a moment today to remind people that it is OK, that we can be openly Pagan and not be afraid. There is still a lot hate and intolerance in the world. It is only through standing up and saying “Yes, I am different and that’s OK” that we can start to change this and make it better. Some of us aren’t lucky enough to be safely out as a Pagan, use today as an opportunity to help change that. You never know when telling someone that you’re Pagan will make a difference.

My name is Lauren. I am a Pagan. I am proud to be so!

*If you want to help us raise money for the Greater New Orleans Pagan Pride Day 2013, check out our Indiegogo campaign found here!

Attention Louisiana Pagans!

This is more of a quick service announcement before I post a longer blog later tonight.

I am a member of the New Orleans Lamplight Meetup Group. We are working on putting together a Pagan Pride Day (under the umbrella group The Pagan Pride Project) for New Orleans in 2013. We are having our first official organizational meeting this Sunday. I am copying in below the email from our fearless leader Ty. If you are in Louisiana and want to participate, or know someone else who might, please pass this along!

Pagan Pride Days are great opportunities for the Pagan community, and hey…this is New Orleans, we have some big ideas for this. But we need a lot of help!

~ Owl

Hi everyone!  This is Ty from New Orleans Lamplight Circle.  I am sending this email out to every group I know in the Pagan/Vodou/ceremonial magick community in the greater New Orleans metro area.  We are having a meeting on SUNDAY, JUNE 3RD AT 2:15 PM AT THE NEW ORLEANS HEALING CENTER 4TH FLOOR INTERFAITH SPACE (2372 St. Claude Avenue, New Orleans).  This meeting is to discuss plans for a potential Pagan Pride Day in 2013.  We want this to be a big event that involves everyone in the community, so we want your participation as well.This first meeting will cover various topics, like:
1. Purpose and theme of a Pagan Pride Day
3. Determining sources of funding
4. Types of activities
5. Potential dates and locationsYour personal and/or group’s involvement is up to you.  We definitely need people to be committee members to handle various parts of the PPD, and we also need co-sponsors (who would fundraise in their own group to bring much needed funds into the PPD budget).  PPD will be under the auspices of the Pagan Pride Project, a 501c3 non-profit organization, so all donations will be tax deductible.

I understand that not everyone receiving this email is Pagan; however, I believe many of us are so interlinked with each other spiritually and socially that it’s important that the Vodou and ceremonial magick communities also “represent” as well.  This day is meant to be a true representation of New Orleans Paganism, and many of us have embraced/incorporated other non Neo-Pagan paths into our practice.  All are awesome and all should be present at NOPPD 2013!!

Some of the groups we’re inviting (though there’s certainly no limit) are: Covenant of the Pentacle Wiccan Church (New Orleans AND Lafayette), Circle of the Tree, Coven of the Gryphon/Gryphon’s Nest Campground, Highland Oak Nemeton, Alombrados O.T.O., La Source Ancienne Ounfu, Voodoo Spiritual Temple, Voodoo Authentica, N.O. Healing Center/Pluralism Project, Temenos ta Theia, LAW/Sacred Paths Community Center/Moondance Circle, Keepers of the Hearth, The Amethyst Cottage, Rose & Antler Coven, Wisteria Temple, House of the North, UU Church (New Orleans AND Baton Rouge), Coven of Moonlight Spirits, Central LA Pagan Assoc., Living Temple of Wicca, Dragon Moon Coven, CenLA Broom and Brew, Mosaic, Coven of the Grove, Circle of the Silver Moon, Mississippi Magick Society, K.C. Perilloux/N.O. Witches Ball, HEX, etc.  We would like to extend the area of the PPD to include southern Louisiana up to Alexandria, and southwestern Mississippi.  Please forward this email to anyone else who might want to participate, as I may not know EVERYONE in the community.
I am asking everyone to RSVP by responding to this email no later than May 31st.  Even if the leaders of certain organizations cannot be present, you can still send a representative in your stead.  If you have questions you need answered BEFORE the meeting, you can reach me at 504-621-0274.  Answers to questions regarding PPD stipulations can be found at hope to hear from all of you soon!Ty