Last night was fun.  We did tarot/divination… kinda.  More importantly community came together.  In the pagan world that is important because we don’t necessarily always know how to do that.  There aren’t covens, groves, circles, mounds, groups, or anything else listed in the yellow pages or the “religion” section of the news paper. 

We have been cautious about who knows about us – in a sense we allow ourselves to become invisible spiritually to the rest of the world.  Many of us have been afraid of what exposure of our practices to the world would bring.  You know what I’m talking about… the whispers behind our backs, the fingers pointing, the chuckle under the breath, the outright laughter to our faces.  How could we be so foolish as to believe what we do.  Then there is the other reaction – fear.  Fear manifests itself in many ways: the friend who no longer calls, the loss of work hours from your employer, the religious material in your mail, the accusations and turned backs by people you don’t even know, a family who no longer claims you as one of their own.  This can all happen; it has happened to more than one pagan, and so we seek community.

Call it the Pagan Pig Out, pagan movie night, or whatever, we need to get together on occasion outside of ritual.  As human beings we need to have interaction with others without feeling that we will be judged for our beliefs.  So we do little things like hold a “crash course in divination” at a local pub where anyone can join in.  Yes, that is exactly what we did last night and it was fun.  More than that it shows pagans in the area that there are establishments that do not fear losing customers because they allow pagans to gather at their place.  An event like last night was more than just coming together, it was people (pagan and non-pagan alike) openly participating together in a perceived pagan practice – divination.  There was no going to the back room, there was no whispering of words.  There was laughter of a good kind.

The students gathered an hour earlier than the announced start time so that we could go over some basic rules.  This was intuitive reading at its best and they are all beginners.  The hardest part of my job is to give the boost necessary to get them started.  When an hour had passed pagans from the local community began to arrive.  They were there to be the test subjects, the volunteers agreeing to have their cards, runes, or whatever read.  They ate, they drank and they conversed with each other enjoying the atmosphere of the place.  But then a funny thing happened, non-pagans filtered in “Can I get a reading too?”  We were seen, there was no fear, and we were being joined.  Our community just got bigger and it didn’t have to be pagans only any more.

The walls between groups began to come down. I always love it when those barriers to acceptance begin to crumble.  I explained to all there that the students were beginners so to have patience if they seemed a bit slow doing their readings.  The feed back that I received from all who came, even those that happened to stumble upon us, was positive.  A small venture into the community at large was a success.  Pagans openly exposed in a public place were not met with rejection or ridicule.  Rather, we were met with curiosity that led to a positive interaction. 

Little ventures out.  Some may not think that much of anything to write about, but maybe it is the smaller adventures that we need right now.  Who knows, once you add up all the small adventures you will find that you have rewritten the old story that we have all worked with and in its place created a new epic journey where small adventures are common place for us all.

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