On Pagan Pride

The last couple of weeks (wow, already?) have passed in sort of a blur.  We got Pagan Pride Day off the ground, and it fluttered around in the raging gale.  The rituals, aided by the presence of a mighty pile of rhythm instruments from big ol' djembes to seeds in pill bottles, were absolutely gorgeous.  We got some pretty nifty media coverage (more on that in a bit).  We collected a small donation of canned goods to bring to our friendly local soup kitchen.  We made enough to cover the space rental for next year!  We had some discussions.  We had some vendors who didn't make very much, because it was cold, and we didn't have enough publicity, and did I mention it was COLD?  My feet were killing me by the end of the day, except for my toes, which I couldn't feel until I got up the next morning.

I wasn't entirely satisfied with the result of my (roughly) half-hour-long interview with the reporter from the Sault Star, and even less so with what came of CTV's visit with Jen and our guest-ritual-leader Bonnie while I was out getting lunch (sorry, no link available).  Both reports were generally positive, but failed to understand some fairly significant stuff.  For the Sault Star article, I'll shoulder the blame.  I've developed some skill in encountering members of the media (I'd be remiss if I didn't acknowledge SooToday.com's magnificent Carol Martin, who attended as a member of the community but was unable to report on us as she has before), but I'm not perfect, and I wasn't as explicit about some things as I could have been.  In fact, I think Carol sort of spoils us: being part of the Pagan community, she knows what questions to ask and how to frame them.  It's pretty specialized knowledge, really.

So how does this relate to Priestessing?  Aside from my being present to lead the rituals, that is.  I mean, don't get me wrong -- I grew up in the Anglican Church, so I'm given not only by nature but also by habit to put a lot of work into the theatrics of ritual, and I do feel most at home, in many ways, before the altar -- but there's so much more to Pagan Pride, and to Priestessing, than that.  Pagan Pride is about community outreach, helping those in need, building a positive public presence, and living faith a little more publicly than we typically do.  All of those...well, perhaps not the last, since I'm so far out of the broom closet that I can't even find it anymore...are so deeply important to the work I do.  Helping people find or create understanding is as much my job as leading ritual.  Being part of the Pagan Pride Project is a sacred responsibility to me, a duty I chose and would...no, not would, do...choose again.  I've said before, though probably not here, that I don't maintain a relationship with any particular deity, but rather that I serve a more amorphous kind of divinity through service to my community, both locally and globally.  Ultimately, I can actualize greater good and avoid harm best with this approach, and Pagan Pride is part of my quest for goodness and beauty.

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Can I just say again how utterly disappointed I am with CTV's coverage of our event? UTTERLY DISAPPOINTED.