Reflections of Nashville Pagan Pride Day 2004|
Posted: September 24th. 2004
Times Viewed: 2,907
Location: Nashville, TN
Event Date(s): September 11, 2004
Imagine a light and mirthful atmosphere where magickal energy was palpable in the air. A place where everyone greeted strangers and friends alike with hugs and kisses. A warmth that was from the hearts of people, not the near-90-degree outside temperature. The setting was a rough-hewn stone church nestled under old growth trees, an oasis of peace and enchantment. This was Nashville Pagan Pride Day 2004.
Nashville Pagan Pride Day was so much more than just a fair - it was an ennobling experience steeped in the very deepest spirituality. Hundreds of people attended with over two hundred pounds of food being collected for the Martha O'Bryan Center. The morning began with an opening ritual by Clann an Fiach de Mhullain. This opened the minds and hearts to the vibrations of the day. At midday, Lady Rowena and Lord Ember of Circle of DragonStone performed a Wiccan ritual of mythic proportions focusing on the Wheel of the Year. The day ended with a beautiful memorial to the victims of 9/11 by the Witches of the Woods. Candles were lit and names were read symbolically demonstrating that death is not the end but life continues into the vastness of eternity, each life burning as brightly as a flame.
Wonderful treasures were exhibited from vendors from many states. There were crystals, candles, books, soaps, walking staffs, jewelry, wreaths, foot bells, ear wraps, divination tools, incense, altars, and curiosities of all kinds. Clay, wood, and stained glass craftspeople displayed their wares with pride. There were spiritual readers offering guidance and enlightenment. The energy of this event was infused by the music of Skinny White Chick, RhythMystiks, and the Love Drums. It was the heartbeat of the day. Dancing took control of people. Drums reverberated through the body taking one's Spirit to a different plane.
Beyond vendors and entertainment, there was so much more happening. It was a safe haven for both the family and the individual. There were delightful workshops for adults and children on countless topics. There were booths for so many causes ranging from animal cruelty issues to registering to vote. Pagans are multifaceted people, trying to bring spiritual awareness in all aspects of life both in the magickal realm and the mundane world. Nashville's Pagan Pride Day superbly blended these two worlds in perfect harmony.
People came from all walks of life. The energy of PPD drew them inwards like a beacon. There were families, and young people, and older folks. Teenagers wore their pentacles and crystals and young children were all jazzed up in Pagan T-shirts. Older ladies fluttered down aisles wearing their Goddess shirts and men strutted proudly in kilts, while college students scraped together their pennies to make a magickal purchase. Non-Pagans wandered around just wondering what this event was all about. A woman from a local Christian Church stopped by, just curious as to what Pagan Pride Day was. A very nice older lady from the neighborhood visited and chatted with vendors. She was curious too. A young girl, after looking at a few booths, asked aloud what a Pagan was and what this fair and the items were all about. Answers were offered to her questions, she was intrigued and continued through the fair looking at all the booths. Neighbors walked by with dogs overlooking what was going on; some came in and some stayed on the sidelines, but everyone was interested. There were "garage sale hoppers" who stopped by thinking it was a flea market and still stayed to look around. Such diverse groups of people, all at the same place, and all together as "One" under the tall shady trees on September 11 - a day historically known for unity.
Nashville's Pagan Pride Day 2004 exemplified the "Spirit and Essence of the Pagan."
Monica R. Ashbaugh
Location: , USA
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