Okanagan Pagan Pride Day 2005
Article ID: 10204
Age Group: Adult
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Author: Sable Aradia
Posted: October 9th. 2005
Times Viewed: 7,819
Sponsored by: Congregationalist Wiccan Association of BC
Location: 1310 Bertram St., Kelowna, BC
Event Date(s): Sept. 24, 2005
It was a lovely day for the event. The sun was shining beautifully.
We met at the Unitarian church relatively on time, though we had problems getting the photocopying done and there was a delay on that to about 1 pm, requiring my husband and my coven's Maiden to spend most of Sam Wagar's lecture on the history of occult groups in the Okanagan at the photocopier. I was pretty tired, having had four hours sleep the night before in order to stay up and make sure everything was in order and packed up, but the sunshine made it easier and brightened my mood considerably.
That was one of a few hitches. We were sorry not to see Solaren, who'd said he would run an information table for the Druid's Hearth, and found the Druid presence somewhat lacking as a result. We were also sorry not to see Brandy, who'd volunteered to do Tarot readings and Reiki, and Rowan who'd said she would donate one of her lovely glass Goddesses as a door prize and run a face painting table.
We managed anyway; having not heard from Rowan by the morning, I quickly grabbed and finished two of the hand-painted pentacles that I'd been working on and donated them as door prizes instead. Our other donations for door prizes included a wonderful Canadian-made Pagan date book by Christine Cover (I will post the URL later) and some rowan berry necklaces made by my coven's Maiden, Rowean. The rowan berry necklaces were, for the most part, handed out to the small, happy and cheerfully noisy herd of children who attended, in lieu of being used as a door prize.
We started only half an hour late. We began with an opening ceremony to welcome everyone and explain what we were doing. I expected to incorporate elements of multiple Pagan traditions into the ritual, but as most of the people who showed up from our community were connected in some fashion to the CWA, it really ended up being a primarily Wiccan perspective event. There were, however, lots of new faces whom I hadn't seen before; the curious, the interested, and a few broom closeted Witches who came out of the woodwork for the occasion.
Sam's lecture was extremely interesting and informative. I had no idea that Summerland was ever so significant, in either occult or political circles! Some of the people he named, significant people, were from my home town (Vernon) too. The children ran around, made merry, and took turns playing Warcraft on Talisin’s (Rowean's eldest son’s) computer. I think they had a wonderful time.
Prrrline's workshop was wonderful. I think her teaching style has improved considerably since last year. It was an exciting time that got everyone singing and moving, and inspired most to thoroughly enjoy the rest of the day, as well as prepare them for the dancing and chanting that would later happen in the public ritual.
My candle magick workshop was surprisingly (to me at least) extremely well-attended. I had students of all ages and abilities. I'd bought a box of 20 candles, feeling I was likely overestimating, and printed as many handouts, but I barely had enough. I can't really review my own workshop but I think people enjoyed it; I certainly got the feeling they did.
Then came the public ritual. This was a joint effort of the North and South Okanagan CWA-BC congregations and clergy. Prrrline, Grunnar and I had written the ritual together over MSN. We centered on the balance between light and dark at the Equinox, and how the dark half of the year, which isn't dissimilar from the waning part of life, also had its place. There was a Cauldron of Caring, into which we put birthday candles representing blessings and prayers. The chants were unified and powerful, and the spiral dance was amazing, building up energy and power that left everyone laughing and cheering. I think working with the South Okanagan congregation was a Hel of an experience and I think that was the best ritual we've had yet.
The door prizes, drawn randomly, were mostly won by people in our community. Steve won the calendar, Shanna won one of the pentacles, and a new person, one of the broom closeted who'd emerged, won the last pentacle.
All told, I think we had about 50 people show up over the course of the day, though I guess our charities weren't well advertised in the papers; we only collected about 20 or 30 lbs worth of food donations, most of them brought by my household, and about 3 dollars for Hurricane Katrina relief. If you'd like to contribute to either of these charitable efforts yet, let me know.
But, for the first time ever, Pagan Pride *made* money! Thanks to the donation of the church rental fee by a friend of mine (Sara), a large donation by a long-time member of the OKPG list who asked to remain anonymous (and thank you), the South Okanagan's yard sale, and donations collected for Tarot reading and donations throughout the day, we ended up with a $28.00 surplus after expenses. I can see that there is a small community of very supportive people in the Valley here, and I am grateful for your efforts. Thank you.
Thank you’s include:
This has been a lot of fun but, this being my third year doing it, and finding myself doing much of the running around when others did not do what they said they would, and taking personal flak for doing it in the first place, I think I'm done for a while. I have yet to firmly decide this, but I do believe that it's time to pass the torch. I am sure that a fresh perspective would also be quite valuable to the Pagan Pride cause, as someone else could probably approach things from a different angle. If you would like to volunteer, please let me know, and I will choose a "successor, ” so to speak, and do what I can to leave the event in good hands. I will, of course, be happy to remain on the Planning Committee, to support this new person in their efforts of what is truly a more monumental task than it might seem.
- Christine Cover for her donation of the calendar;
- Dragon Cards, for once again letting us take advantage of their fax machine;
- Dreamweaver, for spreading the word amongst their customers;
- Dare to Dream, for the same;
- Wilandrea, for doing so much work to help get this happening - booking the church, printing literature, distributing literature, reading Tarot at the event, donating the use of her tables;
- The South Okanagan CWA-BC, for holding their fundraising yard sale and all the work they did, individually and collectively, to make this happen;
- The North Okanagan CWA-BC, for being absolutely indispensable in their support of me and all the active work they did, individually and collectively, to make this happen;
- The Coven of the Sun, Moon and Star, for the same;
- Sam Wagar, for coming up and sharing his knowledge with us;
- Sara H., for her donation of the church rental fee and for making us purple ribbons;
- The OKPG and OkPagans Cafe, for letting me use their lists for advertising and organizing the event;
- Mysterious, for once again serving as our Webmistress (and doing a fabulous job);
- All those who donated so generously to the event;
- All those who served as a sounding board or idea person when I needed the help (this list includes but is not limited to: Sara H., Erin Righ, Rowean, Steve, Wilandrea, Solaren, Prrrline, Grunnar, Justin, Sam, Shanna).
Thanks to everyone who made this event such a worthwhile experience.
Copyright: written by Sable
Location: Vernon, British Columbia
Bio: Lady Sable is a 3rd Degree High Priestess who, in addition to being the Local Coordinator for the Pagan Pride Project in the Okanagan, is lay clergy for the CWA-BC North Okanagan congregation, and runs a small coven.
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