Your browser does not support script
TWV Presents...

Articles/Essays From Pagans

[Show all]

Views: 18,536,162

November 24th. 2015 ...

Facing Your Demons: The Shadow Self

Native American Spirituality Myopia

The Dream Eater--A Practical Use of Summoning Talismans

A Dream Message

Feeling the Pulse of Autumn

October 16th. 2015 ...

Sacred Lands, Sacred Hearts

September 30th. 2015 ...

Into the Dark

The Other-Side

September 16th. 2015 ...

Nature Worship: or Seeing the Trees for the Ents

Vegan or Vegetarian? The Ethical Debate

Weeds and Seeds

August 6th. 2015 ...

Lost - A Pagan Parent's Tale

July 9th. 2015 ...

Love Spells: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly

The Magic of Weather

June 7th. 2015 ...

A Pagan Altar

The Consort: Silent Partner or Hidden in Plain Sight?

A Minority of a Minority of a Minority

Why I Bother With Ritual: Poetry and Eikonic Atheism

May 6th. 2015 ...

Sex, Lies, and Witches: Love in a Time of Wiccans and Atheists

Gods, Myth, and Ritual in Naturalistic Paganism

I Claim Cronehood

13 Keys: The Crown of Kether

March 29th. 2015 ...

A Thread in the Tapestry of Witchcraft

March 28th. 2015 ...

On Wiccan Magick, Theurgy, Thaumaturgy and Setting Expectations

March 1st. 2015 ...

Choosing to Write a Shadow Book

Historiolae: The Spell Within the Story

My Concept Of Grey

February 1st. 2015 ...

Seeker Advice From a Coven Leader

The Three Centers of Paganism

Magick is No Illusion

The Ancient Use of God/Goddess Surnames

The Gods of My Heart

January 1st. 2015 ...

The Six Most Valuable Lessons I've Learned on My Path as a Witch

Manipulation of the Concept of Witchcraft

Publicly Other: Witchcraft in the Suburbs

Pagans All Around Us

Broomstick to the Emerald City

October 20th. 2014 ...

Thoughts on Conjuring Spirits

A Microcosmic View of Ma'at

October 5th. 2014 ...

The History of the Sacred Circle

Abandoning Expectations and Remembering Your Roots

September 28th. 2014 ...

Seeking Pagan Lands for Pagan Burials

Creating a Healing Temple

September 20th. 2014 ...

GOD AND ME (A Pagan's Personal Reply to the New Atheists)

September 7th. 2014 ...

Deer Man- A Confounding Mystery

Web Oh-oh

The All

August 31st. 2014 ...

Coven vs. Solitary

A Strange Waking Dream


August 24th. 2014 ...

Thoughts on Cultural and Spiritual Appropriation

The Pagan Cleric

A Gathering of Sorcerers (A Strange Tale)

August 17th. 2014 ...

To Know, to Will, to Dare...

On Grief: Beacons of Light in the Shadows

The Darkness

August 10th. 2014 ...

As a Pagan, How Do I Represent My Path?

The Power of the Gorgon

August 3rd. 2014 ...

Are You a Natural Witch?

You Have to Believe We Are Magic...

July 27th. 2014 ...

Did I Just Draw Down the Moon?

Astrological Ages and the Great Astrological End-Time Cycle

The New Jersey Finishing School for Would-Be Glamour Girls and Boys

July 20th. 2014 ...

Being an Underage Wiccan

Greed, Power, Witches, and the Inquisition

Malleus Maleficarum - The Hammer of the Witches

Thoughts on Ghost Hunting

July 13th. 2014 ...

A World Of Witchcraft: Belief Is Only The Beginning...

From Christian to Pagan (Part III)

Being Wiccan

My Wiccan Ways...

July 6th. 2014 ...

Keys: Opening the Portals into Other Worlds

The Lore of the Door

Leaves of Love

June 29th. 2014 ...

What Does the Bible Say About Witches and Pagans?

Everything's Alright, Yes: Mary Magdalene

Are You My Familiar ?

Invocations of the God and Goddess

Results Magic and the Moral Compass

June 22nd. 2014 ...

Witchcraft vs. Religion

NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.

Article Specs

Article ID: 10496

VoxAcct: 180737

Section: words

Age Group: Adult

Days Up: 3,584

Times Read: 4,124

RSS Views: 73,370
Culture In Capitaland: The Little Pagan Community That Could

Author: Rev. Viktoria Whittaker
Posted: February 5th. 2006
Times Viewed: 4,124

In the years before the Stonewall uprising, the gay community on the northern part of the eastern seaboard found the unlikeliest of havens. It was a small, nondescript city not bordering on any coasts. Indeed, other than being located at the confluence of two rivers, it had no bodies of water to speak of. It sported no beaches, resorts or anything that would have drawn them in as tourists. It was and still is a very middle-class, middle-American area. Indeed, it is such an unglamorous place that it has been not-so-lovingly referred to as “The Armpit of America”.

And yet, it was said that during the 1950’s it had more gay bars (which was the center of queer community at the time) than Boston, Montreal and New York City combined. Indeed, I have heard many old-timers recollect how gay men would come in by the busload looking for a good time, or just to be with others like themselves. This community even had its own Transgender organization during that era - the Transvestite Independence Club - that is still thriving to this day as the Transgender Independence Club.

It was this foundation that built a community in this city and carried it strongly through the 60’s. During this time, it established a Gay and Lesbian community center, which is now the oldest one in the country that is still up and running. Gays are now a fixture in this city and host an enormous Pride festival every June.

So which city is this?

It’s Albany, the capital of New York State.

Sounds exciting and thrilling, doesn’t it? It’s definitely not San Francisco, and even though it’s but a 45 minute drive away from Massachusetts and Vermont, they’re still just not the same. Although it’s no bastion of liberalism, it’s definitely not the Bible Belt either: you see just as many Bush bumper stickers as anti-Bush bumper stickers. It’s as middle-of-the-road as you get.

This is an example of an alternative community which is feared and loathed by the Christian Right establishing itself in a center of mainstream Americana. Through years of hard work and organizing, gay people are finding their place in American culture. To be sure, it can still be dangerous to be gay in certain parts of the country, but no doubt many gay people will tell you that it’s a lot easier and safer to be openly gay than it was in times past. And it all happened in Albany, first.

So what does all of this have to do with Pagan culture, you may ask?

My answer: everything.

Other than the obvious overlap between the two communities – that there are many queer Pagans out there – I would argue that this same “great experiment” can be repeated with the Pagans, and already we are seeing signs of it.

Among other things, the Albany area is home to the Tarot Certification Board of America, which certifies Tarot professionals worldwide (

We are also home to the Trinity Temple ( It is a building that has served many purposes during its existence. It was built in the early 20th century as an Episcopal Chapel and then became a Spiritualist church in 1965. For nearly forty years, the Spiritualist/Christian Metaphysical congregation held séances, healing services and psychic fairs, developing a reputation for being the site of miraculous healings as well as developing into a potent energy vortex. In the spring of 2004, it was acquired from the aging and dwindling Spiritualist congregation by the Correllian Nativist Wiccan congregation known as the Temple of Astral Light. It thus became the very first Pagan group in the area to have its own church building; one of so very few in the country.

The Trinity Temple also serves as the home for the Correllian Directorate, the administrative branch of the Correllian Nativist Church which is the largest and fastest-growing Wiccan tradition in the country. It also hosts the East Coast campus of Witch School, which is now more than 156,000 students strong. In these roles, it holds regular open rituals, classes, hosts local Meetups and this past September hosted the Witch School Conference on Leadership and Education/Correllian Lustration – the very first one ever to be held outside of Illinois!

The Schenectady Pagan Cluster of the neighboring city of Schenectady is another Pagan group which holds regular open rituals ( It meets at the site of the former Spring Eagle Magick Shoppe in Schenectady (soon to re-open as the Phoenix Rising Magick Shoppe!). The Cluster formed in 1998 as an eclectic, multicultural group of street Pagans that found its home at the Spring Eagle. Today, it is an affiliated shrine of Astral Light and along with holding regular rituals it holds classes, hosts an AA meeting, participates in the local Interfaith community and ministers to Schenectady’s inner-city poor.

Do not think, though, that because we have such organizations that we have been free from the bickering, politicking, character assassinations and Witch Wars that have plagued the Pagan community in the past and still do. On the contrary, we have seen some truly fierce and nasty ones here. There was one where a good friend and colleague of mine was falsely accused of being a child molester, but that was one of many. A year ago, there was a particularly vicious one involving the local Pagan Pride Day planning committee. The end result of that one was that Albany lost its Pagan Pride Day event. Not to be stopped, some local folks organized their own, alternative festival called E.R.I.S., for Earth Religions In Service (

My point here is this: you can’t please everyone in your local community. As a friend of mine from the Albany PPD committee (who was also a veteran of Massachusetts PPDs) once very wisely said, “Trying to keep every Pagan happy is like trying to keep 200 five-year-olds with ADHD happy”. It just can’t be done. But this has not stopped those individuals who had a vision from making Albany, the Armpit of America, a noteworthy place in the Pagan universe.

Witch Wars and Pagan Politics are much like death and taxes in our community; something that is just simply a part of life. Those of us who made these things happen in the Albany area have seen more than our share. The main difference is, we never give up and we never let the bastards get us down.

If you have a vision of what you want your community and your culture to be, follow it and don’t let anything stop you, not politics nor anything else. Don’t let the fact that you live in a square, boring middle-American community stop you either – Albany is as square as you get! If you do, there is no reason why you can’t do what we did, and that is the greatest magick of all!

Blessed be!


Rev. Viktoria Whittaker

Location: Palenville, New York

Author's Profile: To learn more about Rev. Viktoria Whittaker - Click HERE

Other Articles: Rev. Viktoria Whittaker has posted 1 additional articles- View them?

Other Listings: To view ALL of my listings: Click HERE

Email Rev. Viktoria Whittaker... (Yes! I have opted to receive invites to Pagan events, groups, and commercial sales)

To send a private message to Rev. Viktoria Whittaker ...

Pagan Essays

Pagan Web
8,000 Links

Pagan Groups
Local Covens etc.

80,000 Profiles

Home - TWV Logos - Email US - Privacy
News and Information

Chapters: Pagan/Heathen Basics - Pagan BOOKS - Traditions, Paths & Religions - Popular Pagan Holidays - TV & Movies - Cats of the Craft - Festival Reviews - Festival Tips - White Pages (Resources) - Issues/Concerns - West Memphis 3 - Witch Hunts - Pagan Protection Tips - Healing Planet Earth

Your Voices: Adult Essays - Young Pagan Essays - Pagan Perspectives (On Hold) - WitchWars: Fire in the Craft - Gay Pagan - Pagan Parenting - Military - Pagan Passages

Pagan Music: Pagan Musicians - Bardic Circle at WitchVox - Free Music from TWV

Vox Central: About TWV - Wren: Words, Wrants and Wramblings - Guest Rants - Past Surveys - A Quest for Unity

Weekly Updates: Click HERE for an index of our weekly updates for the past 6 years

W.O.T.W. - World-Wide Networking

Your Town: A Link to YOUR Area Page (The largest listing of Witches, Pagans, Heathens and Wiccans on the Planet)

VoxLinks: The Pagan Web: 8,000 Listings

Your Witchvox Account: Log in Now - Create New Account - Request New Password - Log in Problems

Personal Listings: Pagan Clergy in Your Town - Adult Pagans - Young Pagans - Military Pagans

Events: Circles, Gatherings, Workshops & Festivals

Covens/Groups/Orgs: Local Groups Main Page

Other LOCAL Resources: Local Shops - Regional Sites - Local Notices - Global/National Notices - Local Skills & Services - Local Egroups - Political Freedom Fighters

Pagan Shopping: Online Shops Index - Original Crafters Sites - Auction Sites - Pagan Wholesalers - Pagan Local Shops

Web Site Content (including: text - graphics - html - look & feel)
Copyright 1997-2015 The Witches' Voice Inc. All rights reserved
Note: Authors & Artists retain the copyright for their work(s) on this website.
Unauthorized reproduction without prior permission is a violation of copyright laws.

Website structure, evolution and php coding by Fritz Jung on a Macintosh G5.

Any and all personal political opinions expressed in the public listing sections (including, but not restricted to, personals, events, groups, shops, Wren’s Nest, etc.) are solely those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinion of The Witches’ Voice, Inc. TWV is a nonprofit, nonpartisan educational organization.

Sponsorship: Visit the Witches' Voice Sponsor Page for info on how you
can help support this Community Resource. Donations ARE Tax Deductible.
The Witches' Voice carries a 501(c)(3) certificate and a Federal Tax ID.

Mail Us: The Witches' Voice Inc., P.O. Box 341018, Tampa, Florida 33694-1018 U.S.A.
Witches, Pagans
of The World

Search Articles

 Current Topic
 Editorial Guide

NOTE: The essay on this page contains the writings and opinions of the listed author(s) and is not necessarily shared or endorsed by the Witches' Voice inc.

The Witches' Voice does not verify or attest to the historical accuracy contained in the content of this essay.

All WitchVox essays contain a valid email address, feel free to send your comments, thoughts or concerns directly to the listed author(s).