Pagan Freedom Day 2012- What does Freedom mean to me…

…Kyk Ma ‘n vlermuis

Excited as all hell, but with the nerves to match, I got ready in one of my favourite outfits, black skirt and top, blue ribbon with a bat, my blue hat with bats, and my parasol to which I added to the tip a bat!

hat

 

Leaving home, I was discussing with Earthdragon, whether or not she would stay for PFD, and she declined, saying that she had quite enough of Pagan Community. I honestly don’t blame her, the way I see Pagans acting shows that Pagans are their own community’s worst enemy. Neither of us identifies as Wiccan anymore, and neither of us has had the greatest experiences within the Pagan Community at large. I, however, decided to be brave…

I could not stay the whole day, but The Hedgehog and I were there from 11:30- 12:30 and came back at 3 with Tyler, The Hedgehog’s Chihuahua.

I gather we missed quite a bit, but the time that we spent there was not at all bad.

I first looked around a few stalls, there were herbs, crystals, statues, carved wooden boxes, books, goth clothing, tarot readers, a jumping castle for the little ones and more.

I bought a few things including:

  • Haitian Vodou by Mambo Chita Tann
  • A Chinese astrology statue of a snake (Moi)
  • A small Chinese Ox thingamabob for my Boyfriend
  • A small statue of Kali
  • A notebook which depicts who in my opinion is Hekate
  • a Necklace
  • A Rose ring
  • Some herbs

The surprising thing for me, was the substantial amount of goth’s and metal heads around. My first PFD was awful, as it felt as if I were the only goth around and I was being gawked at, this time however, there was no scarcity of all the Gothy types out and about.

One of my favourite moments, was when I was looking over the herbs… a little girl was looking at me with intrigue… “Ma Ma!” she kept saying, “Kyk Ma ‘n Vlermuis!” (Look Mom, a Bat!), I was tickled pink... er… blue and black that the little girl was so excited by the sight of my bat ribbon.

black-tea-tree

 

After spending what was left of my cash, we decided to look at the trees in the park and then decided to get Chinese food.

When we returned, we came with Tyler.

Tyler like all puppies is made of complete and utter innocence, but he is such to the point where he trusts every single human being he comes into contact with. He has no fear and is always excited to see more people. He is the cutest little thing, but I worry for how trusting he is, as I know not everyone is so accomodating and kind toward animals.

On our way back, Tyler would stop and look at every little thing…a sniff here… a sniff there… excitement running through his tiny little body, so much so that he kept falling over himself!

He is the epitome of innocence and beauty, even with all of his naughty antics like eating everything that he see’s. Every person he passed on the road, he ran up to and tried to say in his very small and adorable way, “Play with me!”. At the park there were a number of people who thought he was just too cute…Which of course he is!

fallen-flower

As he lay down in the grass, asking with his bulgey eyes to be cuddled, I knew then what Pagan Freedom meant to me…

It means that I can walk in all my goth apparel, parasol in hand,a large pentacle around my neck and just be… It means that I can walk alongside The Hedgehog, who is not Pagan, and talk about how the trees and stones, and water are all connected to us, and we to them. It means that I can walk with a tiny little delicate morsel of a puppy and  not be told I’m into animal sacrifice and instead be told what a joy and delight Tyler is and how pretty my parasol is.

It means that I can enjoy sitting in the grass like a puppy and feel the energy of the Earth without being called a Satan worshipper. It means that I can dance and sing to the tree’s without worrying whether people are going to cart me off to the loony bin, but most of all it means that I can delight in the presence of all creatures without worrying about losing those closest to me due to prejudice. It means I don’t have to hide my face on my blog and keep as anonymous as possible so that I won’t be discriminated against when it comes to finding a job. Do I/we have this freedom? Maybe…not completely, but we are getting there.

flower (1)

Tyler’s unique ability to experience everything with wonder, allowed me to do the same for the first time in a long time in a public space, without worrying whether or not I would be accepted. It opened my eyes to the possibility of a strengthened Pagan community where we are not divided by our differences and ripped apart by our own community, but where we are united through a mutual love and respect for the Earth and all its creatures.

Is PFD about the wares, and the selling of fortunes? Is it about wearing fancy robes? Is it about whose athame glints better in the moonlight? Or who is more pagan than another? Or who can outgoth or out-casual another? Not to me, to me, it is about feeling that connection to those around us, to the world that we live in, and to accept and love others and ourselves, and it is about being able to express that freedom through both the meeting of like-minds and experiencing the world as a solitary pagan but connected to all.

I still stand by my opinion that I do not truly and fully belong to the “Pagan community”, although I enjoyed my time spent there, I was still weary. I’ve never really felt comfortable in large groups of people, I’ve always felt the need to move away, and be by myself. The same was true for PFD, although The Hedgehog and I stayed within the parameters of all the stalls often, we tended to move out to the outskirts, to experience the Lake, the tree’s and the other plant life.

purple-flower

Although I found many of the people at PFD to be friendly, I still wanted to be enveloped in the presence of Nature rather than people.   As I’m rather shy, I did not get any networking done. I’ve always felt more comfortable on the edges than in the center, and with plants and animals than with fellow humans.

So will I go again? Yes, probably. The Hedgehog thought it was just like going to Golden Gecko, but for me it was nice to see other Pagan’s even if I was too shy to talk to any. It was nice to see so many people gathered, and to see goths to boot for a common purpose, which is to freely celebrate our pagan ways.

jacaranda-mimosifolia

 

All blog content including photographs and article are copyright 2012 of Nightshade author of thepurplebroom.wordpress.com unless otherwise stated

Photographs of Black Tea Tree, Jacaranda, the purple flower and me by a tree were taken at Rhodes Park: Kensington Community Center

Pagan freedom day takes place on April 27 (Freedom Day South Africa) Annually.

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2 thoughts on “Pagan Freedom Day 2012- What does Freedom mean to me…

  1. I understand how you feel about the bigger “pagan community” at large. I have gone to some Pagan events here in LA – we have Pagan Pride Day once a year – and while it’s really nice to see a larger community of people, I actually find it easier to practice my spirituality as a solitary. I think it’s somewhat because even though we are all “pagan,” Paganism itself encompasses a lot of different beliefs and those don’t always mesh together so well – maybe. I’ve had some problems with letting others know about my spirituality, “coming out of the broom closet” – it’s hard to get past that sometimes. Society isn’t always as kind as we wish. thanks for your blog post. 🙂

    • Thank you for reading! One of the reasons “Pagan Community” doesn’t always work is exactly that, it is so diverse, with so many different groups, that inevitably some are going to feel that others are wrong or better, not only that, but some will always try to talk for others who do not necessarily agree with al terms and stipulations of being Pagan. The American council of witches certainly could never represent all who identify as witches and the PFSA (Pagan Federation of South Africa) when it was still in its early stages could never talk for all who identified as pagan.

      Coming our of the broom closet will always be a big issue, as I doubt Pagan Religions will ever be accepted on the whole, in the “mainstream”. We will always be strange to the media and since the media likes to hype the negative of any religion, misinformation is spread like wildfire,causing many to retreat and hide for fear of their safety, and the safety of their loved ones.

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