Friday, August 31, 2012

Thoughts on Community

Happy September, all!

Well, here we go again. The unofficial end of summer, the return of Hallowe’en, Thanksgiving, and Christmas materiel to the store shelves, kids back in school, and a bunch of adults turning around to say, “What now?”

Like many of you, I was disappointed when plans for Calgary Pagan Pride Day fell through again this year. The good news is that it has now been taken over by people with a proven track record, and a Pride Day or similar event next year is highly probable. Kudos to MaryBeth for initiating its rebirth.

It seems to me that the local pagan community suffered a major setback with the closing of the Witchery a few short years ago. Lacking the informal “pagan central” of supplies and info clearing house that Mimi had hosted so well, organizers like myself have had to fend for our own groups without a lot to hold us together. Pagan Pride has been part of the glue that kept us a community, but its loss has been felt, to the point where even I have begun to wonder whether the term “community” still applies here.

And we don’t exist in isolation. Calgary is about the only major city in Canada that hasn’t hosted the Canadian National Pagan Conference, Gaia Gathering, a fact that hasn’t been overlooked by pagans elsewhere in Canada.  I understand it’s a less imposing task than it sounds, involving handling only the local component with support from the national board. Hopefully we will be able to host one sooner rather than later, and to paraphrase John F. Kennedy, I believe this community should commit itself to doing so. It’s just a matter of finding enough of us who respect and trust each other enough to do the work that needs to be done.

Congratulations to Nicky M., who received her Evergreen initiation on August 26!

“Bon Voyage” blessings to Christina S., on her new adventures in Saskatchewan.

September Birthdays: Lee G., Anne W., TigerLily, Cat B., and some of my Facebook friends. Let me know if I’ve missed yours.

September Events:
Note these events are listed for information purposes only.  Dates and locations may be subject to change; see the source for details.  If I’ve missed anyone and you’d like to add to this listing, please contact me.

To Sep. 8: Evil Dead – The Musical, at Pumphouse Theatre.
Sep. 1, 7:30 p.m.: COGCOA Coffee Cauldron. Info at cogcoa dot ab dot ca.
Sep. 2, 12:00 p.m.: Calgary Pride Parade, beginning at Olympic Plaza. Info:
Sep. 3: Labour Day.
Sep. 5, 7:00 p.m.: Beyond the Book of Shadows Meetup Social Moot.  Info:
Sep. 15, 7:30: COGCOA Mabon Ritual.
Sep. 15, 8:11 p.m. New Moon. Celtic Tree Month of Muin (Vine) begins.
Sep. 18, 7:30 p.m.: Calgary Witches’ Meetup, in south Calgary. Info:
Sep. 21, 8:00 p.m.: Take Back the Night Calgary, at Connaught Park, 11 St. and 14 Ave. SW. Info:
Sep. 22, 8:49 a.m.: Autumnal Equinox.
Sep. 22-23: Calgary Horror Con at Wyckham House, MRU. Info:
Sep. 28-30: Ritual Leadership Workshop. Contact me for details.
Sep. 29, 9:19 p.m.:  Full (Harvest) Moon.



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