Finally sitting down to start Week 3 of my Pagan journaling prompts from Nature Bound Pagan. This week focuses on writing down the different impressions of Paganism that you get from media, public, and personal experiences.
- In what ways is Paganism influencing movies, music, commercials, consumer products, businesses, and other religions? What was the first pagan reference or idea you encountered in the general culture?
Currently, I don’t watch much TV, but I think Paganism is still influencing a lot of young adult entertainment dealing with the Occult and Fantasy. Things like all the vampire and werewolf stuff; while not exactly Pagan, I imagine a surge of witchcraft in entertainment will make another appearance (as it had in the past). “Supernatural” is still running and that has a lot of Pagan elements, but of course it;s not super accurate. I think there is a new show out called “Salem” or “Witches” I can’t remember, so it’s obviously still present, but it’s influence is still heavily based on the more Hollywood aspect of things vs reality and historical accuracy.
My first Pagan references came from media particularly “Buffy The Vampire Slayer”, “The Witches of Eastwick”, and “The Craft”. However, I had a relative who was a palm reader/fortune teller so I would hear a lot about her and my family has weird stories involving premonition/ESP type stuff, so I guess I’ve always assumed it’s been somewhat in my blood.
- What was your impression of Paganism before you began studying it?
I felt excited and nervous by it. I was in late middle school/early high school, so I definitely went into it with the Hollywood mindset and enjoyed the mystery and “adventure” of it all. I also felt a lot of guilt. While I was not raised strictly Christian, I knew the view of witchcraft in that religion and that scared me a bit, but not enough to not continue it for years.
- Why are you studying Paganism at this time? What do you most want to gain during your studies?
I missed it, honestly. It made me feel happier, like stress was easier to handle, etc when I practiced it before, so I’m seeking that same comfort. I hope to gain mindfulness, a deeper connection to the Earth, calmness, patience, and overall being a better version of myself (inside and out). I never felt any form of Christian belief gave me that and I’ve never felt a pull towards any other religion and I’m too sure of “something bigger” to fully commit to an atheistic view.
- Who was the first Pagan you ever met? How did you go about finding Pagans? How did you hear about Pagan events? How do you think Pagans can improve their accessibility to those who are looking for them?
Another classmate. My friend who introduced me to witchcraft/Paganism was not technically a Pagan herself; we both kind of journeyed and explored it together. This other classmate helped us a bit in our studies though. Aside from simply attending the same school, I have never actively sought out other Pagans; being sort of in the broom closet and a solitary practitioner, I just never felt the need to. I probably will never join a coven, so that’s why I still haven’t. However, now that I’ve been listening to podcasts I would love to meet some of these hosts or attend Pagan festivals to kind of “naturally” meet like-minded individuals.
- Have you ever attended a Pagan festival or convention? What was it like? How was it different from what you expected, and in what ways did it meet your expectations? What would you say to someone going to their first Pagan festival or convention?
The closest I came to a Pagan festival was a music and art festival (the music was a lot of EDM, tech, etc. type). It was a lot of fun and the atmosphere was very friendly, inclusive, and just everyone being themselves. I’m hoping to attend a real Pagan festival one of these days to get the full experience. However, my advice for someone going to their first festival (Pagan or otherwise) is bring clothes for any kind of temperature, as many costumes as you want (there’s really no such thing as too many it seems), and extra blankets. Also, simple food that stores well.
- Alternate. If you have never attended a Pagan festival or convention, research Pagan events in your area. Pick one you would like to go to. Explain why you chose that event. If you can, go to the even and answer the questions from the question above.
There is one nearby that’s kind of Pagan called Faerieworlds that is in my state and not too long of a drive, so it’d be easy to get to and seems like a pretty big event.
- What experience have you had with Paganism so far that has been the most fun, the most rewarding, or made the deepest impression on you?
The focus on meditation and channeling energy. It helps me unwind and destress (I tend to do it shortly after I workout or during the end of a yoga session when my concentration and energy build up is at it’s peak). I also have really enjoyed the studies. It’s interesting to me to learn the different ideas out there. There are definitely some practices I just do NOT believe in, but then there are others that I enjoy and plan to incorporate in my practice.
That concludes this round of Pagan journaling prompts! The website did include an informative list of places one can learn about Pagan events which I will paste below. Hopefully this helps some of you reflect on your impressions and if you have anything to offer from your experiences, feel free to share!
Wishing you all a happy Friday!
- Local metaphysical bookstore – ask people about gatherings and pick up flyers and calendars, gather contact information
- Search the internet for groups and activities in your area – meetup.com is a great site to get started on
- Go to multiple rituals and other gatherings – try to attend multiple events and figure out what you like
- Take classes – Pagan classes are often offered online or at new age stores.
- Join an organization – some places have groups that meet and plan events, lectures and open circles.