Bear with me, that title will make sense in a moment.
Some of you were there this morning for our first ever Pagan Coffee Chat- or whatever we decide to call it. It’s a small group according to the website, and I didn’t give you a lot of advance notice but there were 9 people there including myself. I consider that a small victory in and of itself.
My sincere thanks to everyone who showed up to delight one another with conversation, stories, wit, ideas and information. This was the first time in a very long time that I have left a gathering of humans- even of humans I know well and care for- without feeling drained and worn down. Rather, I felt awake, inspired, and hopeful.
If you don’t suffer from depression, I’m not sure I can properly explain how amazing ‘hopeful’ feels. Just try to imagine it.
There were some ideas that kept circling back to the top as the conversation(s) went on over some pretty decent coffee and at least one (sugar free! because this shop is cool!) mocha. The short version is the title of this entry. We who were gathered are beginning to feel like the local population has hit critical mass. There are more of us here than even we had realized, and we think we’ve got enough to actually start seeing some activity.
For those who remember the old blog, you remember that I and a few other Heathens coordinated a Midsummer potluck last year that was open to the community. The story is up top under one of those tabs I keep forgetting I activated. We had excellent feedback and I at least am willing to do similar again. Not sure if I want to use the same venue though- it wasn’t as close to home as I would have liked.
And that’s been the issue.
There is a wonderful and active group of pagans the next county over. I go to their events sometimes and they’re worth the drive. For some folks though, nothing is worth that kind of drive no matter how awesome. And I get that. I want to create the same opportunity here in MY county.
I need to find a way to do that without stepping on any toes, and I think we’ve got the right system in place already. There are quite a few folks who are involved with both the large existing group, and the itty bitty baby group here. Information IS getting passed. And that’s the way it should be. Look at me, helping spin this web. I’m so goddamned pleased with myself right now you have no idea. I should probably stop before Someone sticks a pin in my ego.
I heard some solid ideas to help people network. They ranged from making use of the tools already available virtually to business cards to more casual events like the one today. I say use ’em all, though I kind of like the low tech approach of cards, they’re super easy to hand out to anyone who seems interested. I also like the ideas I heard about just what kind of activity we want to see. The coffee chat was perfect and I would love to make it a regular thing. Several people spoke up in favor of some topic themed events, like perhaps doing a crystal party of some sort, or going to an herbal workshop together. I love it. Let’s do it. I’m serious.
We also talked about (or really, commiserated about) how far away most of the nice festivals are. We did say we’d be sharing the ones we knew about, as well as trying to put together a halfway cohesive list of the stores and places we know about that cater to pagans or are pagan friendly. I may have just accidentally volunteered myself to collate all the response comments, but that’s ok.
Since I’m going to share this word-plosion of emotional reaction I’m having to today’s get-together on Facebook, let me be very sure I also explain just what I’m NOT saying.
I don’t want to build a county-wide coven or kindred or grove or whatever. That would not only be foolish, it would fail, and for good reason.
I DO want to help create the network that would allow curious people to A) realize we exist and B) hopefully find a group within our network that is a good fit for them as well as C) organize or encourage some open events where any pagan/heathen/druid/wiccan/curious spiritual person would feel welcome. I think that this is the most any community can reasonably hope for, and I think it’s time. I think we’re ready.
So let’s make it happen.