Hi there! I’m Kristy, your friendly neighborhood Pagan Pride volunteer.
I don’t know where to start – there’s so much to say! I volunteered at the info booth to help a friend. At the time, I didn’t consider myself a Pagan. Honestly, I didn’t really know much about Paganism. As the day drew closer I became more and more nervous. I thought for sure I’d say something dumb and it would be blatantly obvious I wasn’t part of the tribe. I just knew there would be eye-rolls and snarky comments headed my way.I could talk about the many stupid things I did say, and how I stood there with a blank/somewhat panicked look on my face the first time someone told me “Blessed Be.”
And you know what? Not only did I not get any snark, I ended up having a great time! I met really cool people who didn’t mind that everything out of my mouth was a question. I met talented artists selling everything imaginable, and you could tell from the way they talked they put their heart and soul into their work. I sat in the grass on a perfect fall day and watched Tuatha Dea perform, and I was completely lost in the moment.
I could talk about what I’ve learned. I’ve had an interest in Paganism for a long time, but come from a Southern Baptist family in the land of Jerry Falwell (need I say more?). I’ve learned about so many different paths and pantheons. Completely different mindsets. I’ve been invited to rituals and classes and festivals. I’ve received book recommendations, links to internet resources, and had great thought provoking conversations.I’ve met a lot of people who are hesitant to get involved because they don’t know where they fit in, or aren’t sure what they believe. That’s something else I’ve learned. You don’t need to be a High Priest/Priestess, or have been studying the craft for decades. Just be willing to ask and listen.
I could also talk about the day itself. It’s long and hectic. The weather has varied from temperatures slightly below the surface of the sun, to a constant deluge that had mud in places I’d rather not discuss. Even with the chaos and the weather and the having to wake up at a ridiculous hour, every single year I come away feeling like I witnessed something magical happen.
Last year Wendy Rule sang during ritual, and we all held hands and joined our voices with hers. At sunset, we continued our chant from the shelter to the edge of the river, where we released a beautiful owl that had been rehabilitated from the Carolina Raptor Center.
Listening to the words “Earth my body, Water my blood, Air my breath and Fire my spirit” chanted softly all around me as the owl lifted off into flight… magical.Piedmont Pagan Pride Day is a fun festival no matter who you are. We have great entertainment, kid’s activities, workshops and guest speakers. And shopping (!). These people have more talent in an eyelash than I do in my whole body! Amazing one of a kind jewelry, wood burnings, etched glass, handmade wands and incense, soaps, herbs, candles and divinations tools… I can’t list it all, it’s really incredible.
I guess the point I’m trying to make here is that this festival – this community – is what you make of it. It’s a great time to shop with your friends, hang outside for the day, and just have a great time.
But if you let it, Piedmont Pagan Pride can be so much more. I hope you’ll come and see what it’s about.
Kristy Powell is a featured volunteer with a passion for helping. She has volunteered with Piedmont PPD since 2014, and never looked back. She is involved a volunteer in both planning as well as on the day of the event. She is involved in virtually all aspects of PPD and we thank her for her support and service to the pagan community.
For information on how to become involved, please check out our Facebook page!