I’m feeling a little miffed after my first “witches meetup” here in town. There were about fifteen or so people there, and everyone was really nice, but I definitely felt like an outsider. It was clear that everyone in attendance was part of a more closely knit group and the conversation rarely strayed from business related to the running of their own group and its events or inside jokes passed between members. My friend Hawk came with me, and she ran into someone she knew from work. We spent the first five minutes in the room fending off her shocked questions. Hawk is very private, and apparently the fact that she’d never shared her religious affiliation with folks at work warranted comments like, “Since when are YOU Pagan?” and, repeatedly, “Really? Really?” The best was, by far, “But I’ve never seen you guys at [local open circles hosted by aforementioned group].” Like somehow that has any effect on whether or not we’re Pagan.
The general sentiment of the meeting seemed to be that because Hawk and I aren’t members of this group and aren’t vocal about our practices, we somehow are less Pagan or needed basic things explained to us. I don’t think these folks would agree with my assessment, but I found myself resenting them for treating Hawk and I like we didn’t know anything. If I asked someone a quick question about their tradition, I got an explanation about how “Neo-Paganism is made up of a lot of different traditions…blah, blah, blah.” I found myself saying things like, “Yeah, I know. But what I was asking was specifically…” People just kept assuming that I was some sort of noob just because I’d never been to the meetup.
Very frustrating. I definitely won’t be going back, and have totally been turned off about this particular group.
Nevermind the girl who told me that she was “formally trained in a coven based on eclectic and Gardnerian Craft.”
When I asked her to elaborate she started trying to give me an irrelevant history of Wicca in the U.S. that I think she needed way more than I did.
And then it turned into light Satanist and atheist bashing (always followed closely with whining about how nobody is accepting of Pagans and woe is us).
When the local Pagan Pride Day came up in conversation, I mentioned that I’d never been because it usually falls on or near the equinox. It went like this:
Me: “Yeah, I’d like to go, but I never can because it usually falls on Mabon.”
Her: “So why can’t you come?”
Me: “Uh, because I’m circling for Mabon.”
Anyway, that’s enough whining on my end. I just left feeling really grateful to already be a part of a group, and especially a closeted one. More and more I understand my HP, who refuses to socialize with other Pagans at all.