Proud to be pagan
Local Pagan Nancy Davidson is helping to organize the Pagan Pride Day on Sept. 15 in Idlewild Park. It’s held at the Snowflake Pavilion from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information, visit www.paganpridenevada.org.
What is Pagan Pride Day?
It is a celebration we’ve been celebrating—it’s been around for a long time in other states—10 years nationwide that we’ve been celebrating. This is your sixth year in Northern Nevada. We’re celebrating a decade of pride.
What, specifically, are you celebrating?
Just basically Paganism. We’re trying to give the community a basic understanding that it’s not as evil as it’s been put out over the century. We’ll have fliers and vendors selling crafts, though we’re having trouble finding a food vendor.
What else will be happening at the festival?
We’re going to have some contests for the adults and the children. We’re going to have a baking contest. We’ll be having a traditional Pagan ritual in honor of the goddess.
What’s the ritual?
We form our circle and call in the elements—air, fire, water, earth and spirit, and we just do a ritual. I didn’t write the ritual this year, so I don’t know exactly what it’s about.
So there’s a different ritual written each year?
Yeah. And then we celebrate what we call Sabbath—like Christian holidays call Easter. But we have them on days, like our Yule is on Dec. 21, which is the winter solstice. We have a witch’s ball every year for Halloween. And you can get tickets to that at Pagan Pride Day. … Basically Pagans believe in the goddess—in multiple gods and goddesses. In a nutshell, it’s an earth-based religion, more commonly known as Wicca, and then there’s different paths you can take, like Celtic, Egyptian, Gardenarian.
How long have you been practicing Paganism?
Basically, I started in 1969, but then I kind a dropped it and wandered off to Europe and was married a couple times. I tried different religions, and they didn’t feel comfortable to me. I’ve been full-time for three to four years now.
Why do you think some non-Pagans feel threatened by Paganism?
The unknown. Most people I have found fear the unknown. Instead of trying to research it or learn more about it, they run from it. So we’re hoping to give the community a better understanding of what it’s all about. It’s just another religion, it’s a nature-based religion. We believe in everything that has to do with nature. We don’t believe in the devil. We don’t believe in hell. The devil was basically formed by the Catholic, Christian religion from Pan—the clove and hoof, the Horn God. The Green Man and the Horn God are symbols that most Christians relate to as the devil. But we don’t believe in hell either.
How do people react when you say you’re a Pagan?
I get different reactions. Some people react like, “Oh my god, I’m going to pray for you because I know you’re going to burn in hell.” And other people will ask, “Oh really, what’s that?” It’s about 50/50.
Is there anything more you’d like to add about Paganism or the festival?
Just that the public is welcome to come out and see what it’s all about.