Best Bizarro Hey There Shamans, Druids, Wiccas

Pagan Pride Harvest Festival

Photo by Larry Dalton

You knew the kid in high school. He was the one who played Dungeons and Dragons with his friends, listened to the rock group Rush (the early stuff) and wore a long flowing velvet cape. He said he was a pagan and you had no idea what in hell that actually was. But you shunned it anyway, because, well, it all just seemed so bizarre to you. And, after all, don’t pagans worship the devil?

Turns out, that kid was going through a phase, not practicing a religion. If you really want to check out what a pagan is, head over to the Fair Oaks VFW (yep, it’s been held at the Veterans of Foreign Wars for three years) on September 22-23, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. There you’ll find the annual Sacramento Pagan Pride Harvest Festival where all sorts of Pagans—including shamans, druids and wiccas—will be partying down for the Autumnal Equinox, one of eight sacred festivals spaced throughout the year.

If it’s not a disaffected high-school kid with a severe inferiority complex, then just what is a pagan? According to Michael Gorman, a druid and the festival coordinator, the term “pagan” originally meant “country bumpkin.” It was a term the early Christians hung on the country people who worshiped nature instead of Jesus. Now, Gorman says, paganism is making a comeback. After a trip he took earlier this year to Ireland, Gorman says that many people are retracing their roots and finding a pagan past. “The Irish people are finally leaving behind the church and the British and finding their roots in paganism,” he says.