The Field Guide to Neopagandom
1. Bright-Eyed Novice
You just read this cool book about a religion where there's a
Goddess and a God, and they meet outside in nature, instead of some
scary old building. They think sex is GOOD not evil, and you want to know
where to sign up.
Mispronounces god/dess names, has to think a moment about which is deosil
and which is widdershins. Has a shiny new athame (rhymes with "A-frame".)
2. Grand Old Wo/Man
Actually remembers Woodstock (the first one.) Will tell you about
the time they dropped acid with Kerry Wendell Thornley - or maybe it was
Robert Anton Wilson. Anyway, it was somebody with three names. Or was it
three people with one name?
Luxuriant gray locks, listens very intently, knows dish about people
you've only read about.
3. Tree Hugging Nature Sprite
Most prized possession: one of Judi Barry's old tree spikes.
Simultaneously believes in universal love for humanity AND returning the
planet to a pristine, uncorrupted state. Apt to remove clothes and fondle
the shrubbery at a moment's notice. Can discuss compost in great detail.
No meat, no fragrance, no leather, no plastic, no smoke, no drugs, no
eco-exploitive products, no animal tested cosmetics, no TV, no car,
but very tolerant.
4. Anal Retentive Ceremonial
Book collection actually holds up the ceiling in places. Is studying
Greek, Latin and Hebrew all at once. Does "workings" instead of
"rituals". All twenty volumes of their magical diaries are all in
Won't go anywhere without a book. Is constantly aware of which direction
is east. Dresses according to planetary conditions, or whatever was on
sale at Wal-Mart.
5. Womyncentric Gynocrat
A man's shadow crossed her altar once and she spent three weeks
purifying it. She'll have no wands in her chalice, thank you. No boys
allowed in her full-moon club. Can hold forth for hours on the magical
properties of menstrual blood.
Tiny axes or curved knives, just right for amputating a penis, are a
favored symbol and often hang conveniently from her body parts. When a
man approaches she rolls her eyes and stops talking.
6. Sexy Pagan Nymph
Oh, they're so nice! All that warm, round, sex-positive flesh --
and you can actually carry on a conversation with them between orgasms...
Cute. Horny. Displays prominent cleavage. Will recite love poetry to you
under a full moon. Likes to do it outdoors. Often destitute. All too few
7. Corporate Closet Witch
"Hey, boss -- I'd like to take February 2nd as a personal day..."
Has an entire chapter of their Book Of Shadows concerned with spells for
purifying the workplace. Doesn't mind working on Christmas, especially if
there's overtime involved. Quit being overtly Pagan at work since being
canned by that born-again boss, but still refuses to say "Merry
Can assume a properly smiley work persona at the drop of a hat.
Constantly glances around the room anxiously looking for co-workers and
their spies. Non-distinctive style of dress, no conspicuous tattoos.
8. Childe Ov Kaos
Can name seventeen industrial goth bands without pausing to think. Knows
what a Prince Albert is. Personally feels that if no panicky
headlines appear the day after you do a ritual, you screwed up. Painted
on their jacket, engraved in their flesh and/or boldly displayed as
jewelry is an emblem which resembles a combination of corporate logo and
arcane symbol. If you don't know what it means, they'll think you're a
Easy to picture as an alternative musician or bike messenger, difficult
to visualize as a school teacher or research assistant, impossible to
imagine as a TV news anchor or bank officer. Always wears black leather,
even when sleeping.
9. Pagan Celebrity
At conventions, stays on the hotel floor that requires a special
key for elevator access. Lurks around knots of conversation eavesdropping
in order to see if their name is being mentioned. Arrives in helicopter
especially for rituals. Starts every sentence with "I". If you ask them
how it's going, they hand you a press release.
Always has plenty of books to autograph and will personally sell them to
you at a slight discount from cover price. Never seen unaccompanied by
beefy Amazonian bodyguards and doe-eyed hangers-on. Seems vaguely afraid
of anyone they don't already know.
10. Scary Devil Worshipper
Would never be caught dead skyclad. Rarely smiles, except in
a snide, knowing way which insinuates you are an ignorant peasant worthy
of conquest. Secretly enjoys Rush Limbaugh and read The Bell Curve with
smug satisfaction. Fascinated with Nazis. Probably has never hurt a fly, but
they want you to think they're capable of vast destruction. Hasn't the
foggiest idea what Paganism is; usually gets out when they find there's no
Lots of black and red. Men like goatees, women favor heavy black
eyeliner. At least one inverted pentagram somewhere on their person. If
you see several of them getting tanked in a bar, it would be wise to stay
Every magical gathering has at least one of these, along with several
variants along the lines of Gerald Gardner, Tituba, Morgan LeFey, or
somebody who was Atlantean royalty. Many of them were abducted by
aliens recently, and have disturbing dreams rich with arcane symbolism
that they will tell you all about, in great detail.
Look for the intense gleam in the eyes, the backpack rattling with
various psychiatric medications, and the garments that were clearly
designed and tailored on another planet.
12. Ravin' Pagan
Young and psychedelic. Can dance non-stop all night. Refuses to
do boring Eurocentric rituals and prefers deities from sunny climes with
lots of interesting local plants. Can say "Ayahuasca" ten times real fast
and deliver long quotes from Terrence McKenna.
Dresses in color combinations that hurt the eyes unless you've taken
ecstasy. Bloodshot eyes, blissful smile, never goes anywhere without
13. Fairie Queen
Is he a she? Is she a he? Are they a couple, or are those two a couple or
are all four of them a quadruple? If getting answers to these questions
could disturb you, best stay away. If, on the other hand, these kind of
questions seem overly judgmental, you might have a real good time...
When you look at this person, does every sex act you've ever experienced
in your life seem hopelessly vanilla? If so, congratulations -- you've found
14. High Episcopagan
Do their rituals have a script, a choreographer, a stage manager, an
orchestra with chorus and last at least three hours? It's a High
Episcopagan! They can memorize pages and pages of Olde Englishe, have
more ritual garbs than most people have socks, and consider their main pagan
influences to be Gerald Gardner, Judy Garland and Busby Berkeley.
Book of Shadows exceeds five volumes. Knows every note of "Carmina
Burana" Don't ask them about that 18th century seed pearl trim on their
ritual hat unless you've got an hour to spare.
If it's in a book, it must be true. If it's in an old book, it must
really be true. If it's in an old book that was handed down from an
oral tradition of people who couldn't read, then it must really be
way true. Gnashes their teeth if anyone shows up at a circle wearing a
watch, glasses, or other mechanical assistance. Believes that anyone who
lives in a city, eats meat or has a regular job dare not call themselves
Has hissy fits when somebody brings up the old "Crowley ghosted Gardner's
books" argument. Goes around correcting everyone's Gaelic/old
16. Dances With Bunnyrabbits.
Uses animal symbolism to express nearly all opinions and
feelings. Charter member of PETA. Thinks meat eaters should be publicly
executed. Has many, many, many pets. Has a spirit animal. Personally owns
927 models, pictures, and other depictions of their spirit animal.
Not counting the Pagan his/herself, how many animals can you see when
looking at them? If the count surpasses five (including critters found on
tattoos, jewelry, garments and undies), you've found a worshipper of beasties.
17. Priest/ess of Political Correctness
Analyzes everything they read or hear for sexist-racist-homophobic-
imperialist-Eurocentric content without paying attention to what is
actually being said. Believes in personal liberty -- everyone has the
right to be overbearing, dogmatic and holier-than-thou, not just the
Xtian Right. Incredibly boring yet annoyingly self-righteous all at the
Beady hyper-alert little eyes are constantly in motion, waiting for
someone to do or say something bad. Has loud and attention attracting
hissy fits when confronted with everyday things such as advertising or
corporate franchises. Rudimentary sense of humor is rarely activated.
18. Our Lady Of Intense Suffering
Is constantly persecuted. You're probably persecuting her right
now, you just don't realize it. Became a Pagan because she decided it was
that most persecuted religion of all. Can't enjoy anything because it
would be selfish to have any fun when so many are suffering.
Tales of woe. Even less of a sense of humor than #17. Bristles when
anyone says the words "masochist" or "whining".
19. I Am Not Spock (at the moment)
Knows at least three filks about Cthulhu and at least forty Star
Trek jokes. Has found a clever way to create simple furniture from stacks
of science fiction paperbacks. Can name ninety different kinds of space
Two fisted drinking style. Probably still lives with parents. Many
cryptic buttons, badges, patches and other insignia. Too smart for their
Insist that they aren't homophobic; they just believe that Paganism is
about a goddess and a god and they do it and what could be more obvious
than that? It just doesn't "work right" if you try any other way! Are
secretly afraid that gays and/or lesbians are dying to jump their tender
Living spaces abound with depictions of satyrs with enormous genitals
and huge-breasted, doe-eyed goddesses. Long manicured nails and wreaths
of flowers (on females only -- men have big, bushy beards instead.)
21. Norse Code
Heroic and Vikingly, these Pagans often get into trouble with
festival organizers and park rangers due to their fondness for running
around with a huge battle-ax in one hand and a full mead horn in the
other. They throw the best parties, but if you're a wimp, you're
expressly not invited.
Look for the large, foreboding, biker-like persons wearing runes, with
many pounds of amber dangling from their necks.