This past weekend was Cleveland Pagan Pride Days, the big Cleveland area gathering that usually happens in late August every year. It started in 2009, and has happened every year except, of course, 2020 (due to the pandemic). I was actually a bit surprised that it continued this year, since the organization's other event, the Cleveland Witches Ball which usually takes place in October, was already cancelled due to the continued rise in cases of the Delta variant. Cleveland Pagan Pride Days (CLE PPD for short) is an outdoor event, but it is usually very crowded in all the small booths, and hundreds of people attend. There were certainly very crowded times, but there were also some more spacious moments, thankfully. I also noticed that most vendors arranged their booths with tables on the outside edges to keep browsing to the walkways, and not have people enter the small tented areas. Many people did wear masks, or have them handy for more crowded instances. (I was working at a booth, so I didn't wear my mask while at the booth, but I put it on any time I walked out into the event itself, into the crowds, to the bathrooms, and so on.)
I have a couple blog posts in the works, saved as drafts here, but I wanted to publish this as a quick note just to say hello, we're here, and to celebrate a little milestone!
It seems like a lot of people who were at CLE PPD on Sunday when I was working were people who had never been to the event before, and some who had never been to ANY Pagan Pride event before. Similarly, several people from our own growing Ohio Reclaiming Witchcraft community also decided to come out to meet up! Because of this, over the course of the weekend I was able to meet four more people from our little online community space, in person! I will leave names out of this public-facing blog post for privacy reasons, since this is visible to anyone on the internet. But two people came to visit me at work (at the museum) on Saturday, and two others met up with me at the museum's booth at Pride on Sunday! We got to chat about future plans for this community, and possible ways to proceed with slowly getting people together, considering the continuing safety of everyone re: the virus. Online rituals and meet-ups are certainly possible, and hopefully more simple to get started with for people's varying schedules.
We did try to plan a small get-together for Lammas-Lughnasadh on August 1 (northern hemisphere), but it was too short notice for everyone to have already had the time available. Having more advance notice that, yes, people will want to potentially get together for sabbats (as one example) could be very helpful here, so that people know to plan ahead for those times. We also tried to get together a Full Moon ritual online, for the one at the end of July, before Lammas/Lughnasadh. A few people said they were able to attend even quite last minute, but at the time of, were not able to attend after all. Ember (that's me, authoring this post) and Hawthorne (a friend and teacher from a Reclaiming community in New Brunswick, Canada) met in the online space that evening, and chatted about growing community, manifesting desires for ourselves and our respective local communities, and our online community as a whole.
Upcoming "Events" or Activities
We were going to start our next discussion and working group of a Reclaiming book in August, but August was such a whirlwind busy month for some of us -- it being summer time, I think a lot of people just have other plans! -- so we're actually now looking to start that in September! Last year we read and discussed Starhawk's classic book, The Spiral Dance (the 20th anniversary edition), and this year we will be starting The Twelve Wild Swans by Starhawk and Hilary Valentine. You can read a bit more about that book, as well as Spiral Dance and the Elements of Magic anthology, in this post about Introductory Reclaiming Books. One of the posts I'm working on and have a draft of is about the Pagan Portals "Reclaiming Witchcraft" book by Irisanya Moon. Until then, I have made a video about the "Reclaiming Witchcraft" book on my YouTube channel (I go by Cara there, and Ember in Reclaiming community).
Dayton Pagan Pride, in Dayton, Ohio, is going to be Saturday, September 18th this year. As of right now it is still scheduled to take place. I will again be working at the booth for the Witchcraft museum where I work, so I will be at that event and hopefully will get to see more folks from our community there, and others besides!
That's a little update for now! If you want to get in touch with the community online, please check out the Contact Us page linked in the tabs at the top of this blog, and fill out the contact form. It may take a little while for me to get back to you, since sometimes we get a lot of submissions at once, and I like to take time to reply to each individually and answer any questions you may have initially. I'm also working on a FAQ page to help field some of the more common questions.
Thanks for reading!
on behalf of Ohio Reclaiming