Twin Cities Pagan Pride occurred Sept. 25-26 at its new home in Western Minneapolis. I was there Saturday, and it was already well attended as we set up the UMPA information booth. As always, it is a great place to reconnect with old and new friends. The merchant room was crammed with booths and shoppers. I made it upstairs for the ‘Meet the Pagans’ workshop, a chance for area groups to introduce themselves.
It was a jovial group whose spokesperson each said a few words about their groups and activities. Present were the Coven of the Dragonfly Moon, Sacred Paths Center, Coven of the Standing Stones, Pagan Newswire Collective Minnesota, Upper Midwest Pagan Alliance, Covenant of the Goddess, Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans, Twin Cities Pagans Yahoo Group, and of course, Twin Cities Pagan Pride. Much information was shared and networking occurred between both the groups and the public attending.
I missed all the concerts, but could hear they were a great addition to the overall feeling of the event. The Rest rooms had difficulties by mid-afternoon, and most paced nervously for a few hours. The resolution to take a break and visit one of the local restaurants solved the problem, for most with a good-natured understanding.
I attended the “Embracing Conflict in the Community” workshop offered by EmrysAnu in late afternoon. Folks slowly filled the room with a hint of apprehension in the air. It was consistently packed with about twenty people for the duration. A few came thinking conflicts would be aired, but found it was a serious and thoughtful, full participation discussion of conflict, its process, benefits, pitfalls, and tools for navigating successfully. It began with a stone grounding and individual acknowledgment blessing that was gifted around the circle. The workshop mainly focused on the role of self in conflict. Each has the choice to engage, and to bring their perspective defined by choice, if they do engage. The essence was the first rule of the Witch, “Know Thyself”. Through that mastery you can separate emotional and mental triggers that limit and define your thinking and take individual responsibility for your feelings, and role in embracing conflict. With this we can transform conflict into a positive force for change first within ourselves, then our relationships, and our community.
The day ended with a scurrying exit to attend the COG ritual and other evening events. from this one day’s experience I believe the event was a successful move to a more reasonably priced venue. It had its problems but the camaraderie of this event made up for anything lacking. PNC-MN will be doing a feature on the new Pagan Pride event coming up this winter, Paganicon.
Contrasting my fashion choice of plaid shirt and camo vest, EmrysAnu displayed the hottest choice for witches this year, red shoes!