Witches, druids, and Pagans! Oh my!
It’s June again and time for the annual St. Louis Pagan Picnic in Tower Grove Park. The picnic is presented each year by several local pagan groups. It once was held in July, but anyone who has encountered the hot weather in St. Louis during the month of July will tell you that it’s not the time to be walking around with a robe on.
The picnic features food, live music, drumming circles, bardic circles, discussion groups, and a whole lot of vendors selling their wares. The picnic gives local pagans the opportunity to get together and share their experiences once a year.
There will be an opening and closing circle, and the featured speaker this year will be Oberon Zell, founder of the Church of All Worlds and publisher of Green Egg Magazine. Oberon is a well-respected wizard and the author of many books including “The Grimoire For the Apprentice Wizard.” It’s always nice to have him come back to St. Louis as he got his start here with local Pathways owner Deborah Bourbon. (www.paganpicnic.org)
One of the main reasons I like attending the picnic is that there always seems to be some new and magical happenings there every year. Once, a few years ago, it rained for most of the day on Sunday, the last day of the picnic. Then, at the closing circle, a blind druid appeared complete with a robe and staff and after making a few gestures to the heavens, the clouds magically disappeared.
Another time I attended the picnic with my friend Paul and his ten-year-old daughter, Stormy. Stormy wandered off into the woods for a while and came back and announced: “I want you to meet my new friend!” She then took us deep into the woods to a forgotten grave and began telling us all about the guy that was buried there.
Then there was the time of the magical meeting between Christians and pagans. Every year you’ll usually see a group of very nervous Christians clutching their Bibles and walking around the picnic grounds trying to spread the word. I could just see the looks on their faces when they were asked to walk along all these “wicked and evil people.”
As they approached a man and a woman seated on a blanket, the man suddenly pulled a very large knife from underneath the blanket. The Christians stepped back in awe. Then he began carving a piece of watermelon and asked them if they’d like a slice.
If you’re a student of human behavior like I am, the pagan picnic is a great place to sit back and observe, even if you don’t believe.