Cleveland Area Pagan Pride is the highlight of the year for me in many ways. I love seeing all the different kinds of people, hearing folksy music, smelling incense in the air, and getting Henna tattoos.
The last two years I have also presented at PPD, and the coven has had a booth for fundraising. As I adamantly do not believe in charging “dues” for my coven, fundraising allows us to buy supplies without overburdening any one member (e.g., candles, tools, food for feast, etc.).
The presentation went very well. I co-taught a workshop with my long-time friend Cara Mia (a.k.a., cutewitch772…you can look her up on YouTube). We presented “The Art of Ritual”–where eclectic and traditional ritual meet, and what to expect in private vs public ritual settings. We also designed an impromptu ritual with the attendees. Afterward one of the women thanked us for the presentation, and later another found me at my coven’s booth and asked if she could give me a hug–which I heartily agreed to because I love hugs! She said it was immensely helpful for her as she had been trying to practice on her own and had some concerns about whether she was “doing it right,” and we helped her to realize that what she was doing was beautiful and meaningful. We also connected on a mundane level because we’re both nurses. So that was delightful.
My poor reader, however, got very burned out doing Tarot readings on the first day. It was a strangely difficult day for a number of reasons, but she persevered for most of the day. Truly she is one of the best readers I’ve ever known, I just wonder if all the magical people around were creating an energy-suck because she ended up staying home sick on Sunday.
This, of course, meant that I was going to try my hand at doing public cold reads. For the very first time ever.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been reading Tarot cards on and off for 17 years. I read for my coven and friends. But I have never, EVER done public readings in exchange for money in all my years of practicing Wicca and reading cards. Pro-tip? Making your first public appearance at Pride is like jumping head first into the deep end, and there’s a giant squid at the bottom, and a hurricane coming up top, and the tie on your bikini is coming unraveled…
OK, ok, that’s kind of dramatic–but it was nerve-wracking! It actually got better as I started to get tired because I wasn’t able to give as much energy to my nerves, I had to give myself over to the Reading of the cards, and I started picking up on things I never would have thought I’d pick up on for total strangers or even acquaintances. One of the people I read for is a friend–but I found things in her reading that she hadn’t told anyone about, including me, so it was a great way to talk about some things she had weighing on her mind.
However, I could only read for about 4 hours before I hit burn-out. I simply didn’t have the stamina for public readings, having never done them before. I must have done well, though, because I did get a few tips!
It also helps with bolstering one’s confidence. Sometimes you just don’t know what you’re capable of until you go running into it full tilt. Taking risks and challenging yourself is how we grow.
We were also surrounded by some awesome people, including my new most favorite humans–Kim and Tom with A Creative Apothecary in Akron. If you live in NE Ohio, or if you’re visiting, go check them out. They’re bubbly and a little nerdy and just utterly delightful, and such a huge help to us in getting everything set up! You won’t find kinder people, and their shop is like a safe haven unto itself. Go check them out. Now. Go. Shoo. ::waves hands in encouraging manner::
Pride was awesome. I’m going to be at Dayton Pagan Pride on the 16th as well, again with my friend, Cara Mia. Feel free to say hi if you’re going to be there, too!