Saturday, September 3, 2011


There comes a time within our tradition when one must select a "toast." Similar to the motto of other traditions, however our toast does not serve as an identity, but rather something you say in Latin before you partake in the Cakes and Ale portion of our ritual. Mine is:

Aut viam inveniam aut faciam

"I shall find a way or I shall make one" which is attributed to Hannibal, although I'm sure he didn't say it in Latin.

I first moved here to the Central Valley about six years ago and hit the holy ground running, getting active in the Pagan community. But I was in this funny little blind spot called Visalia. There was a large Pagan community in Fresno (just north), and another in Bakersfield (just south) but not much here at home. Mostly online discussion forums and yahoo group covens (remember those?) There was only a single small group of Pagans meeting here in town, and for the most part it was identified as a "study group," but it turned out to be a personality cult which disqualified me from membership and I was excommunicated within the first month. I was hurt and angry, but it turned out to be the best thing that ever happened to me, because it made me do my own thing, make my own way.

That way became a Coven, that Coven became a Tradition, that Tradition became a Pagan Prison Ministry and that Ministry became my first book, and that book was blessed with a fore word from Raymond Buckland. I consider it to be a high honor, I'm very proud of that and I have a right to be, I did the work, I earned it.

But I am not alone, my friend Derick is to his community in Bakersfield what I am to mine, and Audra from St Brigid's Academy is for Fresno. We've all come a long way since then. The Fresno, Visalia and Bakersfield Pagan communities are interconnected and networking. Our Coven hosts an open community ritual on the first and third Sundays of the month, and on the others we often do "field trip" activities . Our group has loaded up the Mill Creek Mobile and road-tripped to visit the Kern County Pagan Circle in Bakersfield and many of them have come up to attend our rituals. Who knew earth-based religions were prone to grassroots?

When I was young my father would tell me there three kinds of people, those who make things happen, those who watch things happen, and those who wonder what happened. He said it enough to have the lasting effect he had hoped for. It is in that spirit I raise my cup and toast to those who have come together to make things happen.

I am happy to announce Central Valley Pagan Pride Day!

Here is the event schedule with Facebook links for more information.
Mill Creek Seminary will be doing the opening ceremony,the ritual has been modified to accommodate goals of this particular event: Mill Creek Seminary will perform the “opening” ceremony marking the beginning of the event, Kern County Pagan Circle will perform the “closing” ceremony marking the end of the event, whereby making the whole event one large daylong community ritual.

Come join us and help us make it a good one!

Thank you Lord and Lady for all the Pathfinders in the Pagan Community! Blessed Be.


Audra Taylor said...

Thank you!

PhoenixAngel said...

I will be looking forward to the event Brother Joe.

Thank you for your inspiring motto of hope. I will use this as a mantra