My given name is Geoffrey, you can call me Pax… most of my Pagan friends do. I was born on March 27th 1972. I was born and raised in Alaska and lived there all my life, I had traveled other places but never lived anywhere else until September 2005 when I moved to Orlando FL. To start a life with The Big Guy, my ex and increasingly mislabeled life partner; and to go back to collegiate schooling.
(This time I graduated!)
I write this blog, and articles here and there, and am working on being more involved in my Pagan community and on my dream of opening a small coffee-house.
So that’s the Cliff’s Notes, keep reading for the rest…
I really can’t pinpoint a time when magic, mythology, history, arts and crafts, folklore and the occult didn’t interest me. I can remember in grade school my favorite vocabulary and spelling book was one that featured the myths and stories of the Greek Gods. Mythology and Folklore and ESP and The Paranormal and such always fascinated me and featured prominently in my reading as a child. I remember that I would always check out books of ghost stories and mythology. I’m somehow certain that I have read part or all of Time/Life’s many book series on the occult and supernatural. Arm in arm with my interest in the occult I remember a strong sense of connection to the natural world and a powerful sense of Faith and its centrality and importance in my life even if I couldn’t identify my faith at the time.
I remember as a child thinking that reincarnation made sense, and how it seemed like all the Judeo-Christian religions really had a lot in common so why did they argue so much? I remember gathering rain water and plants and flower petals and blending them in an old soup pot. Later I would pour these potions out into the Garden in order to make it grow.
I first heard about Wicca in the novels of Mercedes Lackey, and those Time-Life series, and began to explore magic and Taoist literature. I met a Wiccan and some other fellow travelers and began to dabble in Paganism and magic. Then my mom was diagnosed with Cancer. She eventually died of it. While mom was sick I found myself drifting and the only thing that I seemed able to hold onto was this sense of a siren song in Witchcraft and my sense of Faith and something about The Gods.
My witch friend Mama Rhaevyn took me under her wing & aimed me at some good books about Wicca and served as a mentor/friend/sounding board. She eventually became a dear, dear friend, and a Sister to my heart. I spent most of the first 10 years of my journey as a Witch as, primarily, a solitary. I tried to get to open Circles and to Pagan community Socials when I could find them… but there wasn’t a lot of expressions of Pagan community in my home town, despite the fact that it seemed like I ran into other Pagans all over the blessed place!
I devoured every book I could get my hands on, and prayed, and Circled, read the Tarot, and studied Runes, and cast some Spells, and fell on my face a few times and learned a lot. Heck there was a lot to learn and at that time it seemed like something new was popping up every month! When I first came to Witchcraft (self-dedicated for those that care) in the early 1990′s; well, as many of you know it was a heady time to be Pagan. New books came out all the time and it seemed like many folks were becoming a lot more open to alternative spirituality. And yet I wanted more.
I had friends (other than Mama R) who were also Pagans and Witches, and a few of them even seemed pleasantly serious about that, rather than just going through some sort of ‘stage’. But I wanted more. I wanted structure, and fellowship, and conversation, and sometimes I wanted to be carried away by ritual rather than Crafting it. I wanted a community.
Things began to change for me and my desires for Community in the late 1990′s. Some of this was motivated by my involvement in the Anchorage, Alaska GLBT community from my participation and membership in The Last Frontier Men’s Club (www.tlfmc.org) a men’s social club. They held social events and went on camping trips and did occasional fundraisers for charity. It was cool, and it was there that I started realizing that… you know, I had skills and experience from a variety of places that I could use to maybe help Pagan folks in Anchorage meet and socialize and maybe start pulling together into more of the Community I had been hungering for.
So I decided to try hosting a social event/meet-up. I had a friend who owned a small tea and herb shop/restaurant, and in late November I posted up a bunch of home-made (I still love Microsoft Publisher) Signs for the upcoming Merry Meet in early February of 2000; I then made a point of going around in early January and posting up more signs… some at the same coffee-houses and occult/metaphysical bookstores. As the day approached I was so excited. I was excited and figured I might get 5 or 10 people to show up!!
30 people showed up to that first Merry Meet!
So here is where things started to get active, for a couple of years. I started an online e-list group, and started hosting socials each month and was involved in a lot of great conversations with other Witches and Pagans in the Anchorage area that year… that Summer was a busy one as a lot of Pagans and Witches started to come out of the wood-work and somehow in June or July of that year a bunch of folks pulled off a small conference/public ritual/set of workshops … emboldened, we decided to try and pull off the first Pagan Pride Project event in Alaska.
This is where some of my real learning about community building began, because there were a couple of incidents…
…and I’ve just deleted around 3 paragraphs of ranting, wow nearly a decade and I’m still torqued off, maybe I should work on that?!…
…suffice it to say that THAT was a learning experience about how one or two people who are either unintentionally, or intentionally, causing trouble can really derail a group. The Pagan Pride went on and was fabulous… but a lot of the passionate and committed people melted right back into the wood-work within a few months after that because of some, really – in retrospect- small petty drama and one thoughtless and stupid e-mail.
But I was still there, and it seemed like more folks than ever were interested in the community or were posting to the e-mail list and so I continued to host Merry Meets and even tried hosting an Open Circle, once, and later tried putting on an Open Samhain Rite… but eventually I burned out. I stopped hosting events and stayed on the e-lists and otherwise just kind of went about other parts of my life… I didn’t stop being a Witch or Pagan but I kind of let my spiritual and religious side go dormant… for about 4 years.
Then in late 2004 a number of folks started to post to the e-mail list about community and involvement… and a bunch of us met up… and there was, again, some drama… a cliquish band of trouble makers, but I and many of my friends, had learned in the intervening years how to deal with situations like that. And the trouble-makers faded away and my friends, some of whom were there for that first Pagan Pride in Anchorage, Alaska, are still involved in and working at building Pagan community.
With these fine folks, I co-coordinated the 2005 Anchorage Pagan Pride event… two days before moving to Orlando, Florida and starting a new life.
I had, over the course of that last year in Anchorage, ended up meeting my ex, The Big Guy, and moving (in late 2005) to Orlando FL., to be with him! Timing is, they say, everything.
Well, since then I’ve been going to school (A.S. in Hospitality and Restaurant Management) and working in the Restaurant and Hospitality industry. I haven’t had the time to get as involved in the local Pagan community as I would like over the last 4 years… so I have ended up blogging here and getting involved in the online community.
In the last couple of years I have also been moved to explore other branches of Paganism in addition to Religious Witchcraft. I have made room in my heart for Hecate and Dionysus, and made offerings to the Olympian Gods. I have also recently become involved with the Greco-Egyptian Polytheist organization Neos Alexandria a very welcoming a progressive Reconstructionist organization. I am also exploring Unitarian Universalism at a local U.U. Church. All the while, recently, rebuilding my spiritual and religious practices.
Well, that’s where I’m coming from. Please, sit down, have a cup of tea or coffee, or a glass of wine or a nice rummy punch and take a look around the site…
Pax / Geoffrey