A Newcomer Goes to Pagan Pride Day


I walked into the Alamo City Event Center for San Antonio’s Pagan Pride Day with certain expectations. My only previous experience with paganism stemmed from watching movies like Practical Magic and The Craft, films centered on young, attractive women who just happen to dabble in some dark shit, so clearly I expected the SAPPD crowd to primarily consist of women. I was pretty spot-on with this assumption. While there were several male vendors in the event center, nearly every man I saw was accompanied with a woman. Apparently, Pagan Pride Day is not an event you attend with your bros.

Aside from expecting a building full of mysterious lady-witches dressed in long, flowy skirts, and toting around cats and toads, I just knew that a well-meaning coven representative would try to convert me during SAPPD. I was fully prepared to stamp my foot and insist that Wicca is not for me, despite the years I’ve spent longing to swish around a Harry Potter-style wand, casting away dementors and what-have-you. My expectation was solidified when I was introduced to the “dot system” at the event. If you are already a member of pagan society and comfortable sharing your knowledge with others, you would wear a blue dot. If, like me, you don’t know a healing crystal from a piece of gravel, you would wear a green dot. I wore my green dot proudly, ready to be imparted with spiritual information. Unfortunately, I was not flooded with information by eager pagans, nor did I get a chance to perform my “thanks, but no thanks” speech to any converters.

The most talkative people I encountered during the day were the vendors. There were around 20 tables inside the event center that were selling handcrafted items – most of which I didn’t recognize or understand. Thankfully, the vendors were willing to answer my questions. I learned that hand-dipped incense is better than the store-bought junk, that no, those are not feather quills but tools to waft sage around when smudging your home, and that sometimes a necklace is just a necklace. There were a lot of well-made items for sale – I came to realize the event was more of a craft show than anything else, and if I were to return next year it would be to shop for crafts.

Out of the whole center, the table I kept returning to was full of crystals. Granted, pretty much every vendor was selling crystals and stones in some shape or form but this table was so pretty. There were pyramid-shaped crystals and about a dozen four-inch crystal rods. Upon inquiring as to the purpose of these rods, I was told they were wands. Yes, wands. I asked the vendor about the purpose of the wands and if each one was different (there were purple wands, and mint-colored wands, and a stubby little black one). She gave me a vague answer about how every wand does the same thing, but it’s important that you choose the one you are most drawn to. Suddenly, things got very the-wand-chooses-the-wizard and I felt like finally my Harry Potter dreams were coming true. I bought a delicate wand made of purple quartz and resolved to swish it around once I was in the safety of my own home.

I later realized my wand was for healing purposes and not for spell-casting. It is now being put to use as a delicate decoration in my bathroom until I need it to unclog some negative energy along my spine or something.