For almost 20 years, I was what I call an “involuntary solitary” witch. I missed the community of the Christian churches in which I grew up, but I didn’t know how to find a pagan equivalent. Of course, that was before the explosion of the internet; now it is easier than ever to find and connect with groups of pagans, large and small. Connecting with pagan community often feels, as it should, like coming home, finally being in a place where you can be yourself, comfortable and open. Here are my top 5 ways to connect for the mid-Michigan pagan community:
ConVocation is probably now the largest indoor pagan event in the country, and we are lucky enough to have it near us here in Michigan! Hosted at the DoubleTree hotel in Dearborn, MI, ConVocation boasts 100’s of workshops and dozens of vendors in a 4-day event that routinely takes over the entire hotel, while the poor muggles booked for their business trips drink in the bar and stare in amazement, wondering what they’ve gotten themselves into! From the smoking tent conversations to the mermaids in the pool, from the largest indoor drum circle in the Midwest to the largest selection of serious rituals, from the Masquerade Ball to the Charity Raffle, from the hospitality suite on every floor to the Cards Against Humanity regulars in the lobby, this event must be experienced to be truly appreciated. You can go for just one day, but take it from me: you’ll find it very difficult to go home at the end of that one day!
2. Weavers of the Web
Weavers of the Web has been serving the greater Lansing area since the beginning of 2018 with weekly meetings and regular Sabbat rituals. Any given Wednesday night, you can find the Weavers sharing fellowship, experience, and knowledge during Threads of Wisdom discussions, meditations, workshops, and rituals. All of their events are open to the public and are also available online for folks who can’t make it in-person for any reason. They were the only pagan group offering regular online fellowship and ritual from the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, and their continuing commitment to the inclusion of all people is serious. If you would like to be a part of a community of witches, Wiccans, and pagans who will welcome all friendly travelers, where you can step away for weeks or months and still be warmly welcomed when you return, and where there is a path for anybody who is committed to train and teach and share, check them out!
3. Pagans Night Out
These are usually small, very local affairs organized by local volunteers. Lansing has a couple of PNOs, a monthly one by Weavers of the Web and at least one by another local group. Sometimes these meet at restaurants or coffee houses, sometimes at local bookstores or metaphysical shops. These are usually pure socializing opportunities, although some groups may do teachings and/or rituals. Look on Google, Facebook, Meetup.com, and other social networking sites to find these events, and take the opportunity to meet other locals in-person.
4. Pagan Pride Day
The Pagan Pride Project is a national umbrella organization that seeks to make paganism more visible in the general community, so that we don’t have to feel alone and different. Modeled on the bigger Gay Pride movement, Pagan Pride Day events happen across the country every summer and fall, offering a day of rituals, workshops, and shopping along with a chance to socialize and network with fellow local pagans. PPD events have been held in Lansing, Grand Rapids, Ann Arbor, and Detroit, to name just a few Michigan locations. While many groups canceled their events during the pandemic (or took them online), look for more in-person events to return in 2022.
5. The Midwest Witches Bazaar and Michigan Witches Ball
This annual double-header event during October boasts the biggest pagan shopping experience in the Midwest, followed up by one of the biggest charity fundraiser events. The Midwest Witches Bazaar boasts dozens of vendors in one location, with free admission and even some door prizes available. Shop until you drop from local artists and shops…and then it’s time for dancing! The Michigan Witches Ball has a new theme every year, with costume contests, raffles, door prizes, and an open bar and DJ. Funds raised through both the Bazaar and the Ball are donated each year to a designated charity. What a great way to relax and meet new people!
These are just a few of the opportunities available; there are more to find with a few minutes of searching on Google and elsewhere. These days, there’s just no longer any excuse for being an involuntary solitary!