Sunday, June 26, 2011

Does Canada have more Pagans than the USA?

Yesterday I attended the B.C. Highland Games in Canada. It was somewhat cold, and somewhat wet. I soon discovered that I sort of had two options: I could either sit in one place where I would be dry but chilled, or I could get up and move around so that I would be warm but also a little wet.

I opted to be warm.

During my meanderings I met two Pagans in less than ten minutes. Neither of them wore pentacles, but I was wearing my pentacle pendant and I have found that other Pagans have ways of identifying themselves to me. The first one asked where I'd gotten my pendant, saying that she'd been looking for a pent styled just like mine but was didn't have much luck. (I got my pent several years ago and all I could tell her was that I found it online via a Google search.) The second Pagan greeted me with "Merry meet!" (Unfortunately I'm not used to people greeting me that way so it took me perhaps five seconds to register exactly what had been said and what it meant.)

Just meeting two other Pagans at one event was surprising enough. But later in the day when I was getting some food I realized that the woman who took my order was wearing pentacles! So that was three fellow Pagans (ok, three Pagans not including my own family members who were also in attendance) I met at one event in Canada.

Then today I was looking at a paper that we had picked up in Canada. I was looking at an article about dogs, and there was a photograph of a guy with a dog. Much to my surprise, I realized that this guy was wearing a pentacle!

Based on everything written above, I could come to the conclusion that B.C. Canada is swarming (relatively speaking) with Pagans. This isn't something that I've noticed in previous visits to Canada, though.

I know I have some Canadian readers. How many Pagans are there up there?


Debra She Who Seeks said...

I don't know whether we have more pagans up here than you do in the States, but I suspect our pagans feel safer and freer to identify themselves publicly. Canada does not have as strong or as powerful a right-wing Christian population as the U.S. Plus I suspect you were in the Vancouver area, which is kind of like "Canada's California," where all the free spirits live!

Sarita Rucker said...

Yes we were in the general Vancouver area, I think. To be absolutely precise, we were in Coquitlam.

And I wish I could argue that Pagans feel just as free and safe down here...but I'm not sure that I can. Certainly things are pretty good here in Portland, but I know that's not the case in all parts of this country.

Jeanne Womack said...

Sarita, you and your family are the only pagans I have known in my lifetime. However, I know innumerable Christians! Just F.Y.I. :)

Sarita Rucker said...

Aunt Jeanne, I'm sure you've met other Pagans and just didn't know it. We're definitely a minority, but you can't go through life without meeting one of us face to face every once in a while. And not all Pagans wear pentacles or anything else to ID themselves as Pagans, so you can't always tell by looking if you're speaking with a Pagan.

(And truthfully not everyone who wears a pentacle is Pagan...sometimes rebellious teens, etc. wear pents just for shock value, not because they identify with the symbol.)

Judy said...

Like Aunt Jeanne, I'm not sure whether I've met some Pagans or Pagan radar does not always work...and many times in the US, a Pagan does not know how they will be accepted...I would live to find some in my area as being solitary is fine, but sometimes I would like to discuss things with like minds...