Last night was Pagan Pub Crawl night in Salem, MA. Salem has some events, which are either completely unique, or at least rare. Now, I am sure that there are probably hundreds of Pagan Pub Crawls across the world, but I am also sure that there are few as well attended or colorful as ours. This one is actually officially called the "Salem Witches' Pub Crawl."
Okay, I know calling this pub crawl "ours" is probably a strange sounding thing coming from a decidedly evangelical kind of pastor like myself, but I refer to it loosely as ours. Salem is my city - so it is our pub crawl. These are my friends and they invite me to these events whenever they occur, and are genuinely happy to see me there - so I guess it is our pub crawl.
Regular faces were there. From our church (The Gathering) myself and The Prof. Carlos Z. were there.
It was a generally good event to be at - not a typical Christian potluck or bean supper - a little bawdy in discussion at times, kind of like working on a construction crew, but these are good people with a real concern for myself and for The Gathering. That may sound funny to those who haven't been to The Gathering, or visited us during our times of outreach, but that's the way life in Salem is - the Salem Witches are our friends, and we think that's the way Jesus would have it. WWJD? He would probably go to the Salem Witches Pub Crawl if He lived in Salem. So we just go in His place, since He is not living here in flesh and blood right now.
As a point of highlight I was spent quite some time with Raven Grimassi, and Stephanie Taylor-Grimassi. They are both authors and quite well known in the Pagan world.
Little did I realize, but we had something in common - a previous home - Escondido, CA. Raven and Stephanie owned a Witchcraft store in Escondido from 1998 to 2002. I spent much of my time from Junior High to Bible College in Escondido. It is as close to being the place I hail from as anywhere a transient Californian might come from. Of course, by 1999 I moved away from Southern California (note: I hate the abbreviated version SoCal - that is like telling someone from San Francisco they live in Frisco - not good etiquette) to come to Salem. Raven and Stephanie now live in Springfield, MA, and will be in Salem with some regularity.
We talked about things like the holiness of place, and whether one locale had a special spiritual significance to it, or if that holiness was something one carried around inside themselves. Myself, Raven, Stephanie, Laura Dee, and Lori Bruno discussed this and other topics such as the Middle East struggles, and the divine imprint upon creation. I found Raven and Stephanie to be intelligent and gracious communicators, and hope it will be the beginning of getting to know them better.
This doesn't quite sound like Carmen's Witch's Invitation - does it?