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Posted on Thursday, September 13 - 2007

" Copyright SouthCoastToday.comDrums pounded, witches danced and smudge wands wafted the aroma of burning sage and lavender on the afternoon breeze. It was Pagan Pride Day on Sunday and the gathering drew a diverse crowd that included musicians, spiritual practitioners, herbalists, craf..."

Participants do the sprial dance , symbolizing the journey to inner discovery, part of the Pagan Pride Festival in Lakeville.

Copyright SouthCoastToday.com

Drums pounded, witches danced and smudge wands wafted the aroma of burning sage and lavender on the afternoon breeze. It was Pagan Pride Day on Sunday and the gathering drew a diverse crowd that included musicians, spiritual practitioners, herbalists, crafters and the simply curious to Ted Williams camp.Admission to the all-day event was free but all who attended were asked to contribute a non-perishable food item for local food pantries. "It's been a very successful day," said Lisa Butler, whocoordinated the event."We have had from three to five hundred people, and we also collected more than 400 pounds of food for local food pantries as well as about 100 pounds of pet food for the humane society." An avowed pagan herself, Ms.

Butler explained that paganism represents an earth-based, polytheistic approach to spirituality. Raised in a religious home she had embarked on her own search for meaning and that journey had eventually led her to paganism. "To me this makes more sense," she said. Sunday's celebration was held to mark the autumnal equinox, since ancient times an occasion for thanksgiving after the harvest. Michelle Tompkins travelled to Lakeville from Sandwich, where she owns the Sandwich Village Herb Shop. "Iclosed the store to be here today," she said. "It's good to meet up with everybody. I think these events serve to put a public face on paganism. It's good for people to see that pagans are not weird. They have kids, and are schoolteachers and nurses." There was live music throughout the afternoon from several bands offering an eclectic blend of Celtic, mystical and New Age styles. For 7-year-old Ian Vezina, the magic was in the handling of the exotic creatures brought to the celebration by C&D Reptiles of Providence. As many onlookers shuddered, he extended a nonchalant hand to accept the Chilean rosehair tarantula proffered by C&D's Derrick Arronholt. "I learned a lot about reptiles," he said. "I learned that the gecco has no eyelids and has to lick his eyes tosee." ......


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