Photo submitted
                                Members of the group Whidbey Witches, Heathens, Druids & Pagans celebrate with a maypole on the beach. The group is holding a pagan pride festival this weekend.

Photo submitted Members of the group Whidbey Witches, Heathens, Druids & Pagans celebrate with a maypole on the beach. The group is holding a pagan pride festival this weekend.

Pagans to show their pride in Coupeville

A group will be adding a little pagan spirit to this year’s Coupeville Arts and Crafts Festival.

Whidbey Witches, Heathens, Druids & Pagans is holding the first ever “Whidbey Island Pagan Pride Festival” from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Aug. 10 at Coupeville Town Park. The unique event will feature music, vendors and free workshops.

Aaron Taggert and Tabitha Pierzchala, members of the group, explained that paganism has become more mainstream in recent years and many of the misconceptions have vanished. People understand, for example, that it’s totally unrelated to devil worship or goat sacrifice.

“If you’re interested in what we are, it’s a good way to learn about us,” Taggert said.

They are not fly-by-night pagans. Some members of the group have been practicing pagans or Wiccans for many years.

“I’ve been out of the broom closet for 20 years,” Pierzchala said.

It was pure luck that the Pagan Pride Festival will coincide with the popular arts and crafts festival. The members hope that it will mean more foot traffic for them and a more interesting day in Coupeville.

As the name of the group suggests, paganism is more of an umbrella term that covers different beliefs. The central tenets of the group, Taggert said, include respect for nature, a sense of fellowship and a search for inner happiness. The practice might involve herbs, meditation, rituals and celebrations.

At the festival, free coffee will be offered to visitors in cups with Tarot cards so that people can learn what they mean, Taggert said.

Also, members of the group will be presenting workshops on different subjects, from pentacle hair braiding to “Pagan Paths.”

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