The Field Guide to Neopagans
1. Bright-Eyed Novice
You just read this cool book about a religion where there's a Goddess
and a God, and they meet outside in nature, instead of some scary old
building. They think sex is good not evil, and you want to know where to
Distinguishing Signs: Cute. Acts horny but really just craves male
(daddys') approval. Displays prominent cleavage. Will recite love poetry to
you under a full moon. Likes to do it outdoors. Often destitute. Men say
that there are "all too few of them."
2. Grand Old Wo/Man
Actually remembers Woodstock (the first one.) Will tell you about the
time they dropped acid with Kerry Wendell Thornley - or maybe it was
Robert Anton Wilson. Anyway, it was somebody with three names. Or was it
people with one name?
Distinguishing Signs: Luxuriant gray locks, listens very intently,
knows dish about people you've only read about.
3. Tree Hugging Nature Sprite
Most prized possession: one of Judi Barry's old tree spikes.
Simultaneously believes in universal love for humanity AND returning
the planet to a pristine, uncorrupted state. Apt to remove clothes and
fondle the shrubbery at a moment's notice. Can discuss compost in
Distinguishing Signs: No meat, no fragrance, no leather, no
plastic, no smoke, no drugs, no eco-exploitive products, no animal
tested cosmetics, no TV, no car, but very tolerant.
4. Anal Retentive Ceremonial
Book collection actually holds up the ceiling in places. Is studying
Greek, Latin and Hebrew all at once. Does "workings" instead of
"rituals". All twenty volumes of their magical diaries are all in
Distinguishing Signs: Won't go anywhere without a book. Is
constantly aware of which direction is east. Dresses according to
planetary conditions, or whatever was on sale at Wal-Mart.
5. Womyncentric Gynocrat
A man's shadow crossed her altar once and she spent three weeks
purifying it. She'll have no wands in her chalice, thank you. No boys
allowed in her full-moon club. Can hold forth for hours on the magical
properties of menstrual blood.
Distinguishing Signs: Tiny axes or curved knives, just right for
amputating a penis, are a favored symbol and often hang conveniently
from her body parts. When a man approaches she rolls her
eyes and stops talking.
6. Sexy Pagan Nymph
Oh, they're so nice! All that warm, round, sex-positive flesh --
and you can actually carry on a conversation with them between
orgasms... pant, drool...
Distinguishing Signs: Cute. Horny. Displays prominent cleavage.
Will recite love poetry to you under a full moon. Likes to do it
outdoors. Often destitute. All too few of them.
7. Corporate Closet Witch
"Hey, boss -- I'd like to take February 2nd as a personal day..."
Has an entire chapter of their Book Of Shadows concerned with
spells for purifying the work place. Doesn't mind working on Christmas,
especially if there's overtime involved. Quit being overtly Pagan
at work since being canned by that born-again boss, but still refuses
to say "Merry Christmas."
Distinguishing Signs: Can assume a properly smiley work persona at
the drop of a hat. Constantly glances around the room anxiously looking for co-workers and their spies. Non-distinctive style of dress, no
8. Childe Ov Kaos
Can name seventeen industrial goth bands without pausing to think.
Knows what a Prince Albert is. Personally feels that if no panicky
> headlines appear the day after you do a ritual, you screwed up.
Painted on their jacket, engraved in their flesh and/or boldly displayed
as jewelry is an emblem which resembles a combination of corporate
logo and arcane symbol. If you don't know what it means, they'll
think you're a dweeb.
Distinguishing Signs: Easy to picture as an alternative musician or
bike messenger, difficult to visualize as a school teacher or research
assistant, impossible to imagine as a TV news anchor or bank officer.
Always wears black leather, even when sleeping.
9. Pagan Celebrity
At conventions, stays on the hotel floor that requires a special key
for elevator access. Lurks around knots of conversation eavesdropping
in order to see if their name is being mentioned. Arrives in helicopter
especially for rituals. Starts every sentence with "I". If you ask them
how it's going, they hand you a press release.
Distinguishing Signs: Always has plenty of books to autograph and
will personally sell them to you at a slight discount from cover price.
Never seen unaccompanied by beefy amazonian bodyguards and
doe-eyed hangers-on. Seems vaguely afraid of anyone they don't
10. Scary Devil Worshipper
Would never be caught dead skyclad. Rarely smiles, except in a
snide, knowing way which insinuates you are an ignorant peasant
worthy of conquest. Secretly enjoys Rush Limbaugh and read
The Bell Curve with smug satisfaction. Fascinated with Nazis.
Probably has never hurt a fly, but they want you to think they're
capable of vast destruction.
Distinguishing Signs: Lots of black and red. Men like goatees,
women favor heavy black eyeliner. At least one inverted pentagram
somewhere on their person. If you see several of them getting tanked
in a bar, it would be wise to stay far away.
Every magical gathering has at least one of these, along with
several variants along the lines of Gerald Gardner, Tituba, Morgan
LeFey, or somebody who was Atlantean royalty. Many of them
were abducted by aliens recently, and have disturbing dreams rich
with arcane symbolism that they will tell you all about, in great
Distinguishing Signs: Look for the intense gleam in the eyes, the
backpack rattling with various psychiatric medications, and the
garments that were clearly designed and tailored on another planet.
12. Ravin' Pagan
Young and psychedelic. Can dance non-stop all night. Refuses to do
boring Eurocentric rituals and prefers deities from sunny climes with
lots of interesting local plants. Can say "Ayahuasca" ten times real fast
deliver long quotes from Terrence McKenna.
Distinguishing Signs: Dresses in color combinations that hurt the
eyes unless you've taken ecstasy. Bloodshot eyes, blissful smile, never
goes anywhere without ritual drum.
13. Fairie Queen
Is he a she? Is she a he? Are they a couple, or are those two a
couple or are all four of them a quadruple? If getting answers to
these questions could disturb you, best stay away. If, on the other
hand, these kind of questions seem overly judgmental, you might
have a real good time ...
Distinguishing Signs: When you look at this person, does every sex
act you've ever experienced in your life seem hopelessly vanilla? If so,
congratulations -- you've found a Fairie!
14. High Episcopagan
Do their rituals have a script, a choreographer, a stage manager,
an orchestra with chorus and last at least three hours? It's a High
Episcopagan! They can memorize pages and pages of Olde Englishe,
have more ritual garbs than most people have socks, and consider
their main Pagan influences to be Gerald Gardner, Judy Garland and
Distinguishing Signs: Book of Shadows exceeds five volumes. Knows
> every note of "Carmina Burana" Don't ask them about that 18th century
seed pearl trim on their ritual hat unless you've got an hour to spare.
If it's in a book, it must be true. If it's in an old book, it must
> really be true. If it's in an old book that was handed down from an
oral tradition of people who couldn't read, then it must really be way
true. Gnashes their teeth if anyone shows up at a circle wearing a
watch, glasses, or other mechanical assistance. Believes that anyone
who lives in a city, eats meat or has a regular job dare not call
themselves a pagan.
Distinguishing Signs: Has hissy fits when somebody brings up the
old "Crowley ghosted Gardner's books" argument. Goes around correcting
everyone's gaelic/old norse/latin/babylonian.
16. Dances With Bunnyrabbits
Uses animal symbolism to express nearly all opinions and feelings.
Charter member of PETA. Thinks meat eaters should be publicly
executed. Has many, many, many pets. Has a spirit animal. Personally
owns 927 models, pictures, and other depictions of their spirit animal.
Distinguishing Signs: Not counting the pagan his/herself, how many
animals can you see when looking at them? If the count surpasses five
(including critters found on tattoos, jewelry, garments and undies),
you've found a worshipper of beasties.
17. Priest/ess of Political Correctness
Analyzes everything they read or hear for sexist-racist-homophobic-
imperialist-Eurocentric content without paying attention to what is
actually being said. Believes in personal liberty -- everyone has the
right to be overbearing, dogmatic and more-Pagan-than-thou, not just the
Xtian Right. Incredibly boring yet annoyingly self-righteous all at the
Distinguishing Signs: Beady hyper-alert little eyes are constantly
in motion, waiting for someone to do or say something bad. Has loud
and attention attracting hissy fits when confronted with everyday
things such as advertising or corporate franchises. Rudimentary
sense of humor is rarely activated.
18. Our Lady Of Intense Suffering
Is constantly persecuted. You're probably persecuting her right
now, you just don't realize it. Became a Pagan because she decided
it was the most persecuted religion of all. Can't enjoy anything
because it would be selfish to have any fun when so many are suffering.
Distinguishing Signs: Tales of woe. Even less of a sense of humor than
Priest/ess of Political Correctness. Bristles when anyone says the words
"masochist" or "whining".
19. I Am Not Spock (at the moment)
Knows at least three filks about Cthulhu and at least forty Star
Trek jokes. Has found a clever way to create simple furniture from
stacks of science fiction paperbacks. Can name ninety different kinds
of space ship.
Distinguishing Signs: Two fisted drinking style. Probably still
lives with parents. Many cryptic buttons, badges, patches and other
insignia. Too smart for their own good.
Insist that they aren't homophobic; they just believe that Paganism
is about a goddess and a god and they do it and what could be more
obvious than that? It just doesn't "work right" if you try any other
way! Are secretly afraid that gays and/or lesbians are dying to jump their
tender hetro bones.
Distinguishing Signs: Living spaces abound with depictions of satyrs
with enormous genitals and huge-breasted, doe-eyed goddesses. Long
manicured nails and wreaths of flowers (on females only -- men have
big, bushy beards instead).
21. Norse Code
Heroic and vikingly, these pagans often get into trouble with festival
organizers and park rangers due to their fondness for running around
with a huge battle-ax in one hand and a full mead horn in the other.
They throw the best parties, but if you're a wimp, you're expressly not
Distinguishing Signs: Look for the large, foreboding, biker-like
persons wearing runes, with many pounds of amber dangling from their
22. Pentacles, Inc.
Pagans have disposable income too, right? So how come they aren't
buying my hand forged Venus of Willendorf necklaces -- they come in
silver and gold, and each one has a genuine cubic zirconium belly
button. Would you like a reading? Will that be Visa or MasterCard?
Distinguishing Signs: Has business cards featuring little embossed
pentagrams. You've never seen so much Egyptian god/dess jewelry on
a human being in your whole life.
23. Monster Truck Pagan
Can build own house, kill own food, school own children, and brew
own hootch. Owns guns. Anointing oil is 30 weight. Scrying mirror
says "objects are closer than they appear".
Distinguishing Signs: Athame is a Gerber with a compass and
waterproof secret compartment. Eats meat with visible twitches
of pleasure. Ritual robes made from cammo fabric.
Often found discussing the best method of removing hot wax from
keyboards. Seems unaccustomed to sunlight. Have had coven-mates
for years whom they have never seen face to face, much less know
which continent they live on.
Distinguishing Signs: Casts circle with #5 torx driver. Chalice
contains Jolt. BoS is writ in in Perl. Refers to eclectic ritual as
"cross-platforming." Thinks "naked in your rites" means a non-GUI