Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Pagan Pride Day! Part Two

Christian Fernandez is a proud Pagan.
Go ahead, burn me at the stake.
(But please don't use gasoline it's bad for the ozone layer.)

-- Facebook status on Pagan Pride Day, September 18, 2010

So the first Pagan Pride Day ever to take place in the country finally came to pass, and I am absolutely joyful to have taken part in it. To describe my experience in one word, it would be 'justfuckingwow'. (Sorry, I really could not not use an obscene expletive to describe it.)

I had only really intended to take photos of the ceremonies. But when the sound of the flute and the rhythm of the drums began to play and the Pagan audience (plus a few others) joined the stage performers in their dancing, I couldn't help myself from joining the Pagan kin into the fray despite a two-pound camera swinging on my neck and bashing into my ribs as I bust the moves. From then on I was burning with the ecstasy of freedom that I didn't even care how ridiculous and clumsy I look dancing.

The night was spent commingling and introducing ourselves with each other. Funny that I mostly get a bored and indifferent "ah ok" when I introduce myself as "Ian", but get a resounding "Aaa! Ikaw pala yunnnn!" when I mention that I am also called "Murmur".  So note to self: use "Murmur" first when introducing to Pagan folk. It was a delight to have made new acquiantances and finally met people whom I had only known and talked to online. It was also a pleasure of course to have met old friends, some of whom I hadn't seen after many long years.

It's been three days since the event at the time of this writing, but I can still hear the music and the ecstatic chanting playing in my head. I thank The-Powers-That-Be (and the organizers) with all my heart for making this happen for I have never really been so happy and proud as a child of the Moon and Sun.

Bathala Nawa!
Io Eris!
Maferefun Orisha!

The babaylan group Tribu Majicka opens the ceremonies with an  indigenous version of the calling of the quarters, which was followed by an invocation to the god Bathala by UP Professor and Neo-Babaylan Grace Odal.

The Christian cross and the pentagram: two religious symbols rarely seen together.

Maria Lourdes Abulencia, author and "dancer of the Earth", holds the flag of the erehiye ng Inang Banahaw, standing beside her is crystal healer and New Age author, Riza Regis.

Popular Wiccan songs grace the opening ceremony of Earthdance Manila, sung by members of different Wiccan groups and covens.

The dance for Mother Earth begins.

The fire dancers came in after the twilight, giving the crowd a spectacular sight. There were more drumming and dancing during the evening.

A red tent was set up away from the hustle and bustle of the Earthdance crowd by the Gaia circle for prayer, healing, and meditation rituals.

Hours of heart-to-heart talk among the Pagan community after dinner.

A fire ceremony began at 4AM, led by Inca priestess Giselle Gabe, which ended just in time to meet the sunrise.

The Medicine for Gaia circle consisting of members from different faiths.

Earthdance memorabilias: the books - as the rainbow and butterflies on the cover suggest - are a bit too sugary for my taste, but they're free! The Pagan Pride Day button pin looks so cute. It's also a talisman of course :wink:. 

Pagan proud!


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