"A lot of pagans have gotten nervous," says Amy Mokricky, who is helping to organize this year's Greater Pittsburgh Pagan Pride Day on Sun., Oct. 2. "Around 2000, we were experiencing a lot of growth, people being open about who they were. With the Bush Administration, people are just frightened. People are pretty skittish right now."
Still, says Mokricky, owner of Moonstones in Dormont, a store for all things metaphysical, worldwide the number of such pagan pride events has quadrupled since 1990, to 170 this year in the U.S. alone.
The day includes a public ritual celebrating the harvest and dedicated to Ceres, the Roman corn goddess, run by the local Druid group Sassafras Grove, as well as a charity drive for nonperishable goods to help Hurricane Katrina victims. Mokricky also hopes those non-pagans in attendance will learn a thing or three about the variety of religions lumped together under the pagan name. Pittsburgh pagans will, she jokes, be "letting people know that we don't sacrifice animals ... or any children or humans."
Sun., Oct. 2, North Park Lodge, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. 412-343-6666, firstname.lastname@example.org and www.pittsburghpaganpride.org.