Pagan Pride Day embraces earth-based faiths

Matias Herrea relaxing at Pagan Pride Day after purchasing a healing crystal.
Photo Submitted by Ariyon Dailey

Tallahassee’s Pagan Pride Day took place Saturday and it featured small business vendors, teachers and pagans from diverse backgrounds.

The festivities welcomed any age, race or gender identity and everyone of an earth-based, spiritual path.

Rei Acorn, organizer of the Pagan Pride Day festivities, has been a pagan for more than 20 years and believes it’s all about earth-based beliefs. He said he doesn’t pay attention to the assumptions about paganism.

“There are a lot of misconceptions and recounting those would be counterproductive. My path personally doesn’t involve a blood sacrifice, Satanism or any nudity in the woods,” Acorn said.

Paganism is a term to describe a faith that is applied to earth-based religions involving magic, nature and other unknown spiritual paths. The term originally came about in the fourth century for early European Christians who practiced polytheism in rural areas.

The event took place at The Unitarian Universalists Church of Tallahassee on North Meridian Road surrounded by leaning trees, butterflies and dirt, much like the pagan tradition.

Matias Herrea, an observer of Pagan Pride Day, recently found himself on an earth-based path, and was encouraged to take a closer look into his lineage.

“Initially looking back into my past, I was able to reconnect with my Afro-Cuban family. My sister made me aware that I’m related to Santeria priests and priestesses, so lots and lots of magic on my father’s side,” Herrea said.

Herrea discovered that he is a descendant of a very disliked witch and his family kept her last name as a tradition.

Pagan Pride Day activities invited guest teachers to provide knowledge on the reconstruction of methodology, herbalism, how to conduct tarot readings and workshops on belly dancing.

Jereme Maples, vendor for local Tallahassee business , Athena’s Garden, attended Pagan Pride Day for a second year.

Maples proudly displayed his favorite product, a leather notebook.

“This book right here can really stand the test of time. If my family really likes a recipe I use to make essential oils or an herbal tea. Really anything,” Maples said.

Athena’s Garden provides products to help with a person’s spiritual journey like natural soaps, herbal teas, and candles.

Pagan Pride Day concluded with several special performances and traditional pagan ceremonies where pagans or non-pagans, had the opportunity to dig a little deeper within themselves.