Source: The Denver Post
On September 17, 2000, The Denver Post reported that "for two millennia, pagans have lived on the spiritual periphery, their Earth-based faith demonized by mainstream religions. 'The Christian church has spent 2,000 years making 'witches' and 'pagans' bad words because we are the religion that lost the war (between paganism and Christianity),' says Denver psychotherapist Judith Brownlee, who is also a witch. 'Anthropologists will tell you that any time a culture comes in, takes over and ousts an older culture, the gods and goddesses of that defeated culture become the devils and demons of the new culture.'
Weary of being associated with satanic worship, black magic and other unsavory practices, and tired of keeping their dearest values hidden for fear of discrimination, some pagans now come together to celebrate Pagan Pride Day. This year it falls on Saturday. 'People need to see that we're like everybody else,' says Brownlee, who last year participated in Denver's first Pagan Pride Day, a small affair in City Park. This year, Colorado Springs will host the event with a day of rituals, rhythm circles, discussion groups, ceremonies, vendors and psychic readings.
'Pagan' embraces a broad range of beliefs and practices, though all have in common a profound connection to and respect for the Earth. In general, pagans gather not at churches for weekly services, but as nature dictates and often outdoors: Solstices, equinoxes and lunar phases are common occasions for celebration. Many believe in reincarnation and use tarot cards, runes, psychic readings and other forms of divination as part of their spiritual practice. Pagans also focus on the divine feminine, which some call the Goddess, as the primary creative and life-giving force. Women are drawn to 'the Old Religion' by this ascendant respect for the female principle, Brownlee says."