Friday, November 5, 2010

Witchy Parties

Us pagans aren’t always all business. We like to let our hair down and have fun too, and what more fun can you have than with people of your own ilk?

I was recently talking to one of my pagan friends and regaling her with tales of the fun I used to have at Witchy Parties several years ago. What’s a Witchy Party, you say? Why – the most fun you can legally and morally have with a bunch of pagans! A Witchy Party is one where the only stakes are filet mignon, the only fire is from candles and a fireplace (or a grill), and the only payment required is a desire to participate. Of course you must be bearing a chocolate item in order to gain admittance, but that’s a pretty easy obligation to fulfill.

Witchy Parties are a great way to bond with other pagans; to make new friends and to meet newcomers in your community. It’s also a good way to introduce others to the pagan community in a relaxed and pleasant environment. I’ve seen these parties both done between friends, and as a public get-together hosted by a local pagan group or shop.

What does one do at a Witchy Party?

Well, that depends on the type of witchy party, of course. Some have a theme – seasonal, holiday/Sabbat, cultural (vampire, your favorite mythological figure/animal), dress as a God/dess night, food theme, color theme, etc. Your witchy party can be part of another celebration, such as a handfasting/wedding, Initiation, Sabbat or Esbat, Wiccaning, birthday or other special day. It can be single gender or co-ed (either way has its benefits!). The party can be alcoholic or non-alcoholic, but remember that safety is paramount; don’t let any witch drink & fly…er…drive.

People usually arrive around dusk, covered dish & chocolate in hand to share. There’s dinner beforehand, and discussion about whatever theme the party chose to embrace. Around this time is when we’d catch up with old friends and make new ones. We’d also share Grimoire recipes, articles, pagan music, and more – smart witches brought laptops and a flash drive to share information! One of the first witchy parties I attended required us to read Paulo Coelho’s “The Alchemist” before attending, and we discussed that over dinner before the other activities began.

After dinner and cleanup, we began the activities. Because witchy parties are about gathering like minded pagans together, we can draw from each others’ knowledge and experiences. Lights were lowered and people spread out to different corners of the room, on couches, tables, on the deck/balcony or wherever you could have a little privacy. Lots of candles were lit, and the atmosphere was very ethereal.

Activities were often of the divinatory nature because not only is it a LOT of fun, but it’s a great way to learn about different techniques. We’d wander from area to area, swapping readings / divination, and it wasn’t limited to just the Tarot! There were rune readers, bone readers, scryers of all types, palm readers, and more. It was not unusual to have guests who brought instruments and played for us, danced and sang, created beautiful henna tattoos, and artists who painted and drew portraits on the spot. There were impromptu rituals done based on need (such as a new car blessing, a new baby, etc.), or provided healing if necessary.

I guess a good way of categorizing a Witchy Party is a gathering of pagans who share their gifts with like minded friends.

After a few hours of our individual activities, the party would evolve as the night progressed. We’d often find ourselves convened in the main room to play games as a group. Games were as pagany as “Pagan Trivial Pursuit” or “Tell me a Story” (where everyone puts down a Tarot card in turn and builds a story together based on the card they pulled); or they were as mundane as Twister and Poker. Sometimes we’d choose to watch supernatural themed movies, especially if they fit with the theme of the night. I once attended a Twisted Witchy Party once, where everything was a little off-center, and we spent most of the night cackling to Mystery Science Theater 3000 movies!

Witchy Parties are probably one of the most fun things you can do as part of your pagan community. Doesn’t matter if it’s a party of 30 or a party of 3 – they are great opportunities for us as Wiccans to interact and enjoy each other in a non-threatening and loving environment! Try it yourself, grab a few of your favorite pagans and rather than just hang out or wonder what you want to do, come up with a witchy party of your own!