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Laughing Crow 5
A Field Guide to Pagans:
Carry a Checklist & Collect Them All!

This funny seems to
belong to the Pagan community
at large; I've seen it everywhere
and never found a credit, but
thanks, whoever it was!
1.      Bright-Eyed Novice

You just read this cool book about a religion where there's a Goddess* and a
God, and they meet outside in nature, instead of some scary old building. They
think sex is GOOD not evil, and you want to know where to sign up.

DISTINGUISHING SIGNS:
Mispronounces god/dess names, has to think a moment about which is deosil and
which is widdershins. Has a shiny new athame (rhymes with "A-frame".)

2.      Grand Old Wo/Man

Actually remembers Woodstock (the first one.) Will tell you about the time they
dropped acid with Kerry Wendell Thornley - or maybe it was Robert Anton Wilson.
Anyway, it was somebody with three names. Or was it three people with one name?

DISTINGUISHING SIGNS:
Luxuriant gray locks, listens very intently, knows dish about people you've only
read about.

3.      Tree Hugging Nature Sprite

Most prized possession: one of Judi Barry's old tree spikes. Simultaneously
believes in universal love for humanity AND returning the planet to a pristine,
uncorrupted state. Apt to remove clothes and fondle the shrubbery at a moment's
notice. Can discuss compost in great detail.

DISTINGUISHING SIGNS:
No meat, no fragrance, no leather, no plastic, no smoke, no drugs, no
eco-exploitive products, no animal tested cosmetics, no TV, no car, but very
tolerant.

4.      Anal Retentive Ceremonial

Book collection actually holds up the ceiling in places. Is studying Greek,
Latin and Hebrew all at once. Does "workings" instead of "rituals". All twenty
volumes of their magical diaries are all in Enochian.

DISTINGUISHING SIGNS:
Won't go anywhere without a book. Is constantly aware of which direction is
east. Dresses according to planetary conditions, or whatever was on sale at
Wal-Mart.

5.      Womyncentric Gynocrat

A man's shadow crossed her altar once and she spent three weeks purifying it.
She'll have no wands in her chalice, thank you. No boys allowed in her full-moon
club. Can hold forth for hours on the magical properties of menstrual blood.

DISTINGUISHING SIGNS:
Tiny axes or curved knives, just right for amputating a penis, are a favored
symbol and often hang conveniently from her body parts. When a man approaches
she rolls her eyes and stops talking.

6.      Sexy Pagan Nymph

Oh, they're so nice! All that warm, round, sex-positive flesh -- and you can
actually carry on a conversation with them between orgasms...pant, drool...

DISTINGUISHING SIGNS:
Cute. Horny. Displays prominent cleavage. Will recite love poetry to you under a
full moon. Likes to do it outdoors. Often destitute. All too few of them.

7.      Corporate Closet Witch

"Hey, boss -- I'd like to take February 2nd as a personal day..." Has an entire
chapter of their Book Of Shadows concerned with spells for purifying the
workplace. Doesn't mind working on Christmas, especially if there's overtime
involved. Quit being overtly Pagan at work since being canned by that born-again
boss, but still refuses to say "Merry Christmas."

DISTINGUISHING SIGNS:
Can assume a properly smiley work persona at the drop of a hat. Constantly
glances around the room anxiously looking for co-workers and their spies.
Non-distinctive style of dress, no conspicuous tattoos.

8.      Childe Ov Kaos

Can name seventeen industrial goth bands without pausing to think. Knows what a
Prince Albert is. Personally feels that if no panicky headlines appear the day
after you do a ritual, you screwed up. Painted on their jacket, engraved in
their flesh and/or boldly displayed as jewelry is an emblem which resembles a
combination of corporate logo and arcane symbol. If you don't know what it
means, they'll think you're a dweeb.

DISTINGUISHING SIGNS:
Easy to picture as an alternative musician or bike messenger, difficult to
visualize as a school teacher or research assistant, impossible to imagine as a
TV news anchor or bank officer. Always wears black leather, even when sleeping.

9.      Pagan Celebrity

At conventions, stays on the hotel floor that requires a special key for
elevator access. Lurks around knots of conversation eavesdropping in order to
see if their name is being mentioned. Arrives in helicopter especially for
rituals. Starts every sentence with "I". If you ask them how it's going, they
hand you a press release.

DISTINGUISHING SIGNS:
Always has plenty of books to autograph and will personally sell them to you at
a slight discount from cover price. Never seen unaccompanied by beefy amazonian
bodyguards and doe-eyed hangers-on.  Seems vaguely afraid of anyone they don't
already know.

10.     Scary Devil Worshipper

Would _never_ be caught dead skyclad. Rarely smiles, except in a snide, knowing
way which insinuates you are an ignorant peasant worthy of conquest. Secretly
enjoys Rush Limbaugh and read _The Bell Curve_ with smug satisfaction.
Fascinated with Nazis. Probably has never hurt a fly, but they want you to think
they're capable of vast destruction.  Hasn't the foggiest idea what Paganism is;
usually gets out when they find there's no bloodshed.

DISTINGUISHING SIGNS:
Lots of black and red. Men like goatees, women favor heavy black eyeliner. At
least one inverted pentagram somewhere on their person. If you see several of
them getting tanked in a bar, it would be wise to stay far away.

11.     Crowley-In-A-Past-Life

Every magical gathering has at least one of these, along with several variants
along the lines of Gerald Gardner, Tituba, Morgan LeFey, or somebody who was
Atlantean royalty. Many of them were abducted by aliens recently, and have
disturbing dreams rich with arcane symbolism that they will tell you all about,
in _great_ detail.

DISTINGUISHING SIGNS:
Look for the intense gleam in the eyes, the backpack rattling with various
psychiatric medications, and the garments that were clearly designed and
tailored on another planet.

12.     Ravin' Pagan

Young and psychedelic. Can dance non-stop all night. Refuses to do boring
Eurocentric rituals and prefers deities from sunny climes with lots of
interesting local plants. Can say "Ayahuasca" ten times real fast and deliver
long quotes from Terrence McKenna.

DISTINGUISHING SIGNS:
Dresses in color combinations that hurt the eyes unless you've taken ecstasy.
Bloodshot eyes, blissful smile, never goes anywhere without ritual drum.

13.     Fairie Queen

Is he a she? Is she a he? Are they a couple, or are those two a couple or are
all four of them a quadruple? If getting answers to these questions could
disturb you, best stay away. If, on the other hand, these kind of questions seem
overly judgmental, you might have a real good time...

DISTINGUISHING SIGNS:
When you look at this person, does every sex act you've ever experienced in your
life seem hopelessly vanilla? If so, congratulations -- you've found a Fairie!

14.     High Episcopagan

Do their rituals have a script, a choreographer, a stage manager, an orchestra
with chorus and last at least three hours? It's a High Episcopagan! They can
memorize pages and pages of Olde Englishe, have more ritual garbs than most
people have socks, and consider their main pagan influences to be Gerald
Gardner, Judy Garland and Busby Berkeley.

DISTINGUISHING SIGNS:
Book of Shadows exceeds five volumes. Knows every note of "Carmina Burana."  
Don't ask them about that 18th century seed pearl trim on their ritual hat
unless you've got an hour to spare.

15.     Fundamentapagan

If it's in a book, it must be true. If it's in an old book, it must _really_ be
true. If it's in an old book that was handed down from an oral tradition of
people who couldn't read, then it must _really_ be _way_ true. Gnashes their
teeth if anyone shows up at a circle wearing a watch, glasses, or other
mechanical assistance. Believes that anyone who lives in a city, eats meat or
has a regular job dare not call themselves a Pagan.

DISTINGUISHING SIGNS:
Has hissy fits when somebody brings up the old "Crowley ghosted Gardner's books"
argument. Goes around correcting everyone's Gaelic/old Norse/Latin/Babylonian.

16.     Dances With Bunnyrabbits

Uses animal symbolism to express nearly all opinions and feelings. Charter
member of PETA. Thinks meat eaters should be publicly executed. Has many, many,
many pets. Has a spirit animal. Personally owns 927 models, pictures, and other
depictions of their spirit animal.

DISTINGUISHING SIGNS:
Not counting the Pagan his/herself, how many animals can you see when looking at
them? If the count surpasses five (including critters found on tattoos, jewelry,
garments and undies), you've found a worshipper of beasties.

17.     Priest/ess of Political Correctness

Analyzes everything they read or hear for
sexist-racist-homophobic-imperialist-Eurocentric content without paying
attention to what is actually being said. Believes in personal liberty --
everyone has the right to be overbearing, dogmatic and holier-than-thou, not
just the Xtian Right. Incredibly boring yet annoyingly self-righteous all at the
same time.

DISTINGUISHING SIGNS:
Beady hyper-alert little eyes are constantly in motion, waiting for someone to
do or say something _bad_. Has loud and attention-attracting hissy fits when
confronted with everyday things such as advertising or corporate franchises.
Rudimentary sense of humor is rarely activated.

18.     Our Lady Of Intense Suffering

Is constantly persecuted. You're probably persecuting her right now, you just
don't realize it. Became a Pagan because she decided it was the most persecuted
religion of all. Can't enjoy anything because it would be selfish to have any
fun when so many are suffering.

DISTINGUISHING SIGNS:
Tales of woe. Even less of a sense of humor than #17. Bristles when anyone says
the words "masochist" or "whining".

19.     I Am Not Spock (at the moment)

Knows at least three filks about Cthulhu and at least forty Star Trek jokes. Has
found a clever way to create simple furniture from stacks of science fiction
paperbacks. Can name ninety different kinds of space ship.

DISTINGUISHING SIGNS:
Two fisted drinking style. Probably still lives with parents. Many cryptic
buttons, badges, patches and other insignia. Too smart for their own good.

20.     Het-Case

Insist that they aren't homophobic; they just believe that Paganism is about a
goddess and a god and they do it and what could be more obvious than that? It
just doesn't "work right" if you try any other way! Are secretly afraid that
gays and/or lesbians are dying to jump their tender hetero bones.

DISTINGUISHING SIGNS:
Living spaces abound with depictions of satyrs with enormous genitals and
huge-breasted, doe-eyed goddesses. Long manicured nails and wreaths of flowers
(on females _only_ -- men have big, bushy beards instead.)

21.     Norse Code

Heroic and Vikingly, these Pagans often get into trouble with festival
organizers and park rangers due to their fondness for running around with a huge
battle-ax in one hand and a full mead horn in the other. They throw the best
parties, but if you're a wimp, you're expressly not invited.

DISTINGUISHING SIGNS:
Look for the large, foreboding, biker-like persons wearing runes, with many
pounds of amber dangling from their necks.

22.     Pentacles, Inc.

Pagans have disposable income too, right? So how come they aren't buying my hand
forged Venus of Willendorf necklaces -- they come in silver and gold, and each
one has a genuine cubic zirconium belly button. Would you like a card reading?
Will that be Visa or MasterCard?

DISTINGUISHING SIGNS:
Has business cards featuring little embossed pentagrams. You never saw so much
Egyptian god/dess jewelry on a human being in your whole life.



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