So I'm in the process of trying to find OTHER PAGANS in my community. I know they're there. I can hear them breathing. I can see their bumper stickers on the freeway. I've visited two of their stores to buy candles. I have a business card for a member of the local Pagan Clergy. And many of them have put a lot of time and effort into posting information about their organizations and events in various websites I've located. They usually even include contact information.
However, when it comes to actually CONTACTING any one of them, I find a depressingly consistent scenario emerging. The vast majority of websites are no longer maintained, and the phone numbers or emails are disconnected and inactive. The few that HAVE actually gone through-- I've left a message after an impersonal beep or sent an email to the address listed-- well, lets just say these must be very busy people. I've gotten two responses. Ever. And I've been doing this (selectively) for a month now. And one of those responses was from PA. Not so helpful to someone located on the West Coast, and searching for local community.
It has strengthened my resolve to not only CHECK that MY list of links is current on a regular basis, but to CONTINUE BLOGGING here for as long as possible. It isn't likely that too many folks will stumble onto this thing, and it's not always the most helpful information for others anyway... but it's NOT GOING AWAY. And at least with a blog, you can see when the last publication was from the author. You know if nobody's bothered with it for a couple of years. The websites... not so much. They tend to use words like "MONTHLY MEETINGS AT..." or "I just started this thing, and..." ...and they don't realize that 4 years later, when they've stopped that thing back in 2002... uhh... how did I know that? Well, I tried the email link and it's dead. But websites don't really die. They just go on broadcasting the same old information... and that information gets older, and older... and older...
WitchVox actually posts a warning and suggestion on their website-- in the history of the publication, they've only had about two groups TELL them when the group disbands or changes it's contact information. Thus-- they highly recommend that you call or contact any store you plan to visit, or group event you'd like to attend, to make sure it's STILL THERE. Wise advice. Saved me a lot of insecure and uncomfortable moments. And a lot of car gas.
So... even though I may not have a lot of insightful, deep, or important info to impart, I'm committed to continuing to blog even during those times. It means there is something that won't go away.
And... I got an email back from someone local this morning. Someone who actually does still put on monthly full moon ceremonies. Someone who invited me to call her and ask questions. Someone who might actually be able to show me the "local community" aisle of the Pagan Supermarket Highway. I'm hopeful. I'm calling.