Back in the not-so-good old days (aka the ‘60s, ‘70s, and early ‘80s), you had to know someone or be introduced in person or by mail, or maybe you found someone though word of mouth, a listing in the back of one of the few witchy books available, or through magazines like Green Egg or Fate. If you were extra lucky you might live near an occult bookstore, such as Herman Slater’s Magickal Childe in New York. If you were less lucky, you had to get creative. There’s a semi-legendary story of a man who looked for Wiccans by posting notices in Theban (a Wiccan alphabet) on index cards in laundromats throughout California’s Central Valley.
The good news is now it’s much easier to find people. The bad news is it’s possible there are still no Pagans or Wiccans in your area. This is where that magical Internet thing comes in handy. Whether you live in an area where you suspect there are other Pagans or one where you’re pretty sure there aren’t, your best bet for finding others, Grasshopper, is to exercise your Google fu skills.
The first website you visit should probably be the Witches’ Voice. The Witches’ Voice has tons of articles and information about Wicca, and a huge directory of Wiccan stores, groups, organizations, and individuals. Start with the Covens, Groups, and Organizations page and search for groups in your city and/or state. There’s also a directory of Pagan clergy and one for individuals, including teens and military Pagans.
Other good places to hunt for Pagans online are social networking sites, such as Facebook, Twitter, and wherever the cool kids are hanging out these days. There are a lot of Pagan groups on Facebook—I get invites to join new ones all the time—and there’s nothing to stop you from starting your own.
Email isn’t as popular as it once was, but there are still a lot of Wiccan and Pagan email groups thriving on Yahoo Groups. You can search on “Wicca,” “Pagan,” or any sub-group of those two groups and find email lists to fit your interests, and maybe even one for Pagans in your area. You could also try just Googling “Pagan email list” and the name of your town or city and see if any lists turn up that are privately run and not on Yahoo.
While you’re Googling, try looking for things like these:
- Blogs or websites of Pagans in your area
- Pagan Pride events in your area
- Pagan meetups on Meetup.com
- “Official” (or semi-official) websites for specific Pagan or Wiccan traditions
There are definitely some places Pagans tend to congregate, so check them out if you want to meet Pagans in person instead of online. Some of these might sound silly, but I have encountered Pagans or known Pagans who hang out in all of these places. Common habitats for homo sapiens paganus are (in no particular order):
- Occult or new age bookstores (“regular” and used bookstores too) or the occult section of your library (especially university libraries)
- Pagan conventions, such as Pantheacon, and camping events, such as Dragonfest and Pagan Spirit Gathering
- College campuses (check to see if there’s a Pagan student group)
- Science fiction and fantasy conventions
- Historical reenactment groups, such as the Society for Creative Anachronism; Renaissance fairs (I met my first Pagan at a Ren fair!); and Irish pubs and gift shops and performances by Irish musicians (many Pagans are drawn to Celtic history)
- Co-ops, natural foods stores, and “artsy” farmer’s markets, and comic book shops
- Unitarian churches and/or the Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans
- Masonic groups (sounds like a long shot, but where I come from a large percentage of the Masons are Pagan)
If you are persistent, polite, and patient, you should be able to locate others to talk to and learn with. Don’t give up!