This October’s Tulsa Pagan Pride Day, or TPPD, was held at Veteran’s Park from 9:00am to 6:00pm. This year was the biggest celebration to date with between 900-1,000 people in attendance by 3:00pm. According to event organizer, Renee Walker, TPPD began as a simple picnic of fifty people at Whiteside Park.
It was hosted by Oklahoma Pagan Heathen Alliance, otherwise known as OPHA, almost a decade ago but since then the alliance has disbanded and the event has blossomed into a large celebration of spirituality, kindness, and community. The disbandment of OPHA led TPPD to be organized by different individuals over the past four years.
Though the event has been everchanging throughout this time Mrs. Walker has made inclusion and education the event’s top priorities by planning children’s activities and free workshops for patrons to attend as the day progressed. Some of the children’s activities at TPPD were arts and crafts, and a children’s circle with Nicole and Ember the parrot.
When speaking with Nicole, she said that during circle time she wanted to teach children about rainforest animals and the importance of their habitats with Ember helping to keep them engaged. Some of the workshops available this year at TPPD were mini crystal gridding, salting your space, meditation with Mother Earth, art magick techniques, and an introduction to Norse/Germanic spirits.
There have always been children’s events at TPPD to keep the children feeling included and give them a safe outlet to learn about Paganism and nature; however, children are always encouraged and welcomed to join the workshops offered as there are no age limitations. It was an honor to attend Shana Zimmerman’s mini crystal gridding class that morning and Destiny Ballard’s introduction to Norse/Germanic spirits class that afternoon.
Ms. Zimmerman’s mini crystal gridding taught patrons how different crystals can be used as energy centers, adding that sacred geometric patterns such as Metatron’s Cube and the Flower of Life can be powerful in successful gridding. Next, she told the crowd how different directions of crystal points direct energy either inward or outward, and mentioned that crystals do need to be cleansed every week or two as they serve their purposes, or they may not be as apt to direct these energies.
Before dismissing the class, Ms. Zimmerman reminded everyone to be sure to treat their crystals with respect by asking them to lend themselves to the grid and thanking them for their assistance. Ms. Ballard’s class on Norse/Germanic spirits began talking about our relationships to spirits and beings, their relationship to the land, and the cycle of understanding the how this belief system ties into respecting local spirits and the land you occupy with them.
Ms. Ballard explains her practices in heathenry and her belief in the breath of life given to humanity and all things by her deity, Odin, through the world tree Yggdrasil. This class provided a profound experience in learning the importance of caring for the natural world and how this helps us as human beings care for ourselves through universal understanding of the cycle of life, death, and birth.
Ms. Ballard says she knows some people may call practitioners of heathenry a little kooky or strange because others are often set in their urbanized beliefs; however even with urbanized beliefs humanity must encourage everyone to honor the natural world with us. During the peak of Ms. Ballard’s class, she says that just by touching water, we have touched the world, because water permeates everything. Ms. Ballard’s class introduction to Norse/Germanic spirits was one of the class that was popular with children and younger patrons.
The message was strong and simple – it is not the Gods of the world that are to be worried about, but the world that the Gods are worried about, which we as a people should concern ourselves with. In closing, Ms. Ballard says that this can be accomplished by honoring, integrating, and healing our atmosphere as this is the sacred key to allowing life on Earth to thrive.
Aside from the slew of activities for people of all ages and walks of life, TPPD was proud to have many local and out of state vendors. Some of the vendors that were present this year were Sticks & Stones, Spiritworks, S&K Kraftworks, McNoodle Crafts LLC, and Waya Naturals.
Each of the vendors at TPPD were very knowledgeable about their products and happy to talk for a while. Tulsa Pagan Pride Day closed in the same manner which it opened, with a ritual to promote good intentions and repel negativity led by Penelope Connor. Overall, it was definitely a wonderful experience and I would recommend anyone, Pagan or otherwise to check out TPPD at Veteran’s Park next year.