The Pagan Life: a beginners thoughts on what is available in and around Fredericton and area physically and spiritually.
A bold topic for a beginner, right? Not really. Lately I have been trying to delve deeper and deeper to see what I can find in my community, and myself. At first I was so discouraged on the surface of Fredericton and area there is not much for Pagans, but a lot for mainstream religions. Then I looked under it all. First, if you take the time and see what is in stores, not just look, you will find there are many pagan items available. As for groups and communities of pagans, well they are a little more difficult to find.
First I will talk shops all kinds of shops. You can walk into just about any shop really and find something that can be used for pagan life. Just because it comes from a mainstream shop does not mean it cannot be used. I found my mortar and pestles at Stokes, for example. Stokes looks like a yuppyish cutlery and kitchen store. Key word in that sentence was kitchen. They have the most wonderful solid marble mortar and pestles; I bought two one for the kitchen and one for ritual work. There is a kiosk in the Regent Mall called On The Verge which sells some pagan things I found my pentacle ring there, it has Celtic knot work on the sides I cherish it (unfortunately this store has since closed). Across from On The verge is Casbah Imports a wonderful world shop (moving, will update the where when I know). Downtown is a used bookstore on Queen called Owls Nest Bookstore. It has an amazingly large assortment of used books, in varying degrees of use. They have pagan titles and at the front of the shop by the cash register there is a windowed in shelf, on this shelf is an assortment of pagan items pendants, athames, crystals, etc. Behind the counter they also have incense and essential oils its a wonderful shop. On Westmorland Street there is a natural food shop called Aura. It offers many vegetarian choices, organically grown produce and items, essential oils. They also have a selection of magazines (like Sage Woman) for sale at this time it is as close to being a Pagan shop as we have. Another shop with a world view is Cultures, it is downtown as well. There is another shop in the Regent Mall called Groovy Street. It harkens to the hippy in all of us and by nature has several Pagan items, or at least what can be viewed as Pagan. Do not discount a store simply because it has a chain name or it looks too out there you may be surprise what you find inside, and I have only named a few I enjoy. Oh yes, and do not discount the Salvation Army shops and other second hand shops they almost always have hidden treasures.
When one really thinks about it, the only thing that really imbues an object with a Pagan quality is the Pagan that views them as such. This is not said to insult, on the contrary mainstreamers see the objects as ordinary, sometimes eccentric or gothic we see them as beautiful, divine, an object of power or meaning to us they are everything. This notion helps those of us in the broom closet to practice ritual without non-Pagans knowing what we are doing. For those of us who are out in the open it gives an awe-inspiring view of what Paganism is and what it means to those who believe. I, for one am anxious to free myself from fear and openly practice, but I digress.
I have been searching for a group to meet with in this area. Unfortunately, the groups all seem to be short lived and oft times end with no replacement. I tried to join with one discussion group only to discover that it soon disbanded shortly after my initial contact. This part of the search is discouraging, to the point that I had almost given up. But I have since found several friends and on-line/off-line support. There are many on-line options for groups, our little group has grown we are Fredericton Pagan Events and Pagan Rituals through Yahoo. We hope to join together, inform, raise awareness, and create discussion amongst the Pagans in our area, area being Fredericton and surroundings (Chipman, Minto, Oromocto, and further). This has been a wonderful experience and I pray that it continues to be so. We hope to be one that withstands the tests of time.
Now I shall move on to what I think is so beautiful about this area. Everything. It is that simple. When I walk through the streets of this city I see reflections of the God and Goddess in everything, from the breath of the breeze, to the banks of the St. John River. I often take my children for walks downtown and I just as often marvel at the views before me. How glorious is it to be able to listen to the song of a bird, and look upon the beautiful gardens of flowers people plant for the city. Even the sound of the traffic is lessened; it is muted compared to the songs of the divine all around us. The movement of the river, the breeze in the trees, the sights and smells are all apart of this. The mundane becomes extraordinary; the extraordinary becomes divine. It is all around us, we only need stop, listen and hear the orchestra playing the music of the divine. I went for a walk today and noticed the tiniest purple flowers in the short grasses near the hospital. I had never noticed them before, but as I gazed at them their scent lifted on the breeze to my nostrils. Their scent was amazing; these tiny marvels made me feel like dancing right there and then. I thought how odd that something so small and could have such a strong effect, and the emotions they invoked were just as pleasing. I thanked the Goddess and continued back to work, smiling all the way. It is such simple things that make this a wonderful place to be. Then again, anywhere you go you can find this, do not force it; just let it be. Even when I went to Vancouver I found some very beautiful things the beach, Stanley Park, even walking along the streets you can find some extraordinary things; you just have to open your mind to see the positive.
Another wonderful thing about Fredericton is that it is a University town. There is the Craft school here, University of New Brunswick, St. Thomas University, and a number of other colleges. Why is this so wonderful? Students. Students by and large tend to be more open to ideas, and the ways of others. They, in general, are not as judgemental and will even take part in discussions whether they are a part of said group or not. I think this is wonderful and oft times wish more people would take this approach. One of the downsides of some of the groups around this area is they tend to become clicks. You know what I mean? One group thinks their way is the best and tends to look down upon others, either intentionally or not. Then there are the die hard Pagans that think unless you practice a certain way with all the tools you are not really Pagan. Well, I guess they would think me a flake since I neither want nor can afford to have all the tools of Paganism. I love my path and embrace it with great joy and anticipation. Why anticipation? I want to grow, learn, explore in ways I never knew possible. I find New Brunswick on the whole is wonderful for this. We have so many untouched areas and areas that have been managed so that we can enjoy their natural splendor. Almost anywhere we go there is a place where we can worship our Gods and enjoy them to the fullest. I actually live just outside of the city so I find myself doubly blessed with a gorgeous countryside. My children love to be outside (no Nintendo for my little ones), we love to explore the out doors and watch for the animals that present themselves (most often in our very backyard!).
If you are new to the craft and think that the world is too full of the bad, not enough of the good think again. Look about you the workings of the God and Goddess are all about, you do not even need to look that far it is in your own back yard.
May you find your way with light and love, in the hands of the divine.
Please note – this article is from 8 years ago and some of the wonderful shops listed may no longer be present.
Share some of my interests? Want something added? Want something removed? Please let me know! Just click on the name below to send me mail: Crowwitch