Essays, Opinions, parenting

Supporting Your Community

While it’s sometimes hard to find other Pagan families, it can help to know your Pagan community.

I haven’t been super active in the community the last few years because of my children. But I’m trying to get back into things now that they’re a little older and life is a little more manageable.

One important aspect of our communities is our Pagan shops. Many of us got our start in shops like these, networking, buying books and tools and jewelry.

I know I have a pretty well stocked cabinet of supplies here these days, so I don’t get  out to the local shops much since my favorite closed. On a recent day, I decided to remedy that a bit, and made a list of 5 shops in reasonable driving range, then went out to see them.

Some things to consider, as you visit your local shops:

1. What do they have, generally? Around here, some shops have more herbs, others have more stones, and so on. As a parent, it’s often good to know where you can get your shopping done fastest. Do they have a website so you can window shop before you go?

2. How child friendly is the shop? Some have narrow aisles full of breakables, some have wider aisles with specific areas for more fragile things. Are there children there when you visit?

3. Besides the sort of typical Pagan goods, what else does the shop offer? Tarot readings? Regular gatherings? Meeting space? A children’s gathering of some sort (SpiralScouts, or something less formal)? Classes?

4. Are they easy to find? (One of the shops I went to visit took 3 tries to find…with my GPS. Needless to say, I skipped them)

5. While many stores will tell you they’re a central part of the community, look around and see what you think. Some shops I visited had donation boxes out for a local Pagan charity. Others have a bulletin board with notices and flyers about local events. Some had no signs of the rest of the community.

I’m generally a big fan of buying locally when possible, and when it’s not hugely inconvenient. Doing so keeps funds circulating within our community, providing more opportunities for our communities to grow and to provide aid to those who need it.

Knowing your community is a big part of raising your children in the community, and Pagan shops are often a good place to start getting to know the lay of the land.

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