Pagans of Manchester Club Explores, Celebrates Diversity of Beliefs

River Tharpe

Pagans of Manchester is one of the earliest clubs on campus, dating back to the late 1800s–early 1900s. Although its presence over the years has been spotty, six years ago the Pagan club was reinstated and is now thriving.

This club focuses on acceptance and being part of the Pagan family. They try to make everyone feel welcome and safe in their own bodies and minds: Pagans of Manchester are also LGBTQIA friendly. Along with being welcoming, they focus on finding and channeling one’s energy, and exploring the spiritual pathway. In the past they have also explored activities like making spell jars, basking in the full moon’s light and dabbling in out-of-body experiences.

The E board members of this club include President Kennedy Wills, Vice President Mycal Stewart, Treasurer Hannah Branson, and Secretary Erin Russell. Pagans of Manchester meet on every Wednesday 7-8 p.m. in the chapel lounge.

But they also journey. On Sunday, Sept. 18, the club traveled to Indianapolis to be part of the Festival of Faiths. This event took place at the Military Park in White River State Park. During their time at the festival, they learned about different religions and even learned more about their own. The festival was full of religious booths and a lot of diverse music and clothing.

So far, the Pagans of Manchester have met twice, and during these two meetings they have become acquainted with the new members of the club. In mid-to late October, they plan to host a Moonlight Masquerade. This event will include a multitude of things, such as music, dancing, affirmations, drinks and food. Also, the Moonlight Masquerade will have prizes for best dressed and best mask. To be a part of this event all you’ll need is can of food upon arrival; this event is for all of campus to come and enjoy.

Pagans of Manchester will also be celebrating Samhain (s-oww-win) this October. Samhain is a Celtic holiday that was once the original Halloween. So far, the E-board has not decided whether the Moonlight Masquerade is going to be open to off-campus residents as plus ones.

Pagans here also celebrate other holidays such as Yule, which is a pagan’s version of Christmas. These celebrations are being thrown to allow everyone on campus to be a part of something. This allows everyone, in all religions, to let loose and have fun along with getting to know one another on a name-to-name basis.

Branson talked about being a Wiccan in a Pagan group. “Wiccan is under the umbrella term of Paganism, but the ideals and moral values are different,” she said. Pagans believe in no life after death, while Wiccans believe Karma dictates your afterlife.”

Pagans of Manchester is an inclusive club and welcomes new members or curious visitors.