Pagan Humor

A Field Guide
to the Modern Pagan

Anal Retentive Ceremonial Magician:

His book collection actually holds up the ceiling in places. He is studying Greek, Latin and Hebrew all at once. He does “workings” instead of “rituals”. All twenty volumes of his magical diaries are in Enochian.

Distinguishing Signs:

He won't go anywhere without a book. He is constantly aware of which direction is east. He dresses according to planetary conditions, or whatever was on sale at Wal-Mart.

Ravin' Pagan:

She's young and psychedelic. She can dance non-stop all night. She refuses to do boring Eurocentric rituals and prefers deities from sunny climes with lots of interesting local plants. She can say “Ayahuasca” ten times real fast and deliver long quotes from Terrence McKenna.

Distinguishing Signs:

She dresses in color combinations that hurt the eyes unless you've taken ecstasy. Notice the bloodshot eyes, blissful smile, and that she never goes anywhere without her ritual drum.

Dances With Bunnyrabbits:

He uses animal symbolism to express nearly all opinions and feelings. He's a charter member of PETA. He thinks meat eaters should be publicly executed. He has many, many, many pets and he has a spirit animal. He personally owns 927 models, pictures, and other depictions of his spirit animal.

Distinguishing Signs:

Not counting the pagan himself, how many animals can you see when looking at him? If the count surpasses five (including critters found on tattoos, jewelry, garments and undies), you've found a worshipper of beasties.

Childe Ov Kaos:

She can name seventeen industrial goth bands without pausing to think. She knows what a Prince Albert is. She personally feels that if no panicky headlines appear the day after you do a ritual, you screwed up. Painted on her jacket, engraved in her flesh, and/or boldly displayed as jewelry is an emblem which resembles a combination of corporate logo and arcane symbol. If you don't know what it means, she'll think you're a dweeb.

Distinguishing Signs:

Easy to picture as an alternative musician or bike messenger, difficult to visualize as a school teacher or research assistant, impossible to imagine as a TV news anchor or bank officer. Always wears black leather, even when sleeping.

Bright-Eyed Novice:

He just read this cool book about a religion where there's a Goddess and a God, and they meet outside in nature, instead of some scary old building. They think sex is good, not evil. He wants to know where to sign up.

Distinguishing Signs:

He mispronounces god/dess names, and has to think a moment about which is deosil and which is widdershins. He has a shiny new athame (rhymes with “A-frame”.)


Every magical gathering has at least one of these, along with several variants along the lines of Gerald Gardner, Tituba, Morgan LeFey, or somebody who was Atlantean royalty. Many of them were abducted by aliens recently, and have disturbing dreams rich with arcane symbolism that they will tell you all about, in great detail.

Distinguishing Signs:

Look for the intense gleam in the eyes, the backpack rattling with various psychiatric medications, and the garments that were clearly designed and tailored on another planet.

Fairie Queen:

Is he a she? Is she a he? Are they a couple, or are those two a couple, or are all four of them a quadruple? If getting answers to these questions could disturb you, best stay away. If, on the other hand, these kind of questions seem overly judgmental, you might have a real good time …

Distinguishing Signs:

When you look at this person, does every sex act you've ever experienced in your life seem hopelessly vanilla? If so, congratulations — you've found a Fairie!

Grand Old Wo/Man:

This one actually remembers Woodstock (the first one) and will tell you about the time s/he dropped acid with Kerry Wendell Thornley — or maybe it was Robert Anton Wilson. Anyway, it was somebody with three names. Or was it three people with one name?

Distinguishing Signs:

Luxuriant gray locks, listens very intently, knows dish about people you've only read about.


If it's in a book, it must be true. If it's in an old book, it must really be true. If it's in an old book that was handed down from an oral tradition of people who couldn't read, then it must really be way true. He gnashes his teeth if anyone shows up at a circle wearing a watch, glasses, or other mechanical assistance. He believes that anyone who lives in a city, eats meat, or has a regular job dare not call themselves a pagan.

Distinguishing Signs:

He has hissy fits when somebody brings up the old “Crowley ghosted Gardner's books” argument. He goes around correcting everyone's Gaelic/old Norse/Latin/Babylonian.


Insists that she' not homophobic; she just believes that Paganism is about a goddess and a god and they do it and what could be more obvious than that? It just doesn't “work right” if you try any other way! She is secretly afraid that lesbians are dying to jump her tender hetero bones.

Distinguishing Signs:

Her living spaces abound with depictions of satyrs with enormous genitals, and huge-breasted, doe-eyed goddesses. She also wears long, manicured nails and wreaths of flowers.

High Episcopagan:

Do his rituals have a script, a choreographer, a stage manager, and an orchestra with chorus, and do these rituals last at least three hours? It's a High Episcopagan! He can memorize pages and pages of Olde English, has more ritual garb than most people have socks, and considers his main pagan influences to be Gerald Gardner, Judy Garland, and Busby Berkeley.

Distinguishing Signs:

His Book of Shadows exceeds five volumes. He knows every note of “Carmina Burana” Don't ask him about that 18th century seed-pearl trim on his ritual hat unless you've got an hour to spare.

Monster Truck Pagan:

He can build his own house, kill his own food, school his own children, and brew his own hootch. He owns guns. His anointing oil is 30 weight. His scrying mirror says “objects are closer than they appear”.

Distinguishing Signs:

His athame is a Gerber with a compass and waterproof secret compartment. He eats meat with visible twitches of pleasure. His ritual robes are made from cammo fabric.

Norse Code:

Heroic and vikingly, these pagans often get into trouble with festival organizers and park rangers due to their fondness for running around with huge battle-axes in one hand and full mead horns in the other. They throw the best parties, but if you're a wimp, you're expressly not invited.

Distinguishing Signs:

Look for the large, foreboding, biker-like persons wearing runes, with many pounds of amber dangling from their necks.

Our Lady Of Intense Suffering:

She is constantly persecuted. You're probably persecuting her right now, you just don't realize it. She became a Pagan because she decided it was that most persecuted religion of all. She can't enjoy anything because it would be selfish to have any fun when so many are suffering.

Distinguishing Signs:

Tales of woe. Even less of a sense of humor than Priest/ess of Political Correctness. She bristles when anyone says the words “masochist” or “whining”.

Pagan Celebrity:

At conventions, he stays on the hotel floor that requires a special key for elevator access. Lurks around knots of conversation, eavesdropping to see if his name is being mentioned. He arrives in a helicopter, especially for rituals. He starts every sentence with “I”. If you ask him how it's going, he hands you a press release.

Distinguishing Signs:

He always has plenty of books to autograph, and will personally sell them to you at a slight discount from cover price. He's never seen unaccompanied by beefy Amazonian bodyguards and doe-eyed hangers-on. He seems vaguely afraid of anyone he doesn't already know.

Pentacles, Inc.:

Pagans have disposable income too, right? So how come they aren't buying my hand forged Venus of Wellendorf necklaces — they come in silver and gold, and each one has a genuine cubic zirconium belly button. Would you like a reading? Will that be Visa or MasterCard?

Distinguishing Signs:

She has business cards featuring little embossed pentagrams. You've never seen so much Egyptian god/dess jewelry on a human being in your whole life.

Priest/ess of Political Correctness:

These folks analyze everything they read or hear for sexist / racist / homophobic / imperialist / Eurocentric content without paying attention to what is actually being said. Believes in personal liberty — everyone has the right to be overbearing, dogmatic and holier-than-thou, not just the Christian Right. Incredibly boring, yet annoyingly self-righteous, all at the same time.

Distinguishing Signs:

Their beady, hyper-alert little eyes are constantly in motion, waiting for someone to do or say something bad. They have loud and attention-attracting hissy fits when confronted with everyday things, such as advertising or corporate franchises. Their rudimentary sense of humor is rarely activated.

Scary Devil Worshipper:

He would never be caught dead skyclad. He rarely smiles, except in a snide, knowing way that insinuates you are an ignorant peasant worthy only of conquest. He secretly enjoys Rush Limbaugh, and he read The Bell Curve with smug satisfaction. He'sascinated with Nazis. He's probably never hurt a fly, but he wants you to think he's capable of vast destruction.

Distinguishing Signs:

They wear a lot of black and red. The men like goatees, and the women favor heavy black eyeliner. There will be at least one inverted pentagram somewhere on their person. If you see several of them getting tanked in a bar, it would be wise to stay far away.

Sexy Pagan Nymph:

Oh, they're so nice! All that warm, round, sex-positive flesh — and you can actually carry on a conversation with them between orgasms… pant, drool…

Distinguishing Signs:

Cute. Horny. Displays prominent cleavage. Will recite love poetry to you under a full moon. Likes to do it outdoors. Often destitute. All too few of them.

Womyncentric Gynocrat: A man's shadow crossed her altar once and she spent three weeks purifying it. She'll have no wands in her chalice, thank you. No boys allowed in her full-moon club. Can hold forth for hours on the magical properties of menstrual blood.

Distinguishing Signs:

Tiny axes or curved knives, just right for amputating a penis, are a favored symbol and often hang conveniently from her body parts. When a man approaches she rolls her eyes and stops talking.

Corporate Closet Witch:

“Hey, boss — I'd like to take February 2nd as a personal day…” He has an entire chapter of his Book Of Shadows concerned with spells for purifying the workplace. Doesn't mind working on Christmas, especially if there's overtime involved. Quit being overtly Pagan at work since being canned by that born-again boss, but still refuses to say “Merry Christmas.”

Distinguishing Signs:

He can assume a properly smiley work persona at the drop of a hat, but he constantly glances around the room anxiously looking for co-workers and their spies. Non-distinctive style of dress, no conspicuous tattoos.

Tree Hugging Nature Sprite:

Most prized possession: one of Judi Barry's old tree spikes. Simultaneously believes in universal love for humanity and returning the planet to a pristine, uncorrupted state. Apt to remove clothes and fondle the shrubbery at a moment's notice. Can discuss compost in great detail.

Distinguishing Signs:

No meat, no fragrance, no leather, no plastic, no smoke, no drugs, no eco-exploitive products, no animal-tested cosmetics, no TV, no car, but very tolerant.

I Am Not Spock (at the moment):

He knows at least three films about Cthulhu and at least forty Star Trek jokes. He has found a clever way to create simple furniture from stacks of science fiction paperbacks. Can name ninety different kinds of space ships.

Distinguishing Signs:

Two-fisted drinking style. He probably still lives with his parents. He has many cryptic buttons, badges, patches and other insignia. Too smart for his own good.


She is often found discussing the best method of removing hot wax from keyboards. She seems unaccustomed to sunlight. She has had covenmates for years about whom she's unaware of their home continents, much less having met them face-to-face.

Distinguishing Signs:

She casts circles with a #5 torx driver. Her ritual chalice contains Jolt. Her BoS is writtin in Perl. She refers to eclectic ritual as “cross-platforming.” Thinks “naked in your rites” means a non-GUI environment.

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