If you’ve ever had Professor Stopke here at Fontbonne, you know that often his courses require a site visit. I’m currently in his Special Topics: Alternative Religious Movements class, and it has opened my eyes to a world of religious and non-religious movements. Some I’ve heard of and some I haven’t. The most important things I’ve learned in the class are to be respectful of these groups—no matter their belief system, practices or opinions—and to have an open mind.
I want to give an overview of my experience at my site visit without giving too many details, for fear of spoiling a potential site visit for others and also for the sake of the privacy and sacredness of the group itself. The event we attended (I was accompanied by my friend and classmate) was called Ostara, a ritual that took place on the Spring Equinox. The group that held the event is called Spirit’s Edge, a Shamonial Temple. This information is available to anyone by way of the Internet. A quick Google search will bring up a multitude of Wiccan and Pagan groups.
It’s a great community. The people there were so welcoming. I had sent an email to Shea, the High Priestess and Founder of the group. She welcomed my friend and I to attend the event, and I learned so much. They were so chill about everything, and there were a lot of laughs throughout the night. At the same time, they were reverent when conducting the ritual and speaking about their practices.
Each person there had their own unique perspective, and it was wonderful to talk to such gracious people who were so open when talking about their beliefs, and entertaining our many, many questions.
I highly recommend contacting Shea if you want to experience a Wiccan event, or if you are looking for a site visit for a theology class. Just make sure to do your research and remain respectful 🙂