Pagans Coming to Tower Grove Park

Are you an effective priestess? Do you need to bring more ritual into your daily life? How's your chant and drumming?

Brush up on all that and more this weekend at the St. Louis Pagan Picnic, running Saturday and Sunday in Tower Grove Park. The organization running the event's web site claims that the picnic, now in its 19th year, is the "largest free two-day Pagan festival in the nation."

The term pagan can refer to lots of different traditions, but in general it refers to polytheistic faiths with a close relationship to nature and ritual. There can be a strong Celtic element, but other traditions draw on Egyptian or other mythologies.

Some of the events for this weekend include a tarot card-reading workshop, a Welsh-style celebration and plenty of bellydancing. Like most summer festivals, there'll be plenty of food and vendors on site -- though you should expect more runestones and cloaks and fewer hacky-sacks and wind chimes.

The festival runs both days from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. While it's free, there will be a collection for the Pagans' chosen charities: the Wildlife Rescue Center, Clowder House Foundation and Operation Food Search.

(Far be it for us to ever generalize about our magickal brethren and sistren, but if you go and don't see a single UtiliKilt, 12-sided die or 20-ounce bottle of Mountain Dew, let us know and we'll eat our hats.)