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Portland, Oregon’s Not so Secret Society

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It is not big secret. Witches and witchcraft in Portland , Oregon are part of the fabric of society. The witch culture of Portland is a hybrid sort of pagan religion and a fascination with history of witches. Most witches are self described good witches. Some even hang shingle signs over their doors that they specialize in witch craft while others have bumper stickers so they can find each other. There are probably more than 10,000 of these people in the area. An exact number it not taken in the census data probably because the US census does not have a box to check for “Witch”. Portland actually has an annual witches calendar of events. All the old pagan holidays are celebrated. Some are celebrated at distant camp sites out in the woods on a regular basis. You can search online for some information on the subject or find an affinity site on a site like tribe.com. There are regular witches gatherings on their Sabbath and they celebrate something other than Christmas. I have been to a couple of North East Portland witch fire pit gatherings. Fortunately I missed the sacrifice and charred offerings of several goats. From time to time there are even witch craft stores that open. One that I visited some time ago was called Pan Urge Emporium. There they sold pagan paraphernalia including sacrificial implements on the top floor and had a day care business in the basement.

Some times you know your neighbors are witches and sometimes you don’t, When I grew up we kids found a spooky looking house in the neighborhood and designated it as the witch house. It was a wonderful house built up next to a tall stone retaining wall and it had heavy solid marble furniture in the back yard. Witch houses can be anywhere now even in trailer parks. In college I learned form the dormitory how to identify witches because one was living there on my floor. The trick to knowing is they often have burnt offerings and ringing of little bells as part of some ritual. Somehow or other Portland became a major witch center in America. Witches moved out of places like Nebraska and Kansas and came here. Witches are not just female by the way. Easy to identify hags are part of the society but there are probably an equal number of men. Talking about Hags, there are actually hag houses where hag style is in vogue. There are regular mature witch hag gatherings in these places. I doubt there is anything magical about the experience. There may be even be a members only Hag club for mature ladies only witches. I won’t be invited and if I am I don’t feel like being on the menu.

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Witches in Portland , Oregon are a completely serious religious revival. There is a library of books on the subject and they are very well educated. There may even be common used witches bible. The witches are not like the Santa Clan or the Movie Pirate clubs of Portland. Even the Goths are not nearly as serious about having a core religion as the real witches of Portland do. Some witches just live for the out door camping event festivals out in the woods on the Portland witch calendar. The hard core ones have semi organized religions with regular services. if you want to get involved it is not hard to find the proper access points. Look for the tell tale signs or find the affinity groups online with the calendar dates. I did not know that paganism and witch craft were still living religions until I made the discovery. Witches are not necessarily anti Christian by the way. The religion sometimes combines aspects of Christianity with pagan rites. Some local witches regularly go to Church on Sundays and have their Sabbaths separately after mid night or in full moon lit nights. The surprising thing is that the culture is real and not just one of the Portland make believe cults. This is one area where Portland seems to be able to beat San Francisco with culture. Someday Portland will have its first open witch mayor or maybe that was Vera katz?