By Valerie Freseman
Pagans have always lived in cities. The great city-states of the ancient world, from Rome to Athens to Cairo to Babylon and beyond, were places of teeming humanity — places where men, women, and children of all ages came to live within the places and practices that defined their existence. Polytheists, then as now, are not all “pagan” in the old sense of the word as in ”country dweller.” What was true about pagan practice then is just as true now — we make reverence wherever we are — to our ancestors, to the spirits of the land, and to those forces that hold sway over hearth and home.
I have been a city-witch since coming to the Pagan path over twenty years ago, first as a solitaire and then as a member of a Wiccan tradition, Shadowfolk, and a coven leader. I was born, raised, and currently live in New York, and I feel most at home in large cities even though I relish the opportunity to escape elsewhere when I can. Sometimes, if you live in an urban jungle, it can be hard to see the powers of the land bubbling up all around you — but of course, they are unmistakably there. There is nothing so breath-taking as a street tree awakening itself with blossoms. Or the freshness of the air when a short spring rain has come and temporarily washed away the grime of the streets.