Angela Wilson lives in Athens and she is an Archdruid. A Druid being a type of denomination under the Pagan religion. Her religion is a form of neopagan druidry that honors the Druid ancestors and rituals of ancient European Celtic practices, notably Scotland, Ireland and Wales.
“We’re not evil,” said Wilson. “We’re not opening up a portal to hell because I know a lot of people were saying that was what my goal was was, was to open up a portal to hell and have demonic spirits take over Athens. That’s furthest from the truth.”
Wilson says Druids do not worship Satan in anyway, but, historically were leaders in the ancient Scots-Irish communities.
An Archdruid is a person in charge of the “groves” of other druids spread out throughout the country. An Archdruid presides over rituals adn ceremonies as well as has responsibilities toward their organization. There are in fact, lines of archdruids dating back centuries in Wales and Ireland.
“Part of what a Druid does is, historically and culturally, we were the physicians, the scientists, the judges, the lawyers, and the priest, so, what we would do was step in and do the public rituals and things especially if there was an issue or a problem.”
On Saturday Wilson will be holding the Wayist Druidic Order Samhain in the Athens Market Pavilion. Wilson says this will be the “first ever nonevent-based public ritual by an archdruid in American history.”
It is a celebration of their new year, the time between the light and dark halves of the year.
“The actual ritual part is basically veneration of your ancestors,” said Wilson. “It’s basically showing honor and paying homage to the honored dead.”
Part of the neopagan druidry sects of religions focuses on ancestor veneration, the worshiping of nature, upholding ancient Celtic traditions and other practices that some groups say pre-date Christianity.
Athens City Manager C. Seth Sumner says Wilson completed all the city requirements to hold an event at the pavilion and has the same rights to do so as any other group would have.
“The city of Athens is known as the friendly city and it’s because we are opening and welcoming to all people,” said Sumner. “We honor the United States Constitution and we will help protect the right of all people.”
Wilson says this is not an event to convert anyone, just an opportunity for fellowship.
For more information about the event on it’s Facebook event page click here.