The chanting and beating drums led me right into the meeting. A few dozen people sat around a large wooden conference table. The room’s perimeter was lined with bookshelves filled to the brim with titles such as Wiccan for Beginners and To Walk a Pagan Path. Located in Lansing, in the same building as a tree-cutting service, a chiropractor’s office, a psychiatric care service, and an architectural planning office is the Lansing pagan church: Weavers of the Web.
When you think about what a meeting of a pagan society might look like, I’m sure you’re imagining big black witch hats, spellcasting, and boiling cauldrons over a roaring fire. At least, that was the vibe that I was anticipating before I attended my first pagan church session.
That was not what I encountered during that Wednesday evening spiritual ritual.
While the discussion topics that night mainly focused on water’s role in life, death, and spellcasting, the main thing to note was the community of people the church fosters. For many, community gatherings are a huge aspect of life. That might be club meetings, sports teams, or it might be church.
Weavers of the Web offers a community to those in need of one. Paganism is the study of magic for those who live within the tune of the Earth and the Wheel. They worship Norse deities in their rituals but often call upon other deities.
Solinox Silverstar, founder of Weavers of the Web and High Priestex, says they created the church as a third space option for people.
“A third place is somewhere that’s not home and it’s not work,” High Priestex Silverstar describes. “It’s somewhere else where you go and form relationships and spend time with community.”
Weavers of the Web opened in 2018 after Solinox Silverstar graduated from Wiccan training, a mixture of online courses and apprenticeships with other accredited pagan High Priests. The opening of the church was the next natural step, said Silverstar.
For many members, they decided to leave the Christian faith, but still feel as if they have lost their community after leaving. Weavers of the Web attempts to bring that community aspect back to people.
“I lost the community I grew up in with the church,” High Priestex Silverstar remembers. “I always wanted to get that back. So, starting this here was kind of the fulfillment of that dream to try and create that community for pagans, something that Christians, Muslims, Jews all get to enjoy without even thinking about that.”
Ella Silverstar, a student studying under Solinox Silverstar, hopes to continue leading within the church when her apprenticeship is done.
“This church is like home,” said Ella Silverstar. “This is family, and all of the things I wish I had growing up, family who I connect with, who care about me, and who I care about.”
Modern paganism follows many pre-Christian spiritual practices that worship gods, goddesses, and the divine powers of nature.
Ella Silverstar first got into paganism because she was losing faith in Christianity and a simple fascination with nature led her to Wiccan practices.
“The moon was really pretty one night, and she decided to give me some information about where I needed to go,” Ella Silverstar said. “It was very much an interest in the mystical universe and wanting to know more.”
The church hosts weekly discussion-based spiritual rituals along with yearly feasts and festivals. These are their big holidays and are to celebrate the changing seasons, explains High Priestex Silverstar.
“What we aim to create here is a safe and inclusive environment for everybody,” High Priestex Silverstar defines.
Weavers of the Web are at 809 Center St, unit 7, near downtown Lansing.