So: a Wiccan, a Druid, and a Kemetic Reconstructionist walk into a bar.

By any reasonable standard, these people all practice different religions, right?

That's why the term "pagan" is so brilliant.

I've been part of this long enough that I can remember when we first started calling ourselves—and, more importantly, thinking of ourselves—as pagan.

BPE (Before the Pagan Era), Wiccans, Druids, and Kemetic Reconstructionists were different modalities of being. But add the name, and suddenly: hey, presto, it's now the Pagan Era, and we perceive one another as (in some way, shape, or form) belonging to the same group, as different clans in the same overall tribe.

Being pagan together gives us numbers. Suddenly there are millions of us across the world, and numbers = power. Suddenly I have something in common with someone that I've never met in Kyrgyzstan. (Since independence, there's been a big resurgence of traditional religion across Central Asia.)

Let no one doubt the power of a single word.

In this era of identity politics, it's become something of a cliché to decry the "tribalization" of society.

Such denunciations miss the point. Everyone wants to be part of something larger than themselves. That's what the Game and the Concert have to offer: they're temporary tribes.

But some of us are more fortunate.