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Question of the Week: 113

Pagan Problem Children: What Can We Do About Them?

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 Author:    Posted: Sep. 8, 2002   This Page Viewed: 20,971,763  

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Question of the Week: 87 - 12/1/2002

The Pagan Web 2002... Your likes? Dislikes?

No other spiritual paths have embraced the web as dramatically, quickly and extensively as the Pagan communities [Link] have done.

So here we are some 8 years later... What do you look for in a Pagan Web site? What brings you back? What are you tired of? What is missing? Do you believe that the noise to signal ratio is out of whack? Too much chatter? Too Little?

What changes have you observed? What trends have you noticed? What do you see for the future of the Pagan web?

NOTE: Mean spirited attacks against specific Pagan Web sites will be promptly removed.

 Reponses:   There are 50 responses posted to this question. Reverse Sort 

From A Webmaster Dec 3rd. at 3:16:39 pm EST

Greyhart (Colorado) Age: 38 - Email - Web

As a Pagan Webmaster, or a Webmaster who is Pagan, I have an issue or two from the OTHER side. I hate getting email from people who give you a piece of their mind, but then neglect to tell you which site they were on.

For example (This is an actual email I got a couple of days ago.):

"Why is this page even here NOTHING works in it ,most of the links and not good anymore....
Take it down or keep it updated.

Really kind of gives us a bad nman as being lazy and not careing."

Now, I have three active sites that I run, Some pagan, some not. I also probably have a few old sites that were "free web space with your account" that I haven't worked on for years. I would have removed these sites, but in the lapsed time sice they really were active, I've lost track of the passwords.

If you have constructive criticism, tell me. I'm open to other points of view. If you are going to criticize, at least tell me WHICH site you're looking at. It's easy enough to tell when it's a site that has it's own domain, but if it's one of the free sites, I won't have a clue unless you tell me, and if the links are out of date, and the calendar of events says 1997, then you can probably bet that it's an old site that is no longer active. If the site is still active, the links all should work. If they don't, then yes, I want to know about it, but don't scream at me with bad grammar, and expect a nice response. If you're going to acuse me of being lazy, and not caring, you should at least proof read what you're emailing for grammatic and spelling errors. I'm not going to take you seriously if you're going to tell me I'm lazy, and you're too lazy to check your own spelling.

I put time and effort into creating, and maintaining the websites I have. I'm not perfect, and there may be mistakes in content, or coding. I do my best, and I would hope that others coming to the sites would understand helpful information is welcome, flame letters will only get you quoted in a public forum.

The Pagan Web Dec 3rd. at 4:21:06 pm EST

Starling (Montreal, Canada) Age: 24 - Email

What I look for in a Pagan website, nowadays, is a sense of community, acceptance of everyone's way, information on current issues pertaining to the religion, as well as to related subjects, information on what's new as far as books, movies, music goes (that's Pagan-related). A website where I can state my opinion, without being be-littled by people who think their way is the only way.

What brings me back, is definitely the design, the information therein, the frequency of the updates, and whether or not the information is relevant to whatever I am currently into. Recently, I was very into cooking recipes, and I found a Pagan forum that had all kinds of recipes classified in many different ways, whether seasonnal, cultural origins, etc.

What I am sick of is fancy cursors (they simply annoy me), animated gifs (urgh...), dark backgrounds with dark writing, or colors that clash too much (yeow, my eyes!), sites that are simply too graphics heavy (especially when there's a pentacle every square inch or so...). I am also sick of the attitude of some people who think they're all that, whether fluffy or non-fluffy. Too 'fluffy' simply is of no interest to me, too much of 'We are right, everybody else is wrong' sickens me, and 'I hate the fluffs, they stink' well, those people should realize that everyone has to start somewhere, and instead of putting others down, they should try to GENTLY show them something more, and if they (the so-called Fluffs) don't want to hear it, then so be it! Either way, get over yourselves...

Hadn't Thought Much About It Dec 4th. at 7:15:27 am EST

squib (Oregon) Age: 32 - Email

at least, not until last week, when i googled "incense recipe". The amount of lifting and blatant plagiarism was staggering. Countless pages full of the same, exact stuff. The same spells. the same oil recipes. the same rituals. But no actual interesting content. Lots of fluffy stuff (whatever floats your boat, man...) but nothing really to sink my teeth into. Lots of people adore the creative, beautiful aspect of the gods and goddesses but manage to completely ignore the darker natures of the same.

Really, the only pagan site i've found that i reaaally enjoy, and come back to constantly, is this one :). Content updated constantly, different voices, different ideas... it's what it should be.

As for the commercial sites, well, some are fine. Some people DO put a lot of love and effort into what they make to sell. Maybe it's expensive, but it's expensive because it's been proven to fetch the price asked. You don't have to buy it. You can spend the time to gather the things needed or the money to buy the components and perhaps see why they bring the prices they do - that's a lot of work and effort (anyone check the going rate for bulk benzoin? Criminy....) I'll not begrudge a craftsperson for wishing to make a living off their talent, me being in a band and all...

More In-depth Info! Dec 4th. at 9:26:48 am EST

Maedhril (somewhere in NY) Age: 16 - Email - Web

Pardon my inaccuracies, if indeed they do occur, but I haven't braved the Pagan web in some time! I do research when it's needed, but mostly I've turned to books for my magickal needs. That said, I have seen quite a few sites in my travels (most notably this one - great job, folks!).

Things that annoy me considerably - well, for starters, the lack of depth. When I was younger, I used to flock to sites that had "Wicca 101" guides. However, since then, I have grown considerably - and learned a lot more than most guides have to offer. Just as with books, I would love to see more advanced information online. Also, many sites are poorly designed, although perhaps that's due to a lack of HTML skills more than anything else. I've seen content be sacrificed in favor of a flashier site. I do wish it were the other way 'round. Some of the best sites I've been to are simple in their design but very functional, with loads of info. I love seeing the webmaster's personal perspective on things, not just a list of spells and an email address. What made you, the designer, so passionate about Paganism that you decided to design a site and share with the rest of the world?

As for things I like - lots of content. That's definitely way up there on my list. Simple navigation helps. If you can't do frames, don't try. Trust me on this one! If you have to include music, only do so on your splash page. If you aren't going to use a splash page, I would suggest you either make every link from the page with the music open in a new window or, well, don't use music. There's nothing more annoying than going back to the navigation page and hearing the same song start up. After awhile, it makes the user want to throttle the designer.

Before starting your own website, please look around at recommended sites and see what makes them work. I'm not saying steal their design, but figure out what about said design works well. Why do people go flocking back? That's the key, really. Know what works and use it. It's a bit like magick, when you think about it. Link to More info related to this post -- HERE

Info!! Dec 4th. at 1:38:11 pm EST

Alexandra (oregon) Age: 18 - Email

I look for correct information! Even the best of sites are bound to be incorrect or misleading in some areas (including this one!)...

*Just A Newbies Words* Dec 4th. at 2:26:53 pm EST

Spiritmother aka Earthjurnee (Atlanta ga) Age: 32 - Email

Merry meet all,

so far i have been able to find alot of info.Being a newbie on this path i have been able to live and learn through this i really cannot give to much to say/just that keep up the great work.we newbies need sites like these to help us on the chosen path .........

Blessed be

Good And Bad Dec 4th. at 3:49:14 pm EST

The Sweeper (OK) Age: 48 - Email

Looking around the internet;

I wonder at all the fascination, with bells and whistles, gadgets and doodads, and other trapping that are suppose to be the tools of the Craft.

I wonder at the apparent shallowness and lack of dedication to the spiritual aspect of the Craft.

I wonder at the great numbers of those who wish to learn and the lacking in numbers of those who wish to teachers.


I am amazed and pleased by the incredible volume of people and places that are out there.

I am amazed at what a huge and wonderfully diverse place the Pagan world has become.

I am amazed to find that beneath the noise, there are those who are truly dedicated and quite wonderful.

The Sweeper

Man, We've Got It Easy Dec 4th. at 4:43:19 pm EST

Brian (Mission Viejo, California) Age: 42 - Email

The first thing that strikes me about the Pagan Web is the easy access to information. How many of us would even be on the Pagan path if it weren't for the Web? I know I wouldn't. Information (yes, most of it is of the Wicca 101 nature, but still) that you would have had to acquire by first finding yourself a Witch (difficult enough in bygone decades) and then persuading hir to teach you, is now freely available on your desktop. Years of learning condenses to weeks. I suppose the old-guard Pagans do have reason to be envious, and a little afraid that something handed down in a traditional manner to "properly prepared" initiates is now free for the taking.
And the enthusiasm of newbies who haven't yet discovered the darker nature of the Gods they've come to love can't help but come across as fluffiness. Well, if they stay on the path long enough they'll develop the balance they need eventually; my advice is to give them time. But as for the Craft being spoiled by the ease of learning in the 21st century, who's to say this isn't the Goddess' work? Just because it was an exclusive club prior to the 1990's, does this mean it was meant to stay that way forever? I don't think so.

The Pagan web is like everything else in the online world: you learn to separate the good from the bad, use what you can and discard the rest, ideally making a contribution yourself in the process.
Maybe that's as it should be.

Gratitude Dec 4th. at 5:16:01 pm EST

Airmid (Wyoming) Age: 28 - Email

First and foremost, I am thankful that there is so much information readily available to seeking pagans, today. Back in my day (tee hee) it was often difficult to find a bookstore with so much as Buckland or Cunningham. Granted, there are a lot of sites that provide information that I find sloppy and/or disagreeable. I might point out, however, that most of us have been sloppy and/or disagreeable at some place along our pagan path. In most instances, I find it valuable to look for knowledge in all the sites I happen upon. Even those who have only read three books my have precisely the lesson we need... even if the only lesson is to humbly read more books.

The only mistake I can't tolerate is plagiarism. I think we have a responsibility to call the site creator to task wherever we see it. Don't surf on by; take two minutes and politely point it out. Younger pagans, especially, may not know better unless someone older and wiser is willing to instruct.

I enjoy original graphics. I have found much wisdom in the plainest of sites. I've even enjoyed sites that haven't been updated since 1998.

As a web designer, I echo the wish that searchers interact more often. Like something? Tell them. Don't? Tell them that, too. I think that too many people take without giving. Especially if you want a site to continue, provide some input. I truly believe that most non-commerce sites are a huge labor of love and should be respected as such.

Spells Dec 4th. at 10:40:57 pm EST

Moonlight Morgan (Canada) Age: 19 - Email - Web

I'm sick of seeing pages of spells. First of all, I don't mind listing some to help those who are new to making spells, but most spells should be of your own creation. Even more importantly, are sites like the one I went to today, which had spells like "how to make a man love you" (exact words) and "revenge."

Even if you are not Wiccan and/or do not follow the Wiccan rede, I would think that not doing spells like that should be a part of common sense, but I guess not. Link to More info related to this post -- HERE

Goddess Bless The Pagans! Dec 4th. at 11:45:57 pm EST

Faiedra (united states) Age: 18 - Email

i see that pagan webs are getting more and more popular and i like that because that means that paganism and wicca alike are becoming more recognized as well. i check out a lot of the pagan sites out there and i enjoy all of them. i hope to make my own wiccan website on day. blessed be!

Gotta Love Witchvox Dec 5th. at 2:58:45 pm EST

bookhenge (New Mexico) Age: 20 - Email

As a Pagan who doesn't follow a particular path, I have yet to find a single website that meets my needs, and that's fine. I know how to do websearches for what I need. I love Witchvox because mainly because of its "front page" features: the articles, news stories, and survey questions like this one. I also appreciate the local search feature, although living in New Mexico (Goddess, I miss Florida), I don't have much of an opportunity to network. This is the only Pagan website I visit on a regular basis, and that's because of its commitment to excellence and originality. The only complaint I have for the website is a technical one; on the news articles, the comments always go from newest to oldest, which is really irritating when you have to go forward and to the bottom of the page to find the posts that everyone else is responding to. I think it would be much more user-friendly to have the posts run from oldest to newest.

Happy Holidays

Ed. Note: Thank You Bookhenge for your kind comments about TWV. Good News!!! Two weeks ago we a added 'reverse sort' LINK as an option on All the news comments pages (and on question of the week responses as well)... Check it out at the top of comments on the right.

Thanks for helping us to make this happen.
Fritz Jung (Webcrafter TWV)

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