Articles/Essays From Pagans
March 9th. 2014 ...
Healing the Witch Within
Discovering Wicca as a Young Child
March Pisces Energy: Pre-natal Memories and Standing Upright
March 2nd. 2014 ...
Lessons of Ostara: Six Ways to Move Forward
The Wiccan Priest - The Misunderstood Role
Which is Which? Am I a Warlock or a Witch?
The Secret Teaching: Selected Aspects
February 23rd. 2014 ...
Wicca or Traditional Witchcraft: Some Differences
Everything is Not Under Your Control: Making Sense of the Senseless
The Wonders and Gifts of Paganism and Community
What Makes Us What We Are
February 16th. 2014 ...
Death, Grief, and Psychopomp Work in Shamanic Healing
The Stones of Fear: Anxiety Relief
Spiritual Traveler: Form To Essence
Alternative Medicine – What Is It?
February 9th. 2014 ...
Words of Power!
The Allure of Glamour in the Apocolypse
Lunar Insight Planetary Preponderances: Year of the Horse, Imbolc and Mercury Grazings
February 2nd. 2014 ...
The Magick of Jewelry and Metals
Building a Magick Mirror
The Golden Bough: a Study Guide (Part 2)
January 26th. 2014 ...
Love of Self: The Hardest Thing To Do
The Golden Bough as a Seminal Work in the Neo Pagan Movement (Part 1)
13 Keys: The Mercy of Chesed
Lightworking In The Screen Age: Staying Connected
January 19th. 2014 ...
Open Letter to the Goddess
A Southern Girl's Guide to Hospitality
Social Conventions and the Pagan World
January 12th. 2014 ...
Never Once Was There a An Athame Near My Chalice: My Very Sheltered Occultist Upbringing
One Wiccan's Journey Through Depression
January 5th. 2014 ...
Religion vs Practice: Defining Witchcraft in a Modern Age
Traditional Apprenticeships: Training in the Modern Pagan Abbey
2014's Magickal Magnificent Manifestations!
Lunar Insight Moon Musings, Planetary Preponderances: Wise and Wild
December 29th. 2013 ...
My Top Ten Favorite Cauldrons (Part 3)
13 Keys: The Might of Geburah
Beyond The Season of Greed
December 22nd. 2013 ...
My Top Ten Favorite Cauldrons (Part 2)
December 15th. 2013 ...
The Hex Murder of 1928
My Top Ten Favorite Cauldrons (Part 1)
Lady of the Forest Mist (A Story of the Woods)
Lunar Insight Moon Musings: Hunting, Fires and Parting Shots
December 8th. 2013 ...
Help and Thoughts for Pagans New to the Journey
Using Your Wand in Reverse
Leaving a Group - Part 2: Leaving, Healing and Moving Forward
The Cry of the Soul
December 1st. 2013 ...
The Tarot as a Tool for Raising Consciousness
A Pragmatic Look at Neo Paganism
Leaving a Pagan Group – Part 1: To Leave or to Stay?
November 24th. 2013 ...
The Pagan and the Papacy
The Groovy Aquarian Christ: Jesus From a Pagan Perspective
November 17th. 2013 ...
For Love of the God
Which Witch? Philosophical and Psychological Roots of Wicca
A Threat to Religious Liberties?
November 10th. 2013 ...
Where did Aleister Crowley’s Influence on Wicca Go?
Thoughts on the Threefold Law/Law of Return
The Celtic Tree Calendar
Nine Creeds: A Statement and Explanation of My Beliefs
November 3rd. 2013 ...
The Mundane/Spiritual Mirror: What Does it Say About Your Life?
October 27th. 2013 ...
Thoughts On a Miley-Cyrus/ Robin-Thicke Society
On Being Wiccan: Some Unsolicited Advice
Pagan Religious Communities in your Area: Connecting With and Creating Them
Banishing, Invocation and the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram
October 20th. 2013 ...
Bottle Spells and Magick in Hoodoo Tradition
Weather Magick: Who is Responsible for the Weather?
Broom Closet: In or Out?
On Coven and Claws
October 13th. 2013 ...
Destroying to Create: A Lesson from the Dead
Consume the Scorpion- Scorpion Energy Revisited
October 6th. 2013 ...
UPG and U: A Breakdown and Building Up of Unverified and Unsubstantiated Personal Gnosis
Answering The Call from Spirit
Coping with the Loss of a Familiar
The Five-way Road: A Pagan Pilgrimage, Part 2 (The South)
September 29th. 2013 ...
Six Reasons Why Covens are Here to Stay
Priestessing and Titles: What's the Point?
Truth or Convenience? Questioning Motives for Spiritual Advancement
Speaking Up: The Conflict Between the Spiritualist and Our Human Experience
September 22nd. 2013 ...
Death of a Friendship within the Craft
NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.
Article ID: 9147
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 3,257
Times Read: 3,552
Author: Phae Talon
Posted: April 10th. 2005
Times Viewed: 3,552
There seems to be quite a push for a show of Pagan unity floating around lately. Though it can be found just about everywhere, it seems to be strongest within the North American Pagan Community.
At first glance, one could surmise that it is a reaction to the re-election of George W. Bush as US President. Many are afraid that the damage he and the neo-Cons have the capacity to cause would not only take decades to undo, but could also plunge us into a time of darkness and persecution. Everything from the reversal of Roe vs. Wade to the outlawing of faiths deemed not ‘real’ religions by the Religious Reich, are trotted out as examples of what could befall us if we let our guard down.
The answers to these numerous threats to American freedom are often just as varied. Activists suggest that Pagans get more involved in local government and the political process by writing letters, running for local office and even staging protests when the situation warrants it.
Others feel that our only chance is to conform…to prove to the mainstream public that Pagan faiths are ‘real’ religions deserving of Constitutional protection. It is from this side that the assorted Pagan unity campaigns seem to spring. Ideas like Pagan-run charity shelters and soup kitchens, Pagan-slanted educational and environmental campaigns, and even structured Pagan churches are all designed to build a strong united Pagan front.
Many of these are great ideas and are being put into effect all over the world. But I have also seen calls for all Pagans to jump from the broom closet for the good of the community, and proposals for the creation of ‘Witch Clans’ or Tribes so that our true numbers may be known.
Many Pagans can see the flaws in this idea, and refuse to be involved in anything promoting Pagan unity. The ever-hopeful and optimistic among us are often crushed by the naysayers, unable to understand why we can’t just put aside our differences for the sake of protecting our rights and freedoms.
There are a myriad of reasons behind the refusal to conform (trust me, it isn’t just a bunch of old cranks out to spoil your Utopia):
The main reason for such resistance is the diversity of Pagan faiths. One of the most beautiful things about the Pagan Community is that we can follow such vastly different paths and still occasionally come together in pursuit of a common goal. But having a Wiccan and an Asatruar work together for the duration of a festival or a protest is worlds apart from expecting them to work the same ritual together every Esbat.
Many fear that the result of structured Pagan unity will be a homogenization of our varied and sacred paths into one non-denominational, soulless Universal Pagan Church, where truth and mystery are lost to the desire to remain non-exclusionary.
Another point is that any clan or tribe set up has to be run by someone (or a group of someones). As it stands now, there really is no standard by which we can judge someone’s experience and/or credentials. Any council of elders (assuming that one could be created that everyone would accept) would face continuous problems with some group or other being unwilling to accept that everyone’s knowledge and experience were as valid as their own, as well as complaints that someone’s concerns were not being heard due to no one of their path being on the leading council. This sort of in-fighting has a tendency to permeate just about every place, in real life and online, where Pagans gather.
On the flip side of that coin, there is always the possibility of certain individuals and groups being excluded from the tribe all together because their path does not conform to someone’s view of ‘accepted Pagan practice.’
Even if we could work past the first two problems, there is always the lingering question of ‘Who is gonna pay for all this?’ In a coven or grove-type setting, the priests and priestesses still must maintain regular jobs. If we expected our leaders and elders to take on the challenge of running groups that are likely to be at least three times as large as a normal coven, we would need their undivided attention. And that means providing them an income to help support their families. Many of us can barely afford to feed ourselves, let alone finance the start up and maintenance of a tribe and council.
Still another objection to the whole idea is that of ‘Why should we have to do this?’ I understand this stance intimately as it tends to be my own when this issue comes up.
Why should Pagan faiths have to unite to be deserving of respect and Constitutional protection? Why should we have to water down our mysteries and practices so that they will be acceptable to the mainstream public? How is that freedom? How is that any different than sitting in a pew every Sunday? Because you still get to wear your pentacle? Symbols don’t mean much when the faith and practice they represent must be gutted to appeal to the palette of the ‘normal.’
As we tell our Seekers and Newbies, ‘Pagan’ is not a religion. It is a term used to describe those of us who fall outside of the religiously ‘normal.’ If you try to strip away those differences, you strip away the attraction that Paganism has for so many. The assorted Pagan paths are meant for those who want to make their own way in life…those who don’t want to be told how they should feel and what they should believe.
In the end, the quest for structured unity is doomed to failure. Though we all hold in common that we are not of an Abrahamic faith, we are still too different from each other to be forced into the same mold. We are a mosaic, not a melting pot. Enjoy the unity of the annual Pagan Pride Day and Witchfest, for in actuality, that is really as long as it will last.
Location: Calgary, Alberta
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