Articles/Essays From Pagans
February 1st. 2019 ...
Paganism and Witchcraft in the Media
September 25th. 2018 ...
Understanding the Unseen
August 25th. 2018 ...
A Little Magickal History
Men and the Goddess
Back to Basics Witchcraft: Magical Creativity for Small Living Spaces
Kitchen Magic and Memories
Why the Faeries?
Magic in Daily Life
An Open Fire: Healing from Within
Cernunnos: The Darkest Wood in the Moon's Light
On Preconceived Pagan/Wiccan Political Affiliations
Gudrun of the Victory Gods
Ares and Athena
La Santa Muerte... The Stigma and the Strength
The Lady on the Stairs
The Wheel of the Year in Our Daily Lives
July 26th. 2018 ...
The Importance of Unification: Bringing Together Community Members to Invoke Cohesivity
May 29th. 2018 ...
Wild Mountain Woman: Landscape Goddess
April 20th. 2018 ...
Nazis Made Us Change Our Name
January 25th. 2018 ...
Finding Balance: Discipline Wedded to Devotion
November 15th. 2017 ...
September 30th. 2017 ...
July 31st. 2017 ...
Sin Eaters and Dream Walkers
July 2nd. 2017 ...
On Cursing: Politics and Ethos
June 1st. 2017 ...
The Sacred Ego in Mediterranean Magical Traditions
April 30th. 2017 ...
Tarot Talk: the Knight of Pentacles
March 30th. 2017 ...
Tarot Talk: the Ace of Swords
January 10th. 2017 ...
The Gray of 'Tween
Becoming a Sacred Dancer
Little Dog, Big Love
December 9th. 2016 ...
A Child's First Yule
November 10th. 2016 ...
What Exactly Is Witchcraft?
A Witch in the Bible Belt: Questions are Opportunities
What I Get from Cooking (And How it’s Part of My Path)
On Death and Passing: Compassion Burnout in Healers and Shamans
September 11th. 2016 ...
The Shadow of Disgust
August 12th. 2016 ...
When Reality Rattles your Idea of the Perfect Witch
Hungarian Belief in Fairies
Designing a Pagan Last Will and Testament
July 13th. 2016 ...
What Every Pagan Should Know About Curses
Magic With A Flick of my Finger
Finding and Caring for Your Frame Drum
An Open Mind and Heart
June 13th. 2016 ...
Living a Magickal Life with Fibromyalgia
My Father, My First God
Life is Awesome... and the Flu
May 15th. 2016 ...
Faery Guided Journey
Working with the Elements
April 2nd. 2016 ...
The Fear of Witchcraft
Magic in Sentences
March 28th. 2016 ...
Revisiting The Spiral
January 22nd. 2016 ...
Coming Out of the Broom Closet
December 20th. 2015 ...
Magia y Wicca
October 24th. 2015 ...
Feeling the Pulse of Autumn
October 16th. 2015 ...
Sacred Lands, Sacred Hearts
September 30th. 2015 ...
September 16th. 2015 ...
Vegan or Vegetarian? The Ethical Debate
August 6th. 2015 ...
Lost - A Pagan Parent's Tale
July 9th. 2015 ...
Love Spells: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly
The Magic of Weather
June 7th. 2015 ...
A Pagan Altar
A Minority of a Minority of a Minority
May 6th. 2015 ...
13 Keys: The Crown of Kether
March 29th. 2015 ...
A Thread in the Tapestry of Witchcraft
March 28th. 2015 ...
On Wiccan Magick, Theurgy, Thaumaturgy and Setting Expectations
March 1st. 2015 ...
Choosing to Write a Shadow Book
February 1st. 2015 ...
Seeker Advice From a Coven Leader
January 1st. 2015 ...
Manipulation of the Concept of Witchcraft
Broomstick to the Emerald City
October 20th. 2014 ...
Thoughts on Conjuring Spirits
October 5th. 2014 ...
The History of the Sacred Circle
September 28th. 2014 ...
Seeking Pagan Lands for Pagan Burials
Creating a Healing Temple
August 31st. 2014 ...
Coven vs. Solitary
August 24th. 2014 ...
The Pagan Cleric
A Gathering of Sorcerers (A Strange Tale)
August 17th. 2014 ...
To Know, to Will, to Dare...
NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.
Ooh, My Head…
Article ID: 8948
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 5,165
Times Read: 4,799
Author: Jemma Hawtrey
Posted: February 27th. 2005
Times Viewed: 4,799
Yes, the Neo-Pagan hangover is back with a vengeance (for the White Lighters, that word means “getting your own back”).
Oh my Goddess, the things some of us come out with! Oops, I just did it too…
I don’t know if anyone else noticed but we have a Goddess AND a God (assuming here that you are Wiccan; if you aren’t then the list could be endless). I don’t know about you but I think it might be a good idea if we remembered that.
Don’t get me wrong. I understand the attraction of totally subverting the presence of the God within Pagan practice. Its like using “Satanism” for the purposes of getting back at your parents/priest/dodgy vicar, but it has the advantage that you don’t have to do anything nasty to nice poodles/cows/sheep/horses (the journalists will credit you that for free) and you don’t have to prance around like a mixture of Uncle Al Crowley and Simon de Belleme on acid. It emphasises the difference between Christianity and Paganism - or does it?
So many Pagans that I have talked to crow gleefully over the fact that a lot of Christians probably haven’t got beyond the title page of the family Bible and think the Leviathan is an SUV made by Chevrolet in the early ‘90’s. Normally about the third cliché uttered by the newbie as he/she Zebedee’s into their first moot is “I studied the Bible and I know it better than any Christian.”
That’s probably true, lass.
`Tis just a shame you couldn’t actually manage to take in what High Priestess ShiningPathBunny actually wrote in that book that cost you £15!
I have lost count of the times I have been to open rituals to be greeted with the sight of fifty people standing round trying to decide whether to die with embarrassment or look daggers at their comrades in case they tell moot-mates that he or she went to so-and-so’s ritual.
But you know, it’s not the high campery and it’s not even the excruciating karaoke-like renditions of the Witches’ Rune (with half the words forgotten) that make me cringe. It’s that a fair half of us cannot even be bothered to learn our own traditions because it’s so much more fun to bitch about everyone else’s.
And yes, that sort of thing can be fun. Being able to be with other Pagans and poets and writers and creative people who have the same worldview as you. It’s the home you never had.
Well that’s fair enough. But please don’t yabber on about balance and “it harm none” because it is unlikely you are respecting either.
Balance means equality. It means 50/50. It means the best weight distribution to keep daddy’s Mercedes on the road. It doesn’t mean an hour of Drawing Down the Moon and praising the Goddess and then tacking on, as you close the circle, “Oh, and the God of course!”
“Harm none” means exactly what it says. It includes not harming yourself and delusion can be as self-harming as cutting yourself with a knife. We accuse other traditions of not practicing what they preach. We have even been known to accuse other traditions for practicing what they preach. Then we sit there smug and act like we are perfect…
Sorry to have to burst your bubble people, but we aren’t. We are as guilty as anyone else as far as saying one thing and doing another is concerned.
And the wonderful thing is we don’t even have to stop if we don’t want to. I’d rather that we respected our past and our so-called “values” and I try to do that in my everyday life. It isn’t always possible or sometimes even desirable. But at least if you are going to claim your franchise in the wonderful world of Wicca and Paganism, be honest about what you are and what you aren’t.
I myself am not Wiccan. While it is true I tend to follow the “Wheel of the Year” festivals, I have also worked with the Celtic and Romano-British traditions. I freely admit to not holding to the “an it harm none, do what you will, ” simply because I feel that every single thing I do may have a good or bad effect on others, often at the same time. I very rarely work “in circle” and am very rarely seen lugging around anything more than a Damascene-bladed athame. I have been called “High Priest” once, and that by the Pagan version of Tolkien’s Orcs, more commonly known as journalists (lat nom: Hackylus Annoyii).
See that was relatively painless wasn’t it? One and a bit paragraphs and you know whom you are talking to. Why can’t we all do that instead of this “blah blah nature blah blah world peace blah blah feminism blah blah do you want to come back to my place…” that seems to emanate from every moot and meeting?
If the Twelve Disciples of the Bible had acted like some Pagans do, it might be that historians would liken the Last Supper to a five-a-side football game with the Son of God as the referee and Judas on the bench as a sub (maybe that was why he was so bitter, or maybe he needed the transfer fee?). The way things are going Pagan-wise the score would be something like 3-1 on goals but one team winning on a 6-10 hack difference!
We are not in competition. So stop acting like it. We all bring our different experiences and tastes to the table. If you knew that Annette had been a battered wife would you then have started that vitriolic attack on her femino-centric personal Pagan tradition that had her in tears? No, you wouldn’t. So don’t do it now. Saying, “But I didn’t know” is not a defence, as any irate elder would soon tell you.
I guess what I am trying to say boils down to this: Be who you are and believe as you will, but be honest about it and know it. Spirituality is not something that grows in you because “everyone else does that.” It is inherently personal. If there is one single reason for the Pagan revival it is the right to make the choice of your own tradition.
With all rights come responsibility and ours is to know our traditions and live them, not conveniently forget a huge chunk of them because it reminds us of something distasteful.
Copyright: © 2005 Durin ab Iceni (Jon Marriage)
Location: Colchester, England
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