A Field Guide to the Modern Pagan
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Article ID: 2099
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 7,745
Times Read: 44,947
Author: Witchvox Central
Posted: January 4th. 1998
Times Viewed: 44,947
Witchwars: For the love ot Humor!
"Is it Witch-A woman? or Witch-E woman?"
- Jerry Seinfield (1996)
Celebrating Diversity! Anyone that's spent some time in the Modern Pagan community has certainly met some or all of the following. Do we need to strive for a diverse community? Hardly, Modern Witches and Wiccans are very colorful group. We've got a little bit of everything. The following observation comes from a piece of email that has circulated for years. If you've seen it, you know it's sooo true and it you havn't see it we offer her to you. Enjoy our diversity....
A Field Guide to the Modern Pagan....
(first printed in Green Egg)
Anal Retentive Ceremonial : Book collection actually holds up the ceiling in places. Is studying Greek, Latin and Hebrew all at once. Does "workings" instead of "rituals". All twenty volumes of their magical diaries are in Enochian.
Distinguishing Signs: Won't go anywhere without a book. Is constantly aware of which direction is east. Dresses according to planetary conditions, or whatever was on sale at Wal-Mart.
Ravin' Pagan : Young and psychedelic. Can dance non-stop all night. Refuses to do boring Eurocentric rituals and prefers deities from sunny climes with lots of interesting local plants. Can say "Ayahuasca" ten times real fast and deliver long quotes from Terrence McKenna.
Distinguishing Signs: Dresses in color combinations that hurt the eyes unless you've taken ecstasy. Bloodshot eyes, blissful smile, never goes anywhere without ritual drum.
Dances With Bunnyrabbits : Uses animal symbolism to express nearly all opinions and feelings. Charter member of PETA. Thinks meat eaters should be publicly executed. Has many, many, many pets. Has a spirit animal. Personally owns 927 models, pictures, and other depictions of their spirit animal.
Distinguishing Signs: Not counting the pagan his/herself, how many animals can you see when looking at them? If the count surpasses five (including critters found on tattoos, jewelry, garments and undies), you've found a worshipper of beasties.
Childe Ov Kaos : Can name seventeen industrial goth bands without pausing to think. Knows what a Prince Albert is. Personally feels that if no panicky headlines appear the day after you do a ritual, you screwed up. Painted on their jacket, engraved in their flesh and/or boldly displayed as jewelry is an emblem which resembles a combination of corporate logo and arcane symbol. If you don't know what it means, they'll think you're a dweeb.
Distinguishing Signs: Easy to picture as an alternative musician or bike messenger, difficult to visualize as a school teacher or research assistant, impossible to imagine as a TV news anchor or bank officer. Always wears black leather, even when sleeping.
Bright-Eyed Novice : You just read this cool book about a religion where there's a Goddess and a God, and they meet outside in nature, instead of some scary old building. They think sex is good not evil, and you want to know where to sign up.
Distinguishing Signs: Mispronounces god/dess names, has to think a moment about which is deosil and which is widdershins. Has a shiny new athame (rhymes with "A-frame".)
Crowley-In-A-Past-Life : Every magical gathering has at least one of these, along with several variants along the lines of Gerald Gardner, Tituba, Morgan LeFey, or somebody who was Atlantean royalty. Many of them were abducted by aliens recently, and have disturbing dreams rich with arcane symbolism that they will tell you all about, in great detail.
Distinguishing Signs: Look for the intense gleam in the eyes, the backpack rattling with various psychiatric medications, and the garments that were clearly designed and tailored on another planet.
Fairie Queen : Is he a she? Is she a he? Are they a couple, or are those two a couple or are all four of them a quadruple? If getting answers to these questions could disturb you, best stay away. If, on the other hand, these kind of questions seem overly judgmental, you might have a real good time ...
Distinguishing Signs: When you look at this person, does every sex act you've ever experienced in your life seem hopelessly vanilla? If so, congratulations -- you've found a Fairie!
Grand Old Wo/Man : Actually remembers Woodstock (the first one.) Will tell you about the time they dropped acid with Kerry Wendell Thornley - or maybe it was Robert Anton Wilson. Anyway, it was somebody with three names. Or was it three people with one name?
Distinguishing Signs: Luxuriant gray locks, listens very intently, knows dish about people you've only read about.
Fundamentapagan : If it's in a book, it must be true. If it's in an old book, it must really be true. If it's in an old book that was handed down from an oral tradition of people who couldn't read, then it must really be way true. Gnashes their teeth if anyone shows up at a circle wearing a watch, glasses, or other mechanical assistance. Believes that anyone who lives in a city, eats meat or has a regular job dare not call themselves a pagan.
Distinguishing Signs: Has hissy fits when somebody brings up the old "Crowley ghosted Gardner's books" argument. Goes around correcting everyone's gaelic/old norse/latin/babylonian.
Het-Case : Insist that they aren't homophobic; they just believe that Paganism is about a goddess and a god and they do it and what could be more obvious than that? It just doesn't "work right" if you try any other way! Are secretly afraid that gays and/or lesbians are dying to jump their tender hetro bones.
Distinguishing Signs: Living spaces abound with depictions of satyrs with enormous genitals and huge-breasted, doe-eyed goddesses. Long manicured nails and wreaths of flowers (on females only -- men have big, bushy beards instead).
High Episcopagan : Do their rituals have a script, a choreographer, a stage manager, an orchestra with chorus and last at least three hours? It's a High Episcopagan! They can memorize pages and pages of Olde Englishe, have more ritual garbs than most people have socks, and consider their main pagan influences to be Gerald Gardner, Judy Garland and Busby Berkeley.
Distinguishing Signs: Book of Shadows exceeds five volumes. Knows every note of "Carmina Burana" Don't ask them about that 18th century seed pearl trim on their ritual hat unless you've got an hour to spare.
Monster Truck Pagan : Can build own house, kill own food, school own children, and brew own hootch. Owns guns. Anointing oil is 30 weight. Scrying mirror says "objects are closer than they appear".
Distinguishing Signs: Athame is a Gerber with a compass and waterproof secret compartment. Eats meat with visible twitches of pleasure. Ritual robes made from cammo fabric.
Norse Code : Heroic and vikingly, these pagans often get into trouble with festival organizers and park rangers due to their fondness for running around with a huge battle-ax in one hand and a full mead horn in the other. They throw the best parties, but if you're a wimp, you're expressly not invited.
Distinguishing Signs: Look for the large, foreboding, biker-like persons wearing runes, with many pounds of amber dangling from their necks.
Our Lady Of Intense Suffering : Is constantly persecuted. You're probably persecuting her right now, you just don't realize it. Became a Pagan because she decided it was that most persecuted religion of all. Can't enjoy anything because it would be selfish to have any fun when so many are suffering.
Distinguishing Signs: Tales of woe. Even less of a sense of humor than Priest/ess of Political Correctness. Bristles when anyone says the words "masochist" or "whining".
Pagan Celebrity : At conventions, stays on the hotel floor that requires a special key for elevator access. Lurks around knots of conversation eavesdropping in order to see if their name is being mentioned. Arrives in helicopter especially for rituals. Starts every sentence with "I". If you ask them how it's going, they hand you a press release.
Distinguishing Signs: Always has plenty of books to autograph and will personally sell them to you at a slight discount from cover price. Never seen unaccompanied by beefy amazonian bodyguards and doe-eyed hangers-on. Seems vaguely afraid of anyone they don't already know.
Pentacles, Inc. : Pagans have disposable income too, right? So how come they aren't buying my hand forged Venus of Willendorf necklaces -- they come in silver and gold, and each one has a genuine cubic zirconium belly button. Would you like a reading? Will that be Visa or MasterCard?
Distinguishing Signs: Has business cards featuring little embossed pentagrams. You've never seen so much Egyptian god/dess jewelry on a human being in your whole life.
Priest/ess of Political Correctness : Analyzes everything they read or hear for sexist - racist - homophobic - imperialist - Eurocentric content without paying attention to what is actually being said. Believes in personal liberty -- everyone has the right to be overbearing, dogmatic and holier-than-thou, not just the Xtian Right. Incredibly boring yet annoyingly self-righteous all at the same time.
Distinguishing Signs: Beady hyper-alert little eyes are constantly in motion, waiting for someone to do or say something _bad_. Has loud and attention attracting hissy fits when confronted with everyday things such as advertising or corporate franchises. Rudimentary sense of humor is rarely activated.
Scary Devil Worshipper : Would never be caught dead skyclad. Rarely smiles, except in a snide, knowing way which insinuates you are an ignorant peasant worthy of conquest. Secretly enjoys Rush Limbaugh and read The Bell Curve with smug satisfaction. Fascinated with Nazis. Probably has never hurt a fly, but they want you to think they're capable of vast destruction.
Distinguishing Signs: Lots of black and red. Men like goatees, women favor heavy black eyeliner. At least one inverted pentagram somewhere on their person. If you see several of them getting tanked in a bar, it would be wise to stay far away.
Sexy Pagan Nymph : Oh, they're so nice! All that warm, round, sex-positive flesh -- and you can actually carry on a conversation with them between orgasms... pant, drool...
Distinguishing Signs: Cute. Horny. Displays prominent cleavage. Will recite love poetry to you under a full moon. Likes to do it outdoors. Often destitute. All too few of them
Womyncentric Gynocrat : A man's shadow crossed her altar once and she spent three weeks purifying it. She'll have no wands in her chalice, thank you. No boys allowed in her full-moon club. Can hold forth for hours on the magical properties of menstrual blood.
Distinguishing Signs: Tiny axes or curved knives, just right for amputating a penis, are a favored symbol and often hang conveniently from her body parts. When a man approaches she rolls her eyes and stops talking.
Corporate Closet Witch : "Hey, boss -- I'd like to take February 2nd as a personal day..." Has an entire chapter of their Book Of Shadows concerned with spells for purifying the workplace. Doesn't mind working on Christmas, especially if there's overtime involved. Quit being overtly Pagan at work since being canned by that born-again boss, but still refuses to say "Merry Christmas."
Distinguishing Signs: Can assume a properly smiley work persona at the drop of a hat. Constantly glances around the room anxiously looking for co-workers and their spies. Non-distinctive style of dress, no conspicuous tattoos.
Tree Hugging Nature Sprite : Most prized possession: one of Judi Barry's old tree spikes. Simultaneously believes in universal love for humanity AND returning the planet to a pristine, uncorrupted state. Apt to remove clothes and fondle the shrubbery at a moment's notice. Can discuss compost in great detail.
Distinguishing Signs: No meat, no fragrance, no leather, no plastic, no smoke, no drugs, no eco-exploitive products, no animal tested cosmetics, no TV, no car, but very tolerant.
I Am Not Spock (at the moment) : Knows at least three filks about Cthulhu and at least forty Star Trek jokes. Has found a clever way to create simple furniture from stacks of science fiction paperbacks. Can name ninety different kinds of space ships.
Distinguishing Signs: Two fisted drinking style. Probably still lives with parents. Many cryptic buttons, badges, patches and other insignia. Too smart for their own good.
TechnoPagan : Often found discussing the best method of removing hot wax from keyboards. Seems unaccustomed to sunlight. Have had coven-mates for years whom they have never seen face to face, much less know which continent they live on.
Distinguishing Signs: Casts circle with #5 torx driver. Chalice contains Jolt. BoS is writtin in Perl. Refers to eclectic ritual as "cross-platforming." Thinks "naked in your rites" means a non-GUI environment.
Otaku Pagan(subbie): Has and equal amount of Japanese Manga as books on Paganism(sometimes more!). Often dresses up as their latest favorite anime character. Often cannot sit still for more than five minutes without frolicking. Their God is a warrior god named Hitokiri Battousai and their Goddess is Belldandy.
Distinguishing Signs: Their ritual garb looks too much like a Shinto robe or a Kimono. Their BOS is written in Japanese They often put Japanese slang in to convey emotions. When they get confused they say "Oro?". Their ritual sword is a Katana or another Japanese sword. They call raising energy raising you ki level.
Otaku Pagan(dubbie): Has more Sailormoon and/or Dragonball stuff than possibly imaginable. Cannot take a single thing seriously. Even more frolicky than a subbie. Probably got into Paganism because s/he wanted to be a 'magical-girl'. Doesn't know a thing about Japanese culture. Thinks all anime is like Sailormoon(and gets really shocked when they rent Ninja Scroll).:
Distinguishing Signs: Freaks out when Skyclad is even mentioned(a subbie wouldn't care). Often jokingly calls you "meatball head" if you insult them. Their ritual wand is pink with a crecent moon on the end and during ritual they shout, "moon healing, escalation!" Quotes Dragonball and Sailormoon every chance they get.
1/5/97 update we just found out that none other than R. Tom Dixon III (aka Walking Stick) wrote the TechnoPagan profile... Thanks Tom.
2/2/2000 update The Otaku Pagan "Profiles" were submitted by Yugami-Chan... Thanks So Much.
Location: Clearwater¼, Florida
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