An Observation About Fluffy Bunnies
Article ID: 11214
Age Group: Adult
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Author: Chris K Underwood
Posted: April 29th. 2007
Times Viewed: 4,458
I want to state an observation but try to do so without it sounding like a rant or tirade against anyone. Please note that I am speaking in general terms here and not pointing out any person or groups personally.
Lets Talk about Fluffy Bunnies again.
But before we get into the observation I mentioned we should first define what a “Fluffy Bunny” is for those who may not be familiar with the term.
Simply put a “Fluff Bunny” is in most opinions is derogatory term to describe a Wiccan, Neo-pagan, or Witch, who is either fixated only on the nice aspects of their path, and/or a newbie who is a little over zealous in their beliefs and who tends to spread bits of misinformation. This is sometimes referred to as “Bunny Dropping”.
This is not about people who are simply new to Wicca and Neo-Pagan beliefs--all of us were newbies at one time. Instead, the Fluffy Bunny problem concerns people who are new to Wicca who spend more time misinforming others than they do learning about the religion.
In many cases, a Fluffy Bunny's personal beliefs barely resemble Wicca, or any other Pagan Path. Although people can believe as they wish, they must be careful what they call those beliefs
My observation came after two small events that led my thought process. The first happened September of 2005 while attending our Coven's Esbat gathering. I was having a conversation with a friend about people who are Fluffy. I mentioned to her that I really did not understand that type individual and how they think. This was not said in a demeaning manor but just while having a conversation about such things.
Her response was that I did not understand the mentality because I never was one. She mentioned that because my path started very early in my life, and through the study of all occult subjects I was not drawn only to the “lighter” side of Wicca but from a broader standpoint.
I thought this was a brilliant observation and found that she was correct once I thought about it. Not that I am in any way special, I just started on a different footing than many today who get their first ideas about Wicca from current books and websites.
I was also lucky at the time to have teachers who led me along without a biased viewpoint since they as well were taught in a more traditional manor.
Even though Witches initiated me, I always felt that a person could become a Witch or Wiccan on their own as a solitaire. I still feel this is true, and I personally know many solitaires that are very knowledgeable. I also have met many online who have some very strange ideas about what Wicca is and what it represents.
The only problem that I see with those who learn completely on their own is a lack of good feedback and conversation with someone who is more knowledgeable. There is nothing wrong with learning on one's own; I just think that it will take much longer and the solitaire may misinterpret some information. This is why much teaching in Wicca is orally transmitted.
This leads me to what I call “Net Bunnies”.
“Net Bunnies” are those who have read a few Wiccan books, and many Wiccan websites, and have decided that without a doubt they are Wiccans. They then spend a great deal of time in blogs and e-groups telling other people what Wicca and Witchcraft is all about, usually with their own personal slant on things.
When corrected they tend to become very agitated and will refer you to some obscure website or a quote from their favorite author.
There are plenty of good authors out there writing books about Wicca these days. I wish there had been half as many when some of us started out. I think the experience and insight that they offer is wonderful, but it is not meant to be taken as scripture. Just because it was published in a book does not mean it's true. Published authors are just as likely to color their writings with a personal slant or belief as anyone else.
The point to this is that these Net Bunnies are just not qualified to teach others the intricacies of the system no matter how well meaning they are. It takes more than just reading a few books and websites to make a Wiccan. It takes considerably more to make a Wiccan teacher.
I commented to a friend that although my wife and I have met many people in the Pagan community throughout the years--despite all of the festivals, and rituals we have attended, and all of the covens we have come across--we have yet to see a Fluffy Bunny in person. I was having a discussion with another couple we know, about all the local covens and groups in our area, and the people they have meet over the years.
This couple has been around much longer than we have and were originally trained as Gardnerians. They also regularly attend some of the larger festivals learning from people with names like Ravenwolf, Frost, and Ennis.
Yet when I spoke to them about Fluffy Bunnies they did not know what I was talking about.
At this point I am convinced that most of the so-called “Fluffy Bunnies” do not really exist at all. Instead they are primarily people on the web who are simply playing at being Pagan. They may be doing so as a fad, or because they are generally interested, but they are not real Pagans and most likely never really intend to be. That or they have a more sinister agenda. Keep Reading…
Another type of Fluffy Bunny is a more insidious creature that until recently I did not know existed. I was speaking to a young man at a nearby Universal Unitarian church during their Pagan group's annual Pagan Pride Day. Since we are a very friendly bunch we tend to strike up conversations with strangers in the hopes of meeting new friends.
When this young man walked by our seats we said hello and offered him a place to sit since he seemed to be alone. The gentleman mentioned that he was surprised how nice everyone in attendance was towards a complete stranger. I mentioned to him that our little group was but one of many and that we only knew a few people since this gathering was just outside our local area. Yet we felt perfectly at home amongst these strangers. I asked him why he was surprised, since even though there are jerks and rude people in any group, Pagans tend to be open and friendly.
His response was misinformation based on his religious up bringing; he was always led to believe that we were a bunch of baby killing sex fiends. As the conversation progressed he admitted that this type of misinformation had enraged him as moral citizen. In the course of his outrage, and being an intelligent person, he did research to find the truth of the matter for himself. As a result he left his former religion and was in the process of learning Wicca as his newly chosen path. But before this transformation he believed in the lies and misinformation and helped others like himself in a form of net religious warfare.
This consisted of surfing the Pagan websites and various chat groups masquerading as a Pagan and spreading disinformation. He explained to me that they would join a blog or e-group under the guise of a new pagan and purposely try and cause dissention among the members.
He told me that to them the end justified the means and they believed that if just one person quit being a Pagan then it was worth it.
Now I’m not saying all newbies and fluffy bunnies are this type of person with a hidden online agenda, but in my own experience I have seen this type of behavior.
About three weeks ago a new member joined a Yahoo e group that I belong to. During the first two weeks, this person asked lots of questions regarding our beliefs and the nature of magic. Then she started on a campaign of disinformation that had many of us shaking our heads and wondering where she was getting this bizarre information.
In the last few days she launched in to a preaching tirade about how we are all going to hell and so on and so forth. The moderators removed her from the group, but it certainly made me remember what the young man had told me.
Since I am a member of many such groups it made me think about all the times when a person started an argument or just simply would argue a topic that all Pagans agree on. I wonder how many of them were like the people described above?
Welcome to a new world of Paganism, the online world. We all know that people can do many things on the net that most would not do or say in person. Now for whatever reason we have a whole culture of fictional Pagans surfing the net. Unfortunately for all of us, and especially for those who are really seeking information, they instead will find the perpetrators of this game.
These are the fluffy bunnies. They look to confuse followers of Paganism. They amuse themselves at our expense. They attempt to infiltrate our religious convictions with their dogma, which they believe gives them the right to make us change our beliefs to fall in line with theirs.
The good news is that most are hiding behind the brush that is their computer screens and do not have the courage to venture out to meet real Pagans.
If you wish to be Pagan, spend some time reading the books on your chosen system. Then venture out into the world and make friends with a few others if you can. The experience will be wonderful and rewarding to you.
If you surf the net please read everything, and if you become confused find an experienced Pagan, or ask a reputable group such as the people at Witchvox.
Afterwards, you can grab your virtual shotgun and help up clean up the misinformation that is being spread on the Web by the bunnies.
We need all the help we can get because there are a lot of them and its wabbit season!
Written by: Chris K Underwood
Edited by: Peter Hamel
Copyright: Permission to freely distribute is granted as long as the original content and credit is maintained.
Chris K Underwood
Location: Palm Beach County, Florida
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