Organization is Key
Article ID: 12069
Age Group: Adult
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Posted: August 10th. 2008
Times Viewed: 2,273
Summer is coming to an end, unfortunately. Samhain is right around the corner, and I cannot wait. I enjoy the festivities of Summer-the car shows, county fairs, etc. I love wandering around the fairgrounds, looking at all the knickknacks, eating my share of delicious funnels cakes and fair food. There is something that I dread in fairs though.
I walk into some of the merchant buildings and I find Fundamentalist Christian booths passing out their endless supply of Jesus pamphlets saying, “worship our Jesus or else” and all the other complete rubbish they tell people to get their church attendance up.
Yes, they do have one about “the dangers of Witchcraft” or something along the lines of that, blah, blah, blah.
This got me thinking recently, why don’t members of the Pagan community have these booths not to convert, but to educate the public about our beliefs? That would certainly open the doors for debate and understanding about Pagan/Wiccan customs.
I feel there is not a public voice in a smaller community setting to educate the public. Through this education, there would be more understanding and less discrimination from the uninformed. Perhaps it is time for us to get organized, but not in the dogmatic, traditional sense. I think that the general public would take our community more seriously if we did this since we have a definite voice about the very basics. An informed public would be less likely to criticize Paganism, but they would at least have the facts to counteract these criticisms.
I know what you must be thinking, “part of the reason why I joined my tradition is because of the lack of free thinkers, and complete blind faith in the more traditional religions.” This is very valid concern, however, bear in mind I am talking about basic facts such as we do not worship or much less believe Satan exists, etc. That would be a huge milestone in itself if we can make the general public understand that. The 13 Goals of a Witch would be a great start. This would also help non-Pagans have a more open attitude about exploring other beliefs outside of their tradition they were raised with.
It disgusts me beyond belief that people can still, in this day and age, lose their kids, their jobs, even their families due to the lack of general understanding. There is absolutely no reason in the 21st century that such a beautiful, peaceful religion gets the bad rap of being “Satan worship” and other such nonsense.
That is the reason why I delayed practicing Wicca because of this misunderstanding. I honestly thought I had to sell my soul to the Devil in order to be a Witch (laughable, I know). Once I found out I didn’t, I learned all I could about Wicca. It is what launched me into the person I am now. I am spiritually whole and very happy with what I have become. If it was not for this religion, I would have been dead by my own hand.
When I found Witchvox, I was so glad that I was not the only one. It was because of this “organization” in a sense that I was able to fully connect with the community.
It is time for us to step up and be brave, to stop hiding behind this veil of mystery and anonymity. People would stop misunderstanding us if we did not hide so much. What are we so ashamed of? We need to start facing objections and facing misunderstanding to defeat it. We know as well as anyone else that open minds and education keeps this community strong. Yes, we all have to admit that we have come a long way from being burned at the stake and being arrested for Witchcraft.
Please do not get me wrong, these “educational booths” are meant for those who seek to learn, or have some questions. We are not going to be quite as forceful as the fundamentalists that practically shove the Jesus pamphlets in peoples’ hands.
This is where we can start:
-First and foremost, to come out of the broom closet and admit to other people about our beliefs, wherever appropriate. We have to stop hiding if people need to know we exist.
-The understanding that we never seek to convert anyone.
-Tolerance begets tolerance. We understand that people have different beliefs.
-The Pagan community is very diverse, across all races and economic backgrounds.
-“Warlock” means “betrayer, ” male Witches are Witches as well.
-13 Goals of a Witch.
-A reverence for Nature.
-We are very peace-oriented.
-We are true to others, our path, and ourselves.
-Not all Witches practice Witchcraft.
-We do not have a Bible, but we follow basic guidelines.
-We do not use or abuse Christian symbols, such as taking things from Churches, or using the cross in reverse. Although we may use the Mother Mary statue as a representation of Divine Feminine, we do not mean it in a blasphemous way.
-The Wiccan Rede.
-The general understanding that we do not need established “churches” or “sermons” to make our religion valid.
-Worship is everyday living to us.
-If they want to get into detail-Call of the God and Goddess.
-The difference between Witchcraft and Satanism.
-The Principles of Belief.
-We believe in personal responsibility, not blaming others or some “Devil” for our problems.
-Many of us are absolutely against practicing any form of Black Majick, such manipulating other people, making people fall in love with us, making peoples’ hair fall out, etc.
-We do not have Black Masses, or any Black this or that of any kind.
-Most of all-we do not in any way or form believe that Satan exists nor do we worship such a being.
Just imagine the possibilities! Even through us banding together through the Internet, we have educated masses of people. We have dispelled the myths and misunderstanding to all who wanted to know.
Back to the fair-seeing my fellow Pagans/Wiccans wearing pentagrams and other various symbols educating people. I glance at them and smile knowing that I, and the rest of the Pagan community, will face a better tomorrow.
Location: Tiffin, Ohio
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