Article Specs |
Article ID: 6220
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 4,058
Times Read: 4,691
Author: Talma Stormphoenix
Posted: March 16th. 2003
Times Viewed: 4,691
I've been thinking about Pagan tribalism and I've written three different versions on this topic revising what I really think as I've tried putting it into words. It hasn't been easy because in trying to do the pros and cons of an actual "Pagan village" I've come to think seriously about it because as we all know thought is a very powerful thing!
At first I was thinking that it would be great to have lots of Pagans living in one area. It seemed like a great idea at the time and in some instances it probably is still a good idea, but once a group gets too large in an area other things can start to happen. Think about the inner cities. I am African-American myself and when I look around I get a weird feeling when I move from one part of the city I live in to others. No that Pittsburgh isn't so poor that any area should look like a complete dump, but there are areas that do. Where are they? The ghettos, the mostly black areas of the city. Stereotypes and misconceptions abound about black people have allowed certain beliefs and practices to go on that would otherwise be on the news if it happened elsewhere. I can walk around where I live and there are garbage cans every few blocks, but in ghetto areas there isn't a one! Why? Because of stereotypes of what people in power want others to "think" black people are like.
Are we dirty people? No, but where are the garbage cans? Are we less moral people? No, but if you were to look at the news or view statistics you'd think that 99.9% of the crimes and single parent household are from black people! I mean when you hear the term "Welfare Queen" what's the vision that first pops in your head? The subconscious message is constant. Black people are bad news.
Now what do you think would happen right now if Pagans could finally be herded into one area? I don't think society is quite ready for complete acceptance of Pagans to be living all in one area, I really don't. Recently there was a made for tv movie on the Salem Witch Trials and unfortunately too much of that same mentality still remains. Some people thankfully don't have a problem with it, but there are still quite a few who do.
Pagan women, Witches and Wiccans especially (most popular I guess), are supposed to be about nothing but seducing and corrupting the morals of men. Is that true? No, but that doesn't stop the stereotypes from persevering. Do Witches worship "Satan"? Nope, he's not in any of our terms of deity but you can't tell fundamentalist Christians that. Remember, "Satan" is a liar and so are his followers.
Here is something else that I've been thinking about lately. Right now our government is in the process of starting a war and we have a president that has slipped in many things that make me believe he sees this as an actual "holy" war. It seems to me that he has an agenda that would include legal ramifications for anyone who isn't completely on his page.
Okay now that I've pointed out what I feel is so wrong with trying to have actual neighborhoods filled with Pagans right now what do I suggest is the solution? Well that's just as hard as coming to the conclusion of actual Pagan neighborhoods not necessarily being a good thing right now!
On the whole I'd say more of the same is what's in order. If you're debating coming out of the broom closet but aren't sure how to do it I'd say one way to doing so is by attending festivals and meeting more Pagan people. When you come home you'll have more information to work with and seeing so many people of the same faith gathered in one place has a way or energizing you. It's always nice to know that even though you don't have Pagan neighbors living right next door (some folks I'm sure do but I'm one of those that aren't that lucky) you still live in a larger community than you may have realized.
For some it may be fear of coming out because of what family and friends may say or do. I can relate to that fear all too well. I live in a family where hardly anyone goes to church but if you say anything outside of what has been established everyone wants to tell you to go to church. I recently found out that most if not everyone in my family knows I'm Wiccan. No one has approached me about it, though it did explain the extra emphasis my mother has been putting on EWTN as of late!
My suggestion is taking some tips from this site. The Pagan Parenting section http://www.witchvox.com/xparent.html is the first place I would and do tell anyone to look. I have! Before you go out telling everyone you're a Pagan of any sort they should get to know who you are before they know what faith your practice. It makes it a whole lot harder to fall in with the stereotypes when they know you first hand. I think that's why my family hasn't tried anything blatant. I am a mother and if they would try to have my children taken from me they'd have to prove their claims and quite frankly they couldn't do it.
I think ultimately we will be able to live in areas, so we can have centralized areas to gather together for worship and social events. I live in Pittsburgh and there is an area here called Squirrel Hill. The majority of the people who live there are Jewish and rarely do they have any more problems with people of other faiths than the local churches in the area. I know our faith and Judaism don't have much of anything in common, but the way I see it if one group can have so can another.
Then again, maybe the time to be seen is now. With all the change that is going on maybe banding together is just what we all need. Religious intolerance needs to be stopped just like ethnic intolerance needs to be stopped. Hmm, it looks like I've given myself more food for thought!
Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Author's Profile: To learn more about Talma Stormphoenix - Click HERE
Bio: Talma StormPhoenix is an eclectic solitary Witch, Wiccan and mother of four. She is currently an information sciences student and Earth Director of the AAWS.
Other Articles: Talma Stormphoenix has posted 4 additional articles- View them?
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