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Article Specs

Article ID: 9014

VoxAcct: 184299

Section: words

Age Group: Adult

Days Up: 4,425

Times Read: 5,786

The 'Full Circle Pagan'

Author: Sabrina "The Ink Witch"
Posted: February 13th. 2005
Times Viewed: 5,786

I'd like to address a serious matter by bringing attention to a little something I call "full circle Pagans".

Many people flee their religious backgrounds, the tenets under whatever banner of religion by which they were raised, some element of religion they've been privy to...and at some point may seek out Paganism.

I believe they seek Paganism for its religious freedoms, its availability of a number of paths and tones of self-expression, the Paganism that will embrace their personal spirituality. They tire of the dogma of whatever they're turning from and look to be able to embrace a different that suits their needs - one that appears to be without boundaries. Those turning to Paganism seek to shed the old and don the shiny and new, limitless path....

But often times in so doing, they begin to study, to read, to seek others of a particular path, work at their own path, begin self discovery and development only to go 'full circle'. And over time this 'full circle' Pagan begins to self-define what their path is ....they turn right around and become self righteous in their beliefs. Where they once sought freedom...freedom then becomes secondary to their own opinions. Weighing heavily upon their own choices to finger-point and condemn others. Which oddly enough was, at least in part, what gave rise to them seeking Paganism in the first place. They did not appreciate the limitations of what they were turning from and sought Paganism only to go full circle and to begin to condemn and judge others - those very elements they fled from to start with.

Some people come to such a decision regarding their own chosen path of __________ (fill in the blank) that they are so dedicated and convinced their way is better, or more valid in some manner that they then begin to pass judgment upon or against (more specifically) other paths. That which initially drew them to Paganism in the first place - the ability to experience and revel in their own self-expression has ceased to be the banner they carry. And now armed with knowledge of their chosen path they condemn other paths that differ from their own. Almost like an oxymoron of sorts. With their new-found knowledge or a few years under their belt of whatever their Pagan flavor might be - they whip their opposition with conviction. So grounded and convinced that "Their" way is the Right way.
I do not understand this!

I feel our Pagan community suffers a great deal from condemnation between its members. It breaks down special elements we look for in our like-minded friends - elements of trust and freedom, of understanding and at the very least ---acceptance. I fear for those who call themselves enlightened while they clearly fight other's freedom of choice. I fear for those who would be motivated by their own need to be heard and their attempt to force their ideas upon others. To bully and spread rumors and hurtful deeds and words are as painful as any harmful spell could ever be. Words carry a great deal of weight and those who wield them need be mindful of the hurt they inflict.

These harmful, self-absorbed types who lay in wait to critique others. Almost as if this is how they define their own path - by finding hurtful things to say about another's path (?) Since when did defining one's own special path become determined by the critique of others?

It's like going to a restaurant - having a little taste of one thing in particular and then griping about the rest of the menu. Hey? You're not even eating from the rest of the selections? You don't like broccoli soup - cool. But don't you think it's just a little foolish to condemn the poor bastard at the next table because he happens to LIKE Broccoli soup? But there you are finger-pointing at his poor bowl and possibly spoiling his meal. But YOUR selection from the menu is of course - um, right?

How special you must feel !

I have seen this for some time now -- those who would cast shadow upon another path due to the mere reason that it does not mirror their own beliefs. You know what I mean? That hateful look-down-the-nose biz for someone who doesn't follow exactly what they do? Ouch! It is censorship and denial of individual expression and holds No place in Paganism In my opinion. This ongoing attitude of critique does not build - it destroys. With the internet helping make so many paths more available these days...what are we creating? What are we building? What are we becoming?

Personally, I am uninterested in Pagans that profess to be accepting of many paths yet force others to defend their methods and choices. When did *enlightened* become something other than that which was its intended use to begin with? I missed the meeting where the meaning of *enlightened* was altered.

If the only path you embrace or honor is your own, you limit yourself beyond all imagination. What sort of a testament you are to your path if you spend your time finger-pointing the negative you seek to find in other paths? And what beauty of expression and discovery do you miss in your narrow-mindedness? I really think it is time we sought discussion of concepts and appreciation of one another again....not negative critique. My path is not more valid or more important than anyone else's...yet I still seek the same acceptance and space from others. After being in the Pagan community now for many years...I find it sad that I feel so compelled to type this at all.

Maybe I've just run into one of those "Witchier than thou" types one time too many. Maybe I'm tired of people taking advantage of our constitutional rights to their freedom of speech to the point of belittling what it is that I believe. Maybe I long to belong to a community based on trust, acceptance and beauty once again.

Whatever the catalyst- I do know this- the 'full circle Pagan' is out there and totally prepared to explain to you in no uncertain terms that what you do is....well, wrong.

Funny....I really wish sometimes we could just get all these know-it-alls in a room with each other at the same time. That might just solve it rather quick.

Some of you may read this as the typical "can't we all just get along" diatribe, but I assure you my aim is more pointed than that. I really think it is time to address the attitude that just because someone does not follow MY path doesn't inherently make them wrong! And if I am willing to be mindful and respectful of someone else's choices - I really do expect the same in return.

We don't have to agree - that's what self expression is designed to leave room for - differing opinions.

But differing opinions and hateful regard for those who hold differing ideals is not the same thing.

But then - growth arises more often than not from the ashes....

The Ink Witch


Sabrina "The Ink Witch"

Location: Birdsboro, Pennsylvania


Author's Profile: To learn more about Sabrina "The Ink Witch" - Click HERE

Bio: Sabrina is a Pagan artist - nicknamed "The Ink Witch". She's been a practicing Pagan for many years and teaches Witchcraft in her home town. She's mother to three, wonderful daughters, married over 23 years and is Irish, passionate and outspoken about Witchcraft.

Other Listings: To view ALL of my listings: Click HERE

Email Sabrina "The Ink Witch"... (No, I have NOT opted to receive Pagan Invites! Please do NOT send me anonymous invites to groups, sales and events.)

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