Articles/Essays From Pagans
July 9th. 2015 ...
The Magic of Weather
Love Spells: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly
June 7th. 2015 ...
A Pagan Altar
The Consort: Silent Partner or Hidden in Plain Sight?
A Minority of a Minority of a Minority
Why I Bother With Ritual: Poetry and Eikonic Atheism
May 6th. 2015 ...
Sex, Lies, and Witches: Love in a Time of Wiccans and Atheists
Gods, Myth, and Ritual in Naturalistic Paganism
I Claim Cronehood
13 Keys: The Crown of Kether
March 29th. 2015 ...
A Thread in the Tapestry of Witchcraft
March 28th. 2015 ...
On Wiccan Magick, Theurgy, Thaumaturgy and Setting Expectations
March 1st. 2015 ...
Choosing to Write a Shadow Book
My Concept Of Grey
Historiolae: The Spell Within the Story
February 1st. 2015 ...
Seeker Advice From a Coven Leader
The Three Centers of Paganism
Magick is No Illusion
The Ancient Use of God/Goddess Surnames
The Gods of My Heart
January 1st. 2015 ...
The Six Most Valuable Lessons I've Learned on My Path as a Witch
Manipulation of the Concept of Witchcraft
Publicly Other: Witchcraft in the Suburbs
Pagans All Around Us
Broomstick to the Emerald City
October 20th. 2014 ...
Thoughts on Conjuring Spirits
A Microcosmic View of Ma'at
October 5th. 2014 ...
The History of the Sacred Circle
Abandoning Expectations and Remembering Your Roots
September 28th. 2014 ...
Seeking Pagan Lands for Pagan Burials
Creating a Healing Temple
September 20th. 2014 ...
GOD AND ME (A Pagan's Personal Reply to the New Atheists)
September 7th. 2014 ...
Deer Man- A Confounding Mystery
August 31st. 2014 ...
Coven vs. Solitary
A Strange Waking Dream
August 24th. 2014 ...
Thoughts on Cultural and Spiritual Appropriation
The Pagan Cleric
A Gathering of Sorcerers (A Strange Tale)
August 17th. 2014 ...
To Know, to Will, to Dare...
On Grief: Beacons of Light in the Shadows
August 10th. 2014 ...
As a Pagan, How Do I Represent My Path?
The Power of the Gorgon
August 3rd. 2014 ...
Are You a Natural Witch?
You Have to Believe We Are Magic...
July 27th. 2014 ...
Did I Just Draw Down the Moon?
Astrological Ages and the Great Astrological End-Time Cycle
The New Jersey Finishing School for Would-Be Glamour Girls and Boys
July 20th. 2014 ...
Being an Underage Wiccan
Greed, Power, Witches, and the Inquisition
Malleus Maleficarum - The Hammer of the Witches
Thoughts on Ghost Hunting
July 13th. 2014 ...
A World Of Witchcraft: Belief Is Only The Beginning...
From Christian to Pagan (Part III)
My Wiccan Ways...
July 6th. 2014 ...
Keys: Opening the Portals into Other Worlds
The Lore of the Door
Leaves of Love
June 29th. 2014 ...
What Does the Bible Say About Witches and Pagans?
Are You My Familiar ?
Everything's Alright, Yes: Mary Magdalene
Invocations of the God and Goddess
Results Magic and the Moral Compass
June 22nd. 2014 ...
Witchcraft vs. Religion
Christianity and Paganism: Why All Of the Fighting?
June 15th. 2014 ...
Becoming Your Own Wise One
Canine Familiars: Role of the Alpha
June 8th. 2014 ...
Moral Relativism and Wicca
Paganism in Cebu, Philippines
June 1st. 2014 ...
Rediscovering My Pagan Faith
13 Keys: The Wisdom of Chokmah
May 25th. 2014 ...
Some Differences Between Priestesses and Witches: Duties and Trials
How to Work With Your Muse
NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.
The 'Full Circle Pagan'
Article ID: 9014
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 3,818
Times Read: 5,440
Author: Sabrina "The Ink Witch"
Posted: February 13th. 2005
Times Viewed: 5,440
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 path.....one 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.
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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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