Articles/Essays From Pagans
June 16th. 2013 ...
How To Stay Spiritual Amidst This Chaos?
Hearing The Music And Dancing The Dance
A Tale of the Wood
June 9th. 2013 ...
The Nature of Sacrifice
The Magick of Buildings
Start your own Pagan Church in Canada - A Detailed Guide
June 2nd. 2013 ...
Maiden, Mother, Who?! (A Discussion of the Triple Goddess)
Gods Who Live In My House
Why the 'Redneck Pagan'?
Among the Greenwod - An Interview with Raven Grimassi
May 26th. 2013 ...
So You Think You've Found a Teacher...
Learning To Live Your Own Life
Raising Personal Magickal Energy for Spellwork
Casting The Wiccan Circle
May 19th. 2013 ...
The Role of Identity in Magic
Talking Trash? It's a Dirty Subject but Waste Happens.
My Wiccan Journey
13 Keys: The Victory of Netzach
May 12th. 2013 ...
Pagan Studies I: How Should We Define Modern Paganism?
The Third Path
Nothing Special... Part Two
May 5th. 2013 ...
The Value of Multicultural Awareness
Put Your Back Into It (Our Lady of the Sacred Honey Badger)
Moon Musings, Planetary Preponderances and Red Lipped Bat Fish
April 28th. 2013 ...
Lessons from the Lessers: Iris
April 21st. 2013 ...
Taken By The Goddess: The Crescent Moon Tattoo
The Gods/Being Godbothered
To Be A Witch
The Archetypes are Gods: Re-godding the Archetypes
April 14th. 2013 ...
On The Inclusion of Children
'Wand Fun' With Grandson
Lessons from a Baby
Lessons of Freedom: On Divinity and Healing
April 7th. 2013 ...
Out of the Broom Closet... Sorta
A Journey Through the Witches Tarot
History and Science Behind Numerology
March 31st. 2013 ...
What is the Magickal Self?
Ethics and Numerology
March 24th. 2013 ...
Keystones of the Sacred Land
March 17th. 2013 ...
Why Some Pagans and Witches Still Hide
Witch Heritage 101: What Happens When Witch Haters Joke about anti-Witch Films
I'm Not a Broom. So What's with the Closet?
March 10th. 2013 ...
Top Ten Stupid Things I Did as a New Pagan: Part 3
Hunting for the Real Witch in Film
The Collective Shadow
Lies - The Opposite of Truth
March 3rd. 2013 ...
Grounding and Releasing Negative Energy
A Patchwork of Magick
February 24th. 2013 ...
Top Ten Stupid Mistakes I Made as a New Pagan (Part Two)
February 17th. 2013 ...
Top Ten Stupid Mistakes I made as a New Pagan... Part One
Gardening with Crystal Energies
A Call from the Ancestors
Moon Musings, Planetary Preponderances and Black Water Snakes
February 10th. 2013 ...
We Are the Weirdos, Mister: A Completely Uncool Story of Origin
February 3rd. 2013 ...
"I'll Grind Your Bones to Make my Bread": Pagans and Animal Husbandry
The Role of Contemporary Culture in Magic
A Pagan Response to Endangered Earth
The Great Mother's Gift, Heinlein, and the Nature of Squirrels
13 Keys: The Glory of Hod
January 27th. 2013 ...
Why We Do Need Wicca
The Cosmos In the Coffee Shop
On Travel Spirituality and Magick
January 20th. 2013 ...
Beloved Backs and How to Save Them
Building or Burning Bridges?
Plants, Magic and Intuition
Plagiarism - How It Harms Our Community
January 13th. 2013 ...
Ramblings of a Pagan Guy: Stupid Clichés
The Magick and Power of Words
Aging Is Not Easy
The Riddle of Who We Are?
January 6th. 2013 ...
Wicca v Witchcraft
NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.
Paranoia in Pagan America|
Posted: September 28th. 2003
Times Viewed: 4,339
Someone is watching me! Ears are always listening to everything I do! Someone is out to get me! There is a vast conspiracy to target me!
To most, comments like this conjure images of padded walls and nice perfectly white long sleeve shirts that have nice padlock accessories in the back and electro-shock therapy as an added bonus. Are these the words of a paranoid schizophrenic? Nope! They are the endless strings attached to endless posts on the many Pagan web forums and the late night conversations around a waning bonfire at many a gathering.
To many of our more outspoken members of the Pagan community everything is a conspiracy.
The USA PATRIOT Act (Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001)? Conspiracy! One designed to hinder my ability to bank, a total invasion of my privacy! The Motor-Voter Act? A grand scheme to tie me to the government, a way to track my every movement and a way for me to be forced to interact with the government so they can keep tabs on me! Global positioning chips in everyday appliances? A way for the government to spy on where I choose to watch TV, a first step to the eventual upgrade of said chips to video cameras so that they can watch me when I'm engrossed in soft core porn on Showtime and at my least aware, and lastly a way to fill my brain with mind controlling radio waves to persuade me to keep the current governmental regime in place!
:::chuckles::: I kid you not, each of these statements can be found on the various boards, being delivered by very serious individuals in our community.
So why? Why do so many Pagans in America feel that we should always be on edge for a potential conspiracy? And why are our boards so inundated with these theories? Well I wanted to find the answer to this one. So... Off I go to the horse's mouth!
I took the time to e-mail a handful of the individuals that had several (meaning more than 2) comments on more than 1 topic within the forums. Now, I could turn this little essay into a very humorous one by simply posting the conversations, but that's not going to help anyone do anything but die laughing (albeit not a bad way to go on to the Summerland). I really wanted to know what drove these individuals to be so concerned about the government's potential plots.
Here are some figures for the more numerically inclined Pagans amongst us:
18 conspirisists were talked with.
1 had any furthering education beyond high school.
13 had grown up in Pagan households (Pagan parents were the primary caregivers).
7 of the 13 within the Pagan households stated their parents were self-confessed "left-over hippies" from the late 60's and early 70's.
12 felt the Government was watching the very e-mails we were sharing.
Now within the course of my conversations one thing became very clear: none of these individuals were uneducated (despite the fact that only one had engaged in any higher learning beyond high school). Most were/are very articulate and charming individuals, but mentioning the idea of conspiracies acted as an immediate trigger. And when asked why they felt as they do, the only answer the "horses" could provide me was: "I just feel the way I feel. I can't explain it, the things I've seen and have heard about just lead me to believe that I should be wary of the government." (Note: Some were able to provide some "facts" but under close inspection and research these facts proved to be false.)
Well hell, not a lot of help there on my little quest for understanding. One more adage dispelled: the horse's mouth was useless...
So where to next? And off to the library I go. As I'm wandering through the rows of books I come across a whole section dedicated to the concerns of Conspiracy Theorists and their ideas. I get a small cart and check out the maximum of 20 books. Various authors, varying ideologies. Some are Christians with beliefs that the government is attempting to undermine the values of Christianity; some are Muslim with the same claim to Islam. Others are simply Americans with theories of needless privacy invasion and reasonable doubt of the government due to known uncouth activities abroad and here at home. But alas no book about what generates conspirisists. I read them all, took them back, and got 14 more.
It wasn't until the almost always saddening "In Honor Of:" page of the very last book that I began to draw a line between all these people from various backgrounds and various situations. The line read, "She never saw the world around her, she felt her way through life, her memory will never be forgotten." The author was talking about his blind sister who he believes was blinded during delivery (I won't go into his idea why she was blinded but it was one of the most believable things in the book). Well now...we might just have something here.
She felt the world... (If I were a cartoon a giant light bulb would flash on above my head.) The one thing that most conspirisist shared was that they always seemed to "feel" things: "I just have an uneasy feeling about this." Or "It's my feeling that the government is out to get me." The emotions always drove the words. "Feeling" or "sensing" was a primary point of conversation in all of my looking and learning. They "felt" more than they "investigated."
So, what does that tell us about the reason that Pagan boards are almost always full of conspirisist comments (see I didn't forget the original topic, so there!)?
It's all about feeling. One common denominator that almost every Earth-Based religion shares is the ideology of "feeling" and/or "sensing," or the concept of perception beyond the defined standard. Early on in our journey every little Pagan-teer (Teehee... a Mouseketeer reference) starts their individual journey by learning to sense energy and the spirits that revolve around us each day. And to be celebratory in the discoveries of the things not fully manifest to the rest of humanity. Our awareness is always focused on what we sense. What we feel is the truth of the Universe when we are involved in spiritual endeavors.
But, the opposing side of that coin is that we can't always allow our sensings or inclinations to fuel paranoia. Balance is always the key in our medicine or magickal workings. We try to balance the energies of the Gods and Goddesses within us, we try to balance the Elemental energies around our sacred spaces, and we try to use our gifts and perceptions to keep the delicate balance of nature from tipping over. And so in the area of theories, we must seek balance too.
A balance between the "Thinking Self" and the "Feeling Self." Where the Feeling Self may lead some of us to believe the government is out to get us, the Thinking Self is there to oppose the fear with facts. The Thinking Self knows that the cost to the government would be astronomical to do any nation-wide campaign of homeland espionage. The Thinking Self knows that if there is nothing illegal happening at home then there is nothing to worry about even if they are watching (and yes... smoking/growing/using marijuana is still illegal!). And the Thinking Self helps us live with a little less worry and a little less fear. And thusly the Thinking Self lets our medicine/magickal power grow. Because "where there be fear, medicine can not go."
Reading the posts my Feeling Self is always saying "Wow! They may be on to something," but my Thinking Self goes into action reminding me how bored the poor government employee who is assigned to monitor my life would be. If he can endure 3 hours of meditation in the buff and a few hours of watching me chant over my altar, and the driving rhythms of the drum beats from my CD's, more power to him.
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