Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Does an average Pagan exist?

I blog hop, a lot.  Some I read rather faithfully, and others, I just pop in and take a look from time to time.  Sometimes I comment, and sometimes,I have nothing constructive to add, so I keep my trap shut.  Lately, I read something that intrigued me.  It was a bit of a rant (posted to Google +) about the pagan community completely homogenized and not representative of her views as a Pagan.  This was all caused by Jason Pitzl-Water's Wild Hunt post (http://www.patheos.com/blogs/wildhunt/2011/12/editorial-occupying-everything.html#disqus_thread and check out Stacy Evan's commentary on it as well- http://asimplelifeinspired.blogspot.com/2011/12/rejection-of-capitalism-or-living.html).   I was a bit blown away by that statement.  *It should be noted that I myself frequently disagree with stuff posted on The Wild Hunt, and therefore, I don't read it often, usually when one a few other trusted blogger friends recommend.

The author of the comment bemoaned the liberal politics of Paganism, the prevalence of only one view point and the sensation of being a "square peg in a round hole".  Really?  I wonder who she reads to come to this conclusion, first off; but second, I wonder if it's not just a bit of confusion/ personal crisis.(This is my thought, not a judgement, just a working hypothesis- don't panic.)  In my blog hopping, I have seen many different views of Paganism from Fundamentalist Wicca and Heathenism that is every bit as militant as Westboro Baptist Church to the more laid back, "Do what feels right to you" view.  There isn't even a consensus regarding whether or not a Pagan can incorporate Christian ideas or saints into their practice, as far as I can tell (frankly, what do I care?  All Divinities are part of whole in my worldview, giving them different names really doesn't change anything).  I find myself frequently shocked at how Pagans can be against things like free speech and human rights, but support the "2nd Amendment solutions".  Homophobia (and hatred of straight people, too) and racism can be found here in the Pagan community, often in subtle, frightening forms that go without challenge, and judgmental and discriminatory speech isn't uncommon. These are my observations, and I'm sure that some you won't agree with them, and that's fine as long as the dialogue remains constructive and respectful, I have no problem with that.  My other observation is this: if you disagree with another Pagan's views, do you speak up, start a dialogue or fight, or do you mostly do what I do, and look for a more accepting and acceptable crowd to hang with?  Maybe the problem isn't a lack of diversity, but a lack of confrontation or discussion.

My point is, after all of that rambling, that the Pagan community is no more homogeneous than Western society is.  We have our factions, our disagreements, our liberals and conservatives, our intellectuals and scoundrels.  I don't think you can pick one person out of this crowd and hold them up as representative of the whole.  I guess this is just a reminder that we all create our realities to suit our expectations and desires. As far as "normal" and "average" go, I think they only exist in the minds of those crazy statisticians who like math to explain the explainable.


3 comments:

  1. So, sorry Diandra, I oopsied and deleted your comment this morning.

    Here it is for the rest of you, especially since she often has very thoughtful things to say-


    Well, if someone only hangs out with one certain flavor of people, it's more htan likely she will have to complain about how bland everything is, eventually. ^^

    There are so many different kinds of Pagans and Witches out there, and most of them disagree on certain aspects. However, this frequent dialogue needs people to speak up and say, "This is how I do it, and it's different from how you do it." Especially for the "newbies" who wander the internet and are still googling "the one and only love spell" or something. ^^

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  2. I have always thought that discussion even a little healthy debate opens doors to different perspectives, but I have run across Pagans that only approve of their take on the world and no one else's. Saying that some people have this irrepressible urge to be different even among people of the same mind set so it gets be "only Im special and everyone else is boring" Paganism is a party that lets everyone in the crazies and the popular kids...no one person can represent such a diverse group of indiviuals. (psst except maybe me....lol ^_^)

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  3. I think in circle online or even public circles you'll get a general common view of what are "acceptable" views and what are not by the whole. Such as liberalness. That doesn't mean all pagans are that way by a long shot, spend some time around the Asatru community and you'll see a pretty strong conservative slant there.

    You're right about how there is no overall consensus on anything. Really though it matters on who you surround yourself with.

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