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Post Info TOPIC: Defending the "new" pagans: A desire to end this pagan vs pagan war


Seasoned Mookster

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Defending the "new" pagans: A desire to end this pagan vs pagan war


Yeah I know, "It's Briana talking about Paganism again." So what, I just really need to get this off my chest.

I've been on this internet and such looking up things about the Maiden Mother and Crone (it's just a concept I can't understand well, though I really want to). Yeah I know, it's not the best reliable resource, my fault entirely. But instead I see all these rants about "expert" Witches about "newbie" witches. Some are as the following

1. "New pagans are so annoying, they think everything is light and happy. goddess, nature...blah blah bla"

   RE: That's not true.  I know that in some aspects of Paganism you can't forsake the dark for the light. I did my research and soul searching. I am not  stupid.
 
2. "Eclecticism is an excuse for ignoring various parts and throwing in whatever the hell you want. They think if it involves the Goddess, The rede, and the elements then POOF it's Wicca"

RE: Look just because I don't want to be skyclad, I can't buy a athame, have aspects of Shamanism, a pinch of Wicca and my own beliefs based from the idea of Paganism doesn't mean I trying make it my own and say it's Wicca. It's the way I walk my path, and I don't tell everyone to do what I do because it's right. I am an Eclectic Pagan, but will not do things against my nature for the sake of acceptance among other Witches. Would you?

3."Hecate is not a beautiful blonde maiden who naked around the fields. She was a fearful being with three heads"

RE: True, but there many different versions of what Hecate looks like. One I heard is that she's an aged woman who gives off a slight moon like glow. I did my mythology research considering that my friend Aka has a 24 by 20 five pound book on the topic. Personally I like the "glowing woman" one aww

4. "They only choose this path so they rebel against Christianity" OR "They think it's the next best thing to Satanic devil worship"

RE: Ok, I didn't want to share this story but it kind of hurts to mention it, but I'll say it anyways to make I point: I didn't become Pagan because I wanted to be anti-Christian. I was (and I'm dead serious) extremely prone to self harm and constant suicidal thoughts when I was a Christian. The way I was brought into it I felt like I'll never be good enough for heaven or Jesus because of the standards the Ten Commandments set for its followers. I felt trapped and since I had a deep interest in witches and the like, I continued my research on Paganism and its branches (I had an interest when I was in sixth grade. I cast one spell and then I didn't really do anything major so I continued where I left off). Another thing, you don't really worship Satan in Satanism, but that's a whole different conversation that I won't have b/c I don't know much about it except for that.

5. "They ALWAYS think that the Salem Witch Trials/Burning Times is an excuse to hate Christians. They really don't know anything about it."

RE: Oh please, even here in the Bible Belt the shelves of the libraries has loads of info on the Trials. I know the people who were killed weren't witches, that no one was really burned and that The Crucible was not what exactly happened. Besides the only place I believe they burned witches was in Germany? I'm not sure, let me know if I got the place wrong :\

6. "To them, Paganism is a fashion statement. They'll bust out their hippie, gypsy or goth clothing and call themselves a witch."

RE: I was into the darker subcultures before I was a Pagan, thank you very much. And I have one easygoing hippie best friend and he's a nondenominational Christian. Yes, we still talk :)

7. "They blindingly listen to other Pagan authors like Silver Ravenwolf, anyone who reads Silver Ravenwolf books is a Fluffy Bunny"

RE: I haven't read Silver Ravenwolf's books to form an opinion on her. My friend Blake says that she's good for a quick read and to start molding an outlook for yourself, but not for a "strict to the word" concept on general Paganism or Wicca. I doubt that anyone who reads Silver Ravenwolf is a fluffy bunny. Besides wouldn't have to read one of her books to say that?

8. "They suddenly think that Vampires, Werewolves, Faeries, and ghosts are real and will even say that they are one, only making them worse. They proclaim to see the supernatural" or something to that tune.

RE: I belived in that stuff even when I was a Christian, enough said. I do believe that we call things supernatural because we haven't really adapted to these things being part of our lives, ergo they aren't "natural" to us.. yet. Again this is my opinion. Also anyone can be Clairvoyent, a Vampire (whether Pranic or Sanguine), and/or be a psychic without being a witch.    

9. "They'll say 'Oh Goddess', read a book on witchcraft in public, or let their pentacles slip out so someone can start an arguement with them and they can bicker and fight, assuming that they'll be respected afterwards."

RE: Oh please, in what zip code? Ok, I do say "Oh Goddess" but I also say "Oh Lord", "Oh my God", "Oh my Face", "What the Crow?", "Holy Raven", and "Murder of Crows". Does that make me a Fluffy Bunny? Yeah I read my books in public, too and I wear my pentacle. I don't do this for attention I do this because I am proud to be Pagan (yes, I said it. Cue bashings) just like my friends are proud to be Jewish, or proud to be Atheists, or proud to be Christians. Plus I try to avoid confrontations. Charlie Brown said "The three things you never talk about in public are poltics, music and religion." I knew that I would lose friends after declaring my Pagan path, but in that instant, I actually gave a damn about what I wanted.

10."After reading one book, fluffy bunnies think they're experts"

RE: I've talked to High Priests and Priestesses who say that they are still learning after all their year involved with their path. Damn straight that I'm still learning. You never stop learning things, that's part of life. We can't be perfect, but we can make it to were we're able to accept are selves. Between you and me, I only have two books on Wicca ;D

11. "Since paganism has no strict set of rules, newbies think they can get away with premarital sex, outrages behavior then come back and say "Oh the God and Goddess let me".

RE: I hate this one so much. While it is true that I haven't found anything beside the Wiccan Rede that gives you a layout, with freedom holds responsiblity. If you run about getting drunk and almost get yourself killed, you only have yourself to blame unless someone forced it down your throat. That's the one thing I like about this lifestyle: Free will that goes hand in hand with responsiblity. Also I think that sex doesn't have to wait until marriage but if you're with the person you extremely care about, do what you want. Just really think it over (: .

12. "If I chant a fancy spell over a green candle and burn some thyme then all my dreams will come true. Typical newbie witch thinking."

RE: I thought it involved willpower, focus and a lot of hard work in doing so. I've also been taught that it can be fun. As a newbie witch, I don't think like that at all. I find it hard to even write I spell. When I need to talk to the God or Goddess, I light a red or white candle and talk to them like I talk to a dear friend of mine. A good number of things in life requires some work. Why would we forsake this in paganism? I could go on into what I think spellcraft means to me, but I'll clip it short and say that if there's no true intent or power behind it, then it won't work. Mundane things can be solved without magic too.

13. "They'll chatise anyone who does black magick saying that all magic should be white" and "If they practice black magic they will still call themselves Pagan which only makes us look even more worse in the eyes of society."

RE: Ok, here we go. Everywhere I go I hear "magic is not black or white. It depends on the witch's intent." I agree with that, but there are times when the Universe can't defend you all the time. Here my thing: I don't say "An` it Harm none do what ye will." I say "An` it harm none do what ye will, if they harm one do what ye must." If someone harms my physical being or threatens the life of my loved ones i'll take it into my own hands (as a last resort and it's very rare that it happens, thank Lord). I can't wait for the Universe to take care of things all the time, if someone strikes me hard first, I will strike back harder. It may not be how everyone feels, but it's how I feel and it doesn't make me more or less of a witch by thinking so.

and finally...

14. "They're only in  it for the shock value. They watch too much Charmed, The Craft, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Harry Potter, etc"

RE: I hate this one the most! Yeah, I watch all of those shows because they entertain me. They did not inspire me to become a Pagan. Each of the respective creators did their research and you have to admit, they nailed down at least one point of paganism. Oh, and for those of you who say that The Craft is a bad example of paganism, Fairuza Balk (the actress who played Nancy, the girl who went magically insane) is Pagan. No joke, I was shocked when I found that out. She actually helped set up the rituals portrayed in the film.



Yes this was a long rant, but now I get to make my final point. I hate the fact that the line has been drawn: Experts on this side, New comers on the other. One nitpicks the other relentlessly and the others aren't sure if their head are screwed on straight. Instead of being pitted against a war with each other, shouldn't we be helping each to understand. Forgive me if I'm victimizing us, but we get enough bull from those who don't understand us. What logical reason is there to bring it home to our lifestyles or religion or whatever you want to call it. In the end, we'll be no better than everyone else who says that a certain way of life is wrong. If you see someone who is "fluffy" help them out a little. If they refuse to listen, you can say that you tried.

Disclaimer: Some of the tidbits in this message come from books, internet sites and other sources of information. The rest of it is my opinion and experience. You don't have to agree with me, but I will definately apperciate you reading this. You are now free to agree, disagree, share your experience or randomly talk about frogs and cats as you wish.

Love,

Bre :3



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Of a demon in my view



High Mookish Shaman

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A lot of pagans were probably a bit miffed when it started getting cool amongst "rebellious," "non-conformist" teenagers who really had no idea what they said they were doing. For every dedicated "new" pagan, there's another "pagan" who has no idea what it's about but calls themselves a "Wiccan" because they saw it on some website. Unfortunately, it's the latter that get all the negative attention and form the stereotype.

In regards to #10, I always thought that fluffy bunnies were people who didn't make any attempt to learn anything about Wicca/Paganism. :/

I practice some form of religion- yes, I burn herbs commonly associated with Wicca on occasion and believe in the supernatural, but I also have some half-baked form of Catholicism and a few ideas of my own. Does this make me a fluffy bunny, especially since I don't call myself Wiccan? Definitely not. Do initiated Wiccans think I am a fluffy bunny because of this? Yes, definitely.

...so yeah...

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Seasoned Mookster

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Oh, how I love you right now. You are beyond correct. I'm very new to Paganism, I'm still studying the religion myself and I've only been doing so for a few months. I will admit that I'm always a tad scared to admit this to people, in fear of them thinking that I'm either seeking attention or just being a wannabe rebellious teenager.

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Mookface (mod)

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There are always people who want to kick and fuss and sneer derisively at people finding their own way... Yes, some of the newbs may just be using it as an exploration, but fucking hell, I'd rather they were into a form of teenage rebellion that meant they revered nature and did some reading than rebellion in the form of fucking themselves up on pills and stds.

You seem very well informed, and once again I'll trot out one of my favourite sayings, 'There are as many types of paganism as there are pagans'. That's a good thing :)

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Regular Crew

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Everyone is different and everyone has different views. I agree they are probably annoyed because you actually do get people like that but it's wrong to say pretty much all newbies are like that. :/

I am also sorry about your christian past and how it did not help you but im very happy that your happy in your new religion :D I use to be very spiritual but i turned to being christian however i still enjoy learning about other religions. especially pagan and wicca. Listen to your heart and your instincts. Sadly there is always going to be conflict in religion because people just cant accept other peoples views D:

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Mookface (mod)

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There are many branches of paganism, most of them do believe in a multifaceted God/Goddess figure, it really depends on your own preferences and path whether you want to acknowledge that as a universal/nature energy or an entire pantheon of deities!

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Runic Mook of the North (mod)

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Pagan basically means someone whose faith does not fit into any of the major world religions, and as such it is a HUGE umbrella term that doesn't really say that much.

For example, if I compare my childhood faith in the norse gods (and other funky folklore making up my world view) with wicca it is evident that many things and important things are quite different.

For example is įsatru polytheist, not duotheist nor pantheist, and mostly one does not claim that all gods and godesses are aspects of the same thing. Freya does not equal Skadi, and although there definitively are similarities (and perhaps also a common source) between Freya and Astarte they are not really the same. How could they be, they are from vastly different places! At least that is my point of view.

There are many ways to skin a cat, and everyone is entitled to find their own method of getting cat fur. But just as conservative Pro-lifers probably isn't all that happy being lumped together with, say, a lesbian vicar, I'm not really that thrilled to be lumped together with certain types of pagans. Odinist Nazis are a great example of a pagan group I despise and really do not want to be associated with.


And I have encountered "fluffybunnies" which have been incredibly annoying, mostly because of their insistence that wicca is the only way to skin a cat. But I have to admit that there are other things too. Anyway, I wasn't aware that fluffybunnyness had anything to do with how long you had been at it. I always thought it was a point of view/approach to the world. And it is entirely possible to be a fluffybunny well into old age.


But my main point is that it would be very nice if it was recognised how vastly different different forms of "paganism" are.



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High Mookish Shaman

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th_black_cat wrote:

2. "Eclecticism is an excuse for ignoring various parts and throwing in whatever the hell you want. They think if it involves the Goddess, The rede, and the elements then POOF it's Wicca"



Wow, who wrote these?! Funny that, because the people who taught me the Wiccan Way always emphasised CHOICE, DIVERSITY and overall, what you feel comfortable with. I was told that you don't even need any wiccan tools, because paganism isn't about material goods, it's about what's in your heart. There's no reason why you shouldn't practice entirely in your head, which is what I'm forced to do nowadays. I have a few gemstones and some notes I made about gods and goddesses in a small wooden box, and I wear a small silver pentacle. And that's good enough for me, and presumably good enough for the goddess too, as my magic still seems to work.

 



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Mookish Deity Most High

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I don't understand how there can be such discrimination in Paganism- afterall, it's the most diverse sect I've ever come across. No two pagans are alike, so why judge anyone else?

Jeez...


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Honoured Mook

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I am totally with you in this, black cat.

There's one thing that just annoys the hell out of me, as it's basically the same thing with fledgling Pagans and their "older and wiser" pendants as with Goths and babybats, among office workers, soldiers, Juggalos...you name it.

How can you say that just because you're older and you've been in it for longer, suddenly you have the right to act all high and mighty on younglings of your own ideals? How can you think you have the right to slander them just because they're inexperienced? Even if they sometimes are annoying. Try to understand. THEY FUCKING ARE WHAT YOU WERE. YES. YOU.
Experience has nothing to do with excellence, you can do a crappy job on things for 30 years in a row.
There are people who want to learn from you, who maybe can bring in fresh views of things and even if you don't like them... work up the fucking aplomb to JUST IGNORE WHAT YOU DON'T LIKE. Don't let it annoy you, after all, you know that you know a million times better -.- Seriously, how could someone's false opinion possibly change the fact that you are right?


Also, how can you actually make up dogmas for a religion/bunch of paths/path/worldview/slice of cake/... that is (in my view) all about freedom, diversity, choice and respect/responsibility for oneself and others?
Am I the only one to see how ironic it is that in trying to establish a hierarchic structure and to validate general opinions (while excluding those who don't share them), you are doing the exact same thing the (Catholic) church (which apparently is THE WICCAN DEVIL) did centuries ago?
Guys, learn from the past - institutionalizing it is the safest way to kill all life in a faith.

And what is it with that hate for Christians? If you just think they're dumb, ignore them. If they hurt you or bullied you - well - I'm well and truly sorry, and I most certainly wish it never happened. but they didn't do it because it's a Christian attribute. (Nor is bullying etc an Arab thing, or something that gingers do, or people with cats, or poor people, or chavs, or punks, or Goths.. get the point?)
They hurt you because they are narrow-minded oblivious assholes. And you have every right to dislike assholes, but then don't dislike them for their i.e. Christianity. That is unfair to these decent Christians out there that don't use their religion as a sorry excuse for bashing others.
Dislike, diss, get your revenge on, curse.. ASSHOLES because of their assholery (is that even a word? Asshole-dom..?). Not Christians because of their religion.



On a totally unrelated note, th_back_cat, can I steal you version of the Wiccan rede? Because it rocks.

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Runic Mook of the North (mod)

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In reply to little charlie (who will surely ascend to be a goddess of tea some day): Because some pagans have a belief set that is so vastly different from some other pagans that they are bound to strongly disagree on almost everything in life?

As mentioned, my personal pet hate is anyone who mixes Germanic Neopaganism with nazism and racism. They give all other Germanic Neopagans a bad reputation and like all other types of racists they are generally just awful and their opinions are morally wrong for a long list of reasons. If they hadn't been so blissfully few, I'd probably go around to their homes, raising nithing poles on their lawns. As it is, I'm a lazy sod and is content to occasionally troll their forums.


While I'm all for tolerance in general, I see no reason why all pagans of every walk should have to be friends. The only thing all pagans (in our corner of the world) have in common is that they are non-Christian. That's hardly a foundation to build anything on really.


But I'm going off topic now in my eagerness to point out that paganism does not equal wicca. I'm sorry, but I'm not entirely happy with those two words being mixed. Feel free to continue the discussion about fractions within wicca.

-- Edited by Irilar on Thursday 7th of October 2010 08:27:13 PM

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Seasoned Mookster

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@Irilar: I think that last point is the hardest to explain to those outside of paganism: that paganism doesn't equal wicca. I just tell people to think of paganism as a large tree (o actually got this from a teacher about religion in general) then all the types of paganism as branches. Differents paths, many leaves and there will always be more leaves (followers) budding. Also I'm more than sure enough that there are christians who are nondenominational who don't want to be lumped in with the brimstone followers. Actually I'm not sure that's a branch of christianity, i think it's an insulting term.... correct me if i'm wrong confuse

@chilimoon: yes you may steal my version of the Wiccan Rede <3 I copied the original verision because I though it was very beautifully written. But I'm not the type to sit back and let the universe handle it. Sometimes you got to go and handle things yourself, with or without magic, but I never go looking for trouble ;D.

@Antonym: I've made my batter before calling it a cake (if that isn't the strangest metaphor). I like looking up information before telling my opinion, otherwise I would be just blabbbering away on something I don't know about. That's never enjoyable lol

@red spirit moon: i heard it took a while before eclecticism became accepted. there are even some who still don't recognize it as a branch of paganism. ps: I found things like these on a lot of so called "pagan friendly websites". Sure... right...and i  am pretty mary sunshine XP. from one eclectic pagan to another, the only thing we can do is play that one string we have or (and i'm not trying to insult someone) ride our custom made broomstick across our sky the best way we can, and if someone disagrees, hey what can you do? Life full of little treasures like that (:


And to everyone else, I'm not trying to change anybody's opinion. Like Irilar said, no every pagan has to be friends. However the boxing of the "older, wiser pagans" and "foolish newbies" is something that really runs a magnet over my software. I know I can't stop it, but if i can get my opinion out there that's good enough for me.



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From the thunder and the storm,
And the cloud that took the form
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Of a demon in my view



Runic Mook of the North (mod)

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th_black_cat wrote:

 

(...) However the boxing of the "older, wiser pagans" and "foolish newbies" is something that really runs a magnet over my software. I know I can't stop it, but if i can get my opinion out there that's good enough for me.

 



I think it is a sign of health and sanity that such bullshit raise your hackles. For some reason, whatever one is doing there always seem to be someone who wants to use the "respect my authoritay" attitude instead of using proper arguments or showing actual skill at something. I always suspect that it is because they don't really have a proper argument nor an actual skill.

Meh, what you need is a pet chaos magician to sic on them :)

 



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