I have been noticing a plague within the pagan/occult community. I know it’s nothing new, but with Facebook, Twitter and the other hundreds of social media outlets- the plague seems more predominant in our daily bombardment of social media.
What is the plague? Malice.
Pagans malice? Those studying religions that have been persecuted, defamed and stereotypes are malice?
Yes. Sad but true.
It seems every day I am hearing or reading stories about how one pagan group hates another. How one occult practitioner feels they have more knowledge than every other practitioner. There are those who act like they are hiding some deep mystical mystery that they themselves only know and to share it with those they do not deem “worthy” would be devastating to the world. I have heard countless remarks by covens and groups how they were not allowed to attend an event because the organizers either didn’t like them or believed that what they were practicing was not the “real thing.” I have heard of those being excluded from teaching, events, etc. because they can’t believe in one thing and not another.
Then there are the pissing matches. The personal attacks on those in the pagan “community” (more on that word later). Nasty public feuds in which there are personal (very personal) attacks in which name calling, public slander and other nasty things are flung around the internet.
I have one question…what is the deal? Seriously? I always find it ironic when people toss the word “community” around and then go ahead to isolate certain groups or people because of XY and Z reasons. Community is defined as “a feeling of fellowship with others, because of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals” That “feeling of fellowship” should mean that when pagans from all paths come together, they should feel welcomed not ostracized. Additionally, the younger generations should absolutely respect their “elders.” I would not be who and where I am without the guidance and education of my teachers. The “I know it all” attitude within the younger generations is only adding fuel to the fire. And because occultism and paganism are so vast, with no lineages – AND because most of those who practice are practicing a reconstructionist form of whatever our ancestors liked doing – there are no real leaders to rope things in. It’s not like there is a Vatican for Wiccans.
This was one of the many reasons I left the “Craft.” When the group I was with for 8 years split, I tried finding another group in which I felt that familial spiritual connection that I had with my previous group. Unfortunately, I repeatedly came across groups that were secular and only let those that they felt practiced “the right way” in. I met with a woman who ran an Alexandrian group—and she absolutely would not allow me in – even to see if it was a fit because I was eclectic and primarily a practitioner of Ceremonial Magick. And then the groups that were based in Ceremonial Magick wouldn’t allow me in because I had practiced Wicca and therefore wouldn’t fit in because they could out Thelemic me.
I tried starting my own groups, but they would always feel flat- and I wanted to be learning as well as teaching. It was hard to plan rituals, write them, make sure all items were there (kudo’s to all my teachers who did this-especially Balaam- it’s a lot of work and not often appreciated by those in a group!).
I found that being solo was great. I avoided all the negativity and the high school behavior of what is now what I feel like they decline of ethics in paganism and the occult. My path has also changed. Wicca and paganism ultimately brought me to Voodoo (in which a fresh start for finding my place and my home has begun).
My point here, ultimately, is that for a religion that has been stereotyped, mocked, slandered and the worse—we should not be throwing stones in glass houses. Why exclude? Why start trouble with other practitioners? Why get so personal and spiteful? We are all in this shit show together. Regardless of what path one follows or which Deities one believes in—it all gets dumped into the same category in society. And with the internet and social media—let’s just have society see the best rather than the worse. I certainly am tired of all the programs that assume all those who practice the occult are secretly killers in waiting.