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Occasionally I wandered in where I was not wanted and gave truthful answers.
Sometimes I even did it deliberately. A little disruption now can prevent disaster later.

By Your Own Name

Beware the Egos
Thinking by bloggingUPDATED

Way back some mumblety-mumble years ago in my misspent youth. I was a comic book fan.

My parents Did Not Approve, especially since I was reading, well, almost anything I could get my hands on. They thought comics were beneath me. Since this was a little before
Star Wars, the “hero’s journey” hadn’t entered the popular mindset. I could talk about the REALLY Important Mythological Stuff happening, but since I hadn’t read Joseph Campbell I didn’t really have all the ideas and words ready.

I read the straight forward hero types (I really liked Spiderman and the Fantastic Four), but I had an even more secret guilty pleasure. One that I only indulged occasionally. You see, I liked Doctor Strange. He was written inconsistently, that made him confusing. Usually he would summon power from some fictional deity. But every once in a while he’d throw in something like “I, Doctor Strange, command it!” In the stories his name was a Power to be reckoned with. It was only later that I understood that it was because of his long history and how he had touched the primal powers of the Marvel Universe.

Over the years I’ve researched mythology and practical psychology. Some of it was because I was curious. Some of it was my growing fascination in non-Abrahamic religions. And part of it was my job for a while.

And then about six years ago I started having to deal with some Big Name Pagans. Who doesn’t matter. The thing is, Big Name Pagan doesn’t mean
Effective Pagan. It doesn’t even mean effective person. Some people show leadership, they draw people to them, they build their connection to the Divine and help others grow beyond themselves. Some people have really good ideas and are capable of communicating those thoughts. Some people nurture the Earth and the people and animals around them. Some other people are saints in all but name. Most of the effective leadership share two or three of these broad categories.

These people
do things and make the world a better place. Most of them don’t normally call on their own names for power.

And then there are Those Who Conjure By Their Own Name. They may have a striking appearance. They may have published books. They may operate stores or other businesses. They may be active on the internet. Everyone knows them. They speak loudly.
They just are.

That’s the problem. They. Just. Are.

Wading through all the posturing and posing and talking and writing, I can’t find what these people have actually done.

Except use their own name.
Repeatedly.

It’s their reputation they’re drawing on, not their power and not their connection to the Divine. It’s their reputation that defines who they are. It’s their reputation that they defend from slights and insults. They are their reputation.

The measure of a man is in the lives he touched. My grandfather’s funeral taught me that.

Now when someone starts telling me that they are famous, I want to know why. I want to know what they’ve done, how they’ve done it, and sometimes who will speak on their behalf. It’s one of those flaming red flags that I’ve learned to recognize. Too many borrow their strength from their reputation without the honor and influence to back it up.

Too many dishonor themselves and the Divine. Their reputation has no roots.

Thankfully. many many more do make things just a little better today. And they don’t need Their Own Name to do it.

UPDATED: 20Jan2015
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