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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.

Community and being a Proper Pagan

This is a page from the third version of Technopagan Yearnings. There are some formatting differences. Originally published at www.neowayland.com/C65989237/E20100720131706

Another look at one of my common topics

As weird as it seems, the Pagan Community™ is one of my regular topics.

I've no idea why this keeps coming up. Especially for someone like me, a paranoid solitary who got burned with his first organized coven experience.

Frankly I'd rather write about sex. At least I have more than my fair share of experience with that.

I suspect that Someone has a sense of humor.

I'll admit my bias. I don't do especially well with large groups. It can be difficult for me to track non-verbal cues, and it's near impossible with more than a handful of people at a time. I can do the mask thing to talk to groups, but the cost afterwards isn't pleasant.

I will say that not all groups make the transition from group to institution. Nor should they. A quick group thrown together to run a welcome-home party doesn't really have a purpose beyond that, there is no real reason to keep it together. Most of my "group magick" experience falls into that category. A healing circle there, a "repair crew" there, that kind of thing.

The Pagan Community™ is different things to different people.

I've a friend who used to be active with the Log Cabin Republicans. He tells how he would cringe every time he'd see the Gay Pride Day in San Francisco. Without fail, the television crews would focus on the people who wanted to create a circus rather than the people pushing for the social issues. No matter how hard he and others like him worked, a few minutes of video made him a performer under the big top.

That's how I feel when I see someone in ritual garb on the street. Or with a big flashy pentagram. Anyone can put on the weird clothes and "freak the mundanes," I used to do that in my SCA days. I want to know if you can live the life.

Experience has shown me that most new Pagans are new something else in a few years. There is nothing wrong with that.

Experience has shown me that a loud minority are Pagans because they draw power from their victimhood. Thank the gods that this is becoming much less common because there is something wrong with that, but that is another much longer topic that I have written about elsewhere.

For some, the Pagan Community™ is a way to achieve political power.

For others, the Pagan Community™ is a way to Save the Planet®.

The problem is, none of this really fits me. Most days, I don't care about being noticed because I am a Pagan. I'm human. My politics don't have much to do with my faith, except I believe that individual humans are responsible for themselves and those they care for. I believe it's better to inspire rather than require. My idea of a Pagan community (notice the lower case there) is meeting once in a while around a fire and sharing friendship, drinks, philosophy and sex. Not necessarily in that order, and not necessarily with everyone there.

I don't want to have anything to do with the spectacle. Come Monday morning, I have to look my neighbors in the eye.

I'm more interested in being a good human and being a decent neighbor than being a good Pagan, especially a good Public Pagan that supports all the Proper Causes.

We're human before we're Pagan. I want people to remember that about me. I'm more than the label.

Posted: Tue - July 20, 2010 at 01:17 PM

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A narrow slice of life, but now and again pondering American neopaganism, modern adult pagans & the World.

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