Prophets and Loss

Internet pagan groups

This is one of those synchronicity things again, it's not the entry I had in mind for Thursday, but it makes a great Friday the 13th entry.

This past week I saw three online pagan groups go in some very weird directions.

One was a group in the American Southwest, I had joined as one of the "silent majority" a little while ago when I was exploring the pagan parts of the internet.

Most of this group was made up of 20-somethings, and evidently some of the male members were using the time to hit on the ladies. I suspect that some of the men have multiple identities, possibly including a "female" one or two. Anyway, the most vocal of the group are taking the "woman as victim" track, which I suspect will kill the group in short order. I do not condone the behavior of the guys hitting on the ladies, but I can't see what good it does to blame all men for the screw ups of a few.

Another group I don't know of directly, but Daven of Daven's Journal was a member of the Seax-Wica online list. It seems that there are those in the Seax-Wica "community" who are all set to appoint a Steward again, despite what happened last time. There are some other reasons that he left the list, but that seems to be the trigger. Now I don't have the all the details there, and I don't have much more than a cursory familiarity with Seax-Wica, but from what I have seen, my sympathies lie with Daven.

And then Juliaki sent me a brief bit about Ed Hubbard, and how he seems determined to make the Correllian split very public and very messy. Again, I don't know the specific personalities or the exact situation, but it seems like he is trying to frame someone.

These reinforce an idea that I had a while ago.

While the internet can reinforce existing ties, it can't be the sole basis of a pagan group. I have my doubts if it can be the sole basis for any group, but let's stick with the pagans for this post.

While the internet gives immediacy and anonymity, it doesn't give responsibility or discipline. And just because someone is a member of a mailing list doesn't mean that their beliefs or actions are defined by that mailing list.

People are looking for a deepening way to connect. If the "mainstream" faiths don't provide, they will look elsewhere. But old habits die hard. Many don't want to think about religion, they just want to experience it.

At the afternoon four buck matinee, with popcorn and soda at the snack bar.

Sorry, did I just say that? I don't know where that came from.

They want to be led to the Promised Land. The Biblical metaphor fits, because much of the mindset is shaped by the Big Three monotheistic faiths.

Why do you need a prophet to live your daily life?

I can tell you what I believe. Gods make you stretch. You can't stay in that comfortable place where people tell you what to do and what to say. Not if you are going to live an experienced faith.

It is harder to touch others on the internet. Better to grasp their hand.

In a revealed faith, you trade experience for certainty. I think the price is too high.

Posted: Fri - October 13, 2006 at 04:24 AM
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