November 28, 2001,
2002, 2003, 2004
There is a breed
of pagan out there today that comes in all shapes and sizes: male, female, straight or gay, fat, thin, old young, traditional
or non-conformist. They come from all walks of life but the one thing they have in common is that they attempt to proselytize
to the masses. Their way is THE way-the RIGHT way. The way of the world or the way it ought to be in their not so humble opinion.
They preach and
they spout on about how you should not go against the teachings of Gardener/Saunders/whomever, how the Rede/Law of Three is
the way to walk your path or how one should never cause harm to another. They will spout on about how it is wrong to curse
and right to heal. Their whole tone is just a tad superior as they tell you how such and such a book is the true measure of
the craft and how you MUST read it to be truly enlightened. At the same time they may tell you to steer clear of this other
work done by a person they find to be repulsive in their opinions or to steer clear of a tradition or group.
Well here is
my not so humble opinion. I think it important that you don't simply swallow and regurgitate spoon-fed dogma to everyone you
meet. Make up your own mind. Do not listen to just anyone out there. Their opinion is just that-THEIR opinion. They can spout
off about how "Lord HIGH Muckey Muck said" all they like but what it all comes down to is that just because so and so said
it does it make it true. It only makes it the truth if you believe it, if it makes sense to you or it works for you. Part
of the pagan mindset involves freeing ourselves from the patriarchal thinking of "I know what is best for you so I have a
right to make you see things my way".
It is irresponsible
and ignorant to blindly follow after someone because they THINK they know something or just because it is in a book. I tell
my students to read and find what works for them and use it. If it means they go back to being Christian (all my students
thus far were raised Christian and this is why I use this example) then so be it. It is about finding the path that works
for you and not dictating to others what they must or should believe. It is up to the individual to decide what does or does
not have merit. It merely makes a person a sheep when he leaves it up to some "stranger" to tell him what is or is not good/right
or worth looking into.
Let us not fall
into that sad trait of organized religion, which thinks theirs is the only way. We need to remember that there is room here
for all of us no matter what path or tradition we choose. Because we can see beyond what is front of our face we believe in
magick. We know the power that is within us all and from that there needs to come respect instead of condescension.