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Author Topic: Things I Don't Get about the Pagan Community  (Read 85598 times)
RandallS
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« Reply #30: March 13, 2007, 07:50:10 pm »

But most of the Pagans I've met are LARPers Smiley Okay, that's untrue. I just don't get it. There does seem to be some degree of cross over between LARP and Pagans.

I don't know any LARPers who are Pagan. There probably are some on the board, but as for real life, none. I ran table-top RPGs (think D&D) for years and most of my players were not Pagans. Sure there is crossover between Pagans and just about any popular hobby -- but there the same crossover with other religions too.

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Just as there is cross over between Morris Dancing and Pagans.

I would not know -- as I live in the US, Morris Dancing is something I see on TV shows from the UK. Wink
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« Reply #31: March 13, 2007, 07:57:03 pm »

Is being a Pagan the base requirement you’re looking for in a potential partner? 

Who said anything about partners? Tongue In seriousness, it'd just be nice to see some hot lads around once in a while (preferably around the age of 21-25) Tongue

The High Priest and Priestess thing gets up my nose; just sounds pretentious.

There are a lot of books that have wrong or misleading information, but that isn’t solely a trait of Pagan related topics.  Selling books is a business and as long as there is a market for such material, someone will publish it.

I know it's not a sole trait. I have just found them wholly unsatisfying in a way I can't emphasise enough.

On the flip side, there are those that don’t think we should question what other people believe, that we should take everything someone says at face value without any doubt.  I do think that people can be too tolerant, and I think that is actually more destructive. 

My gripe is with the over-use of the term 'fluff bunny' and the way it seems to be used to defend one's own integrity (by showing that they know what a fluffy bunny is and they're not one!)

What does JCI stand for? Judeo-Christian....

In regards to the above, I’m not really sure what any of these have to do with Paganism.  Certainly, Pagans are not the only subset of society who has these particular attributes.

Must just be me. As for costumes, I refer to ritual garb worn whilst not in ritual, and as a previous poster wrote, ren fair stuff too.  Crushed velvet makes me feel sick, and just feels like a huge cliche. I would love it if we had Pagan Fashion Police.
The rest of the things I've noted are just characteristics I've noticed to have a peculiarly high incidence among the Pagan community. I mean, take a handful of Pagans and a handful of people off the street... I'm sure we could discern who's who.
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« Reply #32: March 13, 2007, 08:00:27 pm »

What does JCI stand for? Judeo-Christian....

Judaism, Christianity, and Islam--the "big three" Abrahamic faiths.
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« Reply #33: March 13, 2007, 08:10:31 pm »


Gobae, thankyou Smiley
Specifics on books: all the 101 stuff I guess. I don't want to name any names. And a lot of the books that pretend to be about advanced paganism... They just don't do it for me. I don't know why. At one points I had over a hundred books, and I sold them all because they taught me very little apart from how bad most Pagan books are. Of course there are exceptions. I do like 'A Witch Alone' by Marian Green, and I mostly kept books on mysticism, the qabalah, chaos magic and druidry...


For me it's a connection to my roots (pun intended).  My ancestors (the Celts) were quite renown for their moustaches and beards.

This I understand... Ancestors are increasingly becoming an important part of my path. I honour the hair Smiley

This one is not any different than other religious groups.  At the risk of being seen as anti-christian, if the body is the temple of the holy spirit; there are some cathedrals out there.

hah, nice Smiley

I'm a blacksmith, I MAKE swords.  I have lots.

I respect that and would like to find out more about what that means to you.
Thanks for the replies.
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« Reply #34: March 13, 2007, 08:20:57 pm »

The High Priest and Priestess thing gets up my nose; just sounds pretentious.

Do you think that there is a different term that is more appropriate, or should people just not refer to themselves as such?

Quote
My gripe is with the over-use of the term 'fluff bunny' and the way it seems to be used to defend one's own integrity (by showing that they know what a fluffy bunny is and they're not one!)

Yeah, I have seen this online, but I don’t think it is a particularly overreaching problem.

Quote
The rest of the things I've noted are just characteristics I've noticed to have a peculiarly high incidence among the Pagan community.

They have a high incidence among society in general.

Quote
I mean, take a handful of Pagans and a handful of people off the street... I'm sure we could discern who's who.

I’m not sure that would be the case, but if so, is that something that is a problem?  Should Pagans dress and adorn themselves in a way that won’t “out” them to other people?
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« Reply #35: March 13, 2007, 08:28:55 pm »

-   6. ‘Live Action Role Play’ geeks

I only know one of these who's a Pagan. I know others who think LARPing is idiotic, and plenty more who don't give it a second thought. And the SCA members I know are Buddhist and Christian. I think it's another "your mileage may vary" issue.


-   7. Meat eaters

Not even going there. Wink

-   10. The constant complaining about Christianity

I'm not fond of constant complaining, either. But I tend to see it happen among Pagans who have either recently left Christianity or who have constant bad experiences with Christians. The latter have a good reason for complaining, and the former usually eventually settle into their new religions and make their peace with Christianity. In my experience, anyway.
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« Reply #36: March 13, 2007, 08:32:37 pm »

Do you think that there is a different term that is more appropriate, or should people just not refer to themselves as such?

I think the term priest is okay if people really take it seriously. I mean, if it really is something they are dedicating their life too and they leave no stone unturned in their quest for self-knowledge and the knowledge of their Craft. If they're a priest, and they want me to regard them as a priest, they better f*cking know their stuff.  I don't like the 'high' bit and the way these terms seem to be thrown around a lot. Like when people lead ritual and that automatically makes them 'The High Priestess'.

Yeah, I have seen this online, but I don’t think it is a particularly overreaching problem.

Fair do's. I've noticed it IRL too. And ironically, it usually comes from the mouths of those that I myself secretly think of as 'fluffy'. Tongue (totally laying myself bare there)

I’m not sure that would be the case, but if so, is that something that is a problem?  Should Pagans dress and adorn themselves in a way that won’t “out” them to other people?

Oh it's nothing to do with the way Pagans are perceived by outsiders. Of course people should dress however they damn well please. I'm just a bitter young lady Smiley
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« Reply #37: March 13, 2007, 08:40:15 pm »

I only know one of these who's a Pagan. I know others who think LARPing is idiotic, and plenty more who don't give it a second thought.

I agree with the friend who thinks it's idiotic. It's an entirely personal opinion so no offence intended Smiley

I'm not fond of constant complaining, either. But I tend to see it happen among Pagans who have either recently left Christianity or who have constant bad experiences with Christians. The latter have a good reason for complaining, and the former usually eventually settle into their new religions and make their peace with Christianity. In my experience, anyway.

I think my real concern is that an anti-christian point of view might come to 'define' Paganism, and that'd be a real shame. The two are often presented as polar opposites, and I think we need to move away from that kind of perspective. I'm sure this kind of discussion has been thoroughly thrashed out on the boards before so I won't say anymore than that. I had a great Christian upbringing and I have very fond memories of it; even if those memories are of trying to stifle my giggling in church.
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« Reply #38: March 13, 2007, 09:03:27 pm »

I agree with the friend who thinks it's idiotic. It's an entirely personal opinion so no offence intended Smiley

Hehe, none taken. I'm not into it myself.

I think my real concern is that an anti-christian point of view might come to 'define' Paganism, and that'd be a real shame. The two are often presented as polar opposites, and I think we need to move away from that kind of perspective. I'm sure this kind of discussion has been thoroughly thrashed out on the boards before so I won't say anymore than that. I had a great Christian upbringing and I have very fond memories of it; even if those memories are of trying to stifle my giggling in church.

I would agree with you there. I'm concerned about it, too, because I've come across a fair number of Christians who assume Paganism is simply a rebellion against Christianity. I think, though, that as with any hot issue, it's the loudest voices that carry. The militantly anti-Christian Pagans are the most vocal, and they get the most attention. I hope this isn't just wishful thinking on my part, but I'd like to believe that the majority of us do truly cringe at this kind of behavior. Around certain of my friends, I end up being the defender of Christianity...which I find weird. But I have good memories of my upbringing too; my parish had honorable priests  Smiley
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« Reply #39: March 13, 2007, 09:04:56 pm »

-   1. The lack of young, sexy, straight, (available), men -
They're out there. Maybe you aren't looking in the right places.


-   2. Costumes (particularly crushed velvet and circlets)
Some Pagans are hopeless romantics, hedonistic, and like shiny objects.  It is self-indulgence, and that is not forbidden for many Pagans.

-   3. The ‘High Priest’ and ‘High Priestess’ thing
It's not a Pagan thing, necessarily, but a Wiccan thing. Leaders are needed in any group.  When you have a religious group that is based on ideas of duality, fertility, sexuality, and the miracle of creation that comes from the union of God and Goddess, then it only makes sense that there should be a preference for two leaders opposite polarity.


-   4. Pagan books
Some are good, some are not.  What don't you get?

-   5. Strange dirty old men
Um... they're everywhere.

-   6. ‘Live Action Role Play’ geeks
Many people who enjoy fantasy enjoy role playing. Many people who enjoy fantasy have vivid imaginations. Many people who have vivid imaginations have other similar natural abilities that would give them a predillection for religions that allow expression of these things.

-   7. Meat eaters
Something that humans have done for thousands of years... indeed may be the reason we evolved into human beings. The protein necessary for a big, complex brain needs to come from somewhere. Something tells me tofu won't do it.

-   8. Crystals
Came with the New Age movement. I like crystals. For me, it's a self-indulgence thing as well.  I like shiny things. I enjoy their energy. You don't like them, don't work with them.  Get over it.

-   9. Pagans who rave about ‘Fluffy Bunnies’
I see no difference between those who rave about fluff bunnies and your "I don't get it" list. Everyone thinks they're better than everyone else. Some are right.

-   10. The constant complaining about Christianity
I don't complain much about Christianity anymore, but I did for a while because of the emotional scarring related to being raised by fundamentalist Christians and being a preacher's daughter and having to live up to some perfect ideal... that and physical abuse for coming short. Others may have experiences they also have to recover from before they get over Christianity.

-   11. Beards and long hair
Natural?  Hippies? Lazy? Women who like beards? Who cares?

-   12. The prevalence of people who need more exercise
Middle age spread, hormones in food, people who think too much eat more because they are depressed, people who are fat feel more secure in a religion that doesn't tell them they are sinners because they are fat. And people who walk off the beaten path don't necessarily accept the commercialized idea of beauty that you have to be a size zero to be beautiful.  Of course size 0 people are beautiful too, so long as they aren't naturally a size 8 and eat one pea a week so that they can be that skinny. I'm not skinny.  I exercise (hiking, belly dance, yoga, tae bo). I don't eat a lot of junk. My family is full of stout people.

-       13. Swords
Phallic symbols, warrior path, symbol of command.  There's a lot of Pagan myth and lore that is related to the symbolism of the sword.  Look it up.


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« Reply #40: March 13, 2007, 09:08:49 pm »

I think my real concern is that an anti-christian point of view might come to 'define' Paganism, and that'd be a real shame. The two are often presented as polar opposites, and I think we need to move away from that kind of perspective. I'm sure this kind of discussion has been thoroughly thrashed out on the boards before so I won't say anymore than that.

I truly hope the definition of "pagan" is never "anti-Christian".  I think Christianity is a beautiful religion -- it just doesn't do it for me.  And I don't think my spirituality is anything like the polar opposite of Christianity, or anything else for that matter.  I don't spend a lot of time thinking about what my path is NOT.  I'm having enough trouble working out what it IS.

I can see, however, that there could be a popular misconception about paganism being the anti-Christianity.  But that just demonstrates the popular misunderstanding about what "pagan" can encompass.  There sure *could* be an anti-Christianity under that pagan umbrella, but there's a helluva lot more too.  And more than Wicca, which, as we've discussed on this forum ad nauseum, is not the only form of paganism.  And is, in fact, quite different from other forms of paganism.
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« Reply #41: March 13, 2007, 09:13:43 pm »

I think the term priest is okay if people really take it seriously. I mean, if it really is something they are dedicating their life too and they leave no stone unturned in their quest for self-knowledge and the knowledge of their Craft. If they're a priest, and they want me to regard them as a priest, they better f*cking know their stuff.  I don't like the 'high' bit and the way these terms seem to be thrown around a lot. Like when people lead ritual and that automatically makes them 'The High Priestess'.

I think that people who use such titles, at least on some level take it seriously.  As far as knowing their stuff; for a lot of paths there is no formal training for priesthood, so what people need to know in order to call themselves a priest can be rather subjective.

Quote
Oh it's nothing to do with the way Pagans are perceived by outsiders. Of course people should dress however they damn well please. I'm just a bitter young lady Smiley

I'm not really sure what your complaint about this issue is then.

edited to fix quote and grammar
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« Reply #42: March 13, 2007, 09:26:11 pm »

-   1. The lack of young, sexy, straight, (available), men -
They're out there. Maybe you aren't looking in the right places.

I don't care what anyone says about this Smiley There is a hideous lack of sexy young lads in Paganism. Trust me, I'm a hot blooded female and I've looked bloody everywhere.

-   9. Pagans who rave about ‘Fluffy Bunnies’
I see no difference between those who rave about fluff bunnies and your "I don't get it" list. Everyone thinks they're better than everyone else. Some are right.

So shoot me. I needed a rant. And bringing down a couple of notches.

-   11. Beards and long hair
Natural?  Hippies? Lazy? Women who like beards? Who cares?

They don't turn me on. Not even Legolas. Imagine that. But different strokes for different folks, as they say. As for hippies, don't get me started.


-       13. Swords
Phallic symbols, warrior path, symbol of command.  There's a lot of Pagan myth and lore that is related to the symbolism of the sword.  Look it up.

When I'm bored I will. I can't think of anything that turns me on less, in a magical sense this time. No offence Smiley The exception to that is sword-making and fencing. I acknowledge both as skills, rather than just waving around shiny objects for the hell of it. yes I know, they have plenty of symbolism. I WILL get over it now, I promise.  Smiley thankyou.
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« Reply #43: March 14, 2007, 01:57:06 am »

-   3. The ‘High Priest’ and ‘High Priestess’ thing
It's not a Pagan thing, necessarily, but a Wiccan thing. Leaders are needed in any group.  When you have a religious group that is based on ideas of duality, fertility, sexuality, and the miracle of creation that comes from the union of God and Goddess, then it only makes sense that there should be a preference for two leaders opposite polarity.
Also, they're "High" Priest and Priestess because Wicca isn't just a religion, it's a priesthood - all initiates are priest/esses.

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« Reply #44: March 14, 2007, 02:01:16 am »

I don't care what anyone says about this Smiley There is a hideous lack of sexy young lads in Paganism. Trust me, I'm a hot blooded female and I've looked bloody everywhere.
Everywhere?  Or just the UK (or your bit of it)?

And why does it matter?

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