I’ve found one of the greatest problems with walking the “warrior path” as a pagan, is that it is assumed that you are an activist, and that you are down with anything that goes against “the man … man”.
While this might actually be the truth for a great many people, it is not a guarantee.
So with this said, the title of this blog entry is “tilting at windmills” which if you don’t understand is a euphemism for attacking an imaginary enemy. Something Pagans are experts at. We’ve made a cottage industry out of manufacturing for ourselves.
- Many of us (again not I) are scared about the evil Xtian (That is a lazy spelling of Christian, used most often in a pejorative manner). They clearly want to “burn us all” just like in the “Burning times”. Ignoring the fact that the “burning times” were not really a burning time, more a drowning, hanging times. They did not kill nine million 9 000 000 !!) people, and those who were killed were most often tried, and executed by secular courts. All that aside, they were not, repeat NOT about what modern Neopagans would recognize as Witches (they also were about werewolves, ghouls, and other beasties, used as an excuse to be a poor example of humanity to other humans and animals). So yes, we fear the Xtian, who is out to get us. But really have done sweet Fanny Adams to us because we are pagan on the whole. Indeed, the Satanic Panic era (used as an example) is not called the witch panic for a reason (see next point)
- Yep we apparently don’t like them either. Probably because of point (1) where we fear the Christian church picking on us, we distance ourselves from similarly occult minded (for the most part) individuals. Want to start a fight in a fluffy Pagan group? Say Satanists should be accepted (or say the Burning times never happened)….
- The man (…man). Yep the government is after us. Because we are that important and a threat (probably because of points (1) and (2) or something?). This is why we get 501.3C status in the USA, or you know we’ve not been rounded up, or worship banned…. The point being, the government is a bugbear we apparently fear. Oh did you also know, some of us work for the government? I do 🙂
- A sub set of (3) is the Police. They pick on us you know, stop us smoking our sacred weed (never tried it, never plan too), get upset when we have underage coven members naked in ritual (ewww), and gods forbid carry weapons, that are purely ceremonial…honest with us. Yep those damn Cops… harassing us because we are breaking laws.
Now it gets interesting, we eat our own….
- British Traditional Witches and other lineage Pagans, who have initiations. How very dare they? But no, any group that has *gasp* standards for its members is exclusionary! You mean to join, they might expect something out of me?
- Cultures which tell us to go Fuck ourselves because they do not want us appropriating parts of their endangered practices? I mean how can they not let us call ourselves medicine people, pipe holders, or the like? I attended a workshop at Pagan Pride, and rad the Wikipedia damn it!
That is just a microcosm from the many choices. But if you look at them they hold a great many similarities, imagined threats, insults, and such. Christians mostly are not after us, Satanists likewise, government, especially the police? Yeah… Ok and Initiatory pagans? Yeah, they are excluding you, you could try and get initiated, through hard work? The cultures we strip mine, to feel special? Yah they actually ARE excluding us. Because their cultures are in danger of dying, and it is hurtful to see the descendants of the colonialists who caused this, stealing (sorry it is theft, get over it) sacred rituals, and misusing them.
So these “enemies” to Pagandom? Not so much. The real enemies are there however.
- Peodophiles, abusers, and the like who are protected inside the community, because we are scared of “the man. I am looking at you Kenny Klein, Scott Hlobrook, Waco “White Wolf” Tohausen, and more. You can go away right now. Two of you rightfully went to prison.
- Prejudice inside our community. Yep we have it. We have tolerated it, and it is not good.
- Leaders who abuse the rules. Yep the folks who we elect, or at least allow to run things (we allow it, we could say no!), who decide the conventions we establish, are not required by them. We all know these leaders. I’ve blogged about them. Indeed recently I was contacted about one of the “Elders” in Milwaukee I had clashed with, and told she was at it again. My stance against her years ago, caused me to be banished. Here we are … 12 years later, and lo she is still at it.
So sure tilt at that wind mill, it’s a mirage.