Not suprisingly, the most popular posts of 2018 here at The Allergic Pagan have been some of my most provocative posts.
The real reason Wiccans (and Pagans) aren’t taken seriously, is because they don’t take themselves seriously.
You want to call yourself a “witch” and not be confused with the negative stereotypes of witches in the media? Then stop dressing up like those stereotypes. There should be a difference between a genuine religion and LARPing or RenFair-ing. No one is going to take you seriously in a Wicked Witch of the West hat or if you’re using a besom broom to clear your ritual space. And if you’re not one of those people who dresses like that, but you make excuses for people who do, maybe you should reconsider that.
You want to practice magic and be taken seriously? Then don’t dress like Gandalf. And while you’re at it put away the magic wands and all the other paraphernalia that you bought at the Pagan shop. You don’t need all that cheap junk anyway. You want to be a Pagan, start by climbing a tree …
Paganism is at a point where it’s time for us to make this transition, to shift our gaze from an inward focus, to an outward focus. Of course, it is essential that we still provide space for people to work out the first stage of their spiritual journey, to do the inner work. But it’s time for Paganism as a whole to grow up. If we don’t make this transition, if we don’t, as a community, mature beyond the first stage of spiritual development, then we will continue to only attract people who are in the first stage of spiritual development, and we will only keep them for as long as they are in that first stage. When they make the transition to the second stage, they will leave Paganism.
Here’s five ways our community can take the next step into young adulthood, all of which have to do with moving beyond the ego into community. Each one starts with a commonly-heard phrase in Pagan circles and challenges us to move beyond an ego-centric mindset.
1. It’s not like in the books.
2. Most Paganism is not an earth-centered religion.
3. Most Paganism is ego-centered.
4. Most Pagans care more about cosplay than politics.
5. Most Pagans are anti-organization.
6. Most Pagans are anti-critical.
7. Most Pagans can’t put together a decent ritual.
8. Some forms of Paganism perpetuate the mistakes of Abrahamic religions.
9. Paganism will never be a significant social movement.
I believe that contemporary Paganism has a saving vision that needs to be shared with the world: a vision of the inherent divinity and interconnectedness of all living beings, our physical bodies, and the earth itself. Pagans have an aversion to proselytizing, which means that, if other people are ever to learn about our saving vision, then it will have to be through other forms of positive engagement with the non-Pagan world. …
I think it’s time–past time, in fact–to pull our collective heads out of the self-created broom closet. We need to set forth from our Pagan safe spaces, which have become intellectual ghettos, and move into the world. We start working together–with each other and with non-Pagans–for a better world. Then, if we survive, we can say we earned it.