You know, some Pagan message boards really disappoint me at times. It seems to me that a lot of people you meet there are looking for ego stroking more than any real religious devotion. In fact, a lot of these people seem to be interested in showing off how incredibly “spiritual” or “magical” they are.
For example, today, one person was talking about how they had all these past lives they could remember. And of course, in every one of these past lives except one, this individual “had power.” The cynical, bastardly part of me just wants to scream “get over yourself.” And of course, then you have the discussion about self-Initiation. And when someone mentioned they don’t believe in it, someone threw out “well, who initiated the first witch, then?” I’m sorry, but that’s an old question. Who gave a medical degree to the first doctor? And yet, I doubt anyone would be interesting in hiring a heart surgeon who was “self-degreed.”
Of course, most people will scream that there’s a difference between a doctor and a witch. Well, that may be true to an extent. But it does beg the question. Isn’t being a witch more than a label to bolster one’s self-esteem? Doesn’t it actually mean something? To me, it does. To me, it means serving a god in a priesthood. To me, it’s about actually working towards something. But to a lot of people out there, it just seems to be another status label. There seems to be no duties or responsibilities that come with it. Just something to impress others with.
Me, I think the most incredible thing that I’ve had happen to me is to hear people I consider far smarter than I am refer to me as “intelligent.” To me, that made me smile from ear to ear. It also made me blush. Because I know that the person who said it doesn’t give out compliments willy-nilly. But it also made me realize that I had an expectation to live up to. Because of this person’s high standards, I suddenly had a compliment I needed to strive to live up to.