These are some old questions from the Witches’ Weekly project. They’re still floating around the Internet, so I thought I’d answer them even though they’re “out of date.” Besides, a good friend asked me to.
What do you find most annoying about the Pagan Community?
I personally think that much of the Pagan community is too self-absorbed. Everything is about “me, me, and me.” I think that another diarist whose work I ran across recently used a most appropriate word: self-aggrandizement.
This shows up in many ways. The first way is how too many Pagans come to Paganism only with a thought for “what’s in it for me?” They look for the magic to make their lives better. They look for something that will make them feel better. Or they look for something that “empowers” them. Now don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with any of these things. But they do not a religion make. At some point, one must realize that we’re dealing with the Divine here. Wether we see gods as individual entities, “faces” of one Great Divine, or archetypes from the collective unconscious, we are dealing with something which is not just “another part of ourselves.” We are communing with and drawing on “resource” that exists outside of ourselves. And yet, we treat this “resource” as if it’s just for us. Personally, I find one of the great irony of Paganism is that we preach that we must use our natural resources like oil, coal, and woodland more respectfully and reverantly, yet never consider our implied lack of respect and reverance for our spiritual resources.
The other way that this “me mentality” expresses itself is our lack of self-criticism. Pagans as a whole are adverse to stopping and questioning themselves. Questioning another Pagan’s basic perceptions and assumptions is dangerous. It gets you accused of being a “fundie” and all other kinds of things. And yet, I find it funny. Pagans usually accuse “fundies” of being “sheep” for not questioning authority. But if we as Pagans declare ourselves the authority, then does not consistency of our views require us to question the authority within?
Are there any specific symbols that are sacred to you or that you hold close to you?
Not really, no. I love the runes as whole, but I’m not sure that any of them appeal to me specifically. Perhaps Fe, though. After all, I love it’s gentle reminder that I have all the “wealth” and resources I need and simply need to properly cultivate them.
What’s one thing that you think the Pagan Community needs?
I think the Pagan Community mostly needs to get over itself. We as a whole need to remember that the world does not revolve around us, that the world is not out to get us, and that the world really couldn’t care less about us in the great scheme of things. It seems to me that we need to realize that the universe is a grand and complex thing and that if we are to really “live in harmony with it” like we often claim to be trying to do, then we need to come to terms that we’re an infinitely small speck — and likely a relatively insignificant one, at that — in it and take our humble place in it.