Sounds rather familiar…..

Andy put me on to a very inetersting site, Pagan Bullies, which led me through to this article on Witchvox about why dysfunctional people choose paganism….sounds familiar……

“This universe is full of magickal things Patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper”
Less healthy people have always used the Pagan Path as:

  1. A way to get power without working to earn it.
  2. A way to rebel.
  3. A way to get attention.
  4. A way to play the victim.
  5. An excuse to own shiny things.
  6. An excuse to buy shiny things.
  7. A way to be accepted or trendy.
  8. Just another chance to play “dress up”.
  9. Entry to a (perceived) sexual smorgasbord.
  10. A way to feel superior to others; especially people who may have hurt or rejected them in the past.
  11. A (perceived) justification for bad behavior.
  12. A way to avoid taking responsibility for their lives.

Their attitude is: Give me a love spell, but don’t ask me to be kinder or more lovable.” or “Let’s do a prosperity ritual, but don’t ask me to acquire new skills or update that resume.” This is what the psychologist’s call “magical thinking”. Magical thinking is an illogical mode of thinking based on fantasy, rather than reality. It is diametrically opposed to real magickal thinking which is what a healthy Pagan does.

To understand real magickal thinking we must consider the definition of magick. To quote Starhawk’s famous phrase: “Magick is the art of changing consciousness at will.” She goes on to state in her book Dreaming The Dark, because every change we make is a change in a relationship in which we take part, we cannot cause change without changing ourselves.” Wise Pagans know this mystery: If we change the world inside, the outside world will change, as well. (You’ll notice that it dovetails rather nicely with the definition of recovery.)

Magickal thinking requires we live a life beyond the norm. Such a life involves commitment, self-examination, honesty, and what the Buddhist’s call “right action”. Have you ever wondered why so many people stay stuck at the first level of Pagan practice (the part with the toys and the clothes)? It’s because levels 2, 3, and beyond challenge us to grow.

Right about this point, someone is going to jump up and yell, You’re being judgmental!so let’s address that issue here and now. Tell me, please, when did becoming Pagan mean we gave up our right to be treated with respect? I didn’t give up that right, did you?

Practicing tolerance and being accepting of someone else’s culture, lifestyle or belief system does not mean that we have to put up with things like lying, sexual predation, acting out, bigotry, hypocrisy, carelessness, cruelty, selfishness, rudeness, poor planning, self righteousness, lame excuses, neglect, addictive/destructive behavior, nasty gossip, stealing, or temper tantrums. This is nothing more than bad behavior masquerading as magick. Is this the sort of community we want to create?
Does this all sound rather familiar, have we met someone like this before????


One Response to “Sounds rather familiar…..”

  1. There is, it seems, an expectation on the part of some that we excise our ability to make judgements against systems, creeds, and indeed people. This is false. It’s one thing to judge, quite another to vindictively pursue those we judge – the pursuit should be confined to criminality, and that should be pursued by the police and then the courts, where you can rightly expect judgement of a legal punitive and corrective kind to be carried out. Only stupid people tell us not to ‘judge’ when, in fact, all you’re doing in this article is pointing out, rightly, that pagan communities like any other have their share of bullies who, to my mind, seem to have a gap between their declared beliefs and how those beliefs are put into practice or not, as the case may be.

    Sadly, all spiritual paths involve some who use them as cover for sexism, racism or homophobia and legitimise these and other ugly behaviours by reference either to the past or one holy book or another. And, ultimately, damaged people who have been bullied or abused in other ways can go on to perpetuate the same behaviours if they lack the critical self-awareness to address the burdens their own pasts have placed upon them. It requires hard work over a lifetime to combat one’s own past if it was abusive; for some, the preference is to enter into a state of denial and self-justification. Ultimately, such people cannot be helped because they don’t want help – they see no need for it – and are best avoided like the plague. x

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