Tuesday, September 09, 2008

C-R

I think I'm more centered now, so I'll just give it a wirl and let fly.

Here goes.

I've been a Druid for so many years now that some days its hard to remember the time before. I was introduced to the faith by people in my family, my paternal grandparents, in fact. My father is a devout atheist, much to the frustration of his late parents.

In recent years I have gone farther and farther into the realm of Celtic Reconstructionism. Mostly due to my personal gnosis, if that makes any sense to you. Actually...whether it makes sense to you or not...

What does this have to do with why I'm here writing today?

I'lllllllllll tell ya!

Recently I've had the displeasure of dealing with people who feel a deep seated need to attack me. Not for being a Druid...but for being a Druid with C-R leanings. There is a weird feeling in the greater pagan community of late. One that is bound in hostility and suspicion. The talk in the local gatherings, on-line in the forums, and at even in the local Seed Groups and Study Circles is one that is more angry and hostile than I have ever seen it. And I've seen a lot!

Many self proclaimed pundits for the pagan community have spent too much effort lately decrying the C-R movement as everything from "silly" to "elitism in its worst form." There have been scathing articles written, and nasty comments made.

One assumption I've seen all too often is the charge that C-R lacks moral fiber...WHERE do they get THAT?

On line and in person...It's like the zeitgeist of the immediate era. Angry Pagans. Gnashing teeth and stomping hooves!

And what really gets me is the rhetoric that some of these folks use to press their arguments. Not the fact that they have a different way they do things than I would...but the fact that they react SO poorly to others not doing things THEIR way. Honestly it is starting to look like a Sunni vs. Shia, Catholics vs. Protestant, Burger King vs. McDonalds kind of thing out there in a community that is usually known for its diversity and freedom of eclecticism.

Now I know we all have our pet peeves, and pagans are no less likely to have them. Many people react this way when you force them out of their comfort zones. But come on people! Why are you so afraid of doing a little study? Will learning something new KILL your faith? Will finding out that ancient Druids never cast circles nor "called the quarters" make life too unbearable for you?

If so, than you have no real faith to begin with, if it can be tumbled from you so easily. You have a game of dress-up you do eight or so times a year.

I feel no need to dictate how you practice and express your faith. If you want to live in Gnostic Pagan splendor...do so. If you prefer C-R...do that, and more power to you. Masonic Paganism? All you buddy! Do what you feel the Light pulling you toward, and be blessed! Any combinations in between, even unmentioned? DO IT! I love my personal revelations AND the knowledge I've gained from C-R study to put them into a context beyond myself. You don't do it that way...fine with me.

But don't practice the hypocracy of telling me how to practice and express my faith when it strays form yours.

But be warned, as well...When the community of pagans out there begins to form up ranks and sling arrows at one another...you only help our enemies do their job for them. A pagan holy war will gain us NOTHING!

And if you feel the need to sling more than verbal arrows at me, you better start to practice catching them.

Cheers!
/\Muin

5 comments:

A Wild Celtic Rose said...

I feel your pain, I myself had the misfortune of being a [gasp] Unitarian Pagan. Even worse that that, I lead a local group that was open, friendly and inclusive which threatened the "I'm more witchy than you are" groups.

I have stepped far, FAR away from the public pagan community because I saw as much (or more) hatred and intolerance there than I have the other more mainstream religious communities.

Then again, I have a small circle fo trusted friends to gather with for sabbats, and for the rest of it? It's really all about the energy I feel when I'm on the ocean or in the forest.

You might (or not) be interested in two of the bits I wrote for Widdershins.

This is the "why I'm a Unitarian Witch" piece.

http://www.widdershins.org/vol7iss4/07.htm

This illustrates why I left public paganism.

http://www.widdershins.org/vol10iss3/05.htm

Nettle said...

One of my fellow AODA druids said something a while back that has stuck with me -

"There are also people out there–you can see them in great numbers in online venues–who are loudly talking the talk, but I don’t see them walking the walk. I can tell they’re not doing the work. If you have time to criticize or complain about how other people are doing their Work, or trying to, then you’re not doing your Work. Arguing on Internet fora takes a good deal of time and energy, time and energy that could be going into the Work. But if you choose to use that time and energy to complain about the fluffies, to seek out and denounce people who don’t play your game by your rules, to make long lists of books that people Ought Not to Read, well, then, what’s left over for Doing the Work?" - Mam Adar, http://mamadar.wordpress.com/2007/03/30/doing-the-work/

I was going to write some other stuff but it kept going back to what Mam Adar already said, so I'm just quoting her.

I'm not CR and probably won't ever be but if it's workin' for you, work it. Nobody who is secure in their own path has any need to tear down someone else's. Just do your work as you see fit and let the rest go. They'll bicker amongst themselves just fine without you and there is no way to get them to stop doing it. They just don't have anything else to do.

yellowdog granny said...

see, that's why I don't like organized religion..even the pagans...I just sit in my little town and worship the goddess and a couple of gods, to keep things smooth ..and that's it..I don't like to attend services or sit in circles..I just like what works for me...pagans are starting to act like rightwing born agains..my way or the high way...not for me thanks..

Hillbilly Fairy said...

unbelievable! I guess i'm somewhat sheltered from that now that i live in the sticks. but i do remember when i lived in dc and briefly belonged to a coven, how rabid some of the women were about how rituals were to be done... yeah, ditto yellowdog granny, the whole organizational thing can be a drag. what anne is saying is that some pagans are no better than some xtians... craaaazy. if you can't have fun with your faith and make it bend and move to fit your particular belief structure, why bother? go live in a box!

Pom said...

Beautifully written! I don't know anyone who came to this to follow yet another dogmatic approach to faith - but most to break away from just that only to find that the same things exist within this "safe place" too. I've viewed the Pagan paths as those that lead by the spiritual nature of the one practicing it - how can anyone else presume to tell another the proper way to do that? They can suggest, recommend, or even author a book about it - but it comes down to the individual. If that individual can find a community that they fit into - great! If not - how can anyone be surprised when these things are taken into consideration?