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November 16, 2012
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Something sinister is brewing under the waters of the Pagan community.

It is an adversary most powerful--an enemy which spreads falsity like disease, sugar-coats like a first grade Sunday school and worst of all, is burning through modern paganism like a wild-fire.

This enemy, of course, is political correctness.

However, this isn't just any political correctness. It isn't merely a means of being polite, or making an effort to not offend--this is a force gone to far.

This political correctness is actively changing what it means to be a Pagan of any sort--it is morphing once beautiful and meaningful religions from worldviews addressing the mysteries of nature into something pretty, plastic and downright silly.

A while ago, I was tossed out of a group on Facebook for teenage Pagans.

The group purported to accept all different paths, but after a brief discussion with the other members I quickly found out that their 'acceptance' was shallow and ultimately false. Acceptance, for them, was merely a word that they thought looked nice and did not comprehend.

The moment I mentioned that which could potentially be construed as 'dark'--negative magic, demonology, death for that matter--their reaction was of such disgust and fear that I was urged to leave the group and start my own 'for that kind of thing'. They were completely ignorant that the topics I mentioned have been part of paganism and occultism(which was discussed frequently) for thousands of years.

Let's take a brief look at the paganism of the past.

Gods of war? Check.

Gods of the underworld? Check.

Human and animal sacrifice? Check.

Direct address of human mysteries like birth, sexuality and death? Check.

So what happened?

Truth be told, I don't know. It's a complex subject. If I had to guess, I'd say that today's Pagans are so bent on being seen as acceptable by the Christian majority--and let's be honest here, folks, no matter how nice and pretty and sparkly you are, there are those who are always going to think you sacrifice infants to Satan in the woods at night--that they've taken to neglecting and often completely removing all the nitty gritty parts that make Paganism, well...Pagan.

Even worse, this is causing a simply horrifying amount of misinformation, ranging everywhere from basic historical knowledge to definition of terms to actual theology.

Even more disheartening is the the persecution, hatred and even denied existence of other groups within the community--most often the groups who actually stick to historical pagan concepts.

The following is a list of grievances against the Pagan community, not only addressing political correctness but also other areas where our community is lacking, misinformation first and foremost.

Here goes nothing.

1. Wicca is not an ancient religion. This is one I see repeated in all kinds of unfortunate places, namely websites aimed at seekers. Let me make something clear: It is possible that Gerald Gardner was initiated into a pre-existing coven. Witchcraft itself has been around for thousands of years, and it's perfectly plausible that he stumbled upon an underground group of practitioners. However, Gardner's Wicca is initiatory and oath-bound: the only people who know exactly what they're doing is them. Neo-Wicca, which is by the far the most popular, is based on however little information leaked from the original cult. Since the exact practices and theology of initiatory Wicca is unknown, one cannot claim neo-Wicca is an ancient religion--they've had to fill in far too many blanks, often with completely unrelated material. It may indeed incorporate some very old ideas and practices, but an incorporation of old elements does not equate to something old entirely.  

2. Nature is cruel. I don't know why this is so difficult for people to understand. I rarely if ever see the darker aspects of the natural world mentioned by modern pagans, let alone emphasized. Worse yet, those who dare bring these elements into conversation are shunned as evil, or accused of attention-seeking and "special snowflake" behavior. Almost always are they accused of slandering the community's reputation. I honestly don't fucking understand this. If you're going to worship Nature, worship all of it, not just the nice parts.

Note: Not all pagans consider themselves nature-worshipers; this point is addressed only at those who do.  

3. The words 'Wiccan' and 'Witch' are not interchangeable. Wicca is a religion. A witch is a person who practices witchcraft. You can be a Wiccan witch, but you do not have to be. Being a Pagan also does not make you a witch. Same rule applies. A person of any religion that allows witchcraft can be a witch, or of no religion at all.

I will not discuss Christian witches. That's a discussion for another day.

4. Witchcraft is not necessarily a religion. My views regarding this have somewhat changed since I initially wrote this article. On one hand, Witchcraft does not have to be religious; it can be practiced from a completely secular worldview. That said, many witches I respect see their craft as inseparable from their religion, if not a religion in itself. That said, I think Witchcraft can be successfully divided into two primary forms: Religious and Non-religious. Religious witchcraft, of course, refers to no single religion, but is an umbrella term under which many religions flourish. Either way, it is not synonymous with Wicca.

I conceived the idea to classify non-religious witchcraft merely as Witchcraft, and religious witchcraft as Witchery. The latter not only gets rid of the problematic '-craft' suffix, which exclusively denotes a practice, but is also more phonetically similar to the names of other religious groups(i.e. Christianity).

5. The 'rule of three' and 'karma' are not universal. It really should be common sense that not all people within such a large group would believe in the same concepts, but unfortunately common sense is increasingly rare, nowadays. I've speculated that the reason why so many people cling desperately to the Rule of Three as a literal, psuedo-Karmic law is because most pagans are Christian converts. Consequently, many are unable accept that good deeds go unrewarded and evil goes unpunished. They also seem to be inherently passive, unwilling to take matters into their own hands and produce change for the better(even those who have magic at their disposal), another common Christian attitude. This also plays into number two: converts are unable to escape the strict, light-versus-darkness worldview present in Christianity, and are hence unable to cope with any perceived evil.

I've noticed more and more leakage between Christian and Pagan thought as the latter attracts more converts. It seems Paganism is only absorbing the very worst of Christian behavior; namely proselytizing, passiveness and fear of the dark.

6. Like it or not, black magic still counts as witchcraft. Actually, if you want to get really old-school, witchcraft is entirely black magic. That's how it's anthropologically categorized: malefic folk-magic which utilizes grotesque ingredients and obscene behavior to produce change in the environment. "White Witchcraft" wasn't even a concept until the Church tried to demonize the Cunning Folk sometime during the Renaissance--that's right, demonize. Witchcraft had never been considered benevolent until recent times. The church's logic behind the label 'white witchcraft' was that even though the magic seemed helpful, the practitioners were secretly tricking their clients into diabolic pacts. Historically, witchcraft was neutral at the very best. While white witchcraft has become a concept unto itself by now, trying to exclude malefica from the definition entirely is ridiculous.

Or, at my inner Wicked Witch of the West is saying, "It was our word first. You can borrow it, sure, but if you don't own it. Go ahead and pretend you do, if you think you're brave--I've been itchin' for a reason to throw a curse all day!"

7. The 'connected God and Goddess' idea is not universal. This idea just fucking bugs me, especially when they take it a step further and say the God and Goddess are only two aspects of "The One"--and it becomes monotheism all over again. Everyone's got a right to believe what they will, of course--but, understandably, polytheists like myself often get irked by people invoking Lilith, Odin, Dionysus and The Morrigan in the same breath, especially when it's assumed that everyone will be fine with it. I find this strain of thought breeds massive cultural and theological respect issues. If all gods are the same god, why not invoke all of them at once, regardless of the beliefs of the people whom historically worshiped them? Who cares of Thor and Loki don't get along in mythology? They're secretly the same person, so calling on both of them will be just fine! While we're at it, Artemis is a virgin goddess untouched by any man, but she's also the sex-fiend Freya, so let me ask her help in this love spell!
Ahem. My main problem with this belief is that people whom subscribe to it often ignore the individual personalities of each god, as well as religions and cultures of the people whom historically worshiped them. As long as one actually learns about the deities they are messing with and honor their individual traits, I don't care what they believe. If they choose not to learn about and respect the individual gods, they should stick to the generic terms 'God' and 'Goddess'.

I can just imagine someone walking up to Thor and calling him Cupid. That shit would be fucking hilarious.


8. 'Embracing human nature' does not only mean the positive aspects. I don't know if you guys noticed this, but humans rape, butcher, maim, pillage, burn, disfigure, mutilate and murder on a daily basis. Take that into account next time you say "Our path embraces human nature as a whole!" Otherwise, your words are empty and useless.

9. Stop white-washing history. I can't even say how much I hate this. Most Pagans are under the impression that before that big mean bully Christianity took over, the world was some kind of paradise. I call bullshit in the highest degree. There was almost never gender equality. The gods were often jealous and vindictive, if not murderous and cruel. Famine, drought and war were frequent. Hell, do yourselves a favor and look up Roman torture techniques. That'll show you how fucking Utopian pagan society was.

In conclusion, quit being a bunch of goddamn pansies and read a motherfucking book.

Sincerely, Gel Childs.
Posted in the Philosophy and Religion forum forum.deviantart.com/community… here. It made the first page on dA Today. My friend suggested I post the essay as a deviation, so here it is.

Updated thrice, since originally posted!

:heart: I support all pagans. :heart:

What about you?
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:iconmyname1z4xs:
myname1z4xs Featured By Owner Oct 26, 2014  Hobbyist Artist
I guess people are better off to learn science before magic, that they are at least mentally ready for the nasty stuff.
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:icondragonflae:
Dragonflae Featured By Owner Oct 27, 2014
I agree wholeheartedly--although I cannot say that one should limit ones' perception to known science, otherwise they could not learn magic at all. 
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:iconmyname1z4xs:
myname1z4xs Featured By Owner Oct 27, 2014  Hobbyist Artist
I think people should be free to learn what they desire, my argument is that most people are better to learn walk before they learn to run, it is better to get a sense of what is know before getting into the unknown. Science have to deals with dark aspect of nature, it helps people to develop a habit to not believe in the feel good politic. Its about the wisdom to face reality, not who is right who is wrong.
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:iconnmponzo:
nmponzo Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2014
Thank you for posting this.  I have been trying to explain these issues to my Mother with little success other then to hear her call me a heathen.  I may have her read this.  It was hard to practice growing up when I was not allowed to have an altar or anything that looked like "icon worship" as she called it.  Even now she hates spells and the idea of multiple gods/goddesses.  The weirdest thing is that she believes in a lot of the things many pagans/witches/wiccans/magic users in general believe in.  This is due to the fact that the Craft runs in the family. 

I will give her credit for one thing though: she did some research when I first started getting involved with the Craft.  My first book was given to me by my Uncle and it was a book on Wicca.  My mother did not like how the author told you to hide your BOS from your parents, so she gave me books from some other Pagan/Wiccan authors that promoted openness with your family.  While I am not Wiccan, I still hold on to the books as they show that my mother has a mild acceptance of my beliefs.  
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:icondragonflae:
Dragonflae Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2014
:lol: Sounds like your first was a Silver Ravenwolf volume, huh? She's the only author I can name that instructs kids to hide their books.

That said, I sympathize. My mother wasn't half as accepting as yours, sadly; the moment she found out what my beliefs were, she ostracized me from the rest of our family, stopped talking to me but for screamed obscenity and eventually I had to call the police and have them relocate me to my father's custody :(

It can be very hard for kids. No parent should try and dictate what their children believe in. That's why I'm generally lax whenever an author suggests hiding and lying. Some of us don't have a choice.

Thank you for your comment, though :heart:
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:iconnmponzo:
nmponzo Featured By Owner Nov 5, 2014
Sorry for the SUPER late reply.  Your welcome! 
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:icondraco-94:
Draco-94 Featured By Owner Jun 13, 2014
Personally, I believe in the general concept of karma. I don't believe in causing harm on anyone or thing, however, considering I also believe in reincarnation, I don't believe killing something to always be harmful to it. I'm more bothered by mutilation than I am killing lol. Simply because mutilation harms ones ability to happily live out their life. The way I see it, there's physical, emotional/mental harm, and spiritual harm, which especially includes impeding others on whatever the fuck they wanna do with their own damn life, soul, etc. my definition of harm is very complex, might even seem contradictory, and I ain't gonna go into it, cause I ain't got that kinda time and I doubt anyone's interested lol.
But yeah, political correctness eats my ass in any area, especially religion. In the US we have a freedom to practice religion. There's no rule it has to be sun shiney, or even pleasent for that matter. Just look at Christianity.
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:icondragonflae:
Dragonflae Featured By Owner Jun 13, 2014
:lol: Pahahaha.
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:iconotterwillow:
Otterwillow Featured By Owner Jun 11, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
This is very interesting, I am an atheist and know little about pagenism,
I do remember at one point reading a book that was like one of the 'politicaly correct' pagenism you mentioned, although it may have been a book about wicca?,
But anyway you are correct that humans are not all perfect and I think it is wrong to censer discussion on things such as death, as not discussing things leads to fear, and living with the fear of death hanging over you is no life at all.

( by the way I love your form threads and avatar- I tend to be a bit inactive there due to the homophobic trolling you get on the religion and phlosphy forums- it just irritates me to much and stops me wanting to comment) :-)
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:icondragonflae:
Dragonflae Featured By Owner Jun 11, 2014
Wicca is one of the largest branches of paganism, and probably the most 'politically correct'.

Glad you agree :) And thank you so much. 
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:iconotterwillow:
Otterwillow Featured By Owner Jun 11, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
No problem,
Have a nice day :-)
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:iconharpinghawke:
HarpingHawke Featured By Owner Apr 17, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
I don't know whether to use the clapping emoticon or the hugging emoticon, so I'll just use both.
Clap 
Hug 
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:icondragonflae:
Dragonflae Featured By Owner Apr 18, 2014
:lol: Thank you!
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:iconharpinghawke:
HarpingHawke Featured By Owner Apr 18, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
No problem! I just totally and completely agree with you and I think that was AWESOME!
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:icongelaion:
Gelaion Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
This is frankly greatness. 
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:icondragonflae:
Dragonflae Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2014
Thank you <3 I need to update it. I've got much more ranting and raving to do. 
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:icongelaion:
Gelaion Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
I actually founded a lot of joy in this writing for im a polytheist a person beliving in multiple gods who identifies greatly with paganism who also studies history. And I love how everybody is so quick to change history saying traditional pagans were pretty hippie rainbows and unicorns. When in reality were the capable of being this way? Sure at times, but the other half of the story that modern people try to delete...Oh ho the morbidness..a druid ritual that i read about (never found out if it was confirmed or not) consisted of building a giant wooden man aka the wicker man while trapping people in the belly section untill it was completely packed to then set the dang thing on fire as a sacrifice. 

But yeah I look forward to hearing the rants. 

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:icondragonflae:
Dragonflae Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2014
:lol: Pretty much everyone practiced human sacrifice. My primary goddess had infant girls left to Her at crossroads. 

I hate it when they try to white-wash everything. Our gods can be pretty fucking terrifying, and our people just as much.
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:icongelaion:
Gelaion Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
every religion practiced sacrifice to be frank, even judaism which Christianity stemmed from did it. Sacrifice only came to a end after modern laws in most modern day societies made it illegal to sacrifice living things. 
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:iconuponbatishwings:
Uponbatishwings Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Ya know, I like you. you are serious about what you do. We have that in common. We also don't care for abrahamic religions.
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:icondragonflae:
Dragonflae Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2014
Why, thank you. I'm far more serious than people tend to think I am. I think it's the stereotypical clothing.

I do get into the glamour of the whole witch thing, but that's certainly not all I do or even a relatively important aspect. 

And no. We don't. 
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:iconuponbatishwings:
Uponbatishwings Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
I use magick, but I'm not a Wiccan or a witch.

The image is nice i suppose.

Oh?
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:icondragonflae:
Dragonflae Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2014
I'm probably more eccentric than is healthy.

And THANK YOU. I see far too many people who try to snag the 'witch' title for any and all forms of magical practice :stare: It's gotten to the point where people deny non-witch and Wiccan magical practices exist

I've had some bad experiences. 
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:iconuponbatishwings:
Uponbatishwings Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Haha we have that in common :)

Well "witch" didnt appeal to me as I'm a dude :P granted I don't claim to be Merlin either haha

Bad experiences with christians? I have.
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:icondragonflae:
Dragonflae Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2014
I actually support the terms "Wizard" and "Warlock", for a male practitioner. I know "Warlock" has a bad reputation around the Pagan community, but the meaning of it is taken so far out of context it's on another planet. 'Sorcerer' is also great :) I don't see why these terms are so unpopular.

I grew up in the rural South with a bible-beating mother :stare: You?
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:icondraco-94:
Draco-94 Featured By Owner Jun 13, 2014
Sorry to jump in like this, but from my understanding, warlock means traitor, and was a title given to those prosecuted in the inquisitions that ratted out their neighbors and families? What was the original meaning?
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:icondragonflae:
Dragonflae Featured By Owner Jun 13, 2014
The title 'warlock' was given to male witches. It does, to our knowledge, mean oath breaker--however, everyone always forgets the oath in question was between the Warlock and the Christian God; an oath which you'd break by becoming a witch, either way. 
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(1 Reply)
:iconuponbatishwings:
Uponbatishwings Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Haha I just claim the title "aura user" but I like witch for a girl, I know one. Not one of those wiccans, I mean a legitimate one.

Oh wow, I'm sorry. I am in rural Ohio, where everyone wears camo and loves them some jesus. I lucked out though. My parents aren't that religious. My grandma told me when I was little she would say "jesus loves you" and I would disagree Haha
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:icondragonflae:
Dragonflae Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2014
:lol: Mind you, I don't think ALL Wiccans are illegitimate. Just the overwhelming majority. 

What sort of which is your friend? .w.

Poor baby. I'm now in Oak Park, IL. Land of the Hippies, man. It's great. 


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(1 Reply)
:iconominoushaze:
OminousHaze Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2014  Hobbyist
Ohhh I hate it when people think it's all peaches and cream when Paganism not always positive and "peace and love".
I'm actually considering following the path of Paganism ( the Norse path and possibly the Kemetic path) but .... I really do not know where to start since there's many resources and that I'm somewhat afraid of borrowing books from  the library since my parents are pretty religious.
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:icondragonflae:
Dragonflae Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2014
I can help you with sources, if you want :) 
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:iconominoushaze:
OminousHaze Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2014  Hobbyist
Sure! :)
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:icondragonflae:
Dragonflae Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2014
Alright. First thing's first, what paths are you most drawn to? Heritage may help, here.
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:iconominoushaze:
OminousHaze Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2014  Hobbyist
I'm from a Slavic/Germanic background.
I'm really drawn to the Norse path, but I'm also considering something from the Slavic and Germanic path, to get in touch with my heritage, you know? haha
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:icondragonflae:
Dragonflae Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2014
Definitely look into some Germanic paganism. The Slavs have very little recorded mythology, but the Germanic pantheon is pretty well documented.


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:iconominoushaze:
OminousHaze Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2014  Hobbyist
I will definitely look into that.
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:iconwitwitch:
witwitch Featured By Owner Dec 8, 2012  Student Writer
I don't really get what "embracing human nature" is supposed to mean exactly. So, what, when your hormones say, "cheat on your partner, it'll feel good" you do it? I don't get it. Does this mean when nature calls, you take a poop in public because that's just natural, instead of holding it in and waiting to find a bathroom? This just seems mindless to me.

I think one of the most amazing things about being human is that we can exercise a great deal of self control.

I do, however, like the idea of the unified god/goddess. To me, it's like how everything is connected in a great cycle. We live, we die, we decay, and our molecules break down and become something else. Our energy flows from us back to the earth and in to everything. And the same human being who is filled with passion and anger has the potential to be soft and loving. We are more than just flat, one dimensional characters. We all have the capability for everything within us. The god is the goddess and the goddess is the god, they just represent different aspects of us.

I'm still trying to figure out my god and goddess. But I don't think I will give them names. I don't think they need them. I do, however, see the goddess in the moon and the god in the sun--but I've sort of always felt this way. It just seems natural to worship this way.

I used to think it would be stupid to do it this way (my thoughts and feelings often conflict with each other), since in the big picture our sun is just one star and the moon is just a rock that happens to circle our planet. But they are important to our earth. They both allow us to live here, and I think that allows them to be symbols for something bigger. I don't actually think the goddess is the moon. But I can see the feminine cycle symbolized by it.

I don't think it's going to be a universal idea. But for me, it makes sense and feels right.
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:icondragonflae:
Dragonflae Featured By Owner Dec 8, 2012
If it makes sense and feels right to you, honey, then go for it :heart:

And on the 'embracing human nature', I meant more along the lines of 'oh, hey, I can actually feel anger/hatred/what-have-you, maybe I shouldn't pretend that I don't' rather than 'hey! That dog is pooping over there. Let me join him!' :XD:
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:iconwitwitch:
witwitch Featured By Owner Dec 8, 2012  Student Writer
Oh, I agree with that part. I don't think it's a good thing to pretend you don't have emotions. I just don't think you should let your emotions control you completely, especially when it comes to things like anger or fear. They're useful, sure, but they need a filter. Or you could channel them in to something productive, like art.
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:icondragonflae:
Dragonflae Featured By Owner Dec 8, 2012
Most of my best art is made when I'm sad :la:

And my best cursework is done when I'm angry ._.

By the way, a few others and I are considering starting a dA group for witches. Interested?
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:iconwitwitch:
witwitch Featured By Owner Dec 8, 2012  Student Writer
Yes, actually. :)

I'm flattered to have been asked. :flirty:
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:icondragonflae:
Dragonflae Featured By Owner Dec 8, 2012
Awwwww :XD: you're so cute, sometimes.

I'm going to go ahead and create the group, then start inviting.
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:iconwitwitch:
witwitch Featured By Owner Dec 8, 2012  Student Writer
What are you going to call it?
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:icondragonflae:
Dragonflae Featured By Owner Dec 8, 2012
Probably dA-Witchery. Any other suggestions?
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(1 Reply)
:iconwizardofunseen:
WizardOfUnseen Featured By Owner Dec 6, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I am an atheist but I found this to be an interesting read
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:icondragonflae:
Dragonflae Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2012
No problem with atheists :p as long as you're not the rabid foaming-at-the-mouth sort, which I doubt you are, seeing as you havn't insulted me yet :XD:
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:iconwizardofunseen:
WizardOfUnseen Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
If I do, what is the difference between me and fanatics :D What kind of insults do you usually get? Maybe I could be innovative
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:icondragonflae:
Dragonflae Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2012
They generally call me a stupid teenager seeking attention :D
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:iconwizardofunseen:
WizardOfUnseen Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
That is not that bad :D
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:icondragonflae:
Dragonflae Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2012
Generally not, but it's annoying when the comment is made in relation to my religion.

Sadly, I can see where they're coming from, though. My generation seems chock full of wannabe "pagans", "Wiccans" and "witches" who know nothing about the religions or craft and only call themselves so to piss off their parents.
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