Thursday, May 16, 2013

The Local Pagan Community--Summed up in Facebook?

This is probably the easiest article post I will ever have to publish. All I am doing is copying over screenshots from a group I was apart of, called "Pagans of Nebraska." I'm going to avoid adding as the entire discussion can speak for itself. Also, it's going to get lengthy.

I blocked out names and faces because of a teaching given to me very early on about the respecting identities of people in the pagan community. Basically that, "outing" someone who is pagan against their will can be a safety issue. 

The blurb about the blog:
I wanted to start this group for all Pagans of Nebraska (or anywhere else, all are welcome) as a place for Us to share views, ask questions, set up events, Sabbats, and together further our knowledge of the Magick that surrounds us. All discussions are welcome, including topics about current events, but I would ask that we refrain from anything blatantly hateful. I know that society in general does not understand who we are or what we believe; I know one of the most common questions is about the Pentagram and it's symbolism (Either the "is that the Star of David" question, or more commonly, "Do you worship the Devil"), so is it then our job to educate them so they don't persecute or unjustly fear us? Again I say for all Pagans, which encompasses a wide range of beliefs. I hope for many good discussions and comments and to meet many new people.

Merry Meet and Blessed Be
Keep that in mind as you read the following exchange on Facebook comments.

Unfortunately, they deleted the comment (which prohibits me from being able to share the few other comments that were made afterwards.)

I then posted this image without any added commentary.

Here are the responses:

And finally,

Now, is it fair to say that this should speak for the entire local community, as my title suggests? On reflection, it was only two people who were very livid that I would argue why a local metaphysical store should stop selling their misuse of dream catchers. But I do have one person, Gray, who sees my point though they don't agree. I do feel accomplished that they will be more careful of a shopper, as is per their view. 

I did also meet someone on Tumblr who is going to boycott, and even courageously emailed the store about the misuse. Their close relatives are NA too. Oh, and we also didn't agree: I think any NA item should be made by NA, but they argue that a non-NA dream catcher is fine if it is still used properly. Which, you know?, I may actually agree with that argument. But we do both agree that selling dream catchers that are put on cars and sold as a "novelty" item is disrespectful.

So, from those numbers, it's half/half. But that is a very small sampling. With the upcoming meet up for an intellectual discussion on what is and isn't paganism, I am anxious to see what will happen.

In conclusion, I want to ask you reader what I asked Green and Red:

why is disrespect tolerable within the local pagan community but not my "disrespect"? 


  1. Because you're challenging their privilege and entitlement by pointing out the problem. You're forcing them to look at what their culture does to another, that it is harmful, and that the culture being wronged is taking a stand and being vocal about it. And if challenging socially-ingrained-from-birth privilege and entitlement doesn't scare a white, heterosexual American quicker than shit, IDK what does.

    1. That really seems to be the case. I know it scared me when I realized it (though I'm not a heterosexual, I am a white American.) I hope that this is just a shock that will wear off, and the people in these comments as well as the people at Next Mill can start to understand how to be mindful of privilege and entitlement.