This week is a catch-up week: Facing North entrusted me a set of books in January, a bunch of stuff has happened, and I’m now striving to send all those reviews back by August. So this week is mainly about reading and getting back on track with some sort of schedule.
I’m also thinking seriously about this blog – it’s still finding its feet, and subject wise it’s all over the place. I’m running into a few things:
1. I am increasingly aware I am not like the other Pagans. This also has caused me to realize we are not nearly as diverse as we pat ourselves on the back for being. Admittedly we are growing, and real growth generally inches along with an occasional burst – this can and does include thought and the framework for thought.
2. I really want to start a conversation on this blog that doesn’t involve the same arguments and invariably the same positions for those arguments. Whether it’s the Pagan clergy payment issue (and the underlying sense of entitlement too common among the population that makes this an issue) or whether occult means we should actively hide things (I think it hides itself just fine) or the decades old conversation about Wicca-Witch-whatever that should have finished years ago … I’m kinda bored, to be honest. I don’t feel like I encounter authentic responses, just people repeating and imitating rather than allowing real thought and feeling to form, especially in forums. It’s much like teenagers copping an attitude – they don’t actually have the attitude, they’re just imitating the ways they’ve seen other people express those feelings. Repetition makes things stick – it works in magic, and it works in behavior. This is one of the reasons so many initiations involve stripping – a good portion of that stuff we repeat is just more false mask-wearing.
I’m going to compose a long list of common Pagan subjects, and within that set I’m going to write about my own opinions on what-have-you. I come in with the expectation that my beliefs will change, but I also want to monitor whether they’ve been discussed to death to the point of being utterly circular. My hope is that I’m just being morose and that I’m wrong: there will be many subjects within the realm of neopaganism that I have yet to consider. I am going to run Google and forum searches to see how often said questions show up, as well – as a sort of measuring stick for discussion/overdiscussion – the dates of said convos will also be looked into. As a practitioner of a religion that supposedly rejects dogma, I would hope that we wouldn’t spend too long on any one subject because of dogma’s absence. But I can already cite one piece of dogma: “Herding pagans is like herding cats.” It’s utter bullshit, in my experience, and the entire reason neopagans are “difficult” to lead is directly related not to the diverse opinions and behaviors of the group, but the poor organization and people-tending skills of what leadership we have. Oh yes, I did say that, and in public.
I’m also trying to decide if this blog should be emotionally driven or practically driven; I put a great deal of emphasis on my practical life, in part because far too many people take emotions for facts in and of themselves and not as the litmus indicators that they should be. Negative emotion is no excuse for behaving poorly, and yet it’s used as an excuse all the time. I grew up surrounded by that crap. I sure as hell won’t tolerate it now. At the same time, emotion is a major factor in my spiritual life and that emotional contingent merits exploration, and a good number of my health problems relate to being raised as though my own feelings had no relevance whatsoever.