Saturday, July 28, 2012

Pagans Don't Fit in Neat Little Boxes

The problem with making generalizations in any community is that everyone is really different. And in no other of my communities is there such a diverse variety of people than in my Pagan community. We are so diverse we can't even come up with a singular definition of Paganism. We are definitely a community of individuals.

That's why it's so hard for me to buy into the Pagan stereotypes. The Poor Pagans, the Party Pagans, the Poly Pagans, and the Fat Pagans.The beauty of Paganism, to me, is that there are no rules and that everyone is accepted and welcomed. It springs internal from each and everyone of us!

I know people who feel strongly that veganism is part of their spiritual path, while others that tear into a turkey leg at the Renaissance Festival like they're an ancient Viking or Genghis Khan at a Mongolian Barbeque. I know Pagans that make 6 figures and others that make $6 an hour. I don't even know from where these stereotypes come. Maybe it's that I just happen to be out and about in the community and know a lot different Pagans from a lot of different groups/paths/traditions, etc. But, trust me, no one is like another around here.

I'll admit, when I first entered the Pagan community I did notice some people that would be considered morbidly obese. As a marketer and fundraiser for several Pagan organizations, it does seem like a bit more of a struggle to get Pagans to commit funds. I know Pagans that are polyamorous, monogamous, and, gasp, even celibate!!!  I also just realized after about eight years in the community, that some people are here for the festivals and celebrations and not deep spiritual development, because, well, we're all on our own path. Therefore, we're all seeking something and open to the Pagan experience. If I may make a generalization, I personally do feel that my Pagan community is the most supportive of all my communities. I've had a tough year, as so many others on this planet have, and these people have got my back.

And if I'm gonna stereotype, why not hang out with a Fat Pagan, because they can whip up some mean fixin's for feasting and some yummy grounding snacks. And those Poor Pagans, well, they're pretty crafty and all, since they can't afford to buy stuff. Umm, NO!! It's because my Pagan friends are beautiful people with amazing gifts and talents.

Instead of making generalizations, if we see an issue in the Pagan community let's start something to address these issues of our over-culture from the Pagan perspective. Lead a meditation to help people make the mind-body to learn how to best serve their physical bodies and their health.  Lead or sponsor a class on relating to money as Earth energy. Plan an healing ceremony or recommend a good spiritual counselor if someone is truly in trouble.

Paganism to me is a journey of self-discovery, and a self-defined faith. I may be in a practicing spiritual group, but my experience in a ritual could be totally different and that experience and the guidance and gifts we received are unique to each one of us in the universe. This makes us different than other spiritual/religious communities and I know it makes me, and all of us, better people, better Pagans and a better Pagan community members.

To all my Pagan friends and loved ones, thank you for being you. And if you find yourself in need, if you think you might have a problem, if you want some support and guidance... I got your back, too!

Friday, July 6, 2012

The Burden of Intuition

One of my magickal gifts is that see it like it is. I don't glamour very easily. I look at people and situations and really see them. I don't need a crystal ball or a tarot card. I get immediate information. I see the core. I see the outcome. Sometimes I'm in denial of what I see and make excuses to my own sake and that of others, because the truth is too uncomfortable with which to deal. But I've recently accepted that at this point, I've been right too many times. I wish I wasn't. It sucks.

When before me someone who is lovestruck or dumbstruck, I see how it's gonna turnout. Or, a new person is introduced into a group of friends. Immediately, my internal alarms go to DEFCON1 and all my deflector shields go up. I know this person's intentions, I know this person is going reek havoc in a major way and that the aftermath is going to be painful and permanent. I may try to express my concerns, but they often fall on deaf ears, or worse, I'm vilified for being cynical and negative and judgmental.

I also get so frustrated with those that surround the situation, too. How do they NOT see it? I swear I just want to smack people and scream, "Open your eyes! How can you be supportive of this? This is NOT a good thing! Don't you see this disaster in the making!"

Unless a situation gets to the point of physical or emotional harm or becomes criminal, my mouth remains shut and I just try to position myself someplace where I can maintain my sanity. Unfortunately, I often can't just sit by and watch the situation unravel. So, I find myself pulling away, but remaining close enough to be there to listen when things go bad. It's all I can do.

When the truth comes to light, it is not necessarily a joyous moment. Being right in these situations doesn't boost my ego--I don't get ever any satisfaction from an "I told you so." It makes my heart ache more because I couldn't stop it from happening. I want to fix everything all the time. I want to help people. I want to make them feel better. But I'm just me, I can't, and really, nor should I. These are the life lessons of others. It's part of their experience and it's not my place to change their journey.

But, then there's the good. The person I meet that I instantly just know is going to have an amazing impact on my life. The friend with a possibly scary diagnosis that I know is going to be just fine. The idea a colleague has for a business that I know is going to be a success. The couple that I just know are gonna make it. In these cases, I still have to keep my mouth shut, and I'll tell you what...sometimes that's even harder to do!\