Discordia Comes Out to Play

Before I begin I just want to clarify that these are my opinions and you are more than welcome to disagree with them. In fact, I encourage you to voice your own discord by using the comments link at the bottom of each post.

Now, on to the meat and potatoes of it...

I’m frustrated. I feel as though Wicca and the overall idea of doing spells and magic (with a k) has gotten out of hand and become just plain silly. I don’t think Pagans will ever be taken seriously if we don’t lose some of the Dungeons and Dragons type mentality that seems to infest our communities. I’m not saying playing D&D is a bad thing. In fact, it's a great social pastime. I am only saying that I believe that type of fantasy has no place in religion.

Spells were cool and exciting when I was a teenager. Now I consider them prayer with props. Why then don’t we just call it prayer or petitioning? At some point we may have to come to terms with not being able to "take back" all the terminology we use. When people hear the word "spell" along the same vein as religion they immediately think crazy. This is especially the case when there are a ton of role playing games utilizing the idea of our prayer system as a way to do battle with enemies. Harry Potter has added fuel to that fire as well.

I’ve met people who believe in dragons, fairies, gnomes, bigfoot, etc. When I speak with them for the first time I have to fight to keep a straight face. Actually, what I want to say is "Go sell crazy to the Fundies. They're always looking for more and we have all we can handle here."

I think there is a certain amount of hypocrisy at work in the D&D minded Pagan crowd too. For example, I have heard more than one of them say that the Bible is archaic and its ideas ridiculous. They speak of how it is impossible to part the red sea or turn water to wine, etc. Okay. Then why in the world would you believe in mythological creatures?

Reality sucks sometimes. I get that and I’m totally on board with having a healthy fantasy life. But at some point in your life you have to face reality. I would prefer that my religion be firmly rooted in the real world so that I'm fully prepared when reality rears its ugly head.

Children should be able to maintain a belief in fantasy. I would never want to rob my child of the magic of Santa or the idea that there are little beings that watch over her. One day I can explain to her that these are metaphors that represent wonderful aspects of nature and the Goddess.

Look, I really want to believe unicorns are real. I still turn to look at every apple orchard I pass in the hopes that somewhere within the mists there will be a gorgeous, one-horned white horse with a mane that ripples in the wind. I want to believe. But I have yet to see a unicorn whinny at the moon and I have yet to speak with a faerie.

On the other hand I have taken in the scent of the summer breeze on my face, felt the heat of fire on my skin, held the earth in my hands, and drunk deep of the purity of water. I have witnessed the changing seasons and watched the moon wax and wane. I have felt the rhythms of the Earth within me and noticed my connection to all things. Nature is real. Nature I can touch, see, taste, smell, hear, feel, and sense.

To sum up, I am not saying we should not hold on to the hope that some of these things can exist – at least in some other realm, the astral, or whatever. I am simply saying that there should be more reality rooted in our religious practices. If one more person asks me if I can feel the trapped spirit in their (insert mundane object here) I may just have to let the giggles escape.

In my opinion, superstition and ideas originating in fantasy have not been something the human race typically deals well with. Those ideas usually come to an end with someone getting burned at the stake.

6 comments:

  1. Thank the Goddess I am not the only one not seeing fairies stealing my keys. I've turned away from Wicca because of this type of silliness. It leaves me more solitary than ever, but I'm not able to pretend in fantasy in my religion, which is deep, real and sacred to me. I've tried to rationalize what these folks are talking about into certain energy they feel... but it's not working when these folks insist the dragon is sitting on their house guarding it. uh huh.

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  2. wynyfryd, thanks for the comment.

    Yes, I know exactly what you mean. I've tried to make sense of what these people feel as well. I've even tried very hard to see someone's dragon friend. When I said I couldn't see it they said I was trying too hard. What?

    I've tried thinking of fantasy creatures as metaphors - which makes sense to me in a way - but I truly believe these things are part of certain individual's reality. To be honest, that sort of scares me. How many leaders in our communities believe in these things? Can people who consider themselves more rational ever respect them? If our leaders decide to be vocal about their fantastical beliefs we are left with the possibility that main stream society may get the idea that all Pagans believe in such nonsense. We've already seen it on TV which is the main source of information in this country.

    I've noticed a small swing towards reality lately and I can only hope that it continues and eventually becomes the norm.

    Again, thanks for your comment. I know how frustrating it can be to be solitary. If you ever need someone to talk to I am a great listener and I love intellectual conversation. :)

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  3. Very good points grian. I'll do meditative work, which might include visualization or some other way to focus my thoughts (which is why I like pagan rosaries), but I don't do "magick" (or magic or majik).

    But, on the other side of it, I'm constantly having to justify my tarot work. I don't read to tell the future for myself or anyone else. I let the stories of the tarot speak to my psyche and my soul. The disclaimers don't always do enough though. I was called a sorceress not to long ago.

    So yeah, I agree that we need to give up the childishness, but I also think it would be nice not to be judged by surface impressions either.

    I'm so glad you're back to blogging regularly. I missed ya. Hope your health is doing better.

    :)

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  4. Thanks for the comments Kay.

    I'm not a magick-maker myself. I used to do spells and other such things long ago and I could still pull one out of my behind because all the correspondences are floating around inside my head. These days religion is more important to me - or spirituality if you prefer. I see magick as a practice not a religion. Some religious people practice magick, but magick alone does not a religion make IMO.

    The Tarot is fascinating. Personally, it was always too much for me to remember. It's simply not my tool of choice. I don't think you should have to justify it all though. It's not as though you're saying the Tarot is the end all to be all of spiritual practices. :)

    "So yeah, I agree that we need to give up the childishness, but I also think it would be nice not to be judged by surface impressions either."

    I agree. This is our catch22 of the day. I say that because if someone shows up dressed like Harry Potter to a circle - or some other public function - while we shouldn't judge them as a person for their outward appearance, they do look silly and make those associated with them look silly as well.

    I don't think this is something that should be "handled" so to say, I only think there should be some more serious injected into the modern Pagan movement and less association with things like Charmed, Harry Potter, etc.

    Then again, people of other religions have their own way of dressing that those outside of the religion find odd. Buddhists monks look downright strange in their fancy ritual garb. So, maybe this is something the rest of the world - and the rest of us Pagans have to get used to.

    I don't know. There's that double edged sword again.

    Thanks again for commenting. I'm feeling pretty good these days. Thanks! I hope you're doing well also.

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  5. Greetings,

    I share many of your feelings and in addition to them, am also tired of people who use the words "wiccan/witch" and Pagan interchangeably. They are NOT the same thing. Catholics are Christians but Christians are not Catholics! So what exactly IS a good definition of "Pagan"? Someone with an earth-centered spirituality? There's an incredible mish mosh of "pagan" belief systems out there.

    Is a Pagan someone who worships (for example) Greek deities in an informed and historic or partly historic manner? Or is it someone named Silver Rabbit Loon who chants Egyptian prayers to Norse Gods in a Navaho drumming circle with a feather stuck through his/her nose? I'm a "loose recon" myself. I look to the past but see religion as a verb, not a noun. Therefor I guess, I distnace myself from the Pagan #2 description.

    If someone points out the abject nuttiness of the #2 example, they are called "intolerant". Well tolerance works both ways and it involves respect. Those who believe in unicorns and enchanted bunny rabbits and sparkle dust should define their "traditions" more specifically and thereby show tolerance and respect for MY path by doing so. I'm a Pagan too, and extreme, eclectic, "woo woo" Pagan mindsets are NOT representative of many of us who are seriously and quietly living as such.

    Mercurialis

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  6. Oh thank you, thank you, thank you! I have been on a spiritual journey for some time, from Christianity to Goddess, and I have wound my way through the weirdness of Wicca. I ended up pretty jaded and I felt ridiculous. I began to feel that there was no one who felt like I did- "is there a way to worship the Goddess without working magic? Can I be a Pagan in a serious, deep way without looking for fairies in my garden?" I have found a peaceful home in your ideas. You are blessed to have been able to synthesize and express the truth of Her and the common sense of Her creation from all the mythologies of the past. Thank you!

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