This post is a tangent off of my series on Pagans and Predators. I want to talk a little bit about cheating, in other words, infidelity, and why cheating is 1. bad and 2. a red flag as far as the issue of predatory behavior in the Pagan community. Well–in any community, for that matter.
I hear a lot of Pagans prevaricate and tell me, “Cheating’s not so bad, you shouldn’t be so hard on people just for cheating. It’s not like it’s abuse or something like that.”
And in some cases they are right, and in some cases they are wrong.
The Lotus Queen: One of my large mixed media pieces with gold, metal and glass pieces.
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I’m joining the Tarot Blog Hop on the theme of the Lughnassadh (harvest), and the abundance of the Queen of Disks.
In order to harvest, you have to have first planted the seeds. I find that when I’m the most often wrapped up in the spiral of self loathing and overwhelm, the root cause is that I wish I’d gotten things finished (or started) sooner.
You can’t realize a dream if you haven’t watered the garden and tended the land.
In my case, I look at the magical map I’ve created as an intention setting. I call it a Grail Map. I see the crucial projects that must get finished so that the bigger, larger-reaching dreams can be realized. Sometimes I get stuck thinking, “I should have had a novel published when I was 25,” “I should have gotten those MP3’s recorded by now, ” “I should have finished that book on facilitating ritual by now,” “I should have done dozens more paintings,” “I should have gotten more gigs doing magazine covers and book covers.”
“I Should” is a pretty big red flag; it’s a big time blame game.
There are some inherent challenges with the process of personal transformation. To put it into geek terms, you are hacking your own programming. And it’s going to impact your life. In other words, there are sometimes unintended consequences.
I think that facing the shadow tends to have repercussions–we’re hacking our self identity. We’re saying, “Yes, I identify that thing as bad, and yes, I do that thing, and I now have to accept that as part of my identity.”
Our ego doesn’t cope so well with that.
I’m reblogging this very excellent post by Lydia MN Crabtree. It was written in March and it continues to be relevant as I see the Frosts are still out there teaching, and many Pagan groups and organizations still need better policies and processes regarding abuse, harassment, and other issues.
The Fish Rots from the Head Down: Squid Eye and Sexual Exploitation
“I have long run with elders who knew many “famous, big name pagans” and listened to the stories they have to tell of arguments around the exploitation of teenagers and “initiating” them into the sexual aspects of life as a “rite of passage.” Gerald Gardner has often been describe by many who knew or met him as being a “dirty old man” (to be clear a dirty old man when it came to adult women). Allegations of sexual misconduct have been made against most of the cornerstone names in paganism today. Gavin and Yvonne Frost literally wrote the book (now out of print) on sexual initiation that allegedly includes minors. When I personally asked them about this at a gathering, the response I got was, “Well, we are still around and still selling books.” The Frosts run with wild support of the general pagan public and teach through their church and school. If they have retracted or clarified their comments around sexual initiation of minors, I have yet to hear of it (if so, by all means, please let me know).”