Ironically, just hours after I sent in my quote to the Wild Hunt for their “Elders” post, I found myself in a position where I could either tacitly ignore a Pagan elder’s behavior, or I could confront it. I hadn’t quite scheduled a big confrontation into my day, but I found myself ethically obliged after someone messaged me to ask whether or not I supported that elder based upon that elder’s stance on something.
The words I had sent to the Wild Hunt in an email just hours before ended up being almost prophetic for at least four situations that hit my inbox and news feed, including “Big Name Pagans” like Z Budapest and Christian Day, or local Pagan community leaders behaving badly.
Let me see if I can sum up one situation I faced in a way that keeps names out of it, and yet describes a situation that you may have personally experienced.
I just posted a guest blog on Temet Nosce. It’s super geeky and references what I do in ritual with trance work and techniques the Bene Gesserit use in the fictional world of the science fiction book/movie Dune.
Here’s a snippet and a link to the whole post. Enjoy!
The Sleeper Must Awaken
Science fiction and fantasy books and movies often delve into the fantastic, the unreal, the magical, the impossible…and yet so often they reflect a deeper truths. Sometimes, what looks like magic is actually just incredibly advanced technology.
I’m an admitted nerd for the old 1980′s David Lynch movie Dune. I realized something: A fair number of the trance techniques that I use are right out of the Bene Gesserit handbook.
The Bene Gesserit, if you’re unfamiliar with Dune, are an order of sisters in the far distant future of humankind. They were colloquially known as “witches” because of how supernatural their powers seemed, but their powers were, at the core, rooted in science and discipline.
Fantastic article by author Sable Aradia. I’ve been enjoying a number of her blog posts. Here are a few quotes from the article; check it out in its entirety.
“Many Wiccans, in my opinion, seem to use the Rede as a way to rationalize keeping their hands, noses, and consciences clean. It strikes me as an excuse for cowardice, not as a genuine desire to not be “judgmental.”
I call it the Curse of Pagan Niceness. We are terrible at delineating clear boundaries. We want to be so accepting that we put up with all kinds of things we should not put up with. And we can make our community dangerous for the vulnerable because, in our efforts to not be confrontational or judgmental, we let abusive people get away with it.”
“We saw things that worried us, but after we talked to them about it, asked questions and counselled them, we trusted that the high priestess and high priest of the coven, our initiates, were dealing with the situation, and at the very least they had their eye on it and were counselling the family and looking out for the safety of the girls. We should have followed up and demanded to know what they were doing to intervene. I especially was trying to be nice in that I didn’t want to step on the high priestess’ toes and undermine her authority.
Look at what all this “niceness” wrought. A beautiful, intelligent young woman whom I greatly admire and respect was deeply harmed. Our tradition, who should have protected her, failed her utterly.”