Ya Work With What Ya Get! Represent Yo.


Did You Represent Yourself?
Did You Represent Yourself?

Conor O’Bryan Warren made an excellent point in his blog article at Under The Owl’s Wing recounting the experiences he had at DFW Pagan Pride Day 2013. In it he says that there are many within the hard polytheistic (meaning folks who see the gods and goddesses as individual deities rather than aspects of one god and one goddess) who see Pagan Pride Day as a mostly Wiccan or Eclectic Pagan event. Well, if these are the only folks who show up then what do you expect? When one is putting together an all volunteer event you work with who shows up and what they bring to the table. I, personally, can’t pull a workshop on Hellenic Household Worship out of my ass because I have only a smattering of knowledge on the subject. So if someone like Mr. Warren who has taken the time to educate himself on the subject doesn’t come to share his knowledge where else would it come from? He is dead on right about the folks who complain that this event is all this or all that but don’t show up, roll up their sleeves or do anything to change it. But there is always time to change that. If you would like to have greater representation in the overall community, no matter what your tradition or spiritual path, get out there and participate in it. There are events like this going on all the time and if there isn’t one, put one together. Oh! It is a lot of work, sure. But very rewarding work when you see it all come together and get to see smiles on lots of faces because they have all been touched by something magickal that you were a part of.

DFW Pagan Pride Day will happen again in 2014. If you would like to be a participant, get in touch.

Bíodh  amhlaidh,

Troy



12 Replies to “Ya Work With What Ya Get! Represent Yo.”

  1. Troy, I think that we see the same need, only from slightly different perspectives. When you get a chance, I’d appreciate it if you’d read my comment on Conor’s blog and let me know what you think.

    1. OK. I replied to you over on Conor’s blog. I’m not sure where the difference in perspectives lies but I definitely see where we agree on the need to encourage our many diverse paths to work together.

      1. I think the main difference in perspective is that on one side it is from the position of the majority and the other it is from the position of the minority.

        The Majority tends to make assumptions and operate from a position of strength – come join our event, bring what you have to us, we are interested in hearing what you (the smaller and thus unknown) group has to tell us as we may learn something.

        While the minority tends to have a siege mentality, feel pressure to conform, have trouble finding like minded people, have feelings of isolation, sometimes they feel the need to vocally state their differences (to avoid being swallow up by the majority).

        Well that’s my take and fairly generalized – doesn’t apply to everyone

        1. I think you sum it up very well here! This also illustrates how the other idea you mentioned could work very well. If the non-Wiccan Pagans all got together to put on an event of their own it would remove the obstacle of majority assumption / siege mentality. They could feel comfortable being themselves at their own event and others from the majority who wish to come and learn without being the event organizers could attend and learn.

  2. I guess it’s a chicken and egg situation.

    You want non-Wiccan pagans to attend and be part of events but they won’t because the event is seen as a Wiccan one, but it won’t become more than just Wiccan if non-Wiccans don’t sign up for it, but as it’s very Wiccan they won’t sign up for it

    Perhaps there needs to be a non-Wiccan pagan event staged so people can share what they know and celebrate their faith!

    1. Perhaps so. I wouldn’t mind seeing something like that happen here. I once went to a Druidic event near Austin called Modron’s Gate. Met my wife there as a matter of fact. 🙂

  3. Here’s what has worked for me – your results may vary. When organizing events, I believe it’s my duty to personally extend an invitation to any group which might feel uncomfortable for whatever reason. Talk face to face, ask probing questions, acknowledge and feel the feeling, see through other eyes, build from there. The separate but equal thing is – imho – not a viable answer, and it defeats the purpose of Pagan Pride Day. We had all sorts of separate but theoretically equal events during the Civil Rights era. And the outcome sucked.

    As a Wiccan (or a presumed Wiccan, in my case), you’re going to be eyeballed and evaluated for sincerity; some shamanic pagan tribes have incredible “truth sense” abilities. You can’t just be throwing some lightweight invitation out there and, if they agree to participate, these folks aren’t coming to bathe you in love and light. They have reasons for standing apart, and it will take a level of mutual respect and trust before collaboration is possible. But it’s possible, so we’re going to commit to keeping the lines of communication open.

    1. I agree wholeheartedly! United we stand, divided we fall!

      I passionately believe that we can all come together as one and enjoy our differences! I feel it can be done but the issue is religion is a tricky subject, it invokes passions within people (as it should) and sometimes they get in the way of seeing things from another’s viewpoint.

      I see it a lot that people try to run before they can walk and many don’t even acknowledge there is a difference to begin with – we are all pagans after all and so on…

      Maybe it’s all the mead I’ve drunken with my Norse friends but I’ve found that attitude it very prevalent in mainstream paganism. But we are better than that! We can overcome assumptions – sure it’s tough (I’d rather forget the time I made the mistake of thinking Astaru and Odinism were more of less the same thing… I was young and slight drunk – did I mention mean?) but the best things are!

      It can work! There was a great open circle I used to go to that opened each evening with an Astaru, Isis, Celtic Wicca, Druidic, Seax and Odinist blessing. The order was determined by the gods (drawing lots) and after that we had lively (but respectful) debate and often talks/demonstrations (often pre-arranged but sometimes spontaneous). *sigh* I miss that gathering… The hosts moved out of state, I hope they managed to start up another group as good in IL

      Oh and for the record, I love your method Dana, it’s a coming together from a position of respect. I like it a lot!

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