Following a ‘discussion’ on social media which turned into a one-sided tirade of abuse against me for expressing an opinion, I made a mental note to observe the frequency of this type of occurrence.
What crime had I committed to attract such a tirade? I had expressed an opinion that we should recognise that we all have emotions such as anger and aggressiveness (females as well as males) and that they were not as had been expressed ‘negative’ emotions.
My point was that it is not the existence of the emotion that is negative or positive; it is how we react to that is the negative or positive. So what has this to do with ‘Pagan’ and what occurrence did I intend to observe the frequency of?
The aforementioned tirade eventually resulted in an intended insult being thrown at me of ‘You’re not Pagan, you have no idea what Pagan means, Pagan is all about peace and balance’! – really?
The occurrence that I then decided to observe was how often these types of arguments and intended slurs occur within the so-called Pagan communities and what I saw made me cringe; the sheer number of nasty, vitriolic, malicious, spiteful, hostile and abusive remarks flying were absolutely unbelievable, as was the attitudes of ‘I am a better Pagan than you’!
This is not a comment on what beliefs constitute Paganism, that is personal; Paganism is not dogmatic. However; for clarity there is a broad-term definition of what a Pagan or Paganism recognisably is, and for that I turn to the Pagan Federation
- “A definition of a Pagan: – A follower of a polytheistic or pantheistic nature-worshipping religion.
- A definition of Paganism: – A polytheistic or pantheistic nature-worshipping religion.” paganfed.org/index.php/paganism/introduction-to-paganism
Two of the key words within those definitions is ‘follower’ and ‘nature’; to follow something implies movement (dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/follow), it implies that you are actually ‘doing’ something, so to follow a ‘nature-worshipping religion’ means that you have to do something to demonstrate that importance of nature within your life.
Not doing anything; not bothering to engage with nature in any shape or form whatsoever, or worse still continuing to go through life with a total disregard for nature and the natural world (continuing to buy products that are harmful to the natural world either in their use or manufacture is just one example) and in addition to this sitting on your rump hiding behind a keyboard/screen to insult and try to belittle others does not constitute Pagan.
Some of the best ‘Pagans’ that I know wouldn’t dream of labelling themselves as such; they are truly in touch with nature, their whole lives revolve around their relationship with the natural world. The level of respect that they demonstrate to all living things is a shining example, they truly revere the Earth and all that exists thereon. PAGAN IS AS PAGAN DOES.
For the record I was brought up in ‘The Old Ways’ – my grandparents handed down the knowledge to me; a life-wide-encompassing knowledge that most definitely has nature at its very core and all that goes with it. Last time I checked it was definitely very Pagan.