Friday, May 7, 2010

Pagan/Wiccan Fundamentalism

Okay, we're back. We had a wonderful trip to Florida, speaking to several groups around Tampa, including the very active Tampa U-U with its CUUPS group. Then we went on to the Florida Pagan Gathering, which lived up to its reputation as being the highlight of our Spring travels. There we enjoyed sharing time with Judy Harrow and with the Grimassis.
We formed the impression that people are finally getting past our own fangs and our hairy palms and are even listening to some of our ideas. Of course teaching dance in 94-degree weather and high humidity was not a lot of fun, but everyone seemed to enjoy it. Further, we were delighted to sense a lot less inter-group friction this year. Maybe--we hope--the fundamentalist pagan movement is losing momentum.
We've had a huge response to our earlier blog on that subject. Everyone agrees, there's got to be some way to get back to freedom and to honest debate and discussion without the ad hominem attacks. We who think "alternative" thoughts are beginning efforts to stop the witch wars, efforts to get people to do more than fight each other. Why? Because we can envision those fundamentalist Christians laughing and doing high-fives when we get into that sort of family bickering.
Years ago some self-appointed inquisitors put us Frosts "on trial' in Minneapolis (here Yvonne is chortling while she dances on graves). As that caper wrapped up, everyone ostensibly agreed to subscribe to the precept, "I have the one and only right and true path ... for me." Would we could get back to that, because there are lot of people out there whom we would enjoy counting as friends but apparently have lost the idea that spiritual development requires freedom. "You run your path and I'll run mine" belongs on the wall of every pagan living room in cross-stitch. To become more spiritual, then, you must be free, not subject to a dominator paradigm.
The idea is not a new one. The 18th century philosopher Hegel wrote,
The nature of Spirit may be understood by a glance at its direct opposite--Matter. As the essence of Matter is gravity, so, on the other hand, we may affirm that the substance, the essence, of Spirit is freedom.
Decades ago the Guides gave to Yvonne three verses of a song. Here is a clip from that.
" ... Gather we friends together and dance all in a ring.
Glad Witches, come gather, to the old true ways returning :
To freedom and to truth and light, and ne'er again the burning."
Call us biased, but it looks to us as if every time some new writer wants to sell a book, they can find no better way to get onto some Top Ten list than to attack us Frosts or other prominent people in the community. These are just shabby cheap shots, of course; but they sell books. All we can do is refuse to buy the (frequently crap) stuff they put out. It's a sad thing when trees die for such purposes.

That's all for now. We're trying to catch up on hundreds of e-mails and even find time to cut the lawn. A la prochaine, blessed be. Gavin and Yvonne

4 comments:

jon0301astabron said...

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劉je217relacoste0 said...

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CleoL_V said...

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Imperator David Griffin said...

"Pagan Fundamentalism" is a value laden term with extreme negative connotations for common people. I have documented in the below linked article how results of existing Pagan scholarship are already being misrepresented on Christian blogs with a distinctively negative agenda towards Paganism. I am very concerned that the present discussions about Pagan Fundamentalism will be used against Pagans in the same manner. See my article on this important issue entitled:
"Pagan Scholarship and anti-Pagan Propaganda" at
http://hermetic-golden-dawn.blogspot.com/2013/05/sabina-magliocco-and-ronald-hutton.html