Who are the Winners?
I feel the need to open disscusions on a very important subject in the Pagan Community: Infighting. Better folk than I have brought it up before using such terms as "Witch Wars". We, as a community, must understand that it is our differences that give us power. The reason we are strong is the very fact that there are as many forms of Paganism as their are practitioners of Paganism. This petty squabbling and nitpicking that tends to occur in large groups of Pagans is simply ridiculous! Even the coolest heads of us (myself included) have caught ourselves being judgemental at least once or twice. It is just important to remember that the improper presentation of such things tears us apart as a community. For example: If Pagan A thinks that Pagan B's beliefs on a particular subject, lets say reincarnation, are ridiculous, this COULD lead to trouble (and unfortunatly often does). It doesn't have to. If Pagan A and Pagan B could converse intelligently on the subject, expressing their different beliefs, with the understanding that they are not trying to convince the other, merely educate, this could lead to greater understanding of the diversity on both sides of the issue. However, often Pagan A will refuse to hear Pagan B; they will just get annoyed and in extreme cases it can lead to so-called "Magickal Wars".
Paganism by it's very nature will never and can never be an "organized religion". What we must understand is that our diversity is what defines us, what makes us powerful. This is sometimes a hard world to be Pagan in and it is nice to have a support system or safety net such as this list or the chat room to fall back on, but we must never forget that this issue exists in our community. I have been to the gatheriongs and seen these things go on. It is up to us to police ourselves. I have found the best thing to do when faced with someone who is being petty or judgemental in an emotionally fired manner is to simply say, nicely "hey come on, why don't you explain what has gotten you so upset and we'll see if we can talk about it". It's very simple and it works!
Essay Copyright 1998 © by Isis McNammara. This article may be distributed freely, so long as this notice remains and the article is in no way edited from it's original form. No fee may be charged for the distribution of this article in any form without consent of the author.
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This page last updated 9/12/98