So, after reading a post by a friend of mine for the Pagan Blog Project (specifically, one from Mystical Bewilderment on the Spiritual Turnpike) I got to thinking about the things we pagans are reluctant to discuss.
As a rule, I don’t think most of us are unwilling to speak with one another. Unless our traditions are oathbound, we’re willing to discuss our personal practices to one degree or another. Those that do spell work will happily talk about potential methods and ingredients. We’ll talk about deities in broad (or sometimes specific) terms, we’ll debate the foundations of “standard knowledge” or ethics of a specific action. As the saying goes, if you put four pagans in a room and ask a question you’ll get five different opinions.
So then, you say, what exactly is it we don’t discuss? I’ll tell you – we don’t discuss the really tricky, complicated, difficult things. We don’t talk about things that send us into a tizzy of frustration. We don’t talk about the mistakes we’ve made without trying to turn them into funny stories. We (mostly) don’t discuss our ignorance.
The funny thing about this specific reluctance is that it stems back to one simple word: fear. In our desire to be taken seriously as religious folk, we self-select what we discuss and write about over and over again until it boils down to things we aren’t afraid to discuss.
The level at which we dissolve into Full Kermit Flail varies, but we all have a tipping point. We’re afraid to talk about the “mystishit” currently plaguing us, or the fact that we cannot get a spell to work even after trying it seventeen times. We’re afraid that we do things incorrectly, or badly, or sloppily. We’re afraid of the things we don’t know, or don’t know well enough. We’re even afraid of the things we do know, that we’ll be engulfed by them, or rejected because of them.
But, it’s the Flail-worthy topics about which we should speak up. If no one speaks aloud of failure, or mistakes, or ignorance we’re continuing to perpetuate the myth that someone can just add water and POOF! Insta-pagan! This is not how best to serve what some call the “Pagan Community”.
So, from here on, I will not sugarcoat. I will not hide and refuse to admit I do not know. I will discuss my mistakes, in the open, where someone can read them and potentially benefit from the information. And, in doing so, I hope to change just a small part of my Universe.