Keeping Up (Pagan) Appearances

My pagan home is a place called The Cauldron.  If you’ve not checked it out, you really should. (shameless plug)

The Cauldron (or TC, as we call it) is a perfect fit for me, being focused on discussion and debate rather than the spouting of fluffiness that “everybody knows”.  There’s a freedom there to ask questions that might not be accepted in other online fora.  Then again, this freedom is exactly what causes some people to decide, after a day or two, that the community is not for them.

You see, the TC community isn’t big on accepting things without question – as a whole, it believes that questioning leads to further knowledge.  Outward appearances aren’t taken at face value, especially when someone claiming to be a high priestess in an initiatory religious witchcraft tradition then posts questions about how to meditate.

(The above is just an example.  No forum members were intentionally harmed in the writing of this post.)

I’m honestly not sure why people pretend to be things they’re not when doing so pretty much leads to stagnating.  I understand how hard it can be to try to fit in to a group of people (I’ve social anxiety myself, so I really know!), but fitting in as a facsimile of yourself only leads to duplicity and lying to maintain your position.

There’s no need to pretend to be experienced in channeling when you don’t really know what it is.  There’s no need to toot your own horn about your tarot skills when the only readings you’ve done are for yourself…and you got your first deck two weeks ago.  There’s no need to pretend to be able to control the weather when your area is experiencing the worst drought since the 1800s.

Now, no one’s perfect.  We’ve all padded our figurative resumes from time to time – and some of us have done it for no other reason than to be viewed in a certain light by others.  But, pretending experience when you’re really craving to learn about the subject at hand is just silly.  With this in mind, then, I offer the following advice:

(1) Don’t be afraid to ask questions.  If the responses you get questions rather than answers, think about what they say.  Answer them to the best of your ability, and then see how your answers affect the questions you asked in the first place.  Make adjustments as needed; even if you get some snark, it can be helpful.

(2) Don’t be afraid to admit you don’t know something.  There’s nothing wrong with knowledge gaps and the admission usually leads to useful information.

(3) Open yourself up to learn one new thing per day and remember: the day you stop learning is the day you die.

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2 responses to “Keeping Up (Pagan) Appearances

  1. I think you’re spot on about TC. Though it is debate and discussion, there is also help if a body asks for it. I’ve learned much there and have a stack of reading I am amped about that has pretty much exclusively been suggested there or written by people who frequent TC.

    Another wonderful thing about the place IME is how hard the staff and active members try to be as inclusive as possible to people of all faiths even the undecided.

    I have been told and I do believe it is true that TC is a unique forum in terms of how people conduct themselves. I only lurked a bit around the web when I was searching for a place to learn and never really ran into the kind of whacky shenanigans I have since seen elsewhere.

    What struck me about TC then was the sheer depth and diversity of knowledge and willingness to share that just was not present elsewhere. I think that is one aspect of the place that may be intimidating to people, but I love it. What better way to learn than by reading from and interacting with people who have willingly and with gusto, done their homework and often the homework of scads of others? People from one path will take the effort to write long information packed posts to help a person of a different path. It’s a gem on the net.

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