More drama has surfaced within wider Pagan community within recent weeks, particularly within the blogosphere between “polytheists” and “humanists”. I put those terms in quotes to blanket a lot of people under them, and because after all I’ve read regarding either camp, I’m not sure I understand what those terms really mean anymore.

 

I’m not going to get into specifics or mention names, not because I don’t want to or that I enjoy vague posts about important topics, but because I’m lazy, there is too many folks with easily bruised egos, which they defend in the guise of witty retorts and academic-sounding explanations for something which goes far beyond academia. The specifics don’t even matter, as I’m sure you can read this post a year from now, swap out the two factional names with others, and the whole thing will be just as relevant then as now. What is important is understanding the danger, and dare I say stupidity, of knowing, as a Pagan, that you’re right about what a Pagan is, who Pagans are, and all that is wrapped up in Pagan culture.

The reason it’s so dangerous for this kind of hubris is that it’s false. You simply cannot exclude a group of people, in your attempt to ‘reclaim’ a word just because you don’t like that they identify with the culture of that group. It’s not your ball to take home so others can’t play with it. Besides, the term “Pagan”, or even “Wiccan”, “Druid”, or “Heathen”, for that matter, are not static or stale, they are dynamic and ever-changing for the very reason that people are still interested in being associated with, and finding an identity within, those communities.

When I first consciously stepped onto a Pagan spiritual path, I was overjoyed at feeling a sense of, “wow, folks who view things at least close to how I do,” and it was a wonderful feeling. Now, it feels full of opportunists looking to carve out their own niche, while attempting to marginalize everyone else. It’s seems to me that at least a vocal few are trying to out-Pagan one another, and it makes me sick. I didn't even think I'd see the day when I would witness Pagan privilege first hand.