Quality Captioning and Transcriptions Open Up Clearer Communication for Members of the Entire Pagan Community

When someone who is visually impaired uses a computer, they will either have the images enlarged or they use a reader program. How can a picture, graphic, or other image be read? It can’t unless the web designer is a great coder. There are programs and more tech savy ways to embed images with descriptions that will work with readers. For those of us running organizational websites on a donation budget or blogging, we need to create vivid captions. Instead of no caption or a simple word or two such as “sun on an oak” or “people gathered for the Solstice” we need to create several sentences describing any motion, colors, and physical location of objects in the picture. We included the image on our page to enhance it for readers so let’s enhance it for all of our readers.

Ocean, of the Deaf Pagan Crossroads blog, has written a wonderful post about the importance of captioning videos. Dear Pagan Community: Please Help Transcribe Videos!

As part of the Community Linkage news on June 12, I mentioned the Deaf Pagan Network. This organization offers a place for “where individuals of Like Mind can come together to discuss the Pagan Path, to share our traditions, learn about our spirituality, participate in rituals, and develop our own personal relationship with Goddess and God.”

I found out from Ocean that Kim is the woman in the video. They took the time to write a transcript so that everyone could get a peek at the important work going on to educate members of the Deaf community about Paganism.

YouTube Preview Image

(TRANSCRIPT)

Hello

This video relates to my previous video about Paganism and Christianity; this time I
focus on Paganism. I want to clarify that I am not an expert (brain-wiz) on Paganism; I
do not seriously practice Paganism, interact with the Pagan Community, or am deeply
involved with it. I am just reading about and learning about it. I hope that those of you
who have been practicing Paganism for many years will come and make vlogs too…I
hope so.

Here is the book I’ve read. The book has increased my understanding of Paganism.
Becoming a Pagan does not require you to know many facts, develop super smart deep
knowledge, study and memorize holy texts, and/or study in order to follow one certain
system of belief. Paganism is all about the “letting go of the attachment – the dogma”.
Dogma is a specific belief. Pagans approach a variety of belief systems and ethics,
then ask questions, take time to think carefully, and feel right with the belief. Being
responsible of what I am comfortable with after choosing to adopt, and then accept full
responsibility of the outcomes of my beliefs.

How can one practice Paganism? Let’s compare – you know that some religions require
the person to show their commitment to a specific dogma by attending the church/temple
services every week faithfully. In Paganism, your journey in the spiritual life can be
measured by your own daily actions everyday, and life itself always.

Is Paganism itself a religion? Yes – Pagans seek answers to ultimate questions such as
the meaning of life, what happens after death, and is there a God. How is Paganism
different from other religious groups? They do not send out missionaries to places with
the goal to convert the people, nor to hold revivals to influence the audience to accept
their beliefs.

How do we become Pagans? By seeking the spiritual life ourselves and deciding that
Paganism reflects our true inner self. Are there some people who hold the higher
positions in the Paganism? Yes, there are clergy who perform weddings, funerals and
oversee the celebration of religious holidays.

Paganism’s religious holidays are “earth-centered” by falling on dates of the change
of seasons ~ Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter. Also, Pagans are attuned to the moon
cycles. Look at the Pagan sacred calendar.

Paganism has no central hierarchy or dogma – one way of practicing the religion. Most
Pagans enjoy spiritual diversity, and would not think it appropriate for ‘all’ Pagans to
believe the same thing, practice in the same ways, or being in certain organization of
belief system.

Pagans are so diverse in their own spiritual walks. The most important aspect of
Paganism is individuals accept seriously their own personal responsibility, practice their
belief system, walk the path, and develop their own degree of spiritual development
along with their own ethical code.

Here is the quote from the book that I really like; “Some religions are a restaurant. You
sit down and they bring you what they’re serving for dinner. Paganism is a buffet. If you
want to eat, you have to get up off your butt and serve yourself.” (In ASL, I elaborated
the quote into more of detailed information; when you walk in the restaurant, and sit
down. You wait for someone to bring you the meal, and then you have to accept what is
on your plate. However, Pagans walk into the restaurant, and go the buffet. They take
time to look at the food, and making their own decisions of what to choose and eat.)

Paganism is all about empowering yourselves by accepting your personal responsibility
- my own responsibility to practice my spiritual belief, and live everyday with a focus on
my spiritual path.

Paganism offers a different worldview. Paganism is the one of the first religions that
deliberately incorporates new perspectives from science, metaphysics, and mysticism into
its spirituality. It has nothing to do with Newtonian view of the world.

What do Pagans see in the world? They view all parts of the universe, from the smallest
atom to the largest planetary system. They find the earth very much alive, and that the
earth communicates with us everyday, actually all the times. Earth always communicates
with us. We need to stop our “busy-ness” and get in touch with our earth. We will feel
the Earth in us by listening in our mind and hearts. It is called Magick.

Paganism itself is a way of living, praying, and connecting to the flow of the universe.
It is experiencing the nature of Deity; the relationship with ourselves, others, and the
universe through the Divine. Some people do this through meditative rituals, by quiet
walks, singing, dancing, healing, ecstatic sex, working with herbs, gardening and
massage. There is diversity among Pagans in how they do so.

Now, who are Pagans? You know the umbrella concept – Christianity with multitude
of religious groups. Paganism has its own umbrella with its diverse traditions.
Some Pagans blend various spiritual paths with practices of Judeo and Paganism ~
Judeopaganism, Christian and Paganism ~ Christopagans, Buddhist and Paganism ~
Buddhistpaganism, and so forth… There’s the Jewitch ~ a person who is Jew and
practices Wicca.

The word Witch usually refers to Wicca, the largest group under the Pagan umbrella.
About 50% of Pagans practice Wicca. In the analogy, you may ask “So are you Baptist
or are you Christian?” Baptists are Christians, but not all Christians are Baptist. It is
same for Pagans, not all Pagans follow the Wiccan path.

What is Wicca? Wiccans follow an earth-centered calendar of eight festivals a year, and
believe that Deity is both male and female, the God and Goddess. They have their own
Rede “If it harm none, do what you will”

Now, who are Pagans? I don’t know nor see them around personally. However, Pagans

are one of the most diverse group of people coming from a wide variety of religious and
educational backgrounds, and work in a wide range of professions ~ doctors, lawyers,
clerks, computer programmers, teacher, mechanics, accountants, waitresses, and many
more you can name. Studies of Pagans found that Pagans are generally bright, intelligent
and well-read. In 1996, the study found there is more than half of all Pagans are college
educated, and more than half are women.

I bid you farewell…

(END TRANSCRIPT)

About Tara "Masery" Miller

Tara "Masery" Miller is a Neo-Pagan panentheist Gaian mage living in the Ozarks with her husband and pets. She's also a member of the Unitarian Universalist Church. She is the editor of Rooted in the Body, Seeking the Soul which you can find at Immanion press. www.immanion-press.com/info/books.asp She has a minor is religion from Southeast Missouri State Missouri State University with an emphasis in mysticism. Masery has lead various groups over the years and organized Pagan Pride Day events. Her magic and author page is at www.taramaserymiller.com

  • Sophia Catgerine

    Fantastic! I was hoping to be able to make transcripts of my Pagan podcast, but being disabled myself, I have no had the resources (or energy to do it myself). I hope this projects brings forward willing volunteers to be involved in doing this fantastic work.


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