Find other posts related to this topic on the link round-up post!
I haven’t referred to myself as Pagan in at least four years. I use the word polytheist instead, if I need to; it usually garners a lot of questions and those conversations lead to understanding. When I called myself Pagan people assumed they knew what I meant, and we ended up talking past each other.
In fact, Drew posits that what he practices, and what many polytheists practice, isn’t “Pagan” at all:
We also made more contact with other spiritual communities. I found that Hindus, Native Americans, Tibetan Buddhists, and Vodouisants had no difficulty understanding what we did at Temple of the River. Our traditions and structure looked familiar to them. It became clear that the brand of polytheism we practiced was not Pagan at all—it was a religion in its own right, deeply rooted in a living culture with a long history, like Hinduism or Shinto.
I’ve been hearing from the Reconstructionist and Polytheist communities how they don’t identify as Pagan, they feel they have little in common with Paganism, some feel that the Pagan movement paints everyone with a Wicca-esque brush, and some even claim that their religious communities actually thrive after they leave the Pagan label and community behind.
The support and buzz Drew’s post has generated leaves me wondering how pervasive this trend is. Are Recons and Polytheists leaving the Pagan community in droves, or, even more astounding to me, never interacting with the Pagan community to begin with?
This astounds me. Is the idea of Paganism as a broad inclusive community useful? Is it simply too idealistic? Are we simply doing it wrong? Isn’t there supposed to be strength in numbers? Or, and this is what has my brain buzzing, is “Paganism” bringing us down?
I’m looking for folks from various traditions who want to respond to and expand on this issue. If you want to weigh in drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Scott Reimers: It’s Time for Pagans to Stop Being Pagan
Allyson: It’s a Matter of Association
Sannion: I Am A Pagan
Laura LaVoie: Pagans Need United Front
Tess Dawson: My Unrequited Love for Pagans
Ruby Sara: The Troublesome Term Again