Guest Post: Lamyka says Pagan Family Comes First

Find other posts related to this topic on the link round-up post!

Since we’re all busy people I’ll sum up this article in one phrase: We’re all together in this. The so-called debate over ‘yes, we’re all’ Pagans, ‘yes, but not me’ Pagans, & ‘yes, but not those’ Pagans is just the newest underwhelming pimple to grace the arse of the Community. I ask all of you reading this, a single question: What purpose does it serve to divide an already simplistic, overly generalized term further?

Whether you agree to the modern ‘reclaimed’ version of Pagan, or the Latin origin of Pagan, or the anthropological sticker of Pagan, you’re bound to run into someone who you can find common ground with. A Heathen can find common ground with a Hellenic Reconstructionist, a Hawaiian can find common ground with a Wiccan, a Dianic can find common ground with a Radical Faery. We in the great and grand Pagan Community can find common ground because we have the very same ground in common. Wordsmiths and semantics monkeys work your head around that one! Our words are our tools, not our masters.

Seeing how we are all special and/or different is not the same as dissecting our Community into tiny pieces. Seeing how some in our Community, sadly, are despicable should not give reason to abandoning the Pagan Family. If anything it should give rise to higher personal standards and an ostracizing of the offending party. Of all the Communities out there in the World and Human History, indigenous ways of life/beliefs have been most enduring; why should we then now follow the example of much younger faiths than our own and break into denominational shards that exist only to chafe and slice themselves, along with the World?

We are ‘Ohana (Hawaiian for Family). At the end of the day, it is to our sisters & brothers, Fathers & Mothers to whom we turn to in our times of joy, suffering, and love. Think of all of our shared ancestors who held our faiths before us, and those yet to come. This is the Family we build together. This ‘debate’ over a single word is a distraction that only serves those who wish to see us fail. Those who within and without our Community wish to see us turn on our brothers-, sisters-, and cousins-in-faith, becoming not unlike oath breaking cannibals. Eating ourselves alive with toxic vigor for the inane, making us forget our bonds.

In my times of need and joy I have turned to Wiccans, Native Americans, Hellenismos Practitioners, Thelemites, Heathens, and so many more. If I’ve gotten their faith path name incorrect, tough cookies, because they are all Family to me. The Pagan Family comes first, but only when we remember that we are together, sharing, this common ground.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Travis-Lynch/100000583928640 Travis Lynch

    You expressed this sentiment much more gracefully than I managed to, I agree fully, well said!

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Lamyka-L/649965363 Lamyka L.

      Mahalo :-)

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Travis-Lynch/100000583928640 Travis Lynch

    You expressed this sentiment much more gracefully than I managed to, I agree fully, well said!

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Lamyka-L/649965363 Lamyka L.

      Mahalo :-)

  • http://twitter.com/MrsBsConfession MrsB

    After benefitting quite a bit this week in the coming together of the Pagan/Pagan-friendly community, I’d have to agree.  =)

  • http://twitter.com/MrsBsConfession MrsB

    After benefitting quite a bit this week in the coming together of the Pagan/Pagan-friendly community, I’d have to agree.  =)

  • Universopiate

    Absolutely wonderfully put. I hope you know how grateful many people will be reading this.

  • Universopiate

    Absolutely wonderfully put. I hope you know how grateful many people will be reading this.

  • http://www.facebook.com/rpaxton Robert Paxton

    Go, Lamyka!

    There’s not enough of us to sustain this splitting-off nonsense…yet.  The Asatruar, the Wiccans, the polytheists, the reconstructionists, the energy-workers all, though they might not want to acknowledge it, sprang from a common history and cultural mindset…and throve under the common efforts of visionaries and institutions who got that something really new was underway.

    To deny that at this point is to throw out their own history, which is a luxury that nobody gets to enjoy for long.

    Maybe once we’ve all got our rights to worship without fear of losing jobs, parental custody or the security of our homes —  maybe then, we might be that diverse and numerous that we can afford this kind of semantic quibbling.  

    “We must hang together, or surely we will hang separately!”

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Lamyka-L/649965363 Lamyka L.

      Aloha Pax!

      Thank you for your comments, I do however want to emphasize that my post isn’t a threat or a tsk tsk on the Pagan Community but more a reminder that we are in so many ways Family-in-Faith. And that since we are inherently related why bother pretending we’re not.

      I hope to see more useful dialogue and action for our family, like senior care, children’s health and education, support of artisans & trade guilds, etc. Those seem much more worth our time than this non-issue.

      Lady Bless,
      Lamyka

  • http://www.facebook.com/rpaxton Robert Paxton

    Go, Lamyka!

    There’s not enough of us to sustain this splitting-off nonsense…yet.  The Asatruar, the Wiccans, the polytheists, the reconstructionists, the energy-workers all, though they might not want to acknowledge it, sprang from a common history and cultural mindset…and throve under the common efforts of visionaries and institutions who got that something really new was underway.

    To deny that at this point is to throw out their own history, which is a luxury that nobody gets to enjoy for long.

    Maybe once we’ve all got our rights to worship without fear of losing jobs, parental custody or the security of our homes —  maybe then, we might be that diverse and numerous that we can afford this kind of semantic quibbling.  

    “We must hang together, or surely we will hang separately!”

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Lamyka-L/649965363 Lamyka L.

      Aloha Pax!

      Thank you for your comments, I do however want to emphasize that my post isn’t a threat or a tsk tsk on the Pagan Community but more a reminder that we are in so many ways Family-in-Faith. And that since we are inherently related why bother pretending we’re not.

      I hope to see more useful dialogue and action for our family, like senior care, children’s health and education, support of artisans & trade guilds, etc. Those seem much more worth our time than this non-issue.

      Lady Bless,
      Lamyka

  • Kora Kaos

    “Our words are our tools, not our masters.”

    ^^This.

    I am somewhat amused by the fact that some will make such a big deal out of labels.  I am amused that people would identify with these labels so heavily as though it actually constituted their identity.  I am amused that, persons “A” having seen persons “B” identifying with a label “C”, and persons “A” deciding that they judge persons “B” as someone with whom they are not identified, for whatever silly reasons, they thus disidentify from “C”.  We’re all humans, and we all use our own traditions and rituals.  No one has a hold on any religion’s definition or identity in that regard.  Just that it involves spirituality, divinity… as Crowley said, all religions are in their quiddity identical, but only masked by sectarian theory, religious prejudice, and (I think most importantly) local custom.  So, yeah, it’s cool that you can call yourself absolutely whatever you want, because ultimately, the label means nothing.  But it’s so amusing to watch people get their panties in a twist over defining and confining.

  • Kora Kaos

    “Our words are our tools, not our masters.”

    ^^This.

    I am somewhat amused by the fact that some will make such a big deal out of labels.  I am amused that people would identify with these labels so heavily as though it actually constituted their identity.  I am amused that, persons “A” having seen persons “B” identifying with a label “C”, and persons “A” deciding that they judge persons “B” as someone with whom they are not identified, for whatever silly reasons, they thus disidentify from “C”.  We’re all humans, and we all use our own traditions and rituals.  No one has a hold on any religion’s definition or identity in that regard.  Just that it involves spirituality, divinity… as Crowley said, all religions are in their quiddity identical, but only masked by sectarian theory, religious prejudice, and (I think most importantly) local custom.  So, yeah, it’s cool that you can call yourself absolutely whatever you want, because ultimately, the label means nothing.  But it’s so amusing to watch people get their panties in a twist over defining and confining.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_PMTLR3IIGKPHZ2YNU3PDXWK4WA Kenneth

    It’s a senseless debate because the problems and frustrations attached to the word “pagan” are not going to be solved by renouncing one’s affiliation with it nor by coining some other term.  All of the people who decide they’re going to eschew the label of “pagan” in favor of “polytheists” or anything else are going to find, in a matter of months, that nothing has changed. They will still be lumped together under a term that fails to adequately describe who they are and associates them with people they’d rather not associate with.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_PMTLR3IIGKPHZ2YNU3PDXWK4WA Kenneth

    It’s a senseless debate because the problems and frustrations attached to the word “pagan” are not going to be solved by renouncing one’s affiliation with it nor by coining some other term.  All of the people who decide they’re going to eschew the label of “pagan” in favor of “polytheists” or anything else are going to find, in a matter of months, that nothing has changed. They will still be lumped together under a term that fails to adequately describe who they are and associates them with people they’d rather not associate with.

  • http://www.facebook.com/RevCrystal.Blanton Crystal Blanton

    thank you very much for saying this in a very clear message.  Why do we work so hard to define ourselves by our differences instead of our similarities.  We will find what we are looking for and if we focus on all the ways we don’t fit then that is exactly what we will get.  And in the end we will not be able to find community with anyone…. we all need community and our spiritual community is one of the most important places to cultivate love and support for eachother and for ourselves.  Thank you for your words.  

  • http://www.facebook.com/RevCrystal.Blanton Crystal Blanton

    thank you very much for saying this in a very clear message.  Why do we work so hard to define ourselves by our differences instead of our similarities.  We will find what we are looking for and if we focus on all the ways we don’t fit then that is exactly what we will get.  And in the end we will not be able to find community with anyone…. we all need community and our spiritual community is one of the most important places to cultivate love and support for eachother and for ourselves.  Thank you for your words.  

  • Windweaver

    People have been going back and forth on this for a while… All I can say is, the more of us that stand together and say I’m Pagan {with a capital P} the more we force society in general to accept the fact that we exist, and are a valid branch of religions.

    Each group of religions has their separate branches {many of which won’t agree on things} but it’s their generalized label that gives them the numbers to stand up and be counted. Islam has several branches, Judaism has a number of different traditions, and Christianity has more denominations than can be counted. I can tell you that the Catholics, and the Baptists generally don’t want to be identified together.

    It’s numbers and community support that make a group strong. The more we try to separate, the easier it is for the various fundamental groups to attack us. The more people that will stand up together and say “Wait a minute there” when this happens, the stronger we’ll be…

  • Windweaver

    People have been going back and forth on this for a while… All I can say is, the more of us that stand together and say I’m Pagan {with a capital P} the more we force society in general to accept the fact that we exist, and are a valid branch of religions.

    Each group of religions has their separate branches {many of which won’t agree on things} but it’s their generalized label that gives them the numbers to stand up and be counted. Islam has several branches, Judaism has a number of different traditions, and Christianity has more denominations than can be counted. I can tell you that the Catholics, and the Baptists generally don’t want to be identified together.

    It’s numbers and community support that make a group strong. The more we try to separate, the easier it is for the various fundamental groups to attack us. The more people that will stand up together and say “Wait a minute there” when this happens, the stronger we’ll be…

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Valerie-Bobincheck/1714020397 Valerie Bobincheck

    I emphatically agree.  As a Heathen, I still participate in our CUUPS community.  It is local, and they are people I can turn to in need.  We are all a minority and need one another.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Valerie-Bobincheck/1714020397 Valerie Bobincheck

    I emphatically agree.  As a Heathen, I still participate in our CUUPS community.  It is local, and they are people I can turn to in need.  We are all a minority and need one another.

  • Caravelle

    If I’ve gotten their faith path name incorrect, tough cookies, because they are all Family to me.

    That doesn’t sound very respectful to your Family members.

    • http://twitter.com/TheJeopardyMaze _

      It’s one of the most patronizing rants I have read here in awhile, and regardless of religion I follow, I am not family to her. I do not appreciate being condescended to, and have no regrets about never attending pan-pagan gatherings because of attitudes like this. I used to be more open minded about the the word pagan, but this series of drama has changed my mind.

      • Windweaver

        I saw nothing “condescending” in this article at all. She called it like she sees it, without candy coating it or being all politically correct. I personally found it quite refreshing.

        Perhaps you’re being just a bit thin skinned, and over reacting a little.

        This type of attitude is part of the reason that there are so many schisms in the various religious communities. Because people over react about things that others say, and therefore disassociate from the entire group. This seriously reduces the sense of community, and weakens us all. Sadly half the time it happens due to misunderstandings of something somebody has said.

        • http://twitter.com/TheJeopardyMaze _

          She called it like she sees it, without candy coating it or being all politically correct. I personally found it quite refreshing.

          Actually what she’s doing is repeating the same thing everyone else has said, ignore any legitimate criticisms for the sake of unity, whatever the hell that means. Bringing in the We’re All Family shtick just shows how little she really is interested in listening to people. Even worse, a number of people agree with it, which says a lot about this pagan ‘community’. 

          If shutting up is what unity in the pagan community is about, I’d rather just give my money to a religious freedom group if I was concerned with religious freedom than be a part that ‘community’.

          Face it, Wicca is privileged by default in the mainstream when it comes to polytheistic religions. People have a right to be open about they really are, and are not. I’m not going to invest my time learning Greek (amongst other types of research I’m currently working on) so people can say and assume the wrong things about me, while claiming to speak for me. 

          This type of attitude is part of the reason that there are so many schisms in the various religious communities. Because people over react about things that others say, and therefore disassociate from the entire group. This seriously reduces the sense of community, and weakens us all. Sadly half the time it happens due to misunderstandings of something somebody has said.

          No, the reasons there are schisms are because the arrogance and willful ignorance displayed here. If members of this so-called community don’t have the right to be different and be individuals, there will be drama-and there is. 

          Community should have a more precise meaning anyway, and to be honest I never really felt the pagan and occult community fit as one. It’s really more of a subculture, not unlike goth, punk, and hip-hop. I might be goth, but I don’t consider goths in general to be family members. And why should I call people family just for fitting under a category with somewhat similar interests?

          Like I said before, I used to be open minded about the word pagan, and its use. But I’m over it now, due to too much of the attitudes here and elsewhere displayed.

  • Caravelle

    If I’ve gotten their faith path name incorrect, tough cookies, because they are all Family to me.

    That doesn’t sound very respectful to your Family members.

    • http://twitter.com/TheJeopardyMaze TJM

      It’s one of the most patronizing rants I have read here in awhile, and regardless of religion I follow, I am not family to her. I do not appreciate being condescended to, and have no regrets about never attending pan-pagan gatherings because of attitudes like this. I used to be more open minded about the the word pagan, but this series of drama has changed my mind.

      • Windweaver

        I saw nothing “condescending” in this article at all. She called it like she sees it, without candy coating it or being all politically correct. I personally found it quite refreshing.

        Perhaps you’re being just a bit thin skinned, and over reacting a little.

        This type of attitude is part of the reason that there are so many schisms in the various religious communities. Because people over react about things that others say, and therefore disassociate from the entire group. This seriously reduces the sense of community, and weakens us all. Sadly half the time it happens due to misunderstandings of something somebody has said.

        • http://twitter.com/TheJeopardyMaze TJM

          She called it like she sees it, without candy coating it or being all politically correct. I personally found it quite refreshing.

          Actually what she’s doing is repeating the same thing everyone else has said, ignore any legitimate criticisms for the sake of unity, whatever the hell that means. Bringing in the We’re All Family shtick just shows how little she really is interested in listening to people. Even worse, a number of people agree with it, which says a lot about this pagan ‘community’. 

          If shutting up is what unity in the pagan community is about, I’d rather just give my money to a religious freedom group if I was concerned with religious freedom than be a part that ‘community’.

          Face it, Wicca is privileged by default in the mainstream when it comes to polytheistic religions. People have a right to be open about they really are, and are not. I’m not going to invest my time learning Greek (amongst other types of research I’m currently working on) so people can say and assume the wrong things about me, while claiming to speak for me. 

          This type of attitude is part of the reason that there are so many schisms in the various religious communities. Because people over react about things that others say, and therefore disassociate from the entire group. This seriously reduces the sense of community, and weakens us all. Sadly half the time it happens due to misunderstandings of something somebody has said.

          No, the reasons there are schisms are because the arrogance and willful ignorance displayed here. If members of this so-called community don’t have the right to be different and be individuals, there will be drama-and there is. 

          Community should have a more precise meaning anyway, and to be honest I never really felt the pagan and occult community fit as one. It’s really more of a subculture, not unlike goth, punk, and hip-hop. I might be goth, but I don’t consider goths in general to be family members. And why should I call people family just for fitting under a category with somewhat similar interests?

          Like I said before, I used to be open minded about the word pagan, and its use. But I’m over it now, due to too much of the attitudes here and elsewhere displayed.


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