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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.