Saturday, September 8, 2012

The Problem With Memes...

I am a Wiccan. And I do not like the meme pictured below for several reasons....

I do not like "In-Your-Face" anything...particularly concerning religion and specifically when the religion in question is a form of Paganism. This meme fairly drips with contempt. Not only is it an inappropriate way of communication, it's just damn annoying.

I do not like the tone of haughty arrogance with which it is written. It conveys a feeling of smugness and superiority."...we do not force our views on others." Really? Sounds pretty forceful to me. A more constructive and less annoying way of putting this would be, " These are our beliefs."

No, Wiccans do not worship Satan, a spiritual entity identified in the Abraham religions as a fallen angel who challenged and betrayed G-d. It is unnecessary to be snarky about this, because the general public believes what it's been told by Hollywood and drilled into them by certain religious sects, and for a long time no one refuted the accusations. People will repeat without malice what they believe to be the truth whether or not it is factual. As a Wiccan, I have an opportunity to educate others on this point, and have found I can do that without being confrontational.

It generalizes our faith. There are many variations on Wicca. We don't all hold fast to the Three-Fold Law or the Rede; we don't all worship the same deities; not all of us wear pentagrams... And the word is pentagram, not pentacle, unless you're wearing an amulet of some sort such as the Seal of Solomon [] In Christianity, the pentagram is used to symbolize the five wounds of Christ, or in the same way that we are familiar in reference to the Elements and Spirit. It is also found in Freemasonry, among other esoteric orders.

We are not all healers and shaman. Each of us have  unique gifts, which may include the ability to heal. Shamanism is a form of spiritual practice which takes years of study to master. You do not suddenly wake up some morning and proclaim yourself a shaman; that us usually left to a community or council of elders in a specific tradition to determine.

A seasoned practitioner knows that magick (or magic) is neither 'black' nor 'white', but identified by the intention of a specific work...and some Wiccans do indeed cast what can be defined by others as
'evil' or maleficent spells.  Magic is a power used in many ways and for many reasons, both negative and positive. It does not always "change the world", but rather focuses the will of the practitioner and attunes to a specific situation.

Paganism is theoretically the term for anyone not engaged in an Abrahamic religion, although Buddhists, Hindus,Taoists and a few others do not readily identify themselves as pagans. There is a difference between pagan in the lower case form and Pagan, a proper noun which identifies a practitioner of the NeoPagan religions.

The statement " calling a Baptist a Lutheran" is erroneous. The two are both Protestant Christian traditions. A more accurate statement would be likely " calling a Christian a Hindu", because the differences in belief  systems are unmistakable.

"It only shows your ignorance." Actually, it shows the ignorance of the writer...glaringly. For someone who "harms none", this single meme has undone much of what many of us have worked so diligently to win through years of dialogue and teaching in the mainstream. It perpetuates stereotypes and misinformation. The writing is rather immature. Adding "Blessed Be"   to the end at this point is grating and insincere. I'm assuming the  little moon-phase graphics were added in just to let everyone know that a 'real' Wiccan/Goddess-loving Pagan wrote this sorry diatribe, but  the gesture is lost and   is rather shallow and juvenile.

Frankly, I not only find this meme offensive, it sounds very much like thinly veiled hate talk to me. Someone wants to get into a fight.  Anyone wanting to take up the " Look what the Christians did to us" gauntlet can spare themselves the effort of argument with me. Put away your sack cloth and ashes and quit beating your breast. In 25+ years of practice, with 20 out of the broom closet, no one has ever accused me of  being a "baby eater". It's a laughable analogy we need to purge from our vocabulary once and for all because it's only used for shock value.Some of us need to take the chip off our shoulders because the litany of  wrongs done to them  are simply fabrication. Unless you have personally suffered legitimate, verifiable discrimination , drop the victim mentality, because you're boring the crap out of the rest of us with your 'Emo' ranting.

While I honor the tragic deaths of those who were and continue to be  savagely murdered at the hands of witch hunters throughout the world, I believe it is much more important to recognize that the majority of these victims were not, in fact, witches.Stop trying to hang on the coattails of  The Burning Times because your employer requires you to take the metal out of your piercings or cover up your witchy tattoos or refuses to allow you to wear your " Witches Do It In Circles" t-shirts on casual Friday. While I do agree you have a right to personal expression on your own time, your employer gets to make and enforce the rules while you're representing them. You are not being discriminated against or singled out to be victimized. Instead of jumping to conclusions about what people of other religions think about you because it makes you popular in "the crowd", try talking to them about your beliefs in a calm, polite manner. Trying to understand their viewpoint and educate them-and not expecting to change their mind-is of much more benefit to the community and the creation of tolerance than arguing, finger-pointing and belligerent memes posted to Facebook.


  1. Wow! Thank you! I cannot tell you how much I appreciate hearing a voice of moderation! I'm often surprised and struck by posts that do exactly what many pagans have been fussing about other religious folk doing to us for years -- stuffing our views down throats. Especially in light of the election year, with people who I know and love having become nothing short of pathological bullies, I'm so grateful to hear reason. I know that others have different perspectives than mine. But, my belief is that we promote that which we want, in a kind way; rather than to mudsling that which we dislike.
    Bright blessings!

  2. Oh I wish I could articulate as well as you have here. Rock ON sista witch!

  3. Without exageration, this may just be the most important Wiccan/Witch/Pagan article I have ever read on the net! I am so tired of the victim mentality presented by so many professed Wiccans/Witches/Pagans who prattle on about supposed wrongs and misrepresentatons - and then turn around and spew vitriolic comments about followers of mainstream Abrahamic religions. I completely agree with all of the points you raised in this article. I only hope that, in time, this will become the predominant view within our collective community. I think we would all be much better served if we could quit the very name calling that has been attributed to others and stick to the business of worshipping as we see fit minus all the drama. Thanks for bringing attention to this very important topic. Blessed be! )O( /|\

  4. Hi miss!! Uhmm we don't know each other and probably we're on the opposite sides of the globe. But reading this article gave me a lot of enlightenment. I am starting to practice wicca for a couple of months now starting with trying to lifting my spirits up by throwing away old bad habits. It's quite hard actually but i know it works coz my sister tells me i look better now and my face is now lighter as if a large burden has been lifted up. I know i have a lot more to accomplish and honestly i am just looking up sites after sites for information because in this country wicca is still considered a taboo. You cannot find any book about wicca even in the largest bookstore. And you can't find any articles about paganism as well. Don't even ask about witchcraft. That's how discriminated wicca belief in this country is. I have always wanted to call myself wiccan but i believe that i am still far behind to be considered as one of you. But i know i will get there eventually. Thanks a lot for this blog. So far this one is so much better than some of those i have read. I feel hurt if i see some christians demoralizing wicca. They say demeaning words that can really make your blood rise. I get that. But i think they only do that because these christians are afraid of things they do not know of. That's why i agree with what you said. These people just need to be educated calmly and reasonably. But what disappoints me is whenever i see young people flaunting themselves out there in social networks wearing dark outfits and makeups, thinking themselves cool but when asked about wicca i am sure most of them would be blank. I don't have anything against anybody. If that is how they want to show themselves so be it. It's their life. Maybe i'm just jealous because back here i have always wanted to share this belief to people starting with those close to me but i can't since wicca is still unaccepted. Yet these youngsters i see on the internet flaunting themselves just like that so easily which i feel has no more regards to the true meaning of wicca. And all the hate messages from both sides..hayyy. I hope i am making myself some sense? I am glad someone somehow is kind of thinking what i think i am thinking. Thanks a lot. May you have more blogs. Blessed be.

    1. Greetings! Let me begin by commending you on beginning your spiritual practice on a positive note. Unfortunately, Wicca and Paganism are still generally misunderstood due to religious taboo and superstition. Progress toward interfaith inclusion is slow but it is happening, even in what is know as our Bible Belt here in the Southern United States. When I began the spiritual discovery of Wicca, Witchcraft and NeoPaganism, books on those subject were difficult to find, and those I did come across were less than satisfactory. Either they were written by those who had little real knowledge of the subject and the material was slanted and slandering, or they were faux medieval reconstructions of the authors' imaginations. Needless to say they were not very helpful to me. Because of this I began developing a spiritual/magickal practice based on what I felt was working to achieve my goals. The beauty of Wicca is that you can make of it what you like, as long as you do so with integrity and right intention. You must examine the reason behind your actions and weigh their merit-in this tradition, you and you alone are responsible for your spiritual growth and practice. Reading about Wicca gives you ideas inspiration,as does exchanging ideas with like minded individuals, but the bottom line is that what you are looking for is right inside you. You already have everything you need to be a witch before you even begin the journey; what is required is the development of that knowledge,and that takes practice. Read as much as you can, but be prepared to sift through a lot of stuff to find exactly what suits you. Your personal integrity, and authentic desire to learn will be indispensable as will your ability to discern what you believe about Truth. Know that what you find to be Truth for you may not be the Truth for others, and that is perfectly okay. Stick to what feels right to your soul. Thank you for reading my blog- it's helpful to have feedback. Be well and be blessed.


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