Thursday, December 1, 2011

Query: When do Seasons Greetings turn into a fist fight?

The REAL Sorcerer Supreme.
Answer: When Jason does something Christian. Go on.. read it... Comments too.

This was originally going to be a comment over yonder, but it grew to unwieldy size so now it's a post. Now that you are caught up, a few things:

1. Sean the Sorcerer is not the Sorcerer Supreme. That title belongs to Doctor Voodoo. That's right, Doc Strange gave it up. Bravo on all especially AIT for the slapstick in the comments section. Also, the dude on his front page, is that him or is that the dude from the Dungeons and Dragons movies? I think the latter.

2. Anger over anyone wishing you a Merry Christmas IS silly. They are essentially wishing you a nice day. I think I shall start doing seasonal blessings with, "In this Yuletide, may you not be hit by a city bus!" (Tempt Greyhound at your own peril.) It usually isn't meant as a way to harass or convert. As always YMMV, as I live in the liberal, blue state, north east of the United States.

However, as members of minority religions it would be nice to get equal representation, like the American Senate. Currently, though, I think we have budding representation by percentage, much like the American Congress. As Pagans we are getting our own headstones, our own chaplains, our own cultural recognition, (especially around All Hallows) and various other ways in which we are being accepted. If we want more, we have to work more, not to mention work at building our own communities and social infrastructure. Keep making positive change, spreading correct information, and being a good example of Pagan virtue. Maybe run for mayor.. or congress.. whatever.

Pagan culture in America is steeped in radicalism. Thus we are loud. So long as we are constructive and loud, I don't see a problem. Honestly maybe we can just focus on being constructive, as I am getting older and young people being loud (outside the bedroom! Zing!) is starting to get annoying.

Merry Christmas from Krampus and Lady Friend.
Seriously though if we want more representation in culture generally, then we have to step up and really take an active hand in education and the building of our own culture, and taking part in culture generally. Unless you live in a place where this can get you legally or illegally killed. In that case stay quiet or please find somewhere safe to live.

Do you know what I say when someone wishes me a Merry Christmas? I say Merry Christmas right back. Why? I don't feel like having the conversation. It is assumed that I am Christian, and correcting that every time it is said is tiresome. People who know I am Pagan usually have an exchange like this with me:

"Merry- Oh.. that's right. Umm.. Happy- er. What do you Celebrate?"
"Yule, also called Solstice"
"Oh, ok. Happy Solstice?"
"Yes, and Merry Christmas Aunt Donna."

Does this put me back in the broom closet? I don't think so. I just don't wear my pentacle on my sleeve, and choose to be polite to strangers or acquaintances I have minimal interaction with, instead of making it a big thing.

Another acceptable response is "I am not Christian, but thank you, and Merry Christmas to you, as well."

3. Jason is right, there is no war on Christmas. At the last Grande Sabbat we put the motion for a war on Christmas on the table for discussion. As usual that was quickly followed by Becky getting bent over said table, and well.. we were all very drunk at the time. So not a lot got done. Except Becky. (boom.)

Oh Germany, you make Christmas fun.
Seriously though, as minority populations grow, we just want to be recognized, and our right to exist affirmed. However, though it is an understandable assumption that most folks you run in to are nominally Christian, it IS culturally insensitive. A majority population in a multicultural society has to step lightly and carefully if it really wants to respect the minority cultures within it, as the majority has big feet.

Witch hunts are still not hard to stir up in some areas, and many of my fellow Pagans have suffered for their beliefs a the hands of the ignorant, misinformed, or simply cruel. We still fight for the recognition as a legitimate religion, though legally recognized. These things leave a mark. Yes, we can get defensive, but that is because we are used to being attacked as a culture. Our narrative is steeped in persecution, and I don't mean by Christianity. Persecution was done through various churches, but the real source of the persecution is an insular, bigoted, ignorant majority culture behaving like simple panicked primates. The same thing that happened when Pagans rounded up Christians. In both cases it was a majority cultural narrative that proclaimed ex cathedra that anything not in line with it, was not just invalid, but a threat to be removed.

4. Jason's focus on Christianity isn't new, though his increased focus may be. Anyone who has known him personally, or really read his blog for a long time would know that. He isn't giving up Occultism either. A list of Christian Sorcerers has been repeated twice in the post in question. He's still going to be the same dude. May be he'll be a little happier, as he's following his heart, which in this case is a pretty ballsy thing to do in the Occult world. May he be one of a great many Christian Esotericists who are friendly, smart, and open minded. As an Occultist I owe a lot to Agrippa, Ficino, et al. Who though still Christian preserved Pagan and Magical lore.

When I read his post I honestly imagined a far harsher recoil than was presented. It freaks people out, when one of our own goes back to Christianity. More so that, than any other religion. That person is some times looked at as being a betrayer of the Old Ways, and suddenly completely untrustworthy. Which is sometimes the case if they convert to a very radical or fundamentalist sect. But most times.. not so much. We must trust one another to make our decisions as adults about our spirituality. If the man wants to share his journey, awesome! If not, awesome! Because it is his journey to share, and his mind, body, and heart that made it. At the very least, the man deserves the respect some of us wish we had gotten when we converted out of Christianity.

After all there is no telling where any of us will end up, because I agree, Truth really is a pathless land. If you keep an open mind, and heart that is.


Christopher Bradford said...

That sorcerer supreme looks bad-ass....and I need to start hanging out with the Krampus. We seem to share an, uh, affinity. Ha.

I love that quote about Truth being a pathless land. It's so true; the further we go, it becomes clearer and clearer that the "style" of truth we choose is only important in how we put it into practice.

Jow said...

The Krampus also hangs out with St. Nick, so you are in good company all around!

Pathless and personal. So personal. It seems so silly to try to standardize, and so futile to project. I am with Voltaire, it is far better for us to "tend our own garden".

Pallas Renatus said...

The comment that started the "fight" was so over-the-top it honestly took me a few minutes to figure out he was serious. As the resident esoteric-community pharmacist, I'm prescribing a heavy combined dose of "chill the fuck out" and "man the fuck up".

A.I.T.'s bit was priceless, though; SO glad I got to witness that :D