Okay, this was just too good to wait on. Posting schedule be damned! Special thanks to Drew Jacob for posting about this, which is how I found it.
This post from John Halstead over at The Allergic Pagan, really sums up a lot of my misgivings about the bulk of Paganism. In Being Ashamed of Paganism he alludes to some of the issues he has with modern Paganism and how it differs from his own practice. Mostly he seems put off by the more counter-cultural and “woo-woo” antics of Neopagans.
Much of this could have been plucked right from my own experiences.
It is a Paganism that I do not recognize. It is a Paganism of wishful thinking and self-delusion. It is a Paganism which suffers from the same flaws as the 60′s counterculture hippie movement from which it sprang: an overemphasis of idealism over realism, endemic disorganization, and an inability to communicate its vision to the wider culture. And it is frankly a Paganism I am embarrassed to be associated with.
This embarrassment is one of the main reasons that I don’t really associate with the general Neopagan groups. I don’t really isolate myself completely, after all that is where I started. Actually, I have hopes of finding others that are only part of that crowd because they feel it is all that is available and showing them another way, freeing minds so to speak. But in my infrequent dealings with Neopagans I find myself repeatedly having to explain that I am not that kind of Pagan.
I think that the reasons that many people come to Reconstructionism, of one flavor or other, are similar to the reasons for John’s embarrassment. I talked a bit about this back in October in Biggest Difference Between NeoPagans and Recons. Quite simply we are collectively “not that kind of Pagan” and more often than not embarrassed to be associated with them, or worse mistaken for them.
Go give John’s post a read; I’m sure you will enjoy it.