Friday, January 4, 2013

Personal Pagan pet peeves

Sadly, I'm feeling ill today. It's some variation of the flu which started about two days ago, and it's nearing its end. I don't feel up to writing a Pagan Blog Post-post, though, so I'm postponing that one until tomorrow. What you're getting today is my personal list of Pagan pet peeves, because this appeared on my Facebook wall:

Besides the serious guts it takes to post something of 'Witta'-author McCoy, it's the 'Pagan' in it that just rubbed me the wrong way. Now, I freely admit to getting a little cranky when the fever spikes, so I kept my mouth firmly shut. Temperance kept, everybody happy. I figure that this quote is true for both McCoy and the woman who posted this and the serious ramifications and discussion about the value of the 'Pagan' label have completely passed them by. Good on them, really. Still, I identify as Pagan, and that quote does not resemble me in the slightest. Even when I was a Neo-Wiccan and Eclectic Religious Witch, I never fully subscribed to that quote. So, here is my cranky little list of Pagan pet peeves, for your enjoyment and for me to get the cranky out.
  • 'Pagan' is not synonymous with '(Neo-)Wiccan'. The label encompasses a large variety of faith, most of which can not be described as a 'nature religion', 'duotheistic' (or monotheistic, as per McCoy), or any of the other Wiccanish terminology associated with the label in some people's minds.
  • Most Recons do not think UPG is bullshit, thank you very much. It's just not the basis of our practice.
  • No, you may not set parmesan cheese/your wallet/your beer/etc. on my shrines.
  • Love and light 24/7. It's fine if that's your focus, but please don't force it on me.
  • I don't follow the Threefold Law, the Wiccan Rede, or the Wheel of the Year celebrations, but thanks for asking before assuming I do.
  • I'm not spiritual, I'm religious. I have a strict, and well thought out, religious structure in my life. While I fully appreciate anyone describing themselves as 'spiritual', I'm not, and never have been.
  • If you're not a Hellenic Recon, please use the term 'Hellenismos' to describe your practice with the uttermost care.
  • Spirituality/Tradition/religion is never a reason to be an ass. Use it as such, and you're discrediting your spirituality/Tradition/religion.
  • Yes, I 'really believe in all this stuff'.
  • No, I don't think we 'all really worshipping the same thing whatever we call it'. But it's fine that you do.
  • Please don't think I get offended when you wish me a happy [insert your holiday here] because I don't celebrate it. I think it's very considerate. That said, please don't take offense when I tell you I don't celebrate the same holidays as you do. I'm not disrespecting you or your Tradition. I'm simply telling you I don't celebrate that specific holiday.
Those are the big ones. Are there any you would add to the list?


Faélada Dreamfire said...

Hope you'll feel better soon!

Something that always bugs me: I do celebrate the festivals from the Wheel of the Year, but this leads people to believe that I'm a Wiccan and that I should see Samhain as the most important celebration and the start of the new year. This while for me the equinoxes and solstices are actually much more important, and I don't identify as a Wiccan in the slightest, which some people I know still have trouble accepting.

Elani Temperance said...

Thank you Faélada! Me too ;)

I can see how that mix-up would be very annoying. Good luck!

Zokugai said...

I'd add "Please don't assume that just because I'm female I'm devoted to a female deity, and don't complain at me when you find out I'm not."

Elani Temperance said...

Ah, yes, Zukogai. I've heard that one before. Good luck to you, too!

helmsinepu said...

I'd love to encourage people giving those narrow definitions to change to a "may include one or more of the following."

I'm always tempted to counter the "all gods and goddesses are one" with "...and all people are one. You are the same person as everyone else."

Vicki Davis said...

I hate jokes on my religion and then I'm told to "lighten up."

Actually, that is more than a pet peeve, that one makes me angry. I don't know who raised them, but I was taught respect. Either ignore it or learn it, but do not make fun of it. Do not be willfully ignorant and still open your mouth.