Yesterday, I spent over two hours cutting my blog reading list down from the 350+ I had amassed over the course of years in the online Pagan community to the thirty that (mostly) deal with Hellenismos, are active, and that I actually enjoy reading. They include the Hellenistic blog reading list I posted earlier, plus a couple of others.

For a while, I was doing fine with my 350+ blogs; I managed to keep up with my favorites, skim through the ones I thought were interesting, skip over the ones I didn't care about at all, and avoid the ones that annoyed me. I ploughed through 40-80 blog posts per day before bed. Then, Google threatened to cut its 'reader' feature which I used to use, so I exported my reading list, imported it into The Old Reader, and to my great dismay found that until a certain age cut-off, the reader thought every post on ever blog was new. I had over 7000 unread blog post, and I had no idea how many I actually had or had not read.

At that point, I disconnected.

It took me at least a month to come to a decision: I was going to cut down the list. I eliminated blogs based on a cursory observation: latest two or three post: interesting? No? Unsubscribe. New post in the month of August? No? Unsubscribe.

There is something about too much blog-o-sphere that will wear you down. There is a lot of negativity, a lot of struggle, a lot of triviality that I suddenly couldn't deal with anymore. Looking back, I couldn't really deal with it well before The Great Move of '13, either. Reading so many blogs is not motivating; in fact, it really made me dislike the Pagan community as a whole--which was not at all why I started reading all those blogs to begin with. By the time I cut my reading list down from 7000+ to +/-4500 I realized that the problem was not with the blogs... it was with me.

Ninety percent of the blogs I used to follow were remnants from my previous, eclectic, practice. It's a practice I do not identify with anymore at all, and as I am working, I am getting more and more uncomfortable. While wondering about this as I plough through the last 150 or so blogs, I came upon Star's latest blog post, titled 'The Pagan Community and The Struggle of My Soul' in my 'to read' list and in a very respectful, clear, and concise manner, she lays out exactly what I am feeling. And suddenly I am crying.

I don't feel about nearly any of the points Star raises exactly like she does (except, perhaps, tolerance), but I recognize the disconnect, the feeling of being a bull in a china shop. I like facts, I like theories that hold water, I want to be able to think through my practice and see that it is a complete picture. I know the feeling of 'holes', which is why I finally took the leap and progressed into Hellenismos. When I read Witchcraft or (Neo-)Wiccan blogs, all I see is holes--and they are my holes to see. It has nothing to do with the blog, or the practitioner, or even the practice/religion. It's me. That is not what I need to be reading and focusing on: it is not my place.

Once cut down to thirty, I read through all new posts on the ones I kept. I now have a clean slate. I will most certainly end up adding ones I have cut later on, but for now, the sense of control I have over my reading list is very gratifying, and it feels like a weight the size of the sky has been lifted off of my shoulders. It feels like the last vestment, the last chains, of my old practice have been lifted and suddenly, I am full of energy to absorb even more 'Hellenism'. A while back, I lamented how I was struggling with losing my knowledge of Witchcraft and my Neo-Wiccan practice. I think yesterday's exercise marked the end of the struggle I carried on from the time of that post. I am done with my previous practice, and yes--I might just start packing some books into boxes soon. I don't need them anymore, just like no longer need all those blogs.