How often do pagans begin to discriminate after a few years of being in the public pagan scene? Is there a moment when you find you’ve been out and about socially enough to realise that you’d rather stay away from certain types? Have you ever felt like an elitist snob (without intentionally planning to) and decided you could not be bothered to be in a group or in ritual with someone you don’t like or trust. I mean, it’s gotta be a pretty rare thing to happen doesn’t it, actively deciding you don’t want someone in ritual with you? Most social pagans are open-minded – that’s why they are social and in the public pagan scene. Most of them are tolerant and nice and don’t get finicky about who they socialise with. Perhaps when they do find a group that they mix well with, they begin to attend public events less and less. But do you ever come across a person that you just don’t mix well with? Maybe you don’t hate them, but instead prefer to stay away from them, and not get too friendly in case they are a bit nuts, or use you for some selfish reason.
I’ve been beginning to discriminate lately. Galloway feels that as well. We never planned it, but realised recently that there are a few people that we would prefer not to work in ritual with ever again. Public rituals will be fine, but those private ones are a bit more revealing – you drop your guard a bit more, emote more, trust all those around you with your life. Some people lately have been added to our list of those we’d prefer not to work craft with. It could be their energy, their arrogance, or a mental illness in its most negative spectrum, or maybe even a group of people that have decided they don’t like your group, or some of its members. One person is on my list that I never ever thought I would put there. It’s interesting how things change – peoples behaviours recently have made Galloway and I rather suspicious of them, their attitude or behaviour has made us disappointed in them. Rather than tell them that, we’re more likely to avoid them and their rituals, without causing a fuss or having them ever find out how we feel. Sometimes I’d rather they be none the wiser.
Believe me, my list is small, and it’s in my head, and pretty much not really a list, more decisions I’ve made lately. It mostly contains celebrity witches and self-stylised ritual queens. Some on my list were once friends, but now are more acquaintances that I don’t feel comfortable around anymore. When I think about it, and re-read what I’ve just written, it sounds like I’m telling them that they are not good enough to work ritually with me anymore. It’s not that, even though one of them I don’t want near me ritually because of past issues, some of these people are not completely awful people, I may still speak to them fine without any issues, I’m just being picky about whether I work ritually with them – they may never hear about it, as I said before, I just stay away from them. But certainly, friends in the past have perfect reasons never to work with people in ritual with – they’ve been hurt by them, insulted, lied to, and even if those awful people want to come to rituals in future, they find they are not invited, or welcome – a sure sign to be careful who you offend.
Maybe we draw the line because we know how we feel and where we stand in our lives, we decide what we want in it after a long time of surveying the public scene. In private ritual, you want those special to you to be around you, and not need to worry about fools like the self-stylised ritual queens invading your space. Ritual can be intensely private, personal events unlike, say, a church service, and you do have a right to work with who you want.
In a way, I am saying to the person I don’t want in ritual with me ‘You have a few issues you may need to work through first…’ – this is without being a snob – the person REALLY does need to sort a few issues out first. In no way is any person on my ‘list’ being snobbed off by me for no reason. If they want the help, then I’ll give it. If they want to know my problem with them, I will tell them. Some may not like what I have to say.
I hope I don’t sound elitist in any way, but it’s something I think does come up for some people without them even realising it. I want everyone to be happy and comfortable in their spiritual path. Some are just not there yet, and it may be harming others. But for the time being, pagans and witches out there do have a preferences of who they want to work with, and that is alright.
~ Daracha ~