Lack of Community Among Pagans

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-03-2008
Lack of Community Among Pagans
9
Tue, 05-26-2009 - 3:03am
I don't know how many of you here spend time on other online Pagan forums, but I have belonged to several. I've been noticing a disturbing pattern on all of them: there is a very distinct lack of community among Pagans, at least online. Since I'm a solitary and don't belong to any groups, I don't know how the sense of community is among Pagans IRL. I'm not sure if it's the anonymity that being online provides, or what it is. But I've noticed that on the other forums that the vast majority of the people there are argumentative and arrogant and downright antagonistic.

For example, someone will be describing their particular beliefs. Another person could say something like, "That's very interesting that you see it that way. However, this is the way that I see it..." Instead, they say, "No, you are completely wrong. That is not the right way to see that. What you believe is complete and utter BS." Lately you need to have dozens of sources to prove that your beliefs are right for you. You can't just say that your beliefs are your own and that's that. You have to prove why they are your beliefs. You have to defend them or others will attack you for them. Lack of historical data is one thing, if you are a Recon. Then we don't mix pantheons or practice a magickal system that that particular culture did not have. But if a person wants to be eclectic and it works for them, then so be it.


Once upon a time there was a sense of community among Pagans. You could believe in whatever you wanted to and others were fine with that. There was a sense of fun among Pagans. But I guess that now that the hippies who were at the forefront have passed on into the Summerlands or aren't imparting their wisdom anymore, the younger ones who grew up using the Internet and playing video games and weren't actually interacting with many people IRL have taken over. They are the ones who feel that they can say whatever they want to others, because they can hide behind screen names. I have seen so many silly arguments online. I've actually seen a thread where someone was arguing that you can't call yourself a Druid because the real Druids are no longer around. You can only call yourself a Neo-Druid. And this thread went on for pages because others were arguing for it or against. Arguing over semantics, for crying out loud!


Last night I'd finally seen my last argument online and decided that except for this board, I am leaving the other Pagan boards. I am fed up with the lot of them. I've been a Pagan for 27 years now and a solitary one at that, and until about two years ago I was perfectly happy not belonging to any Pagan forums and did just fine. What I like about this board is that while we have several different paths represented here, we DO have a sense of community here. Unlike a few others that I could name. One of these days, maybe I'll try the Pagan forums again, and go back to see if any of their members have grown up. But I have my doubts.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-27-2009
Tue, 05-26-2009 - 11:39am

This is my 2 cents on the subject. I don't tend to spend a lot of my time on line so I'm not sure what the general climate of on line Pagan communities really is. With my family, my charity work, spiritual practices, gardening, daily responsibilities, and the like, I'm lucky to be able to check my email and stop by iVillage once a week, LOL!


I "guess" that the anonymity of the Internet has caused some in the Pagan community to behave badly just as it has caused others to behave badly. I have seen some pretty nasty posters on parenting/playgroup boards, as well as, health boards in the past. It seems to be a phenomenon that's everywhere.


I guess I just don't pay much attention to those who're overly opinionated, or just plain rude...regardless of where I

 

Cinna 

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-03-2008
Tue, 05-26-2009 - 9:35pm
If the arguments on the other Pagan boards only happened once in awhile by a tiny majority of posters, then I wouldn't be bothered by it. But since the arguments are the rule rather than the exception and since I can't seem to post anything without someone jumping down my throat about it, leaving the boards was the best decision for me to make. And I've felt better about it since I did make that decision.

There are certain boards here on iVillage that I know are powder kegs and I stay away from them. I know better than to join any of the debate boards, for example. There can be an occasional problem on some of the boards, where a discussion will get out of hand. But this is the exception and most people on iV do have a sense of fair play, which is why I will remain here and let the others go. I have enough to deal with in my own life than to argue with people over silly things, like on the other Pagan boards. Life's too short to get caught up in other people's drama.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-27-2009
Wed, 05-27-2009 - 3:38am

cl-sisterhoney61, RhiannonWhiteMare, Nancy,


I speak as someone who's been around Pagan Paths since is was originally Wiccan Ways, been on iVillage.com since it started

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-03-2008
Wed, 05-27-2009 - 4:29am
I didn't say anything about leaving Pagan Paths. It's the other Pagan boards that I'm fed up with. I have no intentions of leaving Pagan Paths. If I am no longer comfortable on the other Pagan boards it is within my rights to leave them. And don't worry, I won't make a big to do of it. I have no intentions of posting a "goodbye and good riddance" to the boards. I will simply bow out and be done with them. The only time that I would tell others goodbye was if I was to leave Pagan Paths. As a CL I owe the board that and I owe it to the mods. However, I don't owe anything to the other Pagan boards and will leave silently. Actually, I already have left the boards. It is over and done with.
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-26-2004
Sat, 05-30-2009 - 2:41pm

The only other community I visit is meetup.com to find out when our local group will be having events. There are several members that belong to the group, but only a core of the members meet regularly for workshops, discussions, and open rituals. We are pretty accepting of the different paths that people walk and so far I haven't encountered any "holier than thou" attitudes.


Maybe some of these people feel insecure in their own beliefs and therefore attack others for differing beliefs. Or they want to make pagan religions seem more legitimate by saying "this is the right way to think/worhsip/etc.," which is kind of funny since the other major religions of the world are much worse than we are when it comes to differing beliefs!


I'm sorry that you've encountered this attitude elsewhere, which makes me even more appreciative of IVillage. I know I haven't been around for a while, but I also know I can pretty much come back whenever I need to to reconnect.


~Caeldi~

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-03-2008
Sat, 05-30-2009 - 4:33pm
I know what you mean. I feel so much better since I left the other Pagan forums. I'm much calmer and glad that I don't have to deal with their attitudes anymore. And I am not the only one who feels this way about the other Pagan forums. I've been in private conversations with someone from one of the boards and he feels exactly the same way. He's left the boards for the same reasons.

And like yourself, I appreciate iVillage all the more. Yes, there are some powder kegs here (the Debate boards), but I know to stay away from them. Occasionally you will run into a troublemaker on another board here, but that is the exception. It was the rule on the Pagan boards that I used to visit. So life is back to normal for me now.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-13-2008
Wed, 06-03-2009 - 9:53am

I know what you're talking about, Nancy! And there have been times even here on PP that disagreements have popped up from time to time. I've been in a few tussles here and not always proudly for having participated. But I think that's just a way of life - not every one agrees on everything. *shrug*

I also agree that there seems to be online pagan communities where there are "Witchier Than Thou" types - which always reminds me of the "ye old Baptists vs Methodists" approach. lol Because I'm still pretty new to my Witch Path, I'm just now finding IRL folks to share with and I'm exhilarated about it. And in thinking about that, seems to me so many of us are solitary, so when we do look for even online community, we're so set in our own ways, we often don't find others' opinions congenial to our own and it shakes us up and that's when the flaming begins.

I've seen it on a few places but now I only go to private communities other than here. And even there, there are disagreements. I think Pagans as a whole, feel so protective of our path from the mainstream religions, when *anyone* even attempts to tread on personal beliefs, fire lights in the eyes, feeling get hurt and it's down hill from there! I so get it and I also find it disheartening!

Maybe it's just a matter of picking and choosing the battles - because there are still things to be learned from those sites.

Pagan Paths is a very special place, always has been, always will be. I love the feeling of community here, even though I've been pretty absent since I stepped down as CL. There's a reason I keep coming back!

Bren Jay



Superposter -BL500 FYBL
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-03-2008
Wed, 06-03-2009 - 4:07pm
I'm glad that you are still posting here, Bren! I've always enjoyed reading your posts. You have some really great insights and I've always appreciated your contributions to PP. Plus, there have been so many times here on iVillage that when a CL steps down she's disappeared entirely from iV. I've seen that happen on quite a few boards. I'm glad that you haven't taken that route and I hope that you'll continue to post here!
iVillage Member
Registered: 02-23-2009
Sun, 06-14-2009 - 4:22am

I don't get online that often to "chat" probably the weekends are my best chance. But I can say that I did look at a few pagan sites before joining here and the reason I didn't join them was exactly because of the same reason. There was no support or open mindedness just condemn & negativity. I have never seen that on this site so that was one reason I was happy to find it.


People should be able to express themselves openly without being judged. If you don't agree, show another point of view but don't be negative, otherwise just don't say anything.


So keep up the good work everyone, help each other and be supportive


Blessed Be


Willowhisp