I’m not sure if that is the right term for this, but I’m using it anyhow.
I’m not talking about techno-paganism (a subject I know virtually nothing about, excuse the terrible pun); the new-ish branch of paganism that uses computers, technology, and programing as spiritual practice (coding a spell to work in the background of your computer. Ritual spreadsheets. It’s more than just your BoS on a floppy disk!)
What I am referring to is the culture of Pagans online.
The Pagan Blog Project itself proves that there are hundreds and hundreds of Pagans who are expressing themselves online, learning online, and creating community online.
The e-Pagan community is so varied and vast that it is almost impossible to describe; you have the bright and endearing hands-on work of Carolina at House of Eleggua, or the studied, intellectual richness of Dr. Brendan Myers at The North West Passage. You have the deep feeling of Dver at A Forest Door, the wry wit of Sannion at The House of Vines, the from-the-gut honesty of Juniper at Walking the Hedge, and the spooky and inspiring realness of Sarah Lawless’ Witch of Forest Grove. These are just a few of the ‘big name’ blogs that I frequent. You also have a growing community of Tumblr blogs like Ginandjack’s Out of the Drink, Into the Wild, or Thiscrookedcrown who have the slightly more from-the-hip flavour of micro blogging.
These are all blogs that I follow, but what is more important is that these are all Pagans and authors that I interact with. It is a community of sharp, considerate (as in ‘they thoroughly consider everything they read or write’) people that enrich my spiritual life in so many ways.
The pros of the e-Pagan community are easily spotted:
- The discussion is at your leisure; you post when you can, and you reply when you want.
- The interaction is ‘instant’; you don’t have to wait for your monthly Pagan discussion night, in town. You simply log on and it’s all happening, right there, any time.
- The points of view are endless; look at the variety of pantheons, practices personalities, and beliefs found in the links above.
- There is no distance too far for this community; House of Eleggua is in the Canary Islands, Over the Hedge is less than 2 hours away by car for me!
- Critical thinking and education are encouraged; with all of these sources, everyone knows there is no reason to be ignorant. We know why we’re all here; to learn. So get to it!
And one thing that I have recently been surprised by was the honesty and acceptance of the e-Pagan crowd. Anyone who knows anything about any group of supposedly like-minded people, knows that honesty (especially online) is the final ingredient in any recipe for disaster! But, the anonymity or disconnect of the internet brings that out in people; the bravery to speak their mind. I regularly read posts by bloggers where I roll my eyes, or I get upset, or where I am touched…all because the e-Pagan community fosters a sense of honesty amoung its members. We feel free to express ourselves honestly, as long as we do so clearly, respectfully, and maturely.
I usually try to keep myself from replying to certain kinds of posts (I am a reactionary Sagittarius, which is bad in some kinds of situation) but recently I had had my fill of a particular topic and decided to sound-off about it. I wrote a post that I had originally subtitled “Or; How to lose friends” assuming that the community at large would chew me up and spit me out for my beliefs. I braced myself for biting replies, or unfollowing, or a good, stern talking-down to. But, and I honestly gasped when I saw this, my Tumblr post was ‘liked’ by one of the very people I thought would react negatively. Not only that, but I have now discussed some of my other posts with this person (Ginandjack) and, even though we come from different points of view on occasion, the discussion is enriching and wonderful!
Obviously there are downfalls in this community, as there are with any other. But here you can pick and choose who you communicate with, who gets to influence your practice, and who gets to be blessed with your time and text. You find the people you are inspired by, or the people you gel with and you continue to interact with them.
Ginandjack, Thiscrookedcrown, and I were recently featured in a ‘Miscellanea’ post by Sannion and we all had our own respective sissy-fits (he’s a huge inspiration to the three of us), but this is exactly what I am talking about. This community potentially has no barriers, no borders, and no problem sharing and networking. It is a community based on expression, experience, knowledge and insight.
It is a community that I am proud to be part of!
ThisCrookedcrown said it beautifully when they found out they had been reblogged by The House of Vines…
“I didn’t expect anyone to read the bloody thing.
But you all do. Which amazes me something fierce…
You make me want to engage more in my arts just so I can share more with you. Thank you.”
So, for being a part of this community, really, thank you all.