This entry is going to be very judgmental. It’s not meant to be nice; It’s meant to be honest (as perceived by me through my own experiences).
This demographic is not only in Paganism, but pretty much anywhere. They seem quite disconnected and awkward with blank stares on their face. You never see them show emotion or when you do it’s usually forced and seems like bad acting. This is very apparent when they dance. It’s usually slow and non-rhythmic as if they’re unsure of themselves or they’re just going through the motions. They lack so much passion in what they do, you start to wonder if they’re actually a robot spying on us from the CIA…OK, maybe not that extreme. Like I said, you’ll find these types in every social group but I’ve noticed an abundance in Paganism. Why? Probably because Pagans tend to be very accepting–even if you’re not good at absolutely anything. A lot of these people become pagan as a last-resort safe-haven. They are outcasts because they are socially awkward and have no real skills in life. To be harshly blunt, they are quite useless and paganism allows them to continue this. OK, so these guys are harmless and hey, maybe they just need a place of acceptance to build their self-esteem at their own pace so they can become good at something. That’s what I hope, at least…but, let’s not give anyone the benefit of the doubt (that would make me a Romantic).
These are the pagans I’ve been most exposed to. They were usually raised Christian and come from a very dysfunctional family. They most likely turned to paganism in their teenage years much to their parents’ outrage. I’ve heard many a story of parental figures throwing out all their pagan books, banning them from watching most movies and tried to “save” them by enrolling them in some ridiculous program or taking them to church. Yet, in spite of all that, they maintained not only their pagan spirit, but also their love of cigarettes, hard rock, all-black wardrobe, and plethora of tattoos and piercings. I’m not saying these are bad people, necessarily. I’m saying they continue all of the above-mentioned including paganism mainly for 2 reasons: To piss off their parents and to be “different”. This is merely a tactic to distract you from the personality they don’t have.
This is the demographic I am most guilty of, myself. I’m an artist and very naive by nature so I love the beauty, aesthetics and mystery attached to paganism. Lucky for me, I too was raised in a very judgmental and dysfunctional home, so I still have hard-truths ingrained into me. I can’t live in a fantasy world all the time…but these people seem to think they can! I’ve noticed this trait more common in male pagans than female (and they usually end up sleeping with almost every “attractive” female pagan they come across.) At the risk of sounding highly conceited, I get hit on quite a bit by these guys…and even the women romantics seem to be attracted to me. For men, they see the long hair, big doe-eyes and ethereal barely-there dresses I gravitate to and subconsciously think to themselves “This is exactly what I signed up for.” Then Don Juan thinks he’ll have a “magickal” time with me and proceeds to say things he thinks NO ONE HAS EVER TOLD ME, BEFORE! Sorry fellas, but anything you say to me I’ve probably heard a version of at some point in my 12 years of post-pubescent-maturation. I had one guy who gave himself a sexy-sounding name of…let’s call him…”Draven”? He came up to me and said “I’m sorry, I just had to say this, but you’re a beautiful person, internally as well as externally.”–and he’d met me twice! Since I was raised with manners I politely smiled and said thank you then very quickly ducked into my friend’s car. Sure, he’s pagan, baby, and he’s probably psychic and can see my aura and is so naturally tapped into his earthy powers he sees the all the intricacies of a person within 5 seconds of meeting them and do you hear how ridiculous this is starting to sound? As far as the women go, they’re not as cliché when approaching me. My guess is they believe they’ve found a kindred spirit or sister soul (and to an extent they’re half-right). I’m just an affirmation to them that these fantasies can be a reality…but I’m not here to strengthen their image, and make them look more fantasy-esque. They put me (and each other) on a pedastal, gushing about all of our positive qualities which gives us little room to actually be HUMAN. They only see one side of things, and fail to see the bigger, more complex (sometimes dark) picture.
These are my least favorite types of pagans, which is possibly why I have yet to actually meet someone who is like this on a large scale. I’ve certainly heard quite a few complaints of these haughty ritual leaders by other disgruntled pagans but I’ve only encountered their nitpicking tendencies in small doses. Probably for my own benefit. They’re very patronizing and either never got a date in high school, never got that promotion or got both, but don’t have either anymore and it got to their head. The truth behind these negative control-freaks is that they never had a moment of glory or they did but no one cared anymore so they felt rejected. Remember what I said about Paganism being accepting even if you’re useless? These people are definitely a result of that. Sure, they’re not as socially awkward as their Outcast counterparts (and maybe SLIGHTLY more productive) but they’re uptight and just downright abrasive. They subconsciously KNOW they’re not good at anything (or not good ENOUGH) but they consciously refuse to admit it and work on it, so they take it out on everyone else by telling them how they called the quarters wrong, how they wore the wrong ceremonial robes or corrected them if a deity’s name was pronounced differently than what they’re used to. These people clearly don’t follow the underlying message that nothing is “wrong” in paganism. Let’s not forget their wonderful habit of butting into complete strangers’ conversations totally uninvited to give advice on something that’s not the end of the world if I don’t figure it out for myself. Knowing more about something than I do (or pretending to), no matter how small and petty the information is, does not make you authoritative. It makes you a know-it-all! In short, these guys are failures who became snobs to make up for it.
I’ll start my conclusion with 2 disclaimers:
- You will find delusional people anywhere, not just paganism.
- A lot of these stereotypes can overlap. Especially the Rebel and the Romantic.
I’m not saying Paganism encourages this type of thinking. You’ll find assholes in any religion. But I do think a lot of people join paganism for the wrong reasons. Paganism is a blanket of acceptance and the very ideal is you have the power to be or do literally whatever you want and because of that people know they can continue being the half-assed, shitty losers that they already are under this blanket. They can stand under the Pagan umbrella, because, quite frankly, the rest of the world doesn’t have time for their counter-productive antics