Monday, May 19, 2008

What's with the breeding negativity?

This morning I checked my email, and looked through a few posts on a message board I subscribe to. I realized rather quickly why I seldom bother to look at them any longer.

When I look at my sagging bookshelf there are a number of titles from Llewellyn. Some are good. Some not so good. I think that this is pretty common with any publisher. Why has Llewellyn become such a sore point for many pagans? I see it all the time "Just don't buy anything from Llewellyn". Why not? Raymond Buckland, Scott Cunningham, and Raven Grimassi, all big pagan names, all have titles published under Llewellyn. I'm certain that most publishers put out a fair number of titles that aren't exactly brilliant.

"They are just out to make money" is another quote I often see. So what? Isn't the point of running a business to turn a profit? I suppose I just wonder what is so wrong with making money and how you survive without it. I don't think that anyone pointing and making this accusation is managing to live without money. I'd wager that most have a job to make money themselves.

It's not just Llewellyn. It's this author, or that book, or path, or group... If you don't like something that's fine. Shout it from the rooftops! Just make certain it's your opinion and you have valid reasons for it. Let's not perpetuate negativity just because it's easier than finding something positive to say. Maybe someone could say "I'm not fussy on that book but a great title you might want to read is ... " Isn't that more productive?

The reason this really gets to me is that I've met loads of people who have had an interest in paganism and witchcraft only to be completely put off by the snobbish load of rubbish that members of their 'pagan community' have handed them. If someone finds their path through a pink book about love spells who cares? They have taken their first steps... isn't that what's important?

But wait... apparently this isn't good enough for some. Some people actually believe that to be a witch you must be special. You must be chosen! Sorry, but I think that's bunk. If your interest has been piqued then the goddess may have nudged you in the direction of the occult/new age section of the book store for a reason... If someone is making an effort why belittle them?

Being a witch is not about being special. Being a witch is not about joining a coven, it's not about reading and memorizing 300 books on Wicca. Being a witch (for me anyway) is about striving for balance in every aspect of my life. It's about using spell craft to become an active participant in my life. It's about continually learning and applying that knowledge I have gained. It's about connecting with the gods and goddess' that touch my life. It's about being as true to myself as I can possibly be.

I'll let you in on a little secret... you do not need validation from others to confirm what you already know to be true. Follow your path and do it proudly.