by CM Dalton

The way some of us treat people is cruel, ugly, and completely unnecessary. The reasoning behind it is 100% people: Not paganism, spirit, the gods/goddesses, energy, or whatever you happen to call it. People have egos. Egos separate and categorize things. Egos decide if those things are good or bad and how to deal with them.

The very heart of Paganism is gaining control of our ego so that we can see what needs doing and then do that thing. Good and bad, positive and negative are irrelevant or considered a judgment made by the people, not the universe. Then, by that practice, use our gifts to help and heal others.

It has become a popularity contest. Those with the most followers are right, and those looking to follow someone must see them as right or suffer the consequences. This isn’t paganism in any way, shape, or form. It is people.

Are behaviors like kicking people out of a group, making fun of people publicly, ridiculing people for any reason, and telling people you want to punch other people, acts of healing and a controlled ego? People, who call themselves part of the Pagan Community, do these things all the time. I’ve seen it happen at least 12 times just this past week.

I shouted in one of my groups that I wanted to write an article about this being a People Thing, Not a Pagan Thing in the paper. The support and encouragement I got from the group  was overwhelming. I’m not the only one who thinks something needs to be done about it.

New people are entering our circles and spaces regularly. They come from unique backgrounds, experiences, and belief systems. Many of them come because they want to get away from strict, ego driven leaders who punish and then ostracize people who don’t follow their rules, live the way they are told, or believe what they are told to believe. This isn’t Paganism, It’s people.

All I can do about it is write this, share it with as many Pagans as possible, and open a dialogue about it. I can encourage people to speak up when they see it happening and ensure new people who don’t know any better and can be severely hurt by these actions, that this isn’t what Paganism really is.

Then, I can pray this prayer for them.

I speak into the Universe so that my message reaches those seeking refuge and guidance while they work toward healing themselves and learning who they are as a Pagan.

I speak to the Goddess a request for protection over them from those who speak pagan, but practice otherwise.

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